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One Book One Lincoln – 2021



One Book One Lincoln is a community reading project 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.

This is the archived page for the 2021 One Book One Lincoln.
The winning title for this year was “Hidden Valley Road” by Robert Kolker.

Click here to visit the current One Book One Lincoln page!


banner displaying book cover and title text


Author Robert Kolker visited Lincoln City Libraries for a live virtual discussion on Tuesday, October 26, 2021. Enjoy the booklist that includes titles recommended by Kolker and watch his discussion here!



“Don and Mimi Galvin seemed to be living the American dream. After World War II, Don’s work with the Air Force brought them to Colorado, where their twelve children perfectly spanned the baby boom. There was a script for a family like the Galvins—hard work, upward mobility, domestic harmony—and they all tried to play their parts. But behind the closed doors of the house on Hidden Valley Road was a far different reality: psychological breakdown, sudden shocking violence, and hidden abuse. By the mid-1970s, six of the ten Galvin boys, one after the other, were diagnosed with schizophrenia. And the other six children stood by, horrified, with no way of knowing whether they would be next. What took place on Hidden Valley Road was so extraordinary that the Galvins became one of the first families to be studied by the National Institute of Mental Health. In a tour de force of narrative non-fiction, award-winning journalist Robert Kolker, author of the bestselling Lost Girls, tells the intimate story of the Galvins alongside the epic tale of science’s quest to uncover the true nature of a mystifying disease. Each mentally ill brother emerges as wholly individual, with remarkably different expressions of the same disorder. The two youngest Galvins, the only girls, are indelible characters: best friends, both victimized by their brothers, who make sharply different choices about how to cope. The Galvins’ story crests in a breakthrough that, thanks to their unique DNA, offers hope of eliminating schizophrenia forever. Hidden Valley Road is a captivating medical mystery and a heartbreaking drama. But above all, it is an unforgettable lesson in what it means to be a family.” – From


mayor of lincoln Nebraska holding book


Local Press

Local View: “A Community That Reads Together”. A message from Pat Leach, Director of Lincoln City Libraries and Jackie Ostrowicki, Lincoln City Libraries trustee and member of the One Book One Lincoln Selection Committee. A Letter to the Editor: “Book Program Unites Lincoln”. Mary Kay Roth has read every winning finalist since the start of the program 20 years ago. She also serves on the 18-member Selection Committee.


The top 3 titles of 2021 were voted on by you between Memorial Day and July 31, 2021. See the titles below and read what Selection Committee members had to say about each book.


This dazzling book transforms grief and heartbreak into the grace of a mysterious universe – woven with the strands of both science and spirituality. I found golden nuggets of exquisite beauty on every single page. This book is indeed … transcendent. – MARY KAY ROTH, Selection Committee Member


Hidden Valley Road is the heart-wrenching true story of six brothers diagnosed with schizophrenia and the aftereffects on their family and the scientific research community—a gripping story that kept me reading right to the very end. – DAVID SMITH, Selection Committee Chair


Interior Chinatown is hilarious and thoughtful. I recommend the audiobook, which I enjoyed listening to while I walked my dog. (Warning for audiobook listeners in public: You WILL laugh out loud!) The author’s observations of appearance, race, and terminology continue to occupy my thoughts. What does an American look like? – LEA WROBLEWSKI, Selection Committee Member

2021 Summer Events:

      • Interior Chinatown: Racism in Hollywood – A One Book One Lincoln Discussion:Lincoln City Libraries hosted a live online discussion with actor Alexander Hodge on the topic racism in Hollywood. Alexander Hodge, best known for his role as Andrew on the HBO series “Insecure,” will talk about his experience in casting and acting while Asian in Hollywood. Alexander actively seeks roles that don’t rely on Asian stereotypes and works with

    • Transcendent Kingdom: Transcendent Kingdom Culinary Tour: Beginning on Monday, June 7, 2021 – Saturday, July 31, 2021. Locate and visit some of Lincoln’s tastiest and most unique restaurants with this fun, self-directed program. Turn in a completed check sheet for the chance to win a surprise gift card to a local restaurant!
    • Hidden Valley Road: Modern Mental Health – A One Book One Lincoln Discussion: Join us for a community mental health panel with staff from CenterPointe and Blue Valley Health. Saturday, June 19, 2021; 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM via Zoom. Targeted Adult Service Coordination (TASC) is a non-fee service program consisting of several levels of services for those entering or at high risk of entering Emergency Protective Custody.

  • Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker: A One Book One Lincoln Group Discussion. Join Caitlin and the One Book One Lincoln programming staff for a group discussion on Thursday, June 24, 2021; 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM via Zoom.
  • Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu: A One Book One Lincoln Group Discussion. Join Caitlin and the One Book One Lincoln programming staff for a group discussion on Thursday, July 8, 2021; 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM via Zoom.
  • Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi: A One Book One Lincoln Group Discussion. Join Caitlin and the One Book One Lincoln programming staff for a group discussion on Saturday, July 17, 2021; 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM via Zoom.


Other Top Contenders in 2021: