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One book, one city, one packed house

Posted by Doug Most  September 21, 2010 09:04 AM

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BPLDarkTide 007.jpgThe Rabb Lecture Hall at the Boston Public Library was filled and there was an overflow crowd outside last night to hear local author Stephen Puleo and Boston Globe books editor Nicole Lamy discuss Puleo's book, "Dark Tide."

The event marked the final note of a Globe exploration of why certain cities, but not Boston, have embraced "One Book, One City" events, where a single book is chosen and read by city residents and a series of events are held around that book. After the Globe published a story by Sam Allis over the summer about the issue, we put a poll up on our website,, asking readers to choose the book Boston should read, if we had a "One Book, One City," program.

By a narrow margin, and with more than 8,000 people voting, Puleo's book nipped "All Souls," by Michael Patrick MacDonald. That led to last night's event, at which Library President Amy Ryan introduced Lamy, Lamy introduced Puleo, and then the audience of roughly 300 peppered Puleo with questions about his research, his writing, and details about the great molasses flood of 1919 that leveled huge portions of the North End.

The event was such a smash it naturally leads us to ask: Should we do it again? Readers, what do you say? You have another book you'd like to see get chosen? Weigh in here.

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