Best-selling authors who have Virginia roots are the highlight of the Bristol Public Library's 2010 Discovery Series, which also features environmental proponents, the daughter of evangelist Billy Graham, and a return of experts from the popular television series Antiques Roadshow.
Sponsored by the Library Foundation and funded by the Albert C. Noble Mission, the series kicked off in February with author Adriana Trigiani from Big Stone Gap, Va., who broke into popular fiction with a novel based in her hometown.
Best-selling novelist Lee Smith, a native of Grundy, Va., is scheduled to appear in April. Prior to her appearance, the community is encouraged to read Smith's Fair and Tender Ladies as part of Bristol's first annual Community Read.
In May, the library will present David Baldacci , author of 18 best-selling novels, at the Paramount Center for the Arts in downtown Bristol. Baldacci's Wish You Well is a tribute to his mother's family who were from Dickenson County, Va.
"The past two years have been very successful for the library's Discovery Series," says Anita Machado, Executive Director of the Library Foundation. "The Discovery Series committee was formed last year to ensure that we bring only the best and most sought-after speakers, authors, and workshops." The speakers are selected by the Discovery Series committee, whose members work with the agent or speaker's bureau that individually represents each speaker.
Machado adds, "We are very pleased by the final decisions made to the line-up and have been experiencing outstanding attendance to these events. It is our hope that we will continue to magnify Albert C. Noble's mission by 'Expanding Minds and Building Community' at the Bristol Public Library."
The Foundation is selling a small number of reserved seat tickets to many of the series events, but general admission will remain free. This year, there are also fundraising events for the Foundation, and patrons will pay $10 to have an item appraised during the Antiques Roadshow program.
Because the Noble Mission trust fund could be exhausted in about another year, organizers made some changes to conserve money. "We still have great speakers, but we have scaled back a little bit," explains Machado, who is continually fundraising and working with donors to keep the Noble Mission going.
For more information, call 276-821-6148 or visit www.bristol-library.org.
-- Bristol's Community Read Events