Oceanside kicks off its fifth Big Read this month

OCEANSIDE — Oceanside Public Library kicks off its fifth Big Read on March 17, with community events centered around “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel.

Oceanside Public Library is one of a dozen institutions nationwide to be awarded five Big Read grants to promote community literacy through a citywide book read and engaging activities.

“The local response has been so positive and encouraging, it’s natural for the library to want to offer more of these community-wide reads,” Monica Chapa Domercq, Oceanside principal librarian, said. “It is most satisfying to see the way the community comes together with the sharing and appreciation of a good book.”

Past book selections for the citywide Big Read have created connections with residents because of historical perspective, insight into others’ point of view or genre such as vintage noir or western.

Domercq said this year’s selection, “Station Eleven,” is a modern story that is genre-defying. “It will appeal to those in this area who feel anxious about the future, but who are hopeful about preserving what’s best about mankind,” Domercq said.

Domercq describes the book’s storyline as the journey of a group of nomadic actors and musicians who roam the outposts of a post-apocalyptic world and risk everything for art and humanity. The message of the novel is mere survival is not enough.

“Literature and painting, drama and film, poetry and sculpture and the infinite range of artistic expression help us reflect on what is truly meaningful in our lives,” Domercq said.

Domercq said the book is a good fit for Oceanside and its citywide arts efforts.

Fittingly the Big Read kickoff will be held at the Oceanside Museum of Art from 6 to 8 p.m. March 17, three art exhibits inspired by “Station Eleven.” A limited number of free copies of the book will be available at the opening reception.

Previous Oceanside Big Read book selections were “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien, “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston, “The Maltese Falcon” by Dashiell Hammett and “True Grit” by Charles Portis.

For a complete list of Big Read activities visit the Oceanside Public Library website.

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