Capital READ Book Discussion: The Book of Charlie

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Program Description


This year's Capital READ is The Book of Charlie by David Von Drehle. Join us for one or all of three events this months, all from 6:30-8 p.m.:

ON APRIL 15, join library director Claudia Young and adult programmer Madeline Matson for a discussion of the 2024 Capital READ: The Book of Charlie by David Von Drehle.

ON APRIL 22, MRRL board president Bob Priddy will host a discussion of The Book of Charlie by David Von Drehle, the 2024 Capital READ.

ON APRIL 29, David Von Drehle will visit the library to discuss The Book of Charlie, the 2024 Capital READ. Published to critical acclaim, this bestselling title presents an inspiring story about Von Drehle's remarkable friendship with a 109-year-old man.

When veteran Washington journalist Von Drehle moved to Kansas City, he met a new neighbor who was more than a century old. Little did he know he was beginning a long friendship--and a profound lesson in the meaning of life. Charlie White was no ordinary neighbor. Born before radio, Charlie lived long enough to use a smartphone. When a shocking tragedy interrupted his idyllic boyhood, he mastered survival strategies that enabled him to thrive through times of dramatic change. Charlie's sense of adventure carried him on an epic journey across the continent, and later found him swinging across bandstands of the Jazz Ages, racing aboard ambulances through Depression-era gangster wars, improvising techniques for early open-heart surgery, and many other remarkable journeys.

A few tributes:

"In every era, an author writes a genuinely original, formula-shattering book. David Von Drehle has done this in The Book of Charlie, a serious history of the last 100 years."  Bob Woodward 

"David Von Drehle's book is a monumental achievement cloaked in the experience of one ordinary American man of his time. In this stunningly true story, 100 years worth of American eras become breathtakingly intimate experiences, history becomes personal, and a neighbor becomes a figure of deep nobility." Sally Jenkins, author of The Real All-Americans

"I gotta recommend this book, filled with history, wisdom, common sense, and laughs galore. I wish I had lived across the street from Charlie AND that I make it to 109! This is an astounding book about an astounding friendship that I wish I could've had. It's a slim volume, but you'll carry around its heart for the rest of your life." Tom Hanks