A Summer Reading Pick

For the Whole County

In my travels around the country, I've come across cities, such Seattle and Chicago, that engage their residents through dialogues about books. Since 1998, more than 100 U.S. jurisdictions have organized "one book/one community" projects, encouraging residents to read and discuss the same book at the same time. As a member of the Fairfax County Public Library Board of Trustees, I was pleased to help launch the library's All Fairfax Reads project last year.

This summer our selection is Khaled Hosseini's best-selling novel, "The Kite Runner." The book was published in 2003 and remains at the top of The Washington Post's bestseller list. A coming-of-age novel that explores familiar themes about reaching adulthood, "The Kite Runner" is also a story that will resonate for many in our community who were born outside the United States. The novel begins in Afghanistan and explores a relationship between a boy, Amir, and a playmate who belongs to a scorned ethnic and religious minority. The novel reveals the challenges of growing up after the overthrow of the shah, Amir's emigration to the United States with his father and his return visit to war-torn Afghanistan as an adult on a rescue mission.

All Fairfax Reads provides a forum in which adults can discuss important issues in Hosseini's novel that affect us all. I encourage readers to talk about this book with co-workers, neighbors, friends and relatives. I also invite readers to share their thoughts about the book on the library's All Fairfax Reads blog, which can be accessed starting Monday through Sept. 30 from the library's Web site, www.fairfaxcounty.gov/library.

The library will host a free special event with the author at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 20 at the county Government Center, 12000 Government Center Pkwy. Tickets will be available beginning Sept. 6 by calling 703-324-8414 or e-mailing libraryevents@fairfaxcounty.gov.

I look forward to our community's enrichment as we read and discuss "The Kite Runner" together.

Elizabeth Lee McManus

Mount Vernon District representative

Fairfax County Public Library Board of Trustees

Connolly Not Convincing

On Dulles Rail Benefits

County Board Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) writes ["Point for Point, County Needs Metro Extension," Fairfax Extra, June 2] that Dulles Rail is the "most effective." Most effective in doing what?

He writes that it was never justified as a means of "eliminating congestion." He does imply that it will be most effective in terms of the "return on investment." He never mentions who profits from the return on investment.

Clearly, ordinary citizens will not profit, as we will pay more in tolls and taxes for the initial cost and the continuing subsidy. So it must be the builders and current landowners. If this is such a good deal, let them pay for Dulles rail. Instead, Mr. Connolly wants to take the tax money from ordinary citizens and give it to the wealthy.

Frederick A. Costello


Editor's note: The cost of the Dulles rail project would be shared by the federal, state and local governments. The state's share would be financed mostly from tolls on the Dulles Toll Road. The local share would come largely from commercial landowners along the proposed route.