One Book, One Community of Monroe County
What if everyone read the same book and then joined all those readers in talking about it? That's the idea behind One Book, One Community of Monroe County. The residents of Monroe County have annually celebrated an outstanding book since 2007. This community-wide reading initiative began in 2007 with participation in The Big Read, a program supported by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The Big Read was designed to revitalize the role of literature in American popular culture. Participants were required to read a book chosen from a list of American classics. When grant funding was not available in 2011, Monroe County shifted to One Book, One Community. This program brings readers together, creating connections between Monroe County residents and literature.
Each year, the One Book, One Community of Monroe County selection committee chooses a readily available and discussible book written by a major author, and invites Monroe County residents to read the same book at the same time and discuss it through a series of free programs running approximately one month. Each year's events feature book discussions and free county-wide community activities related to the themes raised by these provocative and inspiring stories. One Book, One Community of Monroe County aims to enrich the experience of reading for everyone, regardless of race, gender, age, income or the neighborhood they call home.
The One Book, One Community of Monroe County 2015 program featured The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table by award-winning journalist, Tracie McMillan. Ms. McMillan’s undercover investigation reveals surprising truths about how American food is grown, sold, and prepared. Her inspirational story begins with her desire to answer two fundamental questions: “Why is it so difficult to eat well?” and “What would it take for us to eat well?” A timely work, Ms. McMillan’s investigation provoked thoughtful discussions about food and eating options in the Monroe community. Ms. McMillan visited Monroe County on April 15, 2015 to talk about her remarkable experience.
Visit this site early in 2016 for information about the 2016 One Book, One Community Read!
About Tracie McMillan
A working-class transplant from rural Michigan, Brooklyn-based writer Tracie McMillan is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table. Mixing immersive reporting, undercover investigative techniques and “moving first-person narrative” (Wall Street Journal), McMillan’s book argues for thinking of fresh, healthy food as a public and social good.