Each year, the Big Read brings friends, family, neighbors, and strangers together to read and talk about the same book. Book discussions and other events will take place in the spring, but the first step is to choose the next Big Read book.
A selection committee has narrowed the options to four finalists. Now the community is invited to choose. Vote for the next Big Read title at your local public library, university library, Books & Co., or online at BigRead.org, September 22-October 16, 2014. Ballots will be counted and the winner announced by the end of October.
Inspired by the American Library Association's One Book, One Community and the Washington Center for the Book, which hosted the first such program in 1998, the Dayton Metro Library partnered with The Friends of the Library, Books & Co., Project READ, and the Dayton Daily News Partners in Education for the very first Big Read program in 2005.
"Ten years later, the goal remains the same – to encourage reading and discussion in our community," said Ben Murphy, Adult Materials Selection Specialist at the Dayton Metro Library and co-chair of the Big Read. "Over time, the Big Read has expanded to include eight public library systems and three academic libraries across five counties, as well as various local businesses and nonprofit organizations."
The four book finalists for the 2015 Big Read are:
The Imposter Bride by Nancy Richler
Rejected by her fiancé, Lily accepts the marriage proposal of his smitten brother Nathan. Her attempt to live out her life as Lily Azerov in post-WWII Montreal shatters when she disappears, leaving her new husband and baby daughter with only a diary, a large uncut diamond, and a need to find the truth. Who is Lily and what happened to the young woman whose identity she stole? It's up to the daughter Lily abandoned to find the answers to these questions, as she searches for the mother she may never find or truly know.
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Louisa Clark's life changes forever when she stumbles into a job she doesn't really want - being the caregiver for Will Traynor, formerly a powerful businessman, jetsetter and extreme sportsman, now a wheelchair-bound quadriplegic with a death wish. Part love story, part race against the clock, Moyes' novel explores relationships, disability, assisted suicide and what it means to be human.
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
In this hilarious debut novel, Don Tillman, a brilliant yet socially challenged professor of genetics, decides it's time to find a wife and settle down. He approaches the task in the same orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things. The result is a 16-page questionnaire meant to weed out unsuitable matches. Don dubs his quest The Wife Project and sets off to find the woman who will meet his requirements. Then he meets Rosie, who is everything he's not looking for but might just be his perfect match.
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
Set in Bloomington, Indiana, a chimpanzee named Fern is happily raised as a member of the Cook family. She bonds with Rosemary who is the same age and narrates this story some 40 years later. The father, a professor of psychology, and his wife allow their home to evolve into a lab with ever-present interns. When Fern is suddenly removed, the family is traumatized. Rosemary and her brother begin a quest to find Fern and right the situation.
Visit BigRead.org to get more information on The Big Read, past Big Read titles, scheduled activities and to cast your vote.