What if all of Malden read the same book?
The Malden Reads Book Selection Committee has been busy reading all summer! Made up of almost 20 diverse members of the community, the committee has been considering a list of book choices that originally numbered 35 but has been whittled down to a list of the top 8 finalists.
The top 8 list of books this year are as follows: “American Street” by Ibi Zoboi, “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas, “Hillbilly Elegy” by J. D. Vance, “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson, “The Last Painting of Sara De Vos” by Dominic Smith, “Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic” by Sam Quinones, “The Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd, and “The Assist: Hoops, Hope and the Game of their Lives” by Neil Swidey.
The original list was generated by members of the committee and the community at large. Special outreach was done to generate selections that would represent diverse interests and perspectives.
After an initial culling through of the list, based on description and various other considerations, committee members divided up reading and reporting on the remaining books, allowing for informed discussion. The list was then culled further, usually by unanimous decision by the group. As the list grew shorter, each book was read by more members of the committee.
By the time the list reaches the stage of 3-5 finalists, the final vote will be taken only by participants that have read all of the books.
Many factors are considered in the process of choosing the next Malden Reads book. As always, the book needs to have an accessible reading level, appeal to a wide reading audience, and have some relevance to the Malden community in particular.
Now in its eighth year, the committee strives for “changing it up” each year, with the goal of sparking conversation and meaningful dialogue. Martha Bezzat, a member of the book selection committee, states, “The book should be awesome no matter what themes are emphasized.”
And even for those that don’t read the book during any given year, Malden Reads offers a way that each community member can participate in this wide ranging, community-building program. (Still, the advice remains, “Read the book!”).
The final decision is expected later this fall. The Malden Reads book selection committee looks forward to sharing the announcement with the community.
In the meantime, feel free to email your thoughts on these finalists to firstname.lastname@example.org before the end of the month.
For more information about Malden Reads, visit maldenreads.org.