One Read 2024 Finalists

Last November, we asked the community to suggest books to be considered for One Read 2024. Earlier this year, the One Read Reading Panel met and narrowed the list of over 300 titles to 10, and now we have our top two finalists: “The Chinese Groove” by Kathryn Ma and “Migrations” by Charlotte McConaghy.

Read on to find out more about each book!

“The Chinese Groove” by Kathryn Ma

The Chinese Groove by Kathryn Ma book coverEighteen-year-old Shelley, rejected by his extended family in Yunnan Province and burdened with his widowed father’s grief, travels to San Francisco, expecting a rich uncle to provide refuge as he pursues education and fortune. Unfortunately, his “uncle” is actually an unemployed distant cousin coping with a tragedy of his own, and Shelley has two weeks to find another place to stay. Ever the optimist and believer in “the Chinese groove,” the unspoken connection among fellow Chinese immigrants, Shelley takes on school, American culture, illegal restaurant work, temporary homelessness and finally elder care to find a version of success and family reconciliation.This buoyant and warm-hearted novel is a unique take on the Chinese immigration story and an examination of grief, community and family.

“Migrations” by Charlotte McConaghy

Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy book coverIn the not-too-distant future, nature is on the verge of collapse, and Franny Stone has left everything behind but her research gear as she arrives in Greenland to track the world’s last flock of Arctic terns on what might be its final migration. She talks her way onto a fishing vessel, persuading the captain that she can help him find fish in exchange for transportation. As she and the crew travel farther from safety, we learn more about Franny’s dark and traumatic past. A vanished mother, a passionate love affair and a mysterious tragedy lend the pacing of a thriller to parts of this gorgeously written and heartwrenching novel about losses of all kinds, and the hope for redemption.

The last day to vote for One Read 2024 is April 26, 2024.

One Read is generously underwritten by the Friends of the Columbia Public Library and made possible by organizations in our community. We thank all of our partners on the task force for their support.