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What is One Book?

Celebrate the importance of reading and join the community-wide discussion as this year’s One Book Charleston County selection tackles the raw emotional drama depicted in the international bestseller Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer.

Set in New York City, the novel follows the life of nine-year-old Oskar Schell as he learns about his father’s death in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Although highly intelligent, Oskar displays symptoms of Autism and lacks the social and communication skills needed to help him cope with his overwhelming sense of loss. His misses the special bond and adventures shared with his father, and he doesn’t know how to talk to his mother, who is going through her own feelings of grief and despair.

A year after the Trade Center attacks, Oskar discovers a key in his father’s closet. It is in an envelope with the word “Black” on the outside. Determined to find the key’s origin, he creates an elaborate, methodical plan to knock on doors and meet every person named Black in New York City. Through Oskar’s travels, he meets others who were touched by the events of 9/11, each with their own story to tell.

One Book Charleston County explores the issues raised in Foer’s book through special programs, book discussions and events. Adapted into a movie starring Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock, the film will be shown multiple times to encourage residents to discuss how the movie depicted the struggles and adventures of Oskar and his family.

Also, as a closing event, the book’s author Jonathan Safran Foer will speak October 23 as part of the College of Charleston’s College Reads! series. CofC students are reading Foer’s nonfiction book, Eating Animals.

More than 600 copies of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close are available for check out at one of CCPL’s 16 branches. Through the library’s web site, a digital eBook version is available from OverDrive and an audio book version is downloadable from OneClickDigital (click here to go to our downloadable media page).

The novel, with its layers of depth, is perfect for book clubs and book discussion groups. Book Club Kits, each with 15 copies plus suggested questions, can be reserved through the library’s catalog. For those not in a book club, there are 10 book discussions scheduled at various library branches.

Join the discussion, attend an event, view the movie and share your opinion of this poignant, humorous and thought-provoking novel set at a time of both heartache and heroism.

 
"A ...novel that will renew readers' faith that the right book at the right time still has the power to change the world." -O, The Oprah Magazine
 

Read a synopsis of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Learn more about Jonathan Safran Foer
 

"Foer is definitely a new sort of literary warrior – virtuosic, visionary, ingenious, hilarious, heartbreaking." -Village Voice

 

One Book Charleston County Banner with images of doors
was provided by Susan Huckaby Parsons of
Reimagining Photography.

 

Thanks to the sponsors of One Book Charleston County