Each winter for twelve years, the Nantucket Island community has shared a book, reading together, sharing their impressions, celebrating literature, and attending films, lectures, and crafts centered around the chosen book, the topic and the author.
During the first few years of this community-reading event, three books with the same theme were featured: one for adults, one for teens, and one for young readers. Over time, it proved difficult to find a book for adults that had companion titles for younger readers, and so the committee opted for one book selection.
The 2019 selection for One Book One Island is The Monk of Mokha by David Eggers. The non-fiction book is about 24-year-old Mokhtar Alkhanshali, who is working as a doorman when he discovers the astonishing history of coffee and Yemen’s central place in it. He leaves San Francisco and travels deep into his ancestral homeland to tour terraced farms high in the country’s rugged mountains and meet beleaguered but determined farmers. When war engulfs the country, Mokhtar has to find a way out of Yemen without sacrificing his dreams or abandoning his people.
Those who wish to read the book may purchase a copy at Nantucket Bookworks or Mitchell’s Book Corner or pick up a free copy at Annye’s Whole Foods, the Nantucket Atheneum, the NHA office in the Peter Foulger Museum, the Saltmarsh Senior Center, and several other island locations. Because the number of free copies is limited, the OBOI committee requests thatonce finished readers return their free copy to the Nantucket Atheneum or share it with a friend.
Starting March 1, 2019, ten days of One Book One Island public events will begin. These include an art exhibit in the Artists Association Visual Arts Center, a coffee cupping and tasting with Nantucket Coffee Roasters on March 2, a coffee shop crawl, films on March 4 and March 6, a discussion of the book on March 5, a lecture on Yemini architecture on March 7, a program for children on calligraphy and henna, and a presentation on Yemen March 9. The 2019 OBOI events end with a finale featuring Yemeni food and music with henna and calligraphy demonstrations in the NHA’s Whaling Museum. A full list of the OBOI events is listed in our Nantucket.net Calendar of Events and on the Nantucket Atheneum website.
The OBOI annual program is made possible by funding from the Tupancy-Harris Foundation and the Hale Family Foundation together with financial and staff support from island businesses. If you’d like to donate to help support the One Book One Island Program, a $100 gift provides ten free books for the community. To donate, or for more details, contact Molly Anderson, Nantucket Atheneum, 508-228-1110.