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The Broomfielder

Broomfield Readers Explore Addiction, Recovery, and Wellness through One Book One Broomfield Selection

Oct 01, 2019 07:27AM

By Kristen Beckman

This fall, readers across Broomfield will take a deep dive into a heartbreaking story about addiction and the impact it has on families. “Beautiful Boy,” Journalist David Sheff’s memoir about his son’s struggle with substance abuse, is this year’s One Book One Broomfield book selection.

The book was chosen by a committee made up of community members who read and discuss multiple titles and vote on their favorite each year.

Sheff describes his family’s story as unique but universal. His son, Nic, became addicted to crystal meth as a teenager and Sheff dedicated all of his time and skills as a journalist to researching and understanding Nic’s struggle, trying to save his life, and eventually to sharing the story with the world in an attempt to help others.

It was during those dark days that Sheff wondered what had happened to his beautiful boy, to his family, and what he had done wrong as a parent. Nic had been a joyful child, an honors student, and a varsity athlete before meth turned him into a liar and thief who lived on the streets.

The book, published in 2008, was named the best nonfiction book of the year in 2009 by Entertainment Weekly, and Sheff was named one of Time magazine’s most influential people. Nic Sheff also wrote a memoir called “Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines.” The best-selling memoirs by father and son were made into a movie last year starring Steve Carrell and Timothée Chalamet.

Community members and readers are invited to meet David Sheff during an author talk and book signing November 8 at the Broomfield Auditorium. Tickets are available on B-REx.

“Beautiful Boy” had been checked out 268 times in various formats through the Broomfield Library as of September 1, according to Esther Knox-Stutsman, Programming Supervisor for the Broomfield Library. Last year’s book was checked out 534 times by November’s author talk, which 225 people attended, she said.

The library also has other events planned, some in conjunction with other city departments, to enrich readers’ experience with the book and to explore topics around addiction, mental health and physical wellbeing.

  • October 5, 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Community Park: Broomfield Recreation will host a free workout designed to highlight the importance of a healthy body as part of a healthy mind.

  • October 6, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Broomfield Library: Participants are invited to practice skills to increase mental health balance and provide effective tools to cope with difficult aspects of life.

  • October 11, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Broomfield Auditorium: the community is invited to a screening of the “Beautiful Boy” movie.

  • October 13 and 26, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Broomfield Library: Local artists will be on hand to guide a community art project.

  • October 14, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Broomfield Library: Learn how all drugs are similar and how they mimic the brain’s natural processes during a session titled “The Weird Freaky Brain Science of Drugs.”

  • October 21, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Broomfield Library: Experts will present on the stigma of addiction and resources available, followed by panelists sharing their personal experiences.

  • November 7, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Broomfield Library: Readers are invited to a book discussion.

“One Book One Broomfield is an exciting opportunity for the community to connect over the shared experience of reading and discussing a great book and attending events together,” said Knox-Stutsman. “This year is particularly important because substance abuse is an issue that Broomfield and so many other communities are facing; Mr. Sheff's book creates an opportunity for Broomfield to engage with this issue together as a community." 

The One Book One Broomfield program started in 2006 with “The Meadow” by James Galvin. The program is designed to bring individuals from a wide range of backgrounds and values together as a community through a series of shared experiences inspired by a common story. Other titles have included “Lucky Boy” by Shanthi Sekaran, “Dark Matter” by Blake Crouch, and “Grandma Gatewood’s Walk” by Ben Montgomery.