SANTA MONICA — Santa Monica Reads, the annual community reading program, has announced its book selection for 2020 and that all events will be held virtually, according to a June 23 statement.

“The need for libraries and community connection is more important than ever. Popular with local residents and visitors, the program invites everyone to read and discuss the same book at special events and book discussions,” the city of Santa Monica wrote in the statement.

The Library Book by Susan Orlean has been officially announced as the 2020 selection. The book tells a history of Los Angeles and the Central Library Fire, which in 1986 destroyed 400,000 books and damaged 700,000.

Santa Monica Reads will host special events and discussions, held virtually, on topics that The Library Book engages—local history, civil service, democracy, and wellbeing.

On July 25 at 2 p.m. author of the book, Susan Orlean, will be giving a virtual author talk discussing The Library Book and why libraries play an important role in our lives. On August 15 at 2 p.m. three panelists will be virtually discussing the architectural history of the Los Angeles Central Library and how the 1986 fire affected its redesign.

Santa Monica Reads book discussions will be held for The Library Book on 7 occasions over the next few months:

  • Saturday, July 11 at 11 a.m.
  • Wednesday, July 15 at 7 p.m. (Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 will also be discussed) | Montana Branch Book Group
  • Tuesday, July 21 at 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, August 5 at 11 a.m.
  • Monday, August 17 at 7 p.m. | Main Library Book Group
  • Saturday, August 29 at 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, September 3 at 4 p.m.

All book discussions will be held on Zoom and will be hosted by trained discussion facilitators. Participants are welcome to share their thoughts or just listen. It is recommended to register in advance for all of the events.

All registration links and relevant details can be found here.