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‘One Book, One New York’ 2018 wants your vote

The winner of the five nominations, which all feature a New York City connection, will be announced on May 3.

Author Hari Kunzru's novel

Author Hari Kunzru's novel "White Tears" is up for "One Book, One New York." Photo Credit: Getty Images / Bryan Bedder

This could be the largest book club ever.

The “One Book, One New York” initiative returns this month after a successful inaugural run last year. The collaboration between the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, Vulture and New York magazine aims to promote healthy reading habits by sponsoring a 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 can vote for their choice of five nominated books at nyc.gov/OneBook during the month of April; the winner will be announced on May 3. Events will then be held at libraries and venues across the city to discuss the winning book.

Here’s a quick look at the city’s five literary options:

“If Beale Street Could Talk”

James Baldwin

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.

“Manhattan Beach”

Jennifer Egan

Anna Kerrigan is the first female diver at the Brooklyn Naval Yard — a dangerous line of work. One evening, a chance encounter with someone from her father’s past begins to shed light on some mysteries from her childhood. This historical novel includes everything from gangsters and union men to sailors and bankers.

“White Tears”

Hari Kunzru

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”

Imbolo Mbue

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”

Esmeralda Santiago

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.

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