Learn More About the 2022 One Read Finalists

The One Read reading panel narrowed the list of more than 210 book suggestions for the 2022 program to two top contenders. Between now and April 22, cast your vote for either “The Big Door Prize” by M.O. Walsh or “Deacon King Kong” by James McBride.

“The Big Door Prize” by M.O. Walsh

Big Door Prize book coverAn unassuming booth shows up at a Deerfield, Louisiana grocery store, promising to reveal your true life potential for a mere two dollars and a swab of DNA from your cheek. Suddenly, store owners, nurses and teachers are striving to be cowboys, magicians and athletes. The steady and quietly happy marriage of Douglas and Cherilyn Hubbard is disturbed by Cherilyn’s readout from the mysterious machine, which declares her true life calling to be “royalty.” Meanwhile, teenager Jacob tries to figure out who he is after the death of his twin brother, Toby. And Toby’s troubled ex-girlfriend, Trina, plots revenge. M.O. Walsh addresses serious topics with a light hand in this offbeat and charming novel about small-town life, relationships and the power of dreams.

Preview the first few pages of “The Big Door Prize”

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“Deacon King Kong” by James McBride

Deacon King Kong book coverThis exuberant work of historical fiction follows the fate of a largely Black and Latinx cast of characters living in and around a New York housing project in the fall of 1969 after a hard-drinking church deacon known as Sportcoat shuffles into the courtyard and – in front of everyone – shoots the ear off of the local drug dealer. This event brings all elements of the neighborhood into Sportcoat’s orbit, from the Five Ends Baptist Church members and a white policeman trying to protect the old man, to mob bosses and drug kingpins seeking revenge. Throw in a bit of romance, mystery and a hidden treasure, and you’ve got a romp of a novel that paints a vivid portrait of a community undergoing enormous change.

Preview the first few pages of “Deacon King Kong”

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Mini Mystery Contest Winners

OR21-Mini-Mystery-Writing-Contest-BlogAs part of this year’s One Read program, we invited you to take inspiration from “Furious Hours” and tell us a tale of another crime using the line “It began with a bang” as a springboard for — and the first sentence of — a mini mystery of your own. The stories could have been based on a historic crime or completely imagined, we just asked that you tell of a crime or of its aftermath.

Thank you to everyone who entered and shared your mysterious tale.

Our two winners are Claire Dooley and Jana Stephens. Honorable mentions go to Tina M. Hines and Andy Brouder.

We are excited to share these stories with you! Read More

Thank You for Taking Part in One Read 2021!

A huge thank you to everyone who read or listened to “Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee” by Casey Cep and participated in any of the excellent One Read events this year. In the month of September, we explored a wide variety of topics that ranged from true crime and Voodoo to insurance fraud and the justice system. We learned about the elusive Harper Lee and her struggle to write her book of nonfiction. We listened to author Casey Cep talk about her research and her writing process to complete “Furious Hours” and had the opportunity to ask her questions. As a community, we investigated the topics and themes of this book through discussions, arts, films and lectures. We want to express our appreciation to all of you who attended these events, read the book and shared it with your friends, family, coworkers and book clubs.

Thank you for being a part of this year’s One Read!

Do you have an idea for what book our community should read next? Visit this site or any library branch in November to suggest a book for next year.