Santa Monica Citywide Reads, a program that encourages people who live or work in or visit Santa Monica to read the same book and come together to discuss it in public book clubs and related events held citywide, begins April 3 and goes through May 6.The featured book is Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer. Set in New York after September 11, 2001, the book follows nine-year-old Oskar’s quest to learn more about a key found in his deceased father’s closet. Santa Monica High school senior Paige Horn found that, “Jonathan Safran Foer vividly captures the distress of America after the terrorist attacks.” The novel features an unforgettably unique protagonist in Oskar, the aspiring jeweler/inventor/vegan/tambourine player/pacifist/actor, and balances tragedy with humor.Sponsored by the Santa Monica Public Library, with support by the Friends of the Santa Monica Public Library, the Santa Monica College Associates, and community, educational and business partners, Citywide Reads invites participation in the following moderator-led public book discussions:April 3, 7pm, Main Library Multipurpose Room, 601 Santa Monica Blvd.April 6, 6:30pm, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, 3150 Ocean Park Blvd.April 11, 7:30pm, Barnes & Noble, 1201 Third Street Promenade.April 18, 2pm, Ken Edwards Center, 1527 Fourth St.April 19, 4pm, Teen Discussion: The Bookmark Café at the Main Library, 601 Santa Monica Blvd.April 19, 7pm, Montana Ave. Branch Library, 1704 Montana Ave.April 20, 7:30pm, Borders, 1415 Third Street Promenade.April 22, 2pm, Cafe Bolivar, 1741 Ocean Park Blvd.April 29, 11am, Fairview Branch Library, 2101 Ocean Park Blvd.May 1, 12pm, The Bookmark Café at the Main Library, 601 Santa Monica Blvd.May 6, 11am Ocean Park Branch Library, 2601 Main St.Special Citywide Reads programs include:April 8, 2-3:30pm, “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: 9/11 in Context,” scholar Jack Nordhaus leads a program on the historical consequences of 9/11 and how fiction can provide additional insight into historical events, the Multipurpose Room at the Main Library, 601 Santa Monica Blvd.April 23, 3-5:50pm, “An Afternoon with Jonathan Safran Foer,” the award-winning author of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close presents a reading and discusses his novel, followed by a question-and-answer session, book sale and signing, Santa Monica College Pavilion, 1900 Pico Blvd.Citywide Reads book discussions and events are free and open to the public. For more information, call the Santa Monica Public Library, 310.458.8600 or go to www.smpl.org/cwr.
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