On the subway in New York City, it’s not uncommon to notice riders reading similar titles on their commute. Come March, you might actually see the same book again and again. That’s because One Book, One NY, an initiative from the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment in partnership with BuzzFeed, has set out to select one book for New Yorkers across the five boroughs to read next month — kind of like a citywide book club.
After an advisory panel of librarians, academics and publishers narrowed down a list of suggested texts to five literary contenders, the finalists were put up for an online vote — which ends tomorrow, Feb. 28.
Celebrity actors pitch each of the picks in promo videos you can watch on the One Book, One New York site. “Fargo” actor William H. Macy touts the 1940s borough classic, “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” by Betty Smith. “Orange is the New Black” actress Danielle Brooks extols “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehesi Coates, while comedian Larry Wilmore pulls for “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz. Giancarlo Esposito (Gus on “Breaking Bad”!) suggests “The Sellout” by Paul Beatty; and Bebe Neuwirth (“Frasier”) picks “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
#OneBookNY is a conversation starter — what makes one text more essential for New Yorkers to read than another? — and while there will only be one winner, the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment commissioner Julie Menin told the New York Times she hopes the campaign “encourages people to read all five.” To help with that, over 4,000 copies of the five nominees have been donated to more than 200 library branches across the city, according to BuzzFeed.
Which book do you think should win? Vote here.