SUBSCRIBE NOW
$1 for 3 months. Save 97%.
SUBSCRIBE NOW
$1 for 3 months. Save 97%.

One Book, One Community read will whisk York County readers to Paris, India

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch
Red Land Community Library manager Karen Hostetter attaches a poster to a display for the book "The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper," by Phaedra Patrick, at the library Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021.  The book is the selection for the "One Book, One Community" program. Bill Kalina photo

The book selection for this year's countywide reading program has been announced — and it will transport readers from the comforts of their homes to London, Paris and India.

"The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper" by Phaedra Patrick beat out three other novels in a narrow public vote in this year's One Book, One Community Program.

The annual program invites community members from several counties to read the same novel and participate in virtual book discussions and a meeting with the author.

"This book is a very light read," said Karen Hostetter, library manager at Red Land Community Library. "I think that's just what we need right now — something light and something enjoyable to help us get through what has been a difficult year."

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic closing county libraries and canceling in-person programs, Hostetter said switching this year's program to a virtual space became an asset.

Red Land Community Library manager Karen Hostetter holds the book "The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper," by Phaedra Patrick, at the library Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021. The book is the selection for the "One Book, One Community" program. Bill Kalina photo

Patrick, who lives in England, most likely wouldn't have been able to travel for an in-person visit even if COVID-19 wasn't a hindrance.

The details for Patrick's virtual interview are not finalized yet, but it will be hosted via Zoom, Hostetter said.

In addition, virtual book discussions will be scheduled throughout the year. The first discussion is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. March 8 and will be available via Zoom.

"The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper" focuses on the life of 69-year-old Arthur Pepper, a widower who uncovers a secret about his late wife. That secret whisks Pepper away to several unfamiliar locations, including Paris and India.

The book "The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper," by Phaedra Patrick, is the selection for the "One Book, One Community" program, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021. Bill Kalina photo

"The whole experience is him growing outside of his boundaries and helping expand what he is capable of doing himself," Hostetter said. 

In addition to York County libraries, libraries in Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry counties will participate in the book program. 

Physical, digital and audio versions of "The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper" will be available at all York County Libraries. Readers can reserve one of 128 copies to pick up at their preferred library location by visiting www.yorklibraries.org/.

There is no deadline for reading the book.

"Some people read it early, other people put it on hold and read it later," Hostetter said. "This book is a very light read and it's enjoyable." 

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.