Friday, March 9, 2012

That's all, folks!

Thanks for a terrific One Island One Book everyone -- the final event yesterday, a book discussion here at the Library, was emblematic of our success, pushing the Conference Room to its capacity. Over the monthlong program, hundreds of you attended lectures at the Library, tours at the Custom House, and read along here on the blog. Thanks to each and every one of you who participated -- and special thanks to author Les Standiford and to Headquarters Branch Administrator Christine Dunn. We certainly couldn't have done it without you.
We haven't selected next year's One Island One Book yet -- but stay tuned here and we'll post as soon as we do. Remember, you can also keep up on Library activities by checking the Key West page on the Monroe County Library website, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter. And you can keep on reading along, commenting on the posts below and reading more about the Over-Sea Railroad and Key West History. Happy reading!

Dec. 18, 2012 update: Because we're about to start updating the blog with information about The Orchid Thief I am copying here the suggested further reading for Last Train to Paradise. All the books here are in the Monroe County Public Library collection:

Key West: The Old and the New by Jefferson B. Browne -- written in 1912 to help welcome the railroad era to Key West, this is a comprehensive collection of information about the Keys from its initial development to the time of publication.

Florida's Great Ocean Railway by Dan Gallagher -- Detailed account of the construction of the project.

The Florida Keys: A History of the Pioneers by John Viele -- well-researched history of early settlers on the island, with an entire chapter called "Railroad Days."

Storm of the Century by Willie Drye -- An account of the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane, a Category 5 monster that killed more than 400 people and spelled the end of the Overseas Railway.

Category 5 by Thomas Knowles -- Another account of the Labor Day Hurricane, this one by a Key West native.

Hemingway's Hurricane by Phil Scott -- Another Labor Day Hurricane book, this one notable for the accounts from World War I veterans who were in Islamorada working on a WPA project at the time of the storm.

Speedway to Sunshine by Seth Bramson -- Authoritative history of the Florida East Coast Railway, Flagler's system that once stretched from St. Augustine to Key West and literally led to the development of South Florida

The Swamp by Michael Grunwald -- This book does not bear directly on the Overseas Railway but provides excellent background on the history and development of South Florida through the prism of the Everglades.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Now it's your turn

We read the book, we toured the exhibit at the Custom House, we've heard from the people doing the rail-to-trail conversion, our pre-eminent local historian -- and the author himself.
Now it's your turn. This week, the Library's Book Bites Book Club holds three meetings to discuss Last Train to Paradise by Les Standiford.
The first is at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Library Conference Room.
The second is at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Florida Keys Community College Library. The Library is in Building A, 5901 College Road -- perfect for folks who don't want to make the drive into Old Town and search for parking.
The final event in this year's One Island One Book is Thursday, March 8, at 4:30 p.m., back at the Library.
All Book Bites meetings are open to everyone -- you don't need to be a Monroe County Library patron to attend. Thanks to everyone for participating this year and please don't hesitate to ask questions if you have any -- stop by the Library, give us a call at 305-292-3595 or email