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One Book One Boulder 2023




Looking for your next great page-turner? It’s not too late to participate in One Book One Boulder, an engaging initiative designed to bring people together.


Presented by the Boulder Library Foundation, this year’s One Book One Boulder read is “The Book of Joy” by the 14th Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu and Douglas Abrams. To join in on the action, all you need to do is read or listen to the book, which explores the authors’ “own stories and teaching about joy, the most recent findings in the science of deep happiness and the daily practices that anchor their own emotional spiritual lives.”


Both the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu are Nobel Prize winners, and they know a thing or two about spirituality, so their insights could prove useful for integrating into your daily life.


“Both the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu have been tested by great personal and national adversity, and here they share their personal stories of struggle and renewal,” according to the book description. “Now that they are both in their 80s, they especially want to spread the core message that to have joy yourself, you must bring joy to others … They demonstrated by their own exuberance, compassion, and humor how joy can be transformed from a fleeting emotion into an enduring way of life.”



And don’t you agree, we could all use a little more unbridled joy in our lives? In fact, the library selected this book because more than 300 people reported in a survey that they’d like to see “cultivating joy” be the focus of this year’s One Book One Boulder.



“This year’s One Book selection could not be more fitting,” says David Farnan, library director. “After several years of generational turmoil, we hope that this is an opportunity for the community to step back and look to the future for ways to cultivate joy in our own lives.”



You’ll find many copies and versions available for checkout from the Boulder Public Library, including traditional print books, audio CDs, large print books, digital audiobooks and digital eBooks. There’s also a special kit that you can check out that includes eight copies of the book, plus a binder and a cloth zippered bag — this is perfect for organizing a book club and getting your friends and neighbors to participate, too. There’s also a children’s version called “The Little Book of Joy” so families with little ones can inspire their children to do One Book One Boulder, too. There are also versions available in Spanish.


If you want to chat with others, join one of the open book circles that take place around town at various locations. You can also download a free discussion guide to get your brain thinking about how best to learn from this book.


The library is also hosting an author talk on Thursday, April 27 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. At this event, which is free and open to the public, Douglas Abrams will share his insights about the Eight Pillars of Joy, then take questions from the audience. He’ll also do a book signing afterward.


Want to go back through the archive and read some of the past One Book One Boulder reads? In 2021, the book was “All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis” edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine K. Wilkinson. And in 2020, the book was “So You Want to Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo. Even if you don’t have time to go back and read these picks, you can still watch recorded discussions and events around these topics online by checking out the Boulder Public Library’s YouTube channel.

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