Each year through Santa Barbara Reads the Santa Barbara Public Library offers one title to the community with the intent that everyone will read the same book at the same time. The Library hopes that by doing this it will spark conversations in the community about the themes of the book and how they relate to our lives.
This year's Santa Barbara Reads selection is Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel and offers the community a chance to reflect on what is important to us; what would we miss if the material things in our world were no longer available to us; and what elements of culture we would strive to preserve in the wake of cataclysmic events.
Winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award, finalist for a National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award and longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, Station Eleven is about a traveling Shakespearean theatre company in a post-apocalyptic North America. According to Mandel, it is also about friendship, memory, love, celebrity, our obsession with objects, oppressive dinner parties, comic books, and knife-throwing. With a narrative that moves backwards and forwards in time, from the years immediately before a pandemic flu decimates society to the vastly altered world that exists twenty years after, Station Eleven reveals the stories of interconnected individuals from the time before.
The 2017 Santa Barbara Reads kicks off on November 1 at 6:00 PM at the Central Library's Faulkner Gallery. The community is invited to pick-up free copies of Station Eleven, engage in a live impromptu play reading, and participate in a Cosplay Competition. The audience participation readings will be of Verily a New Hope, a Star Wars and Shakespeare-inspired theatrical work. Attendees and participants are invited to dress in costume for the SB Reads Kick-Off, be it science fiction themed or Shakespearean themed. There will be a Cosplay Competition in three categories: Best Shakespeare-themed, Best Star Wars-themed, and Best Mash-Up of both. As well, a special appearance from the 501st Legion is not to be missed.
As part of Santa Barbara Reads, throughout the month of November community members are invited to participate in Station Eleven book discussions. What would be worth preserving if our modern civilization collapsed? How does creating and appreciating art signify that we are doing more than just merely surviving? Join at one of the Santa Barbara Libraries to discuss these themes and others at the heart of Station Eleven.
The culminating event of the 2017 Santa Barbara Reads will be a visit and book discussion on Tuesday, December 5 with the author, Emily St. John Mandel. Join the greater Santa Barbara community for a short moderated conversation with Mandel, followed by a Q&A with the audience. All are invited to bring with them the experiences of reading Station Eleven, participating in dialogue with others, and new thoughts and questions. This free event will engage, inform, and inspire.
Join the community and the Library in reading Station Eleven for this year's Santa Barbara Reads and participate in the book discussions and myriad events throughout the month of November and into December.
Santa Barbara Reads Kick-Off
Wednesday, November 1
Tuesday, November 7, 6:30 PM – Goleta Library
Wednesday, November 8, 1:00 PM – Montecito Library
Monday, November 13, 6:00 PM – Carpinteria Library
Tuesday, November 14, 5:30 PM – Central Library
Tuesday, November 14, 5:30 PM – Solvang Library
Friday, November 17, 4:00 PM – Buellton Library
Tuesday, November 28, 5:30 PM – Eastside Library
Station Eleven Discussion with Emily St. John Mandel
Tuesday, December 5
Marjorie Luke Theatre
Contact: Jen Lemberger, Programming & Marketing Librarian