Two Towns-One Book: Clifton Park & Halfmoon Read

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


Nominations Poster 2016 2NOMINATE NOW for our 2017 Community Read.

Our fifth community read season focusing on The Martian by Andy Weir is underway, and already we are planning for our sixth season.  Please help us choose the perfect book for 2017. We encourage everyone to nominate books for consideration. If you know more than one book that would be perfect for our community read, you may nominate more than one book. We are looking for books that will inspire rich discussion and community activities and encourage younger readers to participate through companion books and related activities. The Selection Committee narrows the nominations to 5 great reads which are presented to the community for a vote in September. The winner is announced in November. Nominations for 2017 are open until May 31, 2016. Nominate now by clicking above or in person at the Clifton Park Town Hall, the Halfmoon Town Hall, or the CPH Public Library.


Printable Flyer: Community Activities 2016


Read more about space travel…


Visit our Archives for RECOMMENDED READING with live links


hayden-planetarium_dynamic_lead_slideHayden Planetarium  & Museum of Natural History NYC Bus Trip

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Depart 7:30 AM from the CPH Library

Return about 10 PM

Travel to NYC to the Hayden Planetarium and the Museum of Natural History. The Space Show uses state-of-the art technology to communicate cutting-edge science. A digital video system projects across the theater’s 67-foot-wide hemispheric dome, and every seat has an amazing view. The Hayden Planetarium is an “immersive environment,” in which you feel as if you’re part of the action taking place on screen. The journey may seem like science fiction, but it is all based on authentic scientific observations, data, and models.

Trip includes bus ticket, admission to the Museum of Natural History, the Hayden Planetarium show, an iMax movie, and the Butterfly Garden. Planetarium Show is at 12:30. iMax show is at 2:30. Families are welcome.

Cost for Friends of the Library Members: Adults – $75; Seniors/students through college – $70.

For non Friends of the Library Members: Add $5.

For all children under 12: $65.

Contact Rhona Koretzky at or 505-1303.


RISE OF THE ROCKET GIRLS: An Evening with Nathalia Holt

Monday, May 16, 7 PM        Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library

ROCKET GIRLSAuthor, Nathalia Holt will talk about her just published book, Rise of the Rocket Girls identifying the women who propelled us from missiles to the Moon to Mars! Holt’s book continues the celebration of the Two Towns-One Book 2016 winning book, The Martian by Andy Weir.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that women have long been left out of the history books! Consider the elite group of young women – otherwise known as “human computers” – who broke the boundaries of both gender and science as members of Caltech’s newly formed Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL, which later became part of NASA) in the mid-twentieth century. In Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars, Nathalia Holt sheds light on the women who helped shape NASA’s early years, taking readers through the revolutionary changes of the 1960’s and ‘70s and up to the present day. For decades, the story of how these women transformed rocket design and made space exploration possible – with little more than paper, pencil, and mathematical prowess at their disposal – has remained little known and rarely told.

Nathalia Holt is also the author of Cured: The People Who Defeated HIV and a former fellow at the Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT, and Harvard University. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Atlantic, Slate, Time, and Popular Science.

Registration recommended.


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 Program – CPH 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

5/16 – Rise of the Rocket Girls with Nathalia Holt – CPH Public Library



2016 Featured Book: THE  MARTIAN

THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir; 2016 Community Choice

THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir; 2016 Community Choice

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

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


Books & Lunch 2016

The PanelTHE EDISON CLUB, 891 Riverview Road, Rexford

Andy Weir, author of The Martian, first published this year’s Two Towns-One Book (TTOB) Community Read as a blog on his website! On Saturday, April 9, Community readers joined us for lunch, raffles, “Kids Read, Too!” challenge, and a fascinating Panel Discussion on Blogging!

 Our Panel: Peter Bardunias,  Janine Camaratta, Keith Willis, Mary Paez Carrier


Neil-deGrasse-TysonNeil deGrasse Tyson: A Night of Science

On Monday, April 11, Neil deGrasse Tyson made his debut at Proctors in Schenectady to a sold-out house. He explored the accuracy of science as depicted in movies and beer commercials. TTOB audience members were thrilled to attend a joyful celebration of science!


Portable Planetarium

Portable Planetarium

Science & Health Discovery Night

On May 7, our ‘Kids Read, Too!’ team brought miSci’s portable planetarium to Shenedehowa High School East to join the annual Discovery Night event. Out of this world!


Aerospace students impressed an appreciative audience with their robotic expertise.

Aerospace students impressed an appreciative audience with their robotic expertise.

Robot Demonstration followed by THE MARTIAN starring Matt Damon

Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library

Sunday, 3/1/16

Students from Shenendehowa’s first Aerospace Science class demonstrated robots they constructed! “It is scary how smart theses kids are,” whispered one audience member.


Dr. GerhardtKickoff 2016: The U. S. Space Program with Lester Gerhardt

January 30, 2016         

Lester Gerhardt, engineer, RPI professor, and an expert on space exploration, blasted off Season 5 of TTOB! He presented a fascinating program featuring the development and amazing successes of the U. S. Space Program detailing his personal involvement. The enthusiastic audience of adults and children responded with thought provoking questions.  He ended with the question most critical to readers of this year’s winning book, The Martian: “When will we travel to Mars?”

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


Gardening 101 in Changing Times with Sue Beebe

gardening poster website

Mark Watney’s botanical and gardening expertise was critical to his survival on Mars. On Sunday, April 3, Sue Beebe, from Cornell Cooperative Extension, encouraged community members to relax and enjoy the fruits of their labor with a discussion on proper conditions for Earth gardens and yards while supporting the environment.


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 Lady

The 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



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.