Vote for York area book club selection to begin in August


This winter, thousands of people across York and some neighbors in Berks, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, and Perry counties will curl up with the same book.

One Book, One Community — a sort of regional book club — will in August begin a month-long voting process for its next featured novel.

The vote: The four titles on the ballot for 2016 are:

— Sue Monk Kidd's "The Invention of Wings," a historical-fiction novel set in 19th century Charleston. The book follows the relationship of the Grimké sisters, prominent voices in the abolitionist movement, and a household slave,

— "Gaining Ground," Forrest Pritchard's memoir and coming of age story about his efforts to save his family's farm with the help of his father,

— Emily St. John Mandel's "Station Eleven," a futuristic novel with several story lines that examines society after a virus ends modern civilization, and

— "Warriors Don't Cry," Melba Pattillo Beals' memoir in which she shares her experience as one of the students who helped integrate Little Rock High School in 1957.

York County Library System isn't asking people to read all these books, said spokeswoman Karen Hostetter. "All we want you to do is read the summaries and vote for what interests you most — what one do you want to discuss in a group setting?"

Those who wish to cast a vote can do so online or at any of the 80 libraries across the participating counties. Voters will be placed in a drawing for a $100 Giant Food Stores gift card.

Readers can also vote at an Isaac's Restaurant in their area and will be entered to win a $100 gift card to the restaurant.

Why they vote: One Book, One Community, which has been suggesting books since 2004, decided to begin letting their readers pick in 2013.

"We wanted to do something special for our tenth year," Hostetter said, noting the books were previously chosen by a committee. "Now the committee reads through hundreds of books and instead of picking just one, they narrow it down."

After the votes are cast and counted, a title will be announced in October, Hostetter said.

Area libraries will then order hundreds of copies of the winning novel to have ready for thousands of participants to read in January.

Once the final pages are turned, everyone comes together.

"We have a bunch of events, but they depend on what book is chosen," Hostetter said, noting that One Book, One Community tries to partner with an organization that could really highlight the novel.

For last year's book, "Orphan Train," York libraries partnered with the Steam into History train attraction in New Freedom."

"Orphan Train," is a historical-fiction novel --which could have taken place from 1850s to 1920s-- about orphans riding on trains to find a home.

"They really looked into the history of the book, and we had a program on one of the train cars which were made to replicate ones in the Civil War era so it was perfect," Hostetter said. "They dressed in costume and presented what it would have been like for the orphans on the train."

Hostetter said participants can expect equally exciting programming this year, though no details can be hammered out until the books are voted on.

For more information or to cast a vote, go to

— Reach Jessica Schladebeck at