What if all of Malden read the same book?
Ove (pronounced “OOH-vah”) is a curmudgeon of the highest order. He believes in order, rules, and principles. To say that he is set in his ways would be a gross understatement. As the story opens, Ove is fifty- nine years old, forcefully retired, bitter, alone and unsure how to fill his days. More than anything, Ove longs to leave this life of “posers” and rule breakers and to be reunited with his beloved and deceased wife Sonja.
Behind the cranky exterior there is a story that gives meaning to his sadness. And when a young couple with two young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a funny and heartwarming tale of unexpected friendship, seeing beyond the obvious exteriors and differences in people, and acceptance. All of which will change one old man and a community for the better. Read more
Click here for the list of this year’s companion books.
The Martian – 2016 Mark Watney is a mechanical engineer, botanist, astronaut and modern-day MacGyver. And it’s a good thing, because during a mission to Mars, a dust storm forces the crew to abort the trip and Watney is left behind, assumed to be dead. What follows is an adventure story set in space, with Watney using every available resource to reconnect with civilization and return home. Told with surprising humor and relentless positivity, this is techno sci-fi at its best, with astronaut-approved scientific detail underpinning a very human story of a pioneer on a knife-edge between life and death. Read more.
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan – 2015 Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan has been selected as the main book for the fifth year of the popular community reading program. The book was named Best Book of the Year (2012) by NPR, the Los Angeles Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle. It was a winner of the Alex Award and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize Award for First Fiction. Read more.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot– 2014 Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells — taken without her knowledge — became one of the most important tools in medicine. “Science journalist Rebecca Skloot makes a remarkable debut with this multilayered story about faith, science, journalism and grace.” — Publishers Weekly. Read more.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie – 2013 Winner of the National Book Award, this semi- autobiographical work of fiction features Arnold “Junior” Spirit, a Native American youth living on the Spokane Indian Reservation who decides to expand his life opportunities by attending an all-white high school outside the reservation. As he tries to straddle both worlds, he faces many serious losses and challenges. Read more.
Outcasts United by Warren St. John – 2012 Outcasts United is the story of a refugee soccer team, a remarkable woman coach and a small southern town turned upside down by the process of refugee resettlement. In the 1990s, that town, Clarkston, Georgia, became a resettlement center for refugees from war zones in Liberia, Congo, Sudan, Iraq and Afghanistan. Read more.
The Soloist by Steve Lopez – 2011 The 2011 Malden Reads selection was The Soloist by Steve Lopez. Click here to find out more about this engaging work of nonfiction. For younger readers, a selection of age appropriate books, with similar themes from The Soloist have been selected. The K-8 program will be run through the public library, the Malden schools, afterschool programs, and community organizations that serve youth. In this way, the entire community can engage in a common reading experience. Read more.