Dec. 1, 2020
Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper is One Book Choice!
December 1, 2020 — Representatives from libraries today announced the selection of The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick as the 2021 One Book, One Community: Our Region Reads! selection.
The public was asked to help choose a book from a narrowed-down list that they would like to read and discuss with the community. The public vote took place during the month of October 2020. There were four finalists chosen by the Book Selection Committee on this year’s voting ballot:
- The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick
- Founding Gardeners: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation by Andrea Wulf
- Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal
- With Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
In Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, Sixty-nine-year-old Arthur Pepper lives a simple life. He gets out of bed at precisely 7:30 a.m., just as he did when his wife, Miriam, was alive. He dresses in the same gray slacks and mustard sweater vest, waters his fern, Frederica, and heads out to his garden.
But on the one-year anniversary of Miriam's death, something changes. Sorting through Miriam's possessions, Arthur finds an exquisite gold charm bracelet he is never seen before. What follows is a surprising and unforgettable odyssey that takes Arthur from London to Paris and as far as India in an epic quest to find out the truth about his wife's secret life before they met--a journey that leads him to find hope, healing and self-discovery in the most unexpected places.
Nina George, New York Times bestselling author of The Little Paris Bookshop said: “Phaedra Patrick understands the soul. Eccentric, charming, and wise…This book will illuminate your heart.”
ARTHUR PEPPER was an Indie Next pick in the US and was awarded a starred review by the Library Journal. The publication described Phaedra’s work as, “Tender, insightful and surprising.”
Phaedra qualified firstly as a stained glass artist before gaining her professional Marketing qualifications. She has worked as a waitress, stained glass designer, film festival organizer and communications manager. She enjoyed her first real writing success when she entered and won several short story competitions, and she now writes full time. She lives in Saddleworth, UK with her husband and son.
This year’s OBOC regional campaign represents collaboration between 40 libraries in four counties: Cumberland, Dauphin, Perry and York and their community partners. Many individual libraries participate in surrounding Central PA counties. Everyone is welcome to read and discuss the book. A Reading Group Guide and related materials will be listed online beginning in January 2021.
Reading campaign organizers encourage residents to read the book during January in preparation to attend free programs and discussions that will be held at public libraries beginning in February, which is designated as both Library Lovers’ Month and Book Lovers’ Month.
Participating libraries will stock copies of the book that can be borrowed free of charge beginning in January 2021. Books will also be available for purchase at area at local booksellers. Program schedules for book discussion groups, an author talk and other innovative activities will be available at all participating public libraries and throughout the community. This information may be accessed online. Nearly all the programming is free of charge. Details will be announced on the One Book website: www.oboc.org.
How the Books on the Public Vote Ballot were selected
The books on the Public Vote Ballot were selected by a Book Selection Committee that reviews many books before making their final decisions. The five choices for the public vote were based upon the following broad criteria:
- A good, discussable book. Books that make successful subjects for discussion have well-developed characters who are challenged by issues in their lives with which readers can identify;
- A book that is available in quantity at reasonable cost, in various media formats (paperback, large print, audio, CD, DVD, or video);
- A book that is written at a high school reading level; and
- A book that varies in type from others previously selected;
- An author, or recognized experts on the author, who would be willing to engage in discussion with readers at several events
For more information and updates about the campaign, go to: www.oboc.org