The Big Read is an annual community-wide reading project that encourages Miami Valley residents to read and talk about the same book.
Cast your ballot to help choose the next Big Read title through September 30, 2017. The winning book will be announced at the end of October, and Big Read book discussions and events will take place in spring 2018.
More About This Year’s Nominees
By Melissa Fay Greene
Written about 4 Paws for Ability which is based in Xenia, Ohio, The Underdogs tells the story of Karen Shirk, a woman who was told she was “too disabled” to be given a service dog. Despite being ventilator-dependent and immobile, she decided to raise and train her own therapy dog. In the process, she found many people, even children, get the same response when they apply for a service animal. Karen decided to train dogs for children, and later veterans. After two decades and a thousand service dogs (and children) later, 4 Paws for Ability is the largest organization whose primary mission is to place service dogs with children. Author Melissa Fay Greene, a two-time National Book Award nominee, tells the stories of children and dogs who have been placed together, about prisoners who help train the dogs, and veterans with PTSD who benefit from service dogs. Each story proves that the unconditional love of a dog can change lives.
By Celeste Ng
Told by alternating characters, Celeste Ng’s acclaimed novel follows the Lee family before and after the mysterious death of Lydia, the middle child and stellar high school student who disappears one day and is later found at the bottom of a lake. Was she murdered? Did she commit suicide? Set in Ohio the late 1970s, the mystery is less important than the family story—James, a professor and first generation Chinese immigrant; Marilyn, a woman who gave up her dreams of becoming a doctor; and their three children who each have their own struggles. A beautifully written, intimate portrayal of a family.
By Margaret Atwood
The classic dystopian novel follows the life and musings of the handmaid Offred, who lives in the rigidly structured and oppressive Republic of Gilead, once part of the United States. As a fertile young woman, she has only one job—to get pregnant and have a baby by an important man to whom she is assigned. She’s not allowed to read or write or drink coffee or alcohol, and the rituals she endures are horrifying. But Offred remembers a time before, when she had a job, a husband, a daughter, and her own name. Originally published in 1985, The Handmaid’s Tale has recently been adapted into a TV series on Hulu.