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One Book - One Lincoln - 2013

Click Here to see the list of special Programs and Events for this year's selection  Click Here to see the list of Discussion Opportunities for this year's selection  Click Here to see the list of Related Resources for this year's selection


One Man's Unexpected Journey
to Reconnect With His Life


The twelfth annual One Book - One Lincoln community reading program began on September 3, 2013, with the announcement of Rachel Joyce's charming, quirky and ultimately uplifting debut novel, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, as the selected title for 2013. The scheduled events of One Book -- One Lincoln -- 2013 will take place throughout September, October, and early November.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce has been selected for the 2013 "One Book -- One Lincoln" program.

About One Book - One Lincoln - 2013

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.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry - trade paperback cover image 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 are being introduced across the U.S.A. and around the world.

This is Lincoln's 12th 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. Starting in 2010, the public has voted to determine the final selection each year. You can see an archive of the previous eleven years' worth of One Book - One Lincoln selections at our One Book main page.

Lincoln City Libraries Reference staff have compiled additional resources about The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Candice Millard.

How can I participate?



We can provide a discussion leader for your group

So you want to have a One Book - One Lincoln discussion group, but you don't have a discussion leader? During September, October and November 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' South Branch, 441-8571 (ask for Marcy)

What programs will there be?

Several special programs are being scheduled at various locations during September, October, and November, with ties to the themes and events of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. You can see descriptions at our One Book - One Lincoln Programs and Events page.

How was The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry chosen?

A call for nominations from the community in January and February resulted in over 200 nominations for 151 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 paperback
  • Address universal themes of life
  • Readable

A selection committee with community-wide representation was formed, which narrowed the list down to nine titles and ultimately the Three Finalists, which were announced to the public in May. Members of the selection committee included:

  • David Smith, Chair
  • Janet Anderbery
  • Magdalena Benton
  • Patty Beutler
  • Elaine Caster
  • Yvonne Davenport
  • Conchita Hernandez
  • Ardis Holland
  • Mary Jane Humphrey
  • Cyndy Maddux
  • Donna Kennedy Marvin
  • Tom Pappas
  • Layne Pierce
  • Lin Quenzer
  • Jodi Rethmeier
  • Ann Thompson
  • Kathie Uhrmacher
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry - trade paperback cover image Starting in 2010, the public has been invited to vote on which of the top Finalists you would like to see as the ultimate selection for each year. The title you, the citizens of LIncoln, have selected for 2013 -- with an overwhelming percentage of the votes cast -- is The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Joyce.

"Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning a letter arrives, addressed to Harold in a shaky scrawl, from a woman he hasnít heard from in twenty years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye. But before Harold mails off a quick reply, a chance encounter convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person. In his yachting shoes and light coat, Harold Fry embarks on an urgent quest. Determined to walk six hundred miles to the hospice, Harold believes that as long as he walks, Queenie will live. A novel of charm, humor, and profound insight into the thoughts and feelings we all bury deep within our hearts, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry introduces Rachel Joyce as a wise – and utterly irresistible – storyteller."

What other books were considered for 2013?

The other finalists in the top three for One Book - One Lincoln - 2013 were:

You can also Click Here for more detailed information about these books, and for a list of the other books in the Top Ten for 2013.

The Sandcastle Girls cover image    The Round House cover image   

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Back to the main One Book - One Lincoln - 2013 page

One Book - One Lincoln - 2012: Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard
One Book - One Lincoln - 2011: Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
One Book - One Lincoln - 2010: I Am a Man by Joe Starita
One Book - One Lincoln - 2009: The People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
One Book - One Lincoln - 2008: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
One Book - One Lincoln - 2007: The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan
One Book - One Lincoln - 2006: The Devil in the White City by Erik larson
One Book - One Lincoln - 2005: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
One Book - One Lincoln - 2004: Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
One Book - One Lincoln - 2003: Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
One Book - One Lincoln - 2002: Plainsong by Kent Haruf