Community-Wide Reading Experience

"This compelling and inspiring book shows how one person can work wonders. In Mountains Beyond Mountains, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Tracy Kidder tells the true story of a gifted man who loves the world and has set out to do all he can to cure it.

In medical school, Paul Farmer found his life’s calling: to cure infectious diseases and to bring the lifesaving tools of modern medicine to those who need them most. Kidder’s magnificent account takes us from Harvard to Haiti, Peru, Cuba, and Russia as Farmer changes minds and practices through his dedication to the philosophy that “the only real nation is humanity.” " -

Read. Engage. Contribute.

I’m delighted that you’ve decided to participate in the inaugural year of the “A Book for the ‘Burg” community-wide reading experience!

I’ve found that extraordinary ideas often come out of everyday conversations. What’s more, what we read and the conversations we have can inspire us to think differently about how we view ourselves and the world.  These are a few of the reasons I’m encouraging the community to read the same book and to come together to talk about it at the many events planned for 2014.

I hope you’ll enjoy the book we’ve selected for this year. It focuses on some of society’s most pressing issues. For me, it raised timely and challenging questions about the complex and interconnected economic, environmental, and social aspects of these issues. I found the story of Paul Farmer to be both captivating and inspiring, but most importantly, it reminded me that one person’s passion, effort, and persistence can have a ripple effect that will move "mountains."

In our neighborhoods, community, and around the globe, there are countless opportunities to contribute to a better world, but the issues and decisions are complicated. For many of us, the challenge is determining what we can do as individuals. A conversation with others in the community seems like a great step.

I’m looking forward to the dynamic and meaningful dialogues we’ll have around the many themes in Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World.

Thank you for joining the conversation!

Amanda Bodle, Committee Chair, A Book for the ‘Burg Programming Committee


  • Oct 16: A Look at Hunger in Haiti on World Food Day