This could be the largest book club ever.
New Yorkers might be reading Jennifer Egan’s “Manhattan Beach” all summer long now that it has been crowned the “One Book, One New York” winner.
Julie Menin, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME), sat down with Pat Kiernan on NY1 Thursday morning to reveal Egan’s novel had beat out four other reads in the competition.
“Manhattan Beach” tells the story of Anna Kerrigan, the first female diver at the Brooklyn Naval Yard, who uncovers mysteries of her childhood. The historical novel comes complete with everything from gangsters and union men to sailors and bankers.
The “One Book” initiative returned this spring after a successful inaugural run last year. The collaboration between MOME, Vulture and New York magazine aimed to promote healthy reading habits by sponsoring the citywide effort to get everyone on the same page — literally.
“These beautifully told tales reflect the rich variety of experiences and voices that make New York’s literary culture second to none,” said Media and Entertainment Commissioner Julie Menin in a statement. “We hope once again that ‘One Book, One New York’ will … spur New Yorkers to rediscover their local libraries and neighborhood bookstores.”
New Yorkers voted for their choice of five nominated books during the month of April. Events will be soon be held at libraries and venues across the city to discuss the winning book.
Here’s a quick look at the four runner-up literary options:
“If Beale Street Could Talk”
This American tale of despair and uncertainty is told through the eyes of Tish, a 19-year-old girl. Her love — and the father of her child — is a young sculptor who is imprisoned after being falsely accused of a terrible crime. Follow the lovers and their families as they set out to prove his innocence.
This creative and dark thriller features awkward, 20-something Seth and upper-crust Carter who accidentally record an unknown blues singer in a city park. Carter posts the file online, claiming it is genuine, 1920s audio. This tips the first domino in a series of escalating and gripping complications.
“Behold the Dreamers”
Meet Jende Jonga — a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem — who has arrived in New York City in search of a better life with his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son. A series of career boosts have things looking up, but when the 2008 financial collapse hits, the family must make an impossible choice.
“When I was Puerto Rican”
In the first volume of Santiago’s bestselling trilogy, Esmeralda describes her early life growing up in Puerto Rico. The oldest of seven children, Santiago is forced to grow up quickly when her mother relocates the family to New York. The NYC-centric story tracks her journey from the welfare office to Harvard.