One City One Book

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Connecting Our Community

one city, one book 2023

The Livonia Public Library, along with the Livonia Library Commission, invites you to join us in participating in the One City, One Book project! The 2023 focus will be on the importance of libraries, literacy and the Great Depression. Our hope is that this will open a dialog about the importance of literacy and how it can be used to combat bigotry and prejudice.

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek 

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson has been chosen as the 2023 book for the One City, One Book project.

Inspired by the true and historical blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the brave and dedicated Kentucky Pack Horse library service, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek showcases a first in traditionally published literary novels— a bold and unique story and tale of fierce strength and one woman's belief that books can carry us anywhere — even back home.

thank you to our sponsors

Bill Brown Ford Logo

Livonia Town Hall

A special thank you to The UPS Store 3011 (37637 Five Mile) for printing our materials.

one city, one book programming
The Library is hosting a series of FREE public events that are open to all ages. 

Thursday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m.
Bennett Civic Center Library/Virtual
A Conversation with Kim Michele Richardson

Join us for our One City One Book Kickoff event, a Conversation with The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek author, Kim Michele Richardson. This virtual “kitchen-table-style” interview will enlighten and entertain the audience as they learn about the Pack Horse Librarian Project, the terrible poverty in Appalachia, and the appalling prejudices and racism that were rampant in the 1930s (and beyond). Ms. Richardson will share her research, her craft, and her passion with audience members, who will have the opportunity to ask their own questions at the end of the 45-minute talk. Patrons may join us in the Library’s Auditorium or via Zoom. Registration is required to receive the Zoom link.

Saturday, Sept. 9 from 3-4:30 p.m.
Bennett Civic Center Library
Teen Book Club

Join us as we read and discuss Suggested Reading by Dave Connis. Register and pick up your free copy of the book from the Browsing Desk starting Wednesday, Aug. 9. 

Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m.
Bennett Civic Center Library
Books and Bridles: The Story of the Packhorse Librarians

Join us as presenter Jeffrey Urbin of the FDR Presidential Library and Museum tells the story of a small Works Progress Administration (WPA) program: the Packhorse Librarians, whose mission was to deliver and distribute reading materials to the far-off corners of Appalachia during the darkest hours of the Great Depression. Jeffrey Urbin is presenting live via Zoom.

Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m.
Bennett Civic Center Library
Dr. Roy Finkenbine presents: Living in the Jim Crow South

Between Reconstruction in the 1870s and the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, African American life in the American South was confined by an unrelenting system of racial control known as Jim Crow.  The building blocks of this system began in the 1880s and 1890s, as states passed segregation laws separating the races, created devices to keep black men from voting, and constructed an extralegal system of racial etiquette that defined how the races interacted in public spaces.  This system was enforced by racial violence, including lynching.  It reached its mature phase by the 1930s.

Thursday, Sept. 21 from 7-8:30 p.m.
Bennett Civic Center Library
Altered Book Art

In the frugal spirit of the Great Depression, let’s alter old and discarded library books and recycle them into new, beautiful book art! All supplies provided.

Saturday, Sept. 23 at 10:15 a.m.
Greenmead Historical Park - Newburg School
That Book Woman: Storytime and Craft for Kids in Grades 1-3

Join us at the Schoolhouse at Greenmead for a story, show-and-tell, and craft featuring elements of the Pack Horse Librarian Project. 

Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 7 p.m.
Bennett Civic Center Library 
Alphabet Soup: Successes and Failures of the New Deal

Saving the Country with Alphabet Soup! The Great Depression was one of the largest challenges the people of the United States ever faced. With the election of Franklin Roosevelt, the voters of the country signaled a desire for a radical change, and hundreds of government programs were rolled out to combat the grave economic situation. WPA! CCC! NRA! HOLC! TVA! Some of the programs are still well-known or even active today, while others have become obscure. What were these programs, what did they do, and did they work? Can you really fix an economy with alphabet soup?

Wednesday, Sept. 27 from 7-8 p.m.
Bennett Civic Center Library
Diego Rivera and the Detroit Industry Murals

Learn the complex and intriguing story behind Diego Rivera and his Detroit Industry murals, which have now been declared a National Historic Landmark.

Thursday, Sept. 28 at 6 p.m.
Bennett Civic Center Library 
Food Preservation Methods

Join Ghaida Havern, a Food Safety Educator with MSU, for a lesson about home food preservation using research-tested recipes for safety and quality.

Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 6 p.m.
Sandburg Library
Feedsacks to Aprons from the 1910-1930s

Aprons, also called by bib, pinny, pinafore, smock, cobbler, dress, and chaps, have stories to tell. A subset of Carol Brodbeck's "Apron Artistry" Collection (dating from the late 1800s to today) features the work of the difficult period between 1910 - 1930. Women, typically poor and rural, created works of art from cotton sacks and other repurposed materials using hand-stitching, embroidery, applique, painting, crochet, tatting and use of bias binding and rick-rack. Attendees will get a hands-on look at the ingenuity of over 100 years ago!

Tuesday, Oct. 10 at 6:30 p.m.
Bennett Civic Center Library 
Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: an Interactive Presentation

Go back to 1944 and interact with these two historic figures in a one-hour presentation with seasoned actors portraying Franklin and Eleanor. Learn about their family history, their rise in politics, and their relationship issues, all from the comfort of the library's auditorium.

Thursday, Oct. 12 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Bennett Civic Center Library
Board Games of the 1930s

Did you know that Monopoly, Sorry!, Battleship, Wahoo, and Scrabble were all first released in the 1930s? Join us for a Family Game Night where we will learn about and play these classic games. 

Monday, Oct. 16 from 6-7 p.m.
Carl Sandburg Library
Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors

Listen to the story and song of the Coat of Many Colors, and spend some time creating with many colors!

Thursday, Oct. 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Civic Center Auditorium
A History of Urban Farming In Detroit

For over a century, Detroit has been a pioneer in urban farming. From Pingree's Potato Patches to the Thrift Gardens to Farm-A-Lot, Detroiters have looked to the Earth around them to feed their families in times of feast and famine. This rich history is often unknown, but certainly not unimportant. Detroiters continue this tradition to this day. Come learn more about Detroiters and their green thumbs from the Detroit Historical Society. Part of One City One Book.

Monday, Oct. 23 at 6 p.m.
Sandburg Library
Vintage Crafts: Rag Rugs

Let's use and reuse, as necessary during the Great Depression. We'll cut and upcycle old t-shirts into usable rugs of any size! We'll provide the materials and instructions.

Tuesday, Oct. 24 at 6:30 p.m.
Civic Center Library - Michigan Room
A Book Discussion Group WIth the Library Commission

Join the Library Commission for a Book Discussion Group featuring the One City One Book titled The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson.

Kim Michele Richardson

The NEW YORK TIMES, LOS ANGELES TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author, Kim Michele Richardson has written five works of historical fiction, and a bestselling memoir. 

Her critically acclaimed novel, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a recommended read by Dolly Parton and has earned a 2020 PBS Readers Choice, 2019 LibraryReads Best Book, Indie Next, SIBA, Forbes Best Historical Novel, Book-A-Million Best Fiction, and is an Oprah's Buzziest Books pick and a Women’s National Book Association Great Group Reads selection. It was inspired by the remarkable "blue people" of Kentucky, and the fierce, brave Packhorse Librarians who used the power of literacy to overcome bigotry and fear during the Great Depression. The novel is taught widely in high schools and college classrooms and has been adopted as a Common Read selection by states, cities, and universities across the country and abroad. It has been translated into over a dozen languages.

Her latest novel, The Book Woman’s Daughter, an instant NYT and USA TODAY’s bestseller is both a stand-alone and sequel to The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek. Kim Michele lives with her family in Kentucky and is the founder of Shy Rabbit.

Check out the Book Woman Discussion Guide!

recommended reading

To check out or place the book on hold through the Livonia Public Library, click on the book title.

Adult Fiction

Adult Nonfiction

Children's Fiction

Children's Nonfiction