If All Arkansas Read the Same Book
Created in 2001, If All Arkansas Read the Same Book is an annual, statewide reading program designed to encourage the enjoyment of reading and to promote book discussion in libraries of all types across Arkansas. Events for the project begin during the fall of each year and typically culminate in an author tour.
2016 If All Arkansas Read the Same Book Selection
The Pecan Man by Cassie Dandridge Selleck
The Pecan Man is a work of Southern fiction. In the summer of 1976, recently widowed and childless, Ora Lee Beckworth hires a homeless, elderly black man to mow her lawn. The neighborhood children call him the Pee-can Man; their mother mothers call them inside whenever he appears. When the local police chief's son is found stabbed to death, the man Ora Lee knows as Eddie is arrested and charged with murder. Twenty-five years later, Ora Lee sets out to tell the truth about the Pecan Man. In narrating her story, Ora Lee discovers more truth about herself than she could ever have imagined. This novel has been described as To Kill a Mockingbird meets The Help.
Cassie Dandridge Selleck is a native of Leesburg, Florida, the small central Florida town fictionalized as Mayville in The Pecan Man. She hold a BFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College in Vermont and has recently published her second novel, What Matters in Mayhew. Cassie makes her home on the Suwannee River in rural North Florida with her husband of twenty-four years and their little chihuahua, Sugar.
Previously Featured Selections:
- 2015 author book: Jenny Wingfield and The Homecoming of Samuel Lake
- 2014 author book: Daniel Black and Perfect Peace
- 2013 author/book: Vivienne Schiffer and Camp Nine
- 2012 author/book: Laura Castoro and Icing on the Cake
- 2011 author/book: non-active year
- 2010 author/book: Charlaine Harris and her Sookie Stackhouse series
- 2010 was the tenth anniversary of the Arkansas Center for the Book, and was celebrated by reading "10 books in 10 months"--the 10 Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris.
- 2009 author/book: Petrus Lai Nguyen and Derlyne Gibson and A Long, Hard Road to Freedom
- 2008 author/book: non-active year
- 2007 author/book: Kevin Brockmeier and A Brief History of the Dead
- 2006 author/book: F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Great Gatsby (in conjunction with The Big Read); Shirley Abbott and The Bookmaker's Daughter
- 2005 author/book: Jeff Shaara and Gods and Generals
- 2004 author/book: Sandra Cisneros and The House on Mango Street; Jennifer Paddock and A Secret Word
- 2003 author/book: Rick Bragg and All Over But the Shoutin'; Sidney McMath and Promises Kept
- 2002 author/book: Douglas Kelley and The Captain's Wife
- 2001 author/book: Terry Kay and To Dance with the White Dog