New York Times bestseller to speak at One City One Book Hamilton event

Author Bonnie Garmus wrote ‘Lessons in Chemistry.’

The One City One Book Hamilton is wrapping up on Tuesday with an evening with Bonnie Garmus, the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller “Lessons in Chemistry.”

The Lane Libraries is presenting the discussion with Garmus from 7 to 9 p.m. at Parrish Auditorium at Miami University Hamilton. There, she will discuss her novel ahead of a book signing.

One City One Book Hamilton is the sixth rendition of the city-wide reading initiative founded by Niki Motley, Honi Cohen and Karen Whalen, and in support of the Lane Public Library. The goal is to have everyone in Hamilton read the book and attend events throughout October.

Tuesday’s event will be the fourth, and final, event.

Books were free to the public to read and gift to someone else to read, and they were available around the city and various businesses. The Hamilton Lane Library on North Third Street also had a display for people to borrow the book ahead of the October events.



“It’s something local to Hamilton,” Lane Public Library spokeswoman Carrie Mancuso told the Journal-News earlier this year. “It was founded to get people reading the same book at the same time, and having related events.”

One City One Book Hamilton is similar to The Big Read, which was founded by the National Endowment for the Arts nearly a decade ago, but organizers didn’t feel Hamilton was ready back then for a communitywide reading event.

In 2017, the One City One Book Hamilton committee launched the program with “Hidden Figures.” They decided to alternate nonfiction and fiction books, continuing in 2018 with “Station 11.” In 2019, the city read “The Boys in the Boat” and held the project off in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic.

They returned in 2021 with an online-only reading of the “Phone Booth at the Edge of the World,” and last year’s book was “Daughters of Yalta.”

Lessons in Chemistry, published in 2022, is about chemist Elizabeth Zott, who in the early 1960s wants to be a chemist but is not taken seriously by all but one of her male colleagues at a research institute. Years later, Elizabeth is now a single mother and the reluctant star of a beloved cooking show, “Supper at Six,” which features Elizabeth’s unusual approach to cooking and is revolutionary. Not everyone is happy as she grows in popularity because she’s not just teaching women to cook but “daring them to change the status quo.”

Lessons on Chemistry is now on Apple TV.


Here are the previous books in the One City One Book Hamilton initiative:

2017: Hidden Figures by Margo Lee Shetterly

2018: Station 11 by Emily St. John Mandel

2019: The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

2020: Did not hold due to COVID

2021: Phone Booth at the Edge of the World by Laura Imai Messina

2022: Daughters of Yalta by Catherine Grace Katz

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