Suggested One Read: Daring to Drive

Daring to Drive book coverWe are highlighting more suggested titles through the rest of December while we are waiting for the One Read reading panel to work their magic. You can find the other titles suggested so far to see what other readers have nominated. 

Today’s suggested title is “Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman’s Awakening” by Manal Sharif. This is Manal’s memoir about becoming an unintentional women’s rights leader in Saudi Arabia. She was born the year that fundamentalists took control of Mecca and was a religious radical in her teens. She managed to get a college education and then a job with a Saudi oil company but there was a problem — women were forbidden to drive. According to the nominator, this is “a wonderful memoir of a modern day hero struggling under a repressive regime. If there’s anything the world needs, it’s more everyday heroes.”

Suggested One Read: Ordinary Grace

Ordinary Grace book coverIn January, our One Read reading panel will begin narrowing down the list of books nominated for our community-wide reading program. In the meantime, we are highlighting just some of these suggested titles so you can see what other local readers are enjoying.

The next One Read nomination we’ll be looking at is “Ordinary Grace” by William Kent Krueger. As one reader put, “this coming of age story follows a boy through a life-changing summer that shapes his life and his understanding of his family and neighbors. This would be a good choice for a community-wide read as it explores many topics: the haves vs. the have-nots in small town America, tension between whites and Native Americans, the power of music and death’s role in shaping the living.”

Stay tuned to more nominees throughout the month of December!

Suggested One Read: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes book coverThe nominations for the 2019 One Read have closed, and in January the Reading Panel will survey the more than 100 titles submitted by our community. They will narrow this list down to ten. You can learn more about their process here. Meanwhile, we are highlighting some of the suggested titles so that you can see what others in the community are reading.

“Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory” by Caitlin Doughty is a memoir of her experiences working in a mortuary and began with her popular Web series, Ask a Mortician. One nominator said, “I think it would create an opportunity for discussion and debate of our culture’s attitude towards death.” According to another nominator, this book is “really enjoyable and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny. It’s not dark and it’s not depressing and it’s the kind of conversations we all need to be having.”

Suggested One Read: Pachinko

Pachinko book coverThough the nomination period has ended, throughout the month of December we are continuing to highlight a few of the many books nominated for One Read 2019.

The next book we will be looking at was a National Book Award finalist for 2017, “Pachinko” by Min Jin Lee. One nominator described this books as “the history of the conflict in the Koreas told against the backdrop of one family in a soap operatic generational struggle.” Through eight decades and four generations, “Pachinko” is an epic tale of family, identity, love, death and survival.

Stay tuned for more nominees throughout the month of December!

Suggested One Read: The Library Book

The Library Book book coverThere are only two days left to nominate a book for the 2019 One Read! The reading panel will begin the process of narrowing down the list in January. Until then, we are highlighting a some of the suggested titles here at

The Library Book” by Susan Orleans tells the story of a devastating fire in the Los Angeles Public Library in 1986. It burned for seven hours, reached a temperature of around 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, consumed 400,000 books, and damaged 700,000 more.  According to the nominator, “We have a great public library with a constituency of devoted library users here in Columbia. This book celebrates the American library in an erudite, good-humored manner.”

Hurry and suggest your favorite book for the 2019 One Read!