2018 “Somerville Reads” Events and Program Schedule Announced

Copies of “Exit West” now available at all three library branches.

SOMERVILLE – The 2018 “Somerville Reads” program officially begins on Saturday, November 3, with a block party at our East Branch Library beginning at noon! This Exit West inspired celebration will feature live music performances by local groups El Sistema Somerville and Grooversity, as well as refreshments, and activities for all ages.

Somerville Read is a citywide reading initiative that encourages all Somerville residents to read and discuss the same book to promote literacy and community engagement. Throughout the month of November, the Somerville Public Library will host various intergenerational programs including discussions, book clubs, and more, all related to the themes found in “Exit West,” the 2018 Somerville Reads selection.

“Exit West,” a New York Times bestselling novel that explores the forces that drive people from their homes into the uncertainty of new lands, has received numerous awards, including the 2018 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for fiction and the Aspen Words Literary Prize. Born in Lahore, Mohsin Hamid has spent half his life there and much of the rest in London and the United States.

This year’s programs will offer community members a chance to celebrate Somerville’s diversity, learn about the migration and immigration stories of people in our city, and connect with other Somerville residents through discussions and parties.

The following series of events and discussions is planned for November 2018:

·         East Branch Block Party: Saturday November 3, 12 – 3 p.m.

Location:  East Branch Library, 115 Broadway

Celebrate cultural diversity at the Somerville Reads 2018 Block Party! Inspired by the themes in “Exit West,” the East Branch will host music, refreshments, and activities for all ages. Don’t miss out on live music performances by local groups El Sistema Somerville and  Grooversity.

·         Voices of Migration Panel Discussion, “We are all migrants through time”: Wednesday, November 7, 7 – 8:30 p.m.

Location: Central Library Auditorium, 79 Highland Ave.

In “Exit West,” Mohsin Hamid explores themes related to migration, in particular, why people leave their homes and what arrival is like in an unfamiliar land. We’ve invited panelists from SomerViva, the Welcome Project, and the Somerville Board of Alderman, to share their personal insights.

·         Home, Migration, and Relationships: a Somerville Reads 2018 Event by and for Teens:
Wednesday, November 15, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Location: Central Library Auditorium

Inspired by “Exit West,” youth leaders have developed an interactive experience to bring the ideas of home, migration, and relationships off the page and into our community.

Exit West Book Discussions:


·         Monday, November 5, 7 p.m.

West Branch Library, 40 College Ave.

·         Tuesday, November 13, 6:15 p.m. – Books and Brews Book Club

Aeronaut Brewery, 14 Tyler St.

·         Wednesday, November 14, 6:30 p.m.

Central Library Auditorium, 79 Highland Ave.

·         Friday, November 16, 11 a.m.

East Branch Library, 115 Broadway

Copies of the book are available for check out at all Somerville Public Library locations and via the Library’s online catalog. All Somerville residents are encouraged to read the book before the end of the Somerville Reads month-long initiative.

For more information about Somerville Reads programs and events or questions about how to access a copy of the book, please call the Somerville Public Library at 617-623-5000 ext. 2955.

Please note: The West Branch Library is not wheelchair accessible. Individuals with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication, written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures, in order to access the programs and activities of the City of Somerville or to attend meetings, should contact the City’s Manager of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Nency Salamoun, at 617-625-6600 x2323 or nsalamoun@somervillema.gov.


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