Past One Book Programs  

One Book Chelmsford - 2012

Tony Horwitz, photo by Randi Baird
photo by Randi Baird

Geraldine Brooks, photo by Randi Baird
photo by Randi Baird
The Chelmsford Public Library hosted Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Geraldine Brooks and Tony Horwitz at the Chelmsford High School Performing Arts Center on Saturday, May 12, 2012, at 11 a.m. for a talk and book signing.

Horwitz is the bestselling author of Confederates in the Attic, A Voyage Long and Strange, Blue Latitudes and Baghdad without a Map. He is a prize-winning journalist who worked for The Wall Street Journal and The New Yorker.

Geraldine Brooks is the New York Times bestselling author of People of the Book, March (winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction) and Year of Wonders and the nonfiction works, Nine Parts of Desire and Foreign Correspondence. Born and raised in Australia, she lives with her husband, Tony Horwitz, on Martha’s Vineyard. They have two sons.

Horwitz and Brooks are both currently on tour for their newest books. In Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid that Sparked the Civil War, Horwitz tells the electrifying tale of the daring insurrection that put America on the path to the bloody Civil War. Brooks’ latest release, Caleb’s Crossing, is inspired by the life of Caleb Cheeshahteaumauk, the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College in 1665.

You can read about these authors and their books at their websites:


A donation from Stop and Shop and funding from the Chelmsford Friends of the Library made it possible for us to purchase multiple copies of “March” and “Confederates in the Attic” for our community.


“One Book Chelmsford” 2012 Timetable (click for details):

Wed May 2, at 7 p.m. main library
Bernie Ready with ”Chelmsford and the Civil War”
available at library on DVD

Tuesday, May 8, at 7p.m. main library
“The Books of Tony Horwitz” by Michael Pierson

One Book Authors Visit
Saturday, May 12, at 11 a.m. at the CHS Performing Arts Center
Meet Geraldine Brooks and Tony Horwitz

Friday Morning Lecture Series on Jan 13:
Dick Howe presents "Making Sense of the Civil War"-available at library on DVD

Friday evening, February 3, 2012
"Beat the Winter Blues-Warm up to Reading!
" -the annual Winterfest Community Social.

Thursday, Feb 9, at noon main library
“Now ...It’s Your Turn” in the fireplace room

Tues March 13, at 7 p.m. main library
“Geraldine Brooks and the Consciousness that Discovers the Story"
a lecture presented by UMass Professor Jeannie Judge

Fri March 23, at 7 p.m. main library
Coffee House with the Amoskeag Players

Tuesday, April 3, at 7 p.m. main library
Civil War Genealogy with Dennis Ahearn

Wednesday, April 11, at 7 p.m. main library "Torn in Two: Mapping the Civil War"
presented by Ronald Grim, Curator of Maps, Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library

Thursday, April 12, at noon-main library “Now ...It’s Your Turn” in the fireplace room

Friday, April 20, at 7 p.m.
Coffee House with The International String Trio



One Book Chelmsford - 2011

The 2011 town-wide read for "One Book Chelmsford" was The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games cover In a not-too-distant future, the United States of America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war, to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year, two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcasted throughout Panem as the 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss's young sister, Prim, is selected as the mining district's female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart, Peeta, the son of the town baker who seems to have all the fighting skills of a lump of bread dough, will be pitted against bigger, stronger representatives who have trained for this their whole lives. Collins's characters are completely realistic and sympathetic as they form alliances and friendships in the face of overwhelming odds; the plot is tense, dramatic, and engrossing. This book will definitely resonate with the generation raised on reality shows like "Survivor" and "American Gladiator."



2011 One Book programs:
CLICK here to print off a copy of our brochure of programs

Cinema Night presented dystopian films

Dr. Nina Huntemann, "Video Game Violence: It’s Not What You Think" - Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Evening Book Group discussed "The Hunger Games" - Monday, March 7,

One Book Friday evening Coffee House featured"Root Cellar" - Friday, March 11, 2011

A Garden Tour of the Heritage Education Garden - Friday, June 10, 2011

Participate in a discussion!!
We held a marathon of book discussions of this intriguing book the week of June 13th through the 18th.
-Monday, 6/13 (@ the high school; open to CHS students only)
-Tuesday, 6/14 at 2 p.m. at the main library
-Wednesday, 6/15 at 7 p.m. at the main library
-Thursday, 6/16 at 7:00 p.m. at the main library
-Friday, 6/17 at noon at the MacKay Library
-Saturday, 6/18 at 11 a.m. at the main library


Our WinterFest Community Social took place on Friday, February 4, 2011

WinterFest Social at the Chelmsford Library, "Let the Games Begin"
This annual WinterFest social wa
s also the kick-off for the One Book Chelmsford community reading campaign.
Local restaurants and bakeries provided delicious sweet and savory finger foods.

Thank you to all our participating restaurants and vendors! It was a wonderful evening.

Harrington's Wines & Liquors

Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar

Bertucci's, Chelmsford

British Beer Company, Westford

The Bull Run Restaurant, Shirley

Friendly's, Chelmsford

The Meat House, Chelmsford

Princeton Station, North Chelmsford

Tango Grill Cafe, Chelmsford

Nashoba Valley Technical High School

Stop and Shop
, Chelmsford

India Palace, Chelmsford

Radisson Hotel


The Madras Grill, Chelmsford

La Bella Dolce Bakery

The Java Room, Chelmsford

Brickhouse Pizza

Trader Joe's, Tyngsborough

Have any questions or suggestions for next year's event? Would you like to help? E-Mail: or



2010 ONE BOOK Events

Shutter Island book cover Chelmsford's 2010 One Book author was Dennis Lehane. Although our One Book campaign featured his novel, Shutter Island, our programming also featured other novels by this popular author as well as crime and mystery novels in general. After you've read Shutter Island, check out this "Surprise Ending Smorgasbord" book list!


Sunday, June 13, 2010 at 1 p.m.

On Sunday, June 13, 2010 at 1 p.m. Author Dennis Lehane spoke at the Performing Arts Center at Chelmsford High School. Dennis Lehane is the author of Chelmsford's ONE BOOK selection, Shutter Island, as well as many other popular fiction titles. He is best known for Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone which (like Shutter Island) were made into films. Other Lehane titles include The Given Day, Coronado, Prayers for Rain, Sacred, Darkness, Take My Hand, and A Drink Before the War.

Read more about Dennis Lehane at his website:

Other ONE BOOK 2010 programs we held:

Friday, February 5, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.
WinterFest Social at the Chelmsford Public Library
“Sweet Suspense and Lethal Libations”
This annual WinterFest social was also the kick-off for Chelmsford’s “One Book” community reading campaign. This year the Library presented a Dessert Social. Local restaurants, bakeries and grocery stores provided a variety of delicious desserts and coffees. Harrington’s Wines & Liquors offered dessert wines for tastings. Beer and wine were also available for purchase.

Thursday, February 18, 2010 at 6:30 p.m.
The library's film discussion group, Cinema Night watched "Mystic River," the popular film based on Dennis Lehane's novel.

Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 6:30 p.m.
Join us for the library's film discussion group, Cinema Night. We'll be watching a popular film based on a Dennis Lehane novel. (Hint: a film about a kidnapping). Film first and then a discussion.

Thursday, March 25, 2010 at 7 p.m.
Crime Novels -An Academic Perspective
Dr. Melissa Pennell, acting associate dean, Division of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, UMass Lowell, will discuss the genre of crime novels and how they reflect social ills. She will cover the tradition of the hard-boiled detective novel and the police procedural and how Lehane makes use of and adds innovations to both traditions.


Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at 7 p.m.
"Writing a Killer Mystery" a writing workshop with Hallie Ephron

You know you’re reading a great mystery novel when you’re up at three in the morning, unable to put it down. When you finally get to sleep, the characters go romping around in your dreams. You get to the final page and smack yourself in the head because the solution is a complete surprise, and yet so obvious in retrospect. So how do you write a great mystery? This workshop demystifies the art and artifice, and gets down to the nuts and bolts of writing a killer mystery novel.
More information at

Fridays, April 2nd and April 16th at noon
The Novel Conversations Book Group at the MacKay Library will discuss "Shutter Island" by Dennis Lehane.

Thursday, April 22, 2010 at 7 p.m.
"The Boston Harbor Islands,"
-a presentation by Donald Cann and John Galluzzo, authors of "Boston Harbor (MA)." Donald Cann is a park ranger for the Boston Harbor Islands. John Galluzzo leads public programming for Mass Audubon and has authored 20 books on local and national history. Their book, "Boston Harbor (MA)," covers a fascinating part of Boston, a part that is also the setting for more than one Dennis Lehane novel. "Boston Harbor (MA) is part of Arcadia Publishers' Postcard History Series. John and Donald also co-authored other titles in Arcadia's "Images of America" series on Rockland and Squantum and South Weymouth Naval Air Stations.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 7 p.m.
CSI -Chelmsford, MA
Crime Scene Investigator, Erik Koester from the Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab in Danvers will deliver the real world picture of Crime Scene Investigations. Using a power point presentation and some hands on tools of the trade he will try to dispel some of the myths created by popular TV shows and show us how the State crime labs use science in solving crimes and convicting criminals.

Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 2:30 p.m.
Michael Mack brings his acclaimed one-man show "Hearing Voices" (Speaking in Tongues) to Chelmsford. For over a decade, Boston-based solo performer Michael Mack has been preaching a kind of gospel. The good news? His mother's recovery from schizophrenia, as told in his one-man play Hearing Voices (Speaking in Tongues). Click here for more information:


2009 ONE BOOK Events

Chelmsford's One Book for 2009 is Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. The astonishing, uplifting story of a real-life Indiana Jones' campaign to build schools in the most dangerous, remote, and anti-American reaches of Asia. Inspired by a chance encounter with impoverished mountain villagers, the author is building schools to provide a balanced education in an isolated and dangerous region.

2009 4th of July Parade Float
With the help of our many friends the library entered a "Three Cups of Tea" float in the town's 4th of July parade.


Climbing K2 and Other Adventures with Chuck Boyd of Vertical Realms
Thursday, April 23, 2009 at 7 p.m.
Chuck Boyd, owner and operator of Vertical Realms, LLC, will talk about his adventures climbing K2.
Take a look at the special website Chuck Boyd has created on his climb at

The photographs are amazing! Chuck has devoted most of his life to climbing and exploring the world's highest mountains and he loves sharing this with others. He has climbed peals throughout the world from the big walls of Yosemite and the great mountians of PEru, pakistana nd Tibet to exotic locales like Morocco's Todra Gorge and Thailand's dramatiuc sea cliffs. See his website for more information and dramatic photographs of his adventures.

"The Many Facets of Islam"

Thursday, April 30, 2009 at 7 p.m.
"The Many Facets of Islam" by Subheen Razzaqui, speaker for the Harvard Outreach Center for Middle Eastern Studies and history teacher at Newton North High School, discusses the history and basic tenets of Islam, and similarities and differences among Muslim groups in the U.S.

Art Exhibit
May 4 - May 30, 2009 Exhibit of artwork inspired by Three Cups of Tea.
Call to Artists for works inspired by the book, "Three Cups of Tea"

Three Cups of Tea Resources:

Book Info & Reading Guides Three Cups of Tea People & Organizations

Past programs:

Chelmsford Volunteer Fair Saturday, March 21, 2009; 10 a.m. - noon
Come to Chelmsford's Volunteer Fair learn about organizations that offer you a myriad of ways to give back to your community and make the world a better place. A rep from Barakat will be available to speak with you about their volunteer opportunities.

Book Discussions on Three Cups of Tea will take place on:
Monday, March 2nd at 7 p.m. and Wednesday, March 18th at 10 a.m., in the main library

Films and Discussions
The film, “Kite Runner” will be shown on Thursday, Feb 19, at 7 p.m. Discussion to follow.
The film, "View from a Grain of Sand," will be shown on Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 7 p.m. Discussion to follow.

Barakat Working in Central Asia

Thursday, March 12, 2009, at 7 p.m.
Damon Luloff, Executive Director of Barakat will talk about the work his organization is doing in Central Asia.

Greg Mortenson's Visit at the Chelmsford Performing Arts Center

Greg Mortenson, co-author of Three Cups of Tea (Chelmsford’s One Book), spoke at the Performing Arts Center at Chelmsford High School on Sunday, Feb 8th. Co-founder of the Central Asia Institute and Pennies for Peace, Greg Mortenson has established over 78 schools in rural and often volatile regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. His two new children’s books are: Three Cups of Tea (Puffin, chapter book) and Listen to the Wind (Dial; picture book). Mr. Mortenson's visit was part of his book tour for his two children's books (based on "Three Cups of Tea”) which came out in January. This program was funded by Penguin Publishers and the Chelmsford Friends of the Library

Chelmsford Telemedia filmed this event live to show on Chelmsford cable TV. If you missed the amazing talk by “Three Cups of Tea” co-author Greg Mortenson at Chelmsford’s Performing Arts Center this past Sunday you can still catch it. The program will also be re-broadcast on Chelmsford Cable TV Channel 8 at the following times:

Thurs Feb 12 at 10:00 PM on channel 8
Sat Feb 14 at 10:30 AM on channel 8
Thurs Feb 19 at 10:00 PM on channel 8
Sat Feb 21 at 10:30 AM on channel 8
You could check Chelmsford Telemedia’s website to confirm

Thanks to Chelmsford Telemedia, the program will also be available on DVD at the Library. We will have several copies so you can check one out to view at home.


February 2009
Art Exhibit

Photojournalist Paula Lerner's exhibit, Afghan Stories: Behind the Headlines, will be at the Chelmsford Public Library through the end of February. This exhibit is an excellent complement to our "Three Cups of Tea" programming.



Click here to print off a brochure (pdf format)