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


 Nominate a book for our 2017 community read.


2016 Featured Book: The Martian

This year's winner!

This year’s winner!

By Andy Weir

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and alone with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

Andy Weir’s website

Need reminders to remember the acronyms while reading? Click here: List of Acronyms

“Stuck on Mars with nothing but disco: Ars talks with The Martian’s Andy Weir” By Lee Hutchinson 



Visit our Archives for RECOMMENDED READING with live links

Printable Flyer: Community Activities 2016


Kickoff 2016: The U. S. Space Program with Lester Gerhardt

Lester Gerhardt

January 30, 2016         2 PM

Lester Gerhardt, engineer, RPI professor, and an expert on space exploration will  be at the CPH Library to blast off Season 5! He will present a program featuring the development and successes of the U. S. Space Program. Read more.

Registration recommended.

“Science fiction does not exist. It is only a matter of time. It is all doable.”


Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Night of Science


Monday, April 11, 8 PM, Proctors, Schenectady 

Orchestra Seats $65.00: Orders Due 3/1/16!

Dr. Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium, hosts Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey and is the former host of NOVA ScienceNOW on PBS. He makes his debut at Proctors in Schenectady for a night of science and live audience Q&A. Order forms for discounted tickets are online at and at the Library Friends displays. Mail it with payment to the Friends OR drop off at the Library Welcome Desk.

Questions? Contact Lori



the-martian-posterRobot Demonstration followed by

The Martian starring Matt Damon

Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library

Shenendehowa’s first Aerospace Science class will demonstrate a robot they constructed! Don’t miss it!

Sunday, March 6, 1 PM

The Movie: Awards


From deGrasse Tyson about the movie - CBS News, October 15, 2015

Quoting Mark Twain: “First get your facts straight. Then distort them at your leisure.”

The Martian gets enough of the science right.”

“Science is its own character in this film.”


“The Washington Post claims that The Martian may have saved NASA and the entire space program. Basically, The Martian might be partially responsible for getting the first human to walk on the red planet.

And that is the most insanely brain-shattering, can’t-even-conceive-of-it, are-you-kidding-us, eye-popping reason to read a book that us puny Earthlings can think of.”

(Shmoop Editorial Team)


Is The Martian (movie) a comedy?

The sci-fi epic “The Martian” has been nominated for three Golden Globe awards — including, a bit confusingly, for Best Comedy.

The Martian,” which stars Matt Damon as a NASA astronaut stranded and presumed dead on the Red Planet, earned nods for Best Director (Ridley Scott), Best Actor (Damon) and Best Motion Picture —Musical or Comedy, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced today (Dec. 10).

This last nomination has generated a fair amount of discussion, as well as some head-scratching; “The Martian” has some funny moments, but most viewers would probably agree that it is at heart a dramatic film. (After all, it is about the harrowing struggles of an astronaut left to survive by himself on Mars.) —


List of Events 2016 (More Details)

12/8/15 – The Martian: Tuesday Evening Discussion Group – CPH Public Library

1/30 – Kickoff: The U.S. Space ProgramCPH Public Library

2/6 – Kids Read, Too! at Winterfest – Clifton Country Mall

3/6 – The Movie: The Martian & Robot Demonstration – CPH Public Library

3/24 – The Martian: Daytime Book Group – CPH Public Library

4/3 – Gardening 101 in Changing Times with Sue Beebe - CPH Public Library

4/9/16 – Books & Lunch: Panel Presentation on Blogging – The Edison Club

4/11 – Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Night of Science – Proctors

4/15 – Kids Read, Too! Science & Health Discovery Night – Shen HSE

5/7 – NYC Planetarium/Museum Trip Bus Trip – NYC


MORE FAMILY FUN at the Dudley Observatory:

3/15 - The Dudley Observatory in Schenectady offers night sky adventures the 3rd Tuesday of each month. On Tuesday, March 15, 2016, they are focusing on Mars missions and the Insight lander. Insight is a new Mars robotic lander equipped with instruments to study the early geological evolution of Mars. It was supposed to launch in March 2016, but has been postponed due to the mechanical failure of one of its instruments. They will discuss this and give a live planetarium presentation showing how to view Mars in the night sky.  There is a charge for admission, children $6.50, adults $9.50, seniors (65+) $8.  A group rate is also available.


Please visit our website again for updates as our season unfolds.

The search for the perfect book for our 2016 Community Read began on May 16, with nominations from our Clifton Park and Halfmoon communities. Nominations ended June 14. During the summer months our Book Selection Committee narrowed nominations to five great reads. Voting took place from September 11-October 31.  

We invite all to participate in our fifth community read. Copies of The Martian will be available at the CPH Library. Bags containing multiple copies will be assembled and may be requested at the check-out desk.


Kids Read, Too!

Featured Junior Companion Books have been announced!

The Tree LadyThe Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever

by H. Joseph Hopkins

Unearth the true story of green-thumbed pioneer and activist Kate sessions, who helped San Diego grow from a dry desert town into a lush, leafy city known for its gorgeous parks and gardens.

Nobody thought it was possible, “but she did.”

Recommended for grades K-3




by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Liam has always had trouble keeping his feet on the ground.  Being 239,000 miles from earth doesn’t make it any easier.

A riveting, imaginative, funny novel that celebrates space travel

Recommended for grades 4-8

Visit our “Kids Read, Too!” page for a list of recommended reading and suggestions for family involvement. Details of activities for children will be listed on our Events page.



The Final Five Contenders

The Art Forger by B. A. Shapiro

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

Euphoria by Lily King

The Martian by Andy Weir

TransAtlantic by Colum McCann

 Read more about the  Final Five Contenders 2016.

Read Why We Liked These Books.


Neighboring Community Reads

Saratoga Reads has announced their Book of Choice for their 12th community read: The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. The book was also one of our favorite contenders. Visit Saratoga Reads for information regarding community activities exploring themes of this inspirational true story.

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


Revisit Season 4 2015

Click here for 2015 Events Brochure.

2015 Kids Read, Too!


The TTOB year long program includes the following components:

  • Book Nominations: January-May
  • Select Contenders: June-August
  • Vote for the final Selection: September -October
  • Announce THE BOOK: November
  • Community 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.