Bragg entertains Forsyth Reads Together crowd

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CUMMING, Ga. — About 380 people came out to hear Rick Bragg, author of “All Over But the Shoutin’,” at the Forsyth Reads Together special community event Sept. 17.

Bragg, a Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author, spoke at the Forsyth Conference Center about his Southern upbringing in Alabama, his passion for football and traveling the world.

He also spoke candidly and jokingly about his writing.

“I’ve always been a little ashamed of what I do,” Bragg told attendees. “Because it’s easy, but writers will say ‘no, it’s not easy.’ But it is — compared to roofing.”

Organized by the Forsyth County Public Library, the Forsyth Reads Together is a community-wide reading program that asks everyone in the county to read and talk about the same book.

“We had a total of 381 attendees, which is double the number we had for last year’s Forsyth Reads Together main event,” said Laura Bradley, Forsyth County Public Library program manager. “To say that Mr. Bragg is an engaging speaker is an understatement.

“He was funny, poignant and wise, often all at once,” Bradley said.

After his talk and a lively question and answer session, Bragg spent time with every person waiting in the long line to have books signed, giving them his full attention.

His evening didn’t end until after 10 p.m.

There were six other programs leading up to the main event on Sept. 17. Two memoir-writing workshops, taught by University of North Georgia professor Dr. B. J. Robinson, were attended by 47 people. Two screenings of the documentary film “Alabama’s Rick Bragg: Out of the Dirt;” and two discussions of “All Over but the Shoutin’” were led by library staff.

For more information on upcoming library programs, visit www.forsythpl.org.