One Book, One Community


onebook_logoOne Book, One Community is an annual event encouraging residents of the City of Columbia, Richland County and the Midlands to read the same book at the same time, and to share their passion for reading with their friends and neighbors. Every November, this initiative brings together readers from all over the Columbia area in an attempt to promote literacy and its importance to our community. Make sure to check out the One Book, One Community Facebook page for the latest updates.


2018 One Book, One Community

Selection: The Things they Carried by Tim O'Brien

Cover of The Things they Carried by Tim O'BrienAn annual, community reading initiative is shifting on the calendar. One Book, One Community is moving from February to November 2018, and Richland Library is excited to announce Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried as this year's selection.

A timely read around Veteran's Day, The Things They Carried is a ground-breaking meditation on war, memory, imagination and the redemptive power of storytelling. It was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

In a review, the Los Angeles Times describes it as, "[An] ultimate, indelible image of war in our time, and in time to come." Meanwhile, the Chicago Sun-Times writes, "The Things They Carried is as good as any piece of literature can get."

Please join us in November 2018 as we dive into this book. Whether it's grabbing a copy, joining a book group or attending a community event, Richland Library is inviting local residents to take part in One Book, One Community - an initiative that encourages everyone to read the same book at the same time.

Amazon Says: A classic work of American literature that has not stopped changing minds and lives since it burst onto the literary scene, The Things They Carried is a ground-breaking meditation on war, memory, imagination, and the redemptive power of storytelling. The Things They Carried depicts the men of Alpha Company: Jimmy Cross, Henry Dobbins, Rat Kiley, Mitchell Sanders, Norman Bowker, Kiowa, and the character Tim O’Brien, who has survived his tour in Vietnam to become a father and writer at the age of forty-three.  Taught everywhere—from high school classrooms to graduate seminars in creative writing— it has become required reading for any American and continues to challenge readers in their perceptions of fact and fiction, war and peace, courage and fear and longing.

Get the Book, Share the Experience

Then, plan to attend the One Book, One Community events (more details to come)!

The community is also invited to join us for the following events, which are free and open to the public, at our Main location (1431 Assembly Street):

  • Saturday, November 10 |  2 - 3:30 p.m.,  during Beyond the Call: Women on the Front Lines, Emmy award-winning journalist and U.S. Army veteran Eileen Rivers speaks about her book, which is a riveting account of three women who fought shoulder-to-shoulder with men in Afghanistan and worked with local women to restore their lives and village communities.
  • Sunday, November 11 | 3 - 4:30 p.m.,  during Voices from Vietnam: Reflecting at the Wall, view a documentary where veterans reflect on their experiences serving in the Vietnam War while visiting "The Wall that Heals" when the traveling exhibit came to Blythewood in 2016.
  • Friday, November 30 |   7 - 9:30 p.m.,  during Meet the Author: Tim O'Brien, get to know the American novelist and recent This Is Us episode co-writer who is behind this year's One Book, One Community selection.


Previous One Book, One Community Selections

2017: Grant Park by Leonard Pitts, Jr.
2016: The Stone Necklace by Carla Damron
2015: On Agate Hill by Lee Smith
2014: My Reading Life by Pat Conroy
2013: The Dry Grass of August by Anna Jean Mayhew
2012: Saints at the River by Ron Rash
2011: Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years by Sarah L. Delany





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