‘Atticus’ theme set for program

GLOVERSVILLE – Tom Ryan’s book about hiking with his dog will be the focus of the Gloversville Public Library’s second annual Gloversville READS! program.

The book beat out several others in public voting, including city native Richard Russo’s new book “Elsewhere: A Memoir,” which recounts some of his experiences in Gloversville.

One of the highlights of the reading program will be a visit from Ryan.

He wrote “Following Atticus: Forty-eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship.”

The book was selected from a list of five finalists. The book will be the center of community events scheduled through April 30.

According to a news release, out of the 636 votes cast in January and February, “Following Atticus” won more than 80 percent of the votes.

Copies of the book, as well as the children’s companion title, “Nubs,” can be obtained from the library.

“Following Atticus” is the author’s personal story about him and his schnauzer, named Atticus, climbing all 48 of New Hampshire’s peaks twice in one winter to raise money for charity. The book talks about the relationship between the man and his dog.

“The public’s involvement to date through the nomination process and voting is an exciting development from last year’s READ,” Library Director Barbara Madonna said in the news release. “That outreach also brought school district teachers and staff and community members onto this year’s committee. Their ideas and hard work have made developing this project a joy and a true community collaboration.”

She said the book “Nubs” mirrors the same themes of friendship and bonding that “Atticus” does and was a good choice to accompany the overall subject of the READS programming this year.

Ryan, with Atticus and his new dog Will, will present a book signing April 20 at 4:30 p.m. at SkyHeart Place, 33 Bleecker St. The book store Mysteries on Main Street will offer books for purchase and signing.

“We are very excited to have him here,” Madonna said. “He loves talking to groups, and as far as I can tell, he has never hiked the Adirondacks. We are right at the foothills, so maybe someday they would like to go hiking here? It is going to be a great conversation, and we can’t wait to have him here.”

Doug Hill, a resident of Broadalbin who owns show dogs, including Dora, a giant schnauzer who competed in the Westminster Dog Show, will present a program about dog shows and dog clubs at the library on March 25 at 6 p.m.

There will be an adoption day with the James A Brennan Humane Society on April 18 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Myers Park.

Two book discussions of “Following Atticus” will take place April 16 at 6 p.m. and April 17 at 10 a.m. at the library.

Another event will be “Tails to Rails,” an owner-dog walk on April 27 from 10 a.m. to noon. The walk will start at Trail Station Park on West Fulton Street.

Madonna said the library will honor a fine-free period during the program. In lieu of fines for overdue books, patrons are asked to bring in items for animal shelters.

Other events will include a Drawing Animals program for children April 2 at 1 p.m. at the library.

The Adirondack Mountain Club’s Foothills Chapter will have outings during the READ program. The club will present a program about hiking in the Adirondacks at the library on April 9 at 6 p.m.

Residents can listen to radio station WENT-AM for “Atticus” trivia with prizes.

The other book finalists were Russo’s “Elsewhere: A Memoir”; “Sarah’s Key” by Tatiana De Rosnay; “She Said Yes: The Unlikely Martyrdom of Cassie Bernall” by Misty Bernall; and “A Dog’s Purpose” by W. Bruce Cameron.

“The committee, staff and board are looking forward to these exciting programs,” Madonna said. “We have over 20 community partners participating this year.”