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One Book – One Lincoln – 2019

Special Update: Lauren Markham, author of the 2019 One Book – One Lincoln winning title, The Far Away Brothers, will be appearing in Lincoln on Tuesday, November 19th! Click here to visit our One Book – One Lincoln Programs page for full information!

Lincoln City Libraries announced today The Far Away Brothers by Lauren Markham is the book selected for the 2019 One Book – One Lincoln Community Reading Program. The book is available for borrowing from libraries in print as well as downloadable audio and eBook formats. Programming related to this year’s selected titles begins on Sunday, September 29th!

In The Far Away Brothers Markham shares the story of identical twin brothers who escape El Salvador’s violence to build new lives in California – fighting to survive, to stay, and to belong.


The eighteenth annual One Book – One Lincoln community reading program began on May 27, 2019, with the announcement of the Top Three Finalists and public voting too place through July 31st for your favorite title. The special program events of One Book — One Lincoln — 2019 will take place in September and October.

About One Book – One Lincoln – 2019

One Book – One Lincoln is a community reading program sponsored by Lincoln City Libraries. The program encourages all adults in Lincoln and Lancaster County to read and discuss the same book at the same time. The goal of the program is to encourage reading and dialogue by creating a community wide reading reading and discussion experience.

The idea of city-wide reading programs started in Seattle in 1998 with the program “If All Seattle Read the Same Book” initiated by the Washington Center for the Book, located at the Seattle Public Library. The Library of Congress’ Center for the Book reports that “One Book” programs have been introduced across the U.S.A. and around the world.

This is Lincoln’s 18th straight year of the program. Since 2002, the citizens of Lincoln and the surrounding communities have been encouraged to read the same book each fall, and participate in special programming and book discussions. Each year, readers in Lincoln have been invited to nominate titles for consideration for that year’s selected title. You can see an archive of the past fifteen years’ worth of One Book – One Lincoln selections at our One Book main page.

Lincoln City Libraries reference staff will compile a detailed web page of additional resources about the winning title once it is announced on September 2nd, 2019.

How can I participate?

  • Get copies of the three finalists. Check out a copy, in print, audio or downloadable formats, of The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai, The Far Away Brothers by Lauren Markham and There There by Tommy Orange, at any of the Lincoln City Libraries or purchase your own copy at your local bookstore. These titles are available from the Lincoln City Libraries in a wide variety of physical (hardback, book-on-cd, Large Type) and electronic (eBook and downloadable audio) formats. These titles are also available as Book Club in a Bag versions, for book clubs wishing to check out multiple copies at once!
  • Read! Join your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors and fellow Lincolnites in reading the same books – together!
  • Watch for informational programs about this year’s One Book — One Lincoln which will begin airing on CityTV (Channel 5 local cable) later this Summer and Fall on both Channel 5 and the On Demand channels. We anticipate having a general program about the Top Three Finalists, followed by a more in-depth program about the winning title after it is announced in September.
  • Attend our related programs.
  • Look at our Resource Page about the winning title, once it is announced on September 2nd, 2019, for links to further information on the themes and topics of the winning book.
  • Visit our One Book – One Lincoln Facebook page (also below). Look for more online opportunities.
  • Sign up to recieve e-mail updates about One Book-related programs and events on our Sign-Ups page.
  • Discuss the Books in Person or Online! Attend a book discussion of the Top 3 Finalists at your local library or bookstore. A complete list of Community Discussion opportunities is available right now. In September, print off the official Discussion Questions for the winning title for your own book group, or contact the library to have a trained facilitator come and lead your own discussion group. Or visit our One Book One – Lincoln Blog to reply to discussion topics posted there, to which you can leave reply comments.
  • Vote for your favorite among this year’s three finalists! There are additional ways to vote and show your support — see more info on our Finalists Page! [Voting ends July 31st.]
  • Nominate for future years — Don’t forget…you can now nominate year-round for the next year’s One Book – One Lincoln with our online nomination form.

We can provide a discussion leader for your group

So you want to have a One Book – One Lincoln discussion group for 2019’s winning title, or another of this year’s finalists, but you don’t have a discussion leader? During the Summer and Fall of 2019, and beyond, Lincoln City Libraries staff will be available to organizations, businesses and clubs interested in hosting a discussion group. Visit our Finalists page, to request a book discussion leader via our online form, or for further information, call Lincoln City Libraries at 402-441-8592.

What programs will there be?

Several special programs are being scheduled at various locations during September and October, with ties to the themes and events of the 2019 Top 3 Finalists. You can see descriptions at this year’s One Book – One Lincoln Programs and Events page!

How were the finalists chosen?

A call for nominations from the community in 2018 and through end of January 2019 resulted in 256 nominations for 172 different titles being received. The general criteria for the title included:

  • Fiction or Non-Fiction
  • Of general interest to adults and young adults
  • Sparks thoughtful discussion
  • Easily available in multiple formats
  • Addresses universal themes of life
  • Readable

A selection committee with community-wide representation was formed, which narrowed the list down to an ten title shortlist, and ultimately to the Top Three Finalists, which were announced to the public on Memorial Day 2019. The “Top Eleven” list was also announced in May.

Members of the selection committee included:

  • David Smith, Chair
  • Katie Murtha, Library Representative
  • Lisa Hale, Library Board
  • Patty Beutler
  • Jessica Boren
  • Kelli Cunningham
  • Reese Eisler
  • Phyllis Fogerty
  • Tory Hall
  • Greg Ludvik
  • Jeff Moscaritolo
  • Shirley Peng
  • Joren Ries
  • Eric Sergeant

One Book – One Lincoln – 2019: Main Page | Finalists | Programs | Discussions | Additional Resources

Interested in past years’ One Book – One Lincoln selections?

Visit our main One Book – One Lincoln archive site

Master list of all One Book — One Lincoln finalists and selected titles [2002-2018] in PDF format.

A list of what other communities are reading for similar programs can be found on the One Book Reading Promotion Projects page on the Library of Congress Center for the Book Web site.

One Book – One Lincoln is a community reading program sponsored by Lincoln City Libraries. The program encourages all adults in Lincoln and Lancaster County to read and discuss the same book at the same time. The goal of the program is to encourage reading and dialogue by creating a community wide reading and discussion experience.