Join the 2023 Washtenaw Read!

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For the eighth year running, Chelsea District Library (CDL) is partnering with neighboring libraries for Washtenaw Reads, a community initiative to promote reading and civic discourse through the shared experience of reading and discussing a common book. This year’s choice is Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid. The Read runs throughout January and February with a special author appearance on February 5. Participating libraries include Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Dexter, Milan, Northfield Township, Saline, and Ypsilanti.

About the book: Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living with her confidence-driven brand, showing other women how to do the same. She is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains’ toddler one night, walking the aisles of their local high-end supermarket. The store’s security guard, seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make things right.

But Emira herself is aimless, broke, and wary of Alix’s desire to help. At twenty-five, she is about to lose her health insurance and has no idea what to do with her life. When the video of Emira unearths someone from Alix’s past, both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, and each other.

Such a Fun Age was longlisted for the 2020 Book Prize and was the 2020 Goodreads Choice Debut Novel winner. This book will get you thinking about race, privilege, the transactional relationships we have as employers and employees, and also the complications of what it means to become an adult.

In February, CDL will partner with Serendipity Books to offer the Hometown Book Club as an event to promote dialogue about this year’s Read.You can pick up a copy to check out at CDL or purchase one of your own at Serendipity Books. Read Such a Fun Age and join CDL and others at Serendipity Books to discuss the book on February 14 at 7pm.

Kiley Reid will read from her book during the Washtenaw Reads Author Event on Sunday, February 5 at 4pm, at the Ann Arbor District Library at 343 S. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor. There is no charge for the event and it is open to the public. A Q & A will follow, with the option of purchasing a book for signing.

CDL director Lori Coryell stresses the importance of the community read. “At CDL we value opportunities to build community and promote understanding. Washtenaw Reads is one such opportunity where readers all across the county are united in a shared experience. Through reading and discussion, we are informed, enriched, and enlightened—and the community we live in becomes better for it,” Coryell said. The library has purchased numerous copies of the Washtenaw Read to ensure patrons have the chance to read the book and join in on the discussions. For more information on Washtenaw Reads and other related events, visit washtenawreads.org or call 734-475-8732 ext 219.

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