The planning committee for the annual community reading program known as Linn Area Reads has selected One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by author Ken Kesey for the 2015 edition of the program.
Linn Area Reads is a program of the Metro Library Network, which is made up of the Cedar Rapids, Marion, and Hiawatha Public Libraries. All Linn Area Reads events are free and open to the public.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a novel based largely on the author’s experience with mental patients. Published in 1962, the novel is set in a mental ward and features its inhabitants, especially the tyrannical Nurse Ratched and Randle Patrick McMurphy, the loud-mouthed and fun-loving inmate who opposes her. The novel is told through the eyes of Chief Bromden, a seemingly mute half-Native American patient.
“This book is more than 50 years old, but the themes are still valid today,” said Amber Mussman, Community Relations Manager with the Cedar Rapids Public Library and member of the selection committee. “We are excited to engage the community in a discussion of the state of mental health and wellness treatment as well as services for our veterans in 2015, and how these compare to the picture painted in this classic novel.”
In addition to the programs listed below, the Linn Area Reads committee is excited to announce a new effort to encourage book clubs to participate in the community-wide reading program. A limited number of free book club kits will be available at each of the Metro libraries for groups that wish to participate.
Book Club Kits will be given on a first-come, first-served basis. Kits do not need to be returned. Each kit includes eight paperback copies of the novel, a discussion guide, and information on programs. Kits will be available starting February 15.
“We are grateful to both the Mercy Medical Center Foundation and the Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation for their support of this new program,” said Mussman. “They are making it possible for us to give these kits away at no cost to book clubs.”
Linn Area Reads 2015 programs include:
- The State We’re In: A Picture of Mental Health in 2015. March 10, 7 p.m., Whipple Auditorium at the Cedar Rapids Public Library, 450 5th Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids. Hear from a panel of experts, including Carol Meade, Manager of Outpatient Behavioral Health Services for Children and Adolescents at St. Luke’s; Linn County Supervisor Ben Rogers; and Rosemary Ziskovsky, the Community Based and Mental Health Services Director at Horizons; moderated by Ashley Hinson. Learn what’s changed in 50 years in our mental health system and support services. What challenges are we facing today? What improvements have been made? How far have we come and how far do we have yet to go?
- Moderated Book Discussion. March 24, 6:30 p.m., at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 333 Collins Rd. NE, Cedar Rapids. Refreshments provided thanks to Barnes & Noble Booksellers.
- Movie Screening: “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, March 31, 6:30 p.m., Whipple Auditorium at the Cedar Rapids Public Library, 450 5th Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids. Directed by Milos Forman, this film version of the book won five major Academy Awards in 1975.
Linn Area Reads is supported by Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Friends of the Cedar Rapids Public Library, Friends of the Hiawatha Public Library, Friends of the Marion Public Library, and the Metro Library Network.
For more information on Linn Area Reads, visit www.metrolibrarynetwork.org/linnareareads.