On September 9, 2009, the Belmont Public Library launched the second year of the One Book, One Belmont program with Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, written by best-selling author Barbara Kingsolver, husband Steven L. Hopp, and daughter Camille Kingsolver. The book chronicles the family’s move to a farm in rural Virginia and the succeeding year in which they committed to eating only food grown on their farm or bought locally. The One Book, One Belmont program began last year with Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time. The program’s success included 800 people attending an author event at Belmont High School.
Beginning in Seattle in 1998, One Book, One Read programs seek to connect readers across entire communities by reading the same book. Since then One Book, One Read programs have stretched across the United States, from Alabama through Wyoming. Different communities can also read the same book, and this year just in Massachusetts, Groton, Northampton, and Williamstown have also selected Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.
The One Book, One Belmont program follows the goals of other One Book, One Read programs to build community and to promote reading. In 2009, the One Book, One Belmont program also celebrates the town’s 150th anniversary with a book reflecting Belmont’s agricultural history. “From 1859 to the mid-twentieth century,” the Belmont Public Library writes, “Belmont was a town of farms, dotted with greenhouses full of flowers, fields bursting with fruits and vegetables, and pastures grazed by the first Holstein cattle imported to the United States.”
Continuing until October 8th, One Book, One Belmont has featured an array of events with more to come: a composting workshop on Sept. 30 at the Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary at 3:00, 3:45 and 4:30 (ages 5 and up), a screening of HomeGrown, a documentary presented by Belmont World Film on October 5, and a One Book One Belmont Day at the Farmer’s Market on October 8 with guest chef appearances at 2:00 PM, 3:00PM and 4:00PM. More details about One Book, One Belmont—including event details—are available on the One Book, One Belmont Web site.
When the blue Belmont Public Library One Book, One Belmont banners come down around town after October 8th, you will know that the planning committee will soon be meeting again once a month to review titles for next year’s book.