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One City, One Story:  Pasadena's Reading Celebration, March 2007 -- THE DISTANT LAND OF MY FATHER, by Bo Caldwell  
  about the book  About the Book about the author  About the Author  
  about the program  About One City One Story  book discussion toolkit  Discussion Toolkit    
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  video archive  Video Archive support one city, one story  Support One City One Story 

"This program is a wonderful opportunity to bring individuals
together in the community through a shared reading experience.
It is certain to enrich the lives of all who participate."

                                                      – Mayor Bill Bogaard

About the Program
Sponsored by the Pasadena Public Library, One City, One Story is designed to broaden and deepen an appreciation of reading by compelling friends, families and neighbors to share their experience while reading the same book. In doing so, the program engages the community in dialogue, bringing it together by promoting
tolerance and understanding through differing points of view.

One City, One Story is based on a successful program that started in Seattle in 1996 and has spread to other cities across the country. Pasadena's One City, One Story began in 2002 with the selection of Mark Salzman's The Soloist. The inaugural program was enthusiastically received and followed with Leif Enger's Peace Like a River (2003), The Kite Runner (2005) and Kindred (2006)

In response to overwhelming community demand generated by the success of the program, One City, One Story became an annual tradition. Each March, Pasadenans come together to celebrate both the importance and joy of reading.

The Book
A book selection committee, which includes neighborhood residents, professional writers, book critics and librarians, narrows a list of around thirty initial recommendations to a select list of five titles. Following careful and often spirited deliberation, the title is selected and shared with the community with much fanfare.

"Meet the Author" provides community members with the opportunity to dialogue with the author. Book discussions are held throughout the community at the Central Library and branch libraries, neighborhood centers, and other locations. Discussions are focused around specific themes covered in the book of choice. Previous themes included racial diversity as in The Soloist, with its immigrant family and Korean cellist; mystery, miracles and the everyday ordinary as in Peace Like a River and friendship, betrayal and the price of loyalty as in The Kite Runner.

Free parking for the 2007 One City, One Story Author's Forum is available at Kaiser Permanente. Please enter the Kaiser parking structure off Los Robles


Pasadena’s community-wide reading celebration 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.