History of the One Book, One Community Program

A group met in January of 2006 to explore the possibilities of a countywide read that would include Northern Michigan University and Marquette County. It was decided that we would pilot the project in hopes of making it an annual event. It is modeled after a program done at Michigan State University for the past several years with the East Lansing community.

One Book, One Community's purpose is to share the joy of reading, the life of the mind and the free exchange of ideas through a common book. Our goal is to foster a sense of community by bringing Northern Michigan University and Marquette County readers together. An invitation is extended to the entire University community, students, faculty, staff and all Marquette County residents to participate in the One Book, One Community program.

Our goals:

  1. To foster a sense of community by bringing Northern Michigan University and Marquette County readers together with a common book.
  2. To introduce new Northern Michigan University students to our community and to an academic life through the reading and discussion of a chosen book.

Past Book Selections
2006- The Tortilla Curtain - T.C. Boyle
2007- Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - Jonathan Safran Foer
2008 - Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
2009- The Things they Carried - Tim O’Brien
2010- The Sparrow - Mary Doria Russell
2011- The Lazarus Project - Aleksandar Hemon
2012- Mountain of Crumbs - Elena Gorokhova
2013- Age of Miracles - Karen Thompson Walker
2014 - Detroit: An American Autopsy - Charlie LeDuff
2015 - Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore - Robin Sloan
2016 - The Round House - Louise Erdrich
2017- Wolf’s Mouth - John Smolens
2018- reimagining year (no book)
2019 - Harborless - Cindy Hunter Morgan, and The Living Great Lakes - Jerry Dennis
2020 - Women of the Copper Country - Mary Doria Russell, and To the Copper Country - Barbara Carney-Coston


Partners and Sponsors

Northern Michigan University
Munising School Public Library
Peter White Public Library
Sigma Tau Delta
Snowbound Books
Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum
Marquette Alger Reading Council
Superiorland Library Cooperative


Committee members

Sally Davis - community member, committee co-chair
Rebecca Flitton - NMU instructor, committee co-chair
Anne Donohue - Community member, committee secretary
Becky Tavernini - NMU marketing and communications, publicity chair
Samantha Ashby - Peter White Public Library
Becky Berube - community member
Lisa Cromell - Director of Munising School Public Library
Lynn Domina - NMU English department
Erin Donovan - Community member
Mollie Freier- NMU Olson Library
Lori Smolinski - community member, K-12 teacher
Sue Szczepanski - Community member, retired NMU School of Education


The Marquette County Board of Commissioners  officially recognized One Book, One Community as part of Marquette County's desire to promote literacy. Click here to read the resolution.

Financial support is provided by the NMU Office of the Provost, NMU Marketing and Communications and various departments. An anonymous donor allows the committee to supply books to those who may not be able to afford them or to support programming. 

Donations to Marquette County Two Books Two Communities are welcomed (and tax deductible)! Please contact the NMU Foundation, 906-227-2627 or foundtn@nmu.edu  or give online. You may also ask for a donation envelope at Snowbound Books. Thank you to all of you who support reading in our community!