Somerville Reads is a project that promotes literacy and community by encouraging people all over the City to read and discuss books on the same theme. For our third annual program, the subject is food—local, sustainable, delicious!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Schedule of Events Finalized

Slowly but surely, Somerville Reads 2012 has come together. For a downloadable .pdf of all events, click here. More information on all of these events will be coming soon, so please check back!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Recipes Wanted for Community Cook Book

One of our most exciting projects for Somerville Reads 2012 is the creation of a community cook book! Nothing brings people together quite like food, so we're asking all of our neighbors to share some favorite recipes. Maybe you have a specialty that people always want you to bring to parties, or a recipe for something that the kids ask you to make over and over. Or it might be a treasured family recipe from your culture, or a favorite that features local ingredients. Whatever you choose, we're looking forward to your contribution. We don't know if we'll be able to print all of the recipes - it depends on how many submissions we get and whether there are duplicates - but we'll use as many as we can. If you didn't invent the recipe yourself, please make sure that you include credit where it's due (ie: "found this recipe in my mother's old Fanny Farmer" or "clipped this out of the Globe Sunday magazine years ago".)

There are three ways to submit a recipe:
  • drop it off at any Somerville Public Library location, care of Ellen Jacobs or
  • mail it to:
    Somerville Public Library
    79 Highland Avenue
    Somerville, MA 02143
    Attention: Ellen Jacobs
The deadline for submitting recipes is March 1st.

Once we've compiled all of the recipes, we're going to print copies of the cook book and sell them at our kickoff event, a potluck meal at the Central Library on Saturday, March 31st beginning at 1:00 p.m. We hope that people will bring lots of the dishes featured in the cookbook, but anything you'd like to contribute will be welcome! (Please make sure to list the ingredients so that people with allergies or other food restrictions can be informed.) Everyone who comes will have a chance to vote for their favorite dish, and five lucky winners will receive prizes of gift certificates donated by local businesses that are sponsoring the event: Dave's Fresh Pasta, Guru, Highland Kitchen, India Palace, and Sherman Café. Proceeds from the sale of the cook books will go toward future programming at the Libraries.

So what are you waiting for - send in your recipe today!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Somerville Reads 2012

The book for this year's Somerville Reads is Farm City, writer Novella Carpenter's engaging account of starting and running a farm on a vacant lot in Oakland. The book will be a starting point for a city-wide discussion of food: what we eat, why we eat and what should we eat? We'll talk about what it means to eat sustainably in an urban area in the Northeast.

There will also be a strong children's component to Somerville Reads this year. We'll be having two discussions of Paul Fleischman's book Seedfolks, a program based on the folktale Stone Soup, and an exhibit of food-themed art by elementary school students. More details on all of this will be coming soon.

Our kickoff event will start at 1 pm on March 31 at the Somerville Central Library, 79 Highland Avenue. We're having a potluck (so bring one of your favorite dishes) and music by the Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library. We'll also hold a vote on the potluck's best dishes, and the winning cooks will receive gift certificates donated by local restaurants, including Highland Kitchen, Dave's Fresh Pasta, India Palace, Guru and Sherman Cafe. The following week the Mystery Book Club invites everyone to participate in a potluck of dishes inspired by their favorite mystery books, and SPL will host a discussion of Farm City led by Jessie Banzahl of Green City Growers. SPL will also host its own version of The Moth Radio Hour with a community storytelling event (all stories must be food-themed) on April 11.

To recap, the first Somerville Reads events:

Saturday, Mar. 31, 1 p.m.: Kickoff
Wednesday, April 4, 7 p.m.: Mystery Potluck
Thursday, April 5th, 7 p.m.: Discussion of Farm City led by Jessie Banzahl
Wednesday, April 11, 7 p.m.: Community Storytelling
Saturday, April 14, 2 p.m.: Stone Soup
Tuesday, April 17th, 7 p.m.: Discussion of Seedfolks for kids ages 9-12

The events listed above are all taking place at the Central Library, but some of our later events will be in other locations - we'll keep you posted. Stay tuned for further details. In the meantime, relax and enjoy some music: