Two Towns-One Book: Clifton Park & Halfmoon Read

A program of the Friends of the Library
A non-profit organization that supports the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library


TTOB Nominate Poster 2016 - Draft7Nominations for the 2015-2016 Community Read Close on May 31!

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Travel with Two Towns-One Book

“Books are vehicles that transport us to different places in different times.  When we started Two Towns-One Book in 2010, we wondered where we would go.  The first year in The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, we traveled to Nazi Germany in 1939 and found Liesel, Rudy, and the Hubermanns on Himmel Street in Molching, Germany.

Next came Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, where we admired Louie Zamperini’s courage and resiliency.  We traveled with Louie to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, his enlistment into the Air Force, then his airplane being shot down in the ocean, drifted with him for days in the Pacific Ocean and suffered in his imprisonment in the POW camps in Japan.

Last year, the book chosen was in a lighter vein.  We traveled with contemporaries Brent and Josh, the fabulous Beekman Boys, from New York City to a farm with a beautiful mansion in Sharon Springs, New York in The Bucolic Plague: How Two Manhattanites Became Gentlemen Farmers by Josh Kilmer-Purcell.  A bus field trip took some of us to Sharon Springs, where we toured their farm, met the goats, visited the Beekman 1802 Mercantile Store, lunched at the American Hotel, and experienced the town first hand.

Tonight we are thrilled to have with us Jan-Phillip Sendker, the author of The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, this year’s winning book.  In the story set in pre-WWII we journey to Burma and meet Tin Win and MiMi.  But I’ll let him tell you more about this.  Jim Foster from the library was instrumental in arranging for the author’s appearance and Jim will introduce the author.”

-From an introduction by Linda Conklin, Creator and Chairperson of Two Towns-One Book, April, 16, 2015


Click here for 2015 Events Brochure.

Kids Read, Too!

Junior Companion Booklist 2015 ***Junior Companion Books Activities 2015


Our Book of Choice 2015

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats

art of hearing heartbeatsBy Jan-Phillipp Sendker

A poignant and inspirational love story set in Burma, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats spans the decades between the 1950s and the present.  When a successful New York lawyer suddenly disappears without a trace, neither his wife nor his daughter Julia has any idea where he might be…until they find a love letter he wrote many years ago, to a Burmese woman they have never heard of. Intent on solving the mystery and coming to terms with her father’s past, Julia decides to travel to the village where the woman lived. There she uncovers a tale of unimaginable hardship, resilience, and passion that will reaffirm the reader’s belief in the power of love to move mountains.


He is coming to our town!

He is coming to our town!

Jan-Philipp Sendker was Here!!!!

Gowana Middle School Auditorium

Thursday, April 16,  7 PM

The author of The Art of Hearing Heartbeats came to Clifton Park and shared the entertaining story of how he got “here” as a highly successful published author: “Persistence means victory.” Jan-Philipp Sendker, born in Hamburg in 1960, was the American correspondent for Stern from 1990 to 1995, and its Asian correspondent from 1995 to 1999. In 2000 he published Cracks in the Great Wall, a nonfiction book about China. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats was his first novel. Open Door Bookstore was on hand to sell The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, the and its sequel A Well-Tempered Heart, along with his newest book, Whispering Shadows.  Thank you, Jan-Philipp Sendker for graciously signing our books, answering our questions, and providing an enriching evening with a favorite author! Event poster: Jan-Philipp Sendker is Coming! Visit Jan-Philipp Sendker.


The search for the perfect book for our 2015 Community Read began on May 4, with your nominations. Nominations ended June 14. During the summer months our Book Selection Committee narrowed your nominations to five great reads. Take a peek at our TTOB Top 25 Books 2014. Voting took place from September 11-October 31.


Revisit events of our 2015 season…


“Mingalabar” Hello – Auspiciousness on you.

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats: Kick-Off

Welcome to Myanmar

Welcome to Myanmar, The Golden Land

On Sunday, January 11, Friends of the Library member and world traveler, Linda Fox, presented her October 2014 Myanmar experience! The slide show targeted today’s Myanmar:  the importance of Buddhism, the industriousness of the people, the effects of extensive poverty, and everyday life in this fascinating country. Mingalabar Kick-off Photos 2015 Prepared by Linda Fox:  Myanmar Bibliography


A Tapestry of Love Stories with Story Teller, Kate Dudding

duddingKate Dudding was well-received at the TTOB Storytelling event on Saturday, February 28, where she wove a Tapestry of Love Stories in keeping with the themes of our 2015 Book of the Year. In this photo, Kate told a story of the women of Gee’s Bend, Alabama who kept the love of their culture alive since the mid-19th century through the creation of beautiful abstract art quilts, taken from scraps of old clothing. Their works were featured in a Smithsonian exhibition, and at other art museums across the country.


Tuesday Evening Book Discussion Group with Rhona Koretsky

Book discussion group photo-revTuesday Evening Book Discussion Group delved into TTOB’s Book of the Year anticipating the author’s visit on Thursday, April 16.


Books & Lunch: Dispelling the Myths About Blindness

The panel dispelled  myths about blindness.

The panel dispelled myths about blindness.

An enlightening and lovely lunch event was held at The Vista in Jonesville on March 21. Book lovers continued the celebration of this year’s book through a panel presentation and hands on exhibits dispelling the myths of blindness. Panelists included Brian Daniels, Associate Commissioner of the NYS Office of Children and Family Services; Maureen Strainge, Co-Director of Rehabilitation Services for the North Eastern Association of the Blind; Kenny Jones, Assistive Technology Instructor, North Eastern Association of the Blind; Barrie Handelman, Certified Braillist and retired BOCES Teacher of the Blind; and Andres Harnecker, Business Service Specialist, New York State Commission for the Blind. Dr. Tim Olsen, Director of the Union College Jazz Ensemble provided music during lunch. There was a basket raffle and “Kids Read, Too!” display. ************Click for Photos: Books and Lunch at The Vista 2015 Books and Lunch Poster


Kids Read, Too! – Featured Event – Everyone Can!

Skano Tesago Elementary, April 19

Leo Imbaro enjoyed guessing what was in the "touch bags" without peeking.

Leo Imbaro enjoyed guessing what was in the “touch bags” without peeking.

Families experienced our world using several senses.  Activity centers included: Braille writing, adaptive games, music videos by “Flame”, service dogs, the “touch bags” and a sensory art project. Thank you to the gracious presenters who joined us on such a beautiful day! Patricia Carley explained how she facilitates an art class for those who are differently abled. Fritz Smith and Lauren Bachner brought a service and a therapy dog and demonstrated the differences in how they help people. 

To learn more, please visit and

Everyone Can! Poster 2015


Jim Foster, CPH Librarian, with author Nicole Kear

Jim Foster, CPH Librarian, with author Nicole Kear

Season 4 Final Event: An Evening With Author Nicole Kear

May 20, 2015, 7 PM

Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library

Nicole Kear presented her personal story of blindness to an appreciative audience. Her book, Now I See You, is a memoir of her journey after she walks into a doctor’s office in midtown Manhattan at age nineteen and receives a life-changing diagnosis. She is going blind, courtesy of an eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa, and has only a decade or so before Lights Out. Told with humor and irreverence, Now I See You is an uplifting story about refusing to cower at life’s curveballs, about the power of love to triumph over fear. But, at its core, it’s a story about acceptance: facing the truths that just won’t go away, and facing yourself, broken parts and all.   The Open Door Bookstore sold copies of Now I See You for purchase and signing. Event Poster: An Evening With Nicole Kear


The Contenders 2014

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Phillipp Sendker; I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai; Mary Coin by Marisa Silver; My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor; One Summer; America 1927 by Bill Bryson ***Download 2014-2015 TTOB Contenders Revealed Brochure



Second Annual Literary Trivia Walk: September 28

photo 1 (1)

Chairperson of TTOB, Linda Conklin, and Steering Committee member Mary Ann Campe registered walkers.

It was a beautiful day, filled with family fun. Enjoy the photos!

2014 Literacy Trivia Walk Photos

2013 Literary Trivia Walk Photos


Click here to revisit our 2013-14 season.


To see what our neighboring communities are reading visit: Saratoga Reads! and One County One Book (Schenectady)


FOL Receives Stewart’s Holiday Match Funding for 2015!

Kids, Read, Too!, the children’s branch of Two Towns-One Book was awarded $750 by Stewart’s Holiday Match Program again this year. Thank you Stewart’s!


Important Dates for 2014-2015

· Book Nominations – May - June

· Book Evaluation & Selection of 5 Contenders – June  - August

· Vote for Final Selection – September 11 – October 31

· Announce THE BOOK - November 4

· Events & Activities – January – May


How Can I Get Involved?

  • We invite volunteers to work on sub-committees and events. Sub-committees include: Book Selection, Book Readers, Public Relations, Events, Fundraising, and Kids Read, Too! Contact Us.
  • Get the BOOK! Check out a copy of the selected book or purchase your own copy at your local bookstore. The title will be available at the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Library in hardback, paperback and audio format. This title will also available as a Book Club in a Bag version, for book clubs wishing to check out multiple copies at once!
  • Read! Join your family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors in reading the same book – together!
  • Register your Book Club. We are happy to include book clubs from the surrounding area. Read more in About Us.
  • Attend our related programs. See Events.
  • Check out our web pages weekly and watch for the official schedule of events in January!
  • Sign up to receive e-mail updates about TTOB related programs and events.
  • Attend a Community Book Discussion. Official Discussion Questions for your own book group will also be available on the website.
  • Become a Sponsor.
  • Contact Us. Or contact Linda Conklin, Chairwoman of TTOB, at

Please support our sponsors!


Our goal is to bring people in our community together through the shared reading and discussion of a common book. Our choices inspire rich discussion and community activities and encourage younger readers to participate through companion books and related activities.