Sonoma County Library

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The Big Read Sonoma County


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Bless Me, Ultima

If you enjoyed Bless Me, Ultima, you might enjoy some of the titles on this list. Tales of childhood friendship, ancient whales, neighbors and unlikely family, these titles will keep you turning pages to the very end.

My Ántonia by Willa Cather
The story of Ántonia is told by her childhood friend, Jim, an orphaned boy from Virginia. Though he leaves the prairie, Jim never forgets the Bohemian girl who so profoundly influenced his life.

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
In this novel, told in a series of vignettes, readers experience the life of a young girl growing up in the Hispanic quarter of Chicago.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding
When they are marooned on a deserted island, a group of English schoolboys soon lose their civilized ways. Alone in a world devoid of adult supervision or rules, the boys attempt to forge their own society.

Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera
As her beloved grandfather, chief of a Maori tribe in New Zealand, struggles to lead in difficult times, young Kahu develops a mysterious relationship with whales, particularly the ancient bull whale whose legendary rider is the ancestor of her people.

The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
Taylor grew up poor in rural Kentucky. But when she heads west with high hopes and a barely functional car, her life takes an unexpected turn. By the time she reaches Arizona, Taylor has acquired a three-year-old Native American girl named Turtle, and must somehow come to terms with her new life.

Where the Heart Is by Billy Letts
Novalee Nation has always been unlucky with sevens. She's seventeen, seven months pregnant, thirty-seven pounds overweight - and now she finds herself stranded at a Wal-Mart in Sequoyah, Oklahoma, holding just $7.77 in change. But Novalee is about to discover hidden treasures in this small prairie town.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Possessing an encyclopedia-like intelligence, the unusual son of a zookeeper named Pi Patel sets sail for America. But when the ship sinks, Pi escapes on a life boat and is lost at sea with a dwindling number of animals until only he and a hungry Bengal tiger remain.

Rain of Gold by Victor Villaseñor
Rain of Gold is the non-fiction saga of the author’s own family. It focuses on three generations of Villaseñor’s kin, their spiritual and cultural roots in Mexico, their move to California and their overcoming poverty, prejudice and economic exploitation. It is the warm-hearted, humorous and tragic true story of a wily, wary, persevering family.

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Foundation logoOur thanks to the Sonoma County Public Library Foundation for their sponsorship of the annual Sonoma County Reads / Big Read program.



This event is part of The Big Read,
an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts
in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest.