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'Molasses' wins Boston summer book vote

Posted by David Beard, Globe Staff  July 13, 2010 05:26 PM

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Well, the North won this war, too.

The tale of the North End's wildly improbable flood of molasses has been chosen by readers as this summer's citywide read, edging out Michael Patrick McDonald's heart-wrenching memoir of growing up in Southie.

"Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919,'' Stephen Puleo's account of the disaster, will be the subject of a month-long read in an experiment by The Boston Globe and the Boston Public Library. Puleo also will chat with readers in early August to answer their questions on the book.

More than 8,100 readers voted before today's 5 p.m. deadline for a citywide book, an effort that followed a Globe story lamenting the absence of a "One Book, One City'' program in Boston.You can see the vote totals here.

In addition to Puleo's work and MacDonald's "All Souls,'' other nominations were:

--"Common Ground," Anthony Lukas
--"On Beauty," Zadie Smith
--"Caucasia," Danzy Senna
--"Tinkers," Paul Harding
--"Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science," Atul Gawande
--"Hitter: The Life and Turmoils of Ted Williams," Ed Linn
--"Mystic River," Dennis Lehane
--"Interpreter of Maladies," Jhumpa Lahiri

The online comments that followed the Globe's story on a citywide book confirmed what we suspected — local citizens are certainly among the country's most opinionated readers. What better place to host a reading program than Boston? Here's Sam Allis's story.

Let us know. Will you be reading?

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About off the shelf News about books, authors, and publishers from The Boston Globe.
Nicole Lamy is editor of the Globe's Books section.
Jan Gardner writes the "Shelf Life" column for the Globe's Books section.

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