One Book, One Community of Monroe County
What if everyone read the same book and then joined all those readers in talking about it? That's the idea behind One Book, One Community of Monroe County. The residents of Monroe County have annually celebrated an outstanding book since 2007. This community-wide reading initiative began in 2007 with participation in The Big Read, a program supported by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The Big Read was designed to revitalize the role of literature in American popular culture. Participants were required to read a book chosen from a list of American classics. When grant funding was not available in 2011, Monroe County shifted to One Book, One Community. This program brings readers together, creating connections between Monroe County residents and literature.
Each year, the One Book, One Community of Monroe County selection committee chooses a readily available and discussible book written by a major author, and invites Monroe County residents to read the same book at the same time and discuss it through a series of free programs running approximately one month. Each year's events feature book discussions and free county-wide community activities related to the themes raised by these provocative and inspiring stories. One Book, One Community of Monroe County aims to enrich the experience of reading for everyone, regardless of race, gender, age, income or the neighborhood they call home.
This year's One Book, One Community of Monroe County selection was The Distance Between Us : a Memoir by Reyna Grande. This title is a personal, heart-wrenching, and ultimately triumphant memoir about her journey from Mexico to the United States, where she learned that the separation between a parent and child can be measured as much in emotional distance and abandonment as it can be in miles. An award-winning novelist with a talent for infusing her narrative with personal and affecting characterizations and stories, Grande truly offers an unprecedented look into the immigration experience and the reality that millions of people are facing each day.
This year's program ran March 17 - April 11, 2014 and featured a full schedule of activities. Library events are featured in the event calendar to the right and the full schedule of county-wide events may be accessed here. Please return to this site early in 2015 to access information about next year's program.