One Book/One New Paltz is a project, one of many across the country, that aims to promote reading and to build and celebrate community. Dr. Gerald Benjamin, Director of the Benjamin Center at SUNY New Paltz, founded the One Book/One New Paltz committee in 2005 as a way to build community between the College and the greater New Paltz neighborhood by sharing a reading experience.
The “One Book” movement began in 1998 when Nancy Pearl, Executive Director of the Washington Center for the Book in the Seattle Public Library, initiated “If All Seattle Read the Same Book.” With funding from the Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Fund and several local sponsors, she invited members of the public to read The Sweet Hereafter by Russell Banks and brought the author to Seattle to discuss his book in a series of free public programs.
The One Book/One New Paltz committee encourages community participation in the One Book program by people from all backgrounds, and it hosts an annual week of programs, centered around one community read.
Chosen Books By Year
2017 – Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
2016 – $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America by Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer
2015 – Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Woman’s Prison by Piper Kerman
2014 – Nemesis by Philip Roth
2013 – Home by Toni Morrison
2012 – The Submission by Amy Waldman
2011 – War Dances by Sherman Alexie
2010 – Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
2009 – Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving
2008 – Sleeping Arrangements by Laura Shaine Cunningham
2007 – Bless Me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
2006 – The Dewbreaker by Edwidge Danticat
2005 – The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon