One Book, One Community
What if the entire community read the same book at the same time? Reading Together invites people of all ages, from all walks of life, to read and then discuss important issues raised by a single book. Thousands of Kalamazoo County residents have participated in Reading Together.
Each year following book selection, a community steering committee develops a wide variety of programs, including films, concerts, exhibits, expert presentations, author visits, and more. Five weeks of events culminate with a visit by the Reading Together author during National Library Week.
In 2012, Reading Together welcomed Pulitzer Prize finalist and Latino Literature Hall of Fame member Luis Alberto Urrea, author of Into the Beautiful North.
Past Reading Together highlights include a 2011 appearance by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Kidder, with special guests Deogratias (Deo) Niyizonkiza, the focus of Kidder’s Strength in What Remains, and Dziwe Ntaba, co-founder with Deo of Village Health Works. Novelist David Guterson visited Kalamazoo in 2010, Rick Bragg talked with the community in 2009, Tim O’Brien met with dozens of armed forces veterans at the Air Zoo in 2006, and James McBride gave a special performance with his jazz band at First Baptist Church in 2005.