City launches “One Book, One New York”

The book club concept is going citywide with “One Book, One New York,” an initiative just announced by the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment to bring together local bookworms to read the same book at the same time.

The program features five celebrities – Bebe Neuwirth (“Madame Secretary”), William H. Macy (“Shameless”), Giancarlo Esposito (“The Get Down”), Larry Wilmore (comedian), and Danielle Brooks (“Orange is the New Black”), each of whom will advocate for their choice among the five books under consideration — Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz, The Sellout by Paul Beatty and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. The book to be read will be chosen by city residents, who will vote for their favorite.

The initiative launched on February 1 with a citywide public awareness campaign on subways, buses, and LinkNYC.

“New York City is proud to be the creative capital of the world,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The One Book, One New York initiative provides the perfect opportunity to bring city residents from all five boroughs together through reading. This initiative will inspire New Yorkers to unify in their appreciation of the written word and to share in the support of the city’s important publishing industry.”

“The publishing industry is a vital element of the city’s creative economy,” added Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Julie Menin. “We’re thrilled to celebrate our enduring literary capital with the One Book, One New York program,” one of whose goals is to help people rediscover libraries and independent bookstores and will foster conversation everywhere.

Through February, voting will take place online and at subway platform kiosks. The final book selection will be announced in early March, with events taking place around the city to follow through early June when the culminating event will take place.

To check out the books that are nominated and to learn more about the program, visit the website. The publishers of the five nominated books have provided copies of those books to each of New York City’s more than 200 library branches (over 4,000 copies in all).

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