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Previous Selections

One Book One Belmont 2022 marks the ninth time that the Belmont Public Library has joined with a broad range of co-sponsoring organizations to offer a community-wide reading program.

The goal is to build a spirit of community by bringing together individuals and groups through a series of book-related events and discussions, and to promote reading as an enjoyable and mind-opening activity. It is patterned after community reads held in hundreds of cities and towns across the country.

Our Previous Selections

– 2008.  Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace. . . One School at a Time, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. The book told of Mortenson’s efforts to build schools, especially for girls, in the most remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

– 2009.  Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, by Barbara Kingsolver with Steven L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver. The book chronicles the family’s adventures eating local foods for one year, mostly food produced on their own farm. The book was chosen to celebrate Belmont’s farming heritage during the town’s 150th anniversary year.

– 2011.  Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919, by Stephen Puleo. The book tells the story of the collapse of a giant molasses tank that sent more than 2 million gallons of molasses surging through the North End, killing 21 people and causing widespread destruction. Puleo used this real-life tragedy to explore historical themes – immigration, ethnic stereotyping, terrorism, corporate responsibility, a struggling economy – still relevant to our life today.

– 2012.  The Leftovers by Belmont resident Tom Perrotta. The only novel selected thus far for OBOB, The Leftovers imagines what might happen if millions of people around the world suddenly disappeared, for no apparent rhyme or reason. What happens to the grieving friends and loved ones who were left behind?

– 2014. Bunker Hill: A City, a Siege, a Revolution by Nathaniel Philbrick. The best-selling author of The Mayflower and In the Heart of the Sea, Nathaniel Philbrick tells the story of the first, and perhaps bloodiest, major battle of the American Revolution.

– 2016. The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant. The best-selling author of the Red Tent tells the story of Addie Baum, the spirited daughter of a Jewish family growing up in Boston at the turn of the twentieth century.

– 2018. Frankenstein: or, the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley. The seminal combination of Gothic horror story and science fiction, Frankenstein is the groundbreaking novel of the scientist whose creation becomes a monster, highlighting the hard-hitting and politically charged aspects of Shelley’s writing, as well as her unflinching wit and strong female voice.

– 2021. Say I’m Dead: a Family Memoir of Race, Secrets, and Love by E. Dolores Johnson and The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. E. Dolores Johnson went searching for the white family who did not know she existed. When she found them, it’s not just their shock and her mother’s shame that had to be overcome, but her own fraught experiences with whites. Zevin’s novel focuses on bookstore owner A. J. Fikry and his chance to heal and to make his life over when a mysterious and unexpected package arrives on the heels of the theft of his most prized possession, a rare collection of Edgar Allan Poe poems.

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