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One City, One Story 2003
For More Information Contact:
Bernadette Glover
Pasadena Central Library
285 E. Walnut Street
Pasadena, CA  91101
(626) 744-7323

Peace Like A River Chosen as Book for 2003 “One City, One Story” - 

Pasadena’s Community-wide Reading Celebration

“One City, One Story” – Pasadena’s community-wide reading celebration is proud to announce the selection of Leif Enger’s Peace Like A River, as the book of choice for its second season.

A book selection committee that included community members, professional writers and journalists, as well as librarians, narrowed the list of thirty initial recommendations to a select list of six titles.  Following careful deliberation, Peace Like A River, by Leif Enger, was the ultimate selection as the book that all Pasadenans will be reading as part of the citywide reading campaign coming this summer.

Peace Like A River, Mr. Enger’s first novel, took the publishing world by storm in 2001 and was on Time Magazine's list of top five books for that year. It was also on the list of the Los Angeles Times Best Books of 2001 and has appeared on the bestseller lists of the Boston Globe, Denver Post, Los Angeles Times, Publishers Weekly and San Francisco Chronicle.  It has also appeared on the New York Times Paperback Best Seller List.  Leif Enger is a reporter and producer for Minnesota Public Radio who resides with his family in Minnesota.

In Peace Like A River, Mr. Enger tells a tale about family, faith, and miracles as seen through the eyes of an 11-year-old asthmatic boy.  It is a heartfelt moving story about the resilience of family relationships.  Mr. Enger writes distinctive and hauntingly beautiful prose and sets a pace that never falters.  Reminiscent of To Kill a Mockingbird or works by Garrison Keillor, Peace Like A River is a low-key charmer with classic Americana at its heart.

This year marks the second year for Pasadena’s “One City, One Story” following the tremendous success of last year’s inaugural project which saw over 5000 residents participate in the citywide reading celebration.  “One City, One Story” is designed to broaden and deepen an appreciation of reading and literature.  The project is also intended to engage the community in dialogue and seeks to bring the Pasadena community together by promoting tolerance and understanding about differing points of view.  It is based on a successful program that started in Seattle in 1996 and has spread to other cities across the country.   In the words of Mayor Bill Bogaard, Honorary Committee Chair, “After just one year, “One City, One Story” has become a Pasadena tradition in which persons throughout the City await to participate.  I invite everyone to read Peace Like A River and to participate in the dialogue about its lessons of tolerance and understanding". 

Pasadena’s program will offer a variety of  activities all centered on promoting reading as a communal activity.   Events will include a community forum, as well as, a series of neighborhood-level discussions throughout the city.  Volunteers are welcome to help lead discussions and assist in program activities.  Information will be available soon at the “One City, One Story" web site at

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Last update: August 14, 2009