One Book, One Chicago Looks Local With Neighborhoods: Our City’s Bedrock

Book Join us for One Book, One Chicago 2021 as we explore the theme "Neighborhoods: Our City's Bedrock" and the book Bedrock Faith by Eric Charles May. 

From September to December, read Bedrock Faith with other Chicagoans. Eric Charles May is a native Morgan Park resident and professor at Columbia College Chicago who writes lovingly about a Chicago neighborhood that will seem familiar to many. May’s 2014 debut novel begins as Gerald “Stew Pot” Reeves’s returns to his close-knit, Black, and middle-class community on Chicago’s South Side after fourteen years in prison. The Parkland community is hesitant to accept him apart from his widowed and retired next-door neighbor, Mrs. Motley, who lends him a Bible as a welcoming gesture. Beneath escalating conflicts between community members lies the heart of the story: how people come together to create a community, develop deep connections, and provide a communal system of support, forgiveness, and understanding. 

This season explores theme of community, history, support systems, and who tells our stories. This year marks the 20th anniversary of One Book, One Chicago. For two decades, Chicagoans have come together over books from across genres to unite over common themes and connect with one another. This year, connection with our neighbors is more important than ever before, and CPL is thrilled to feature a local author and programs that reflect this need for closeness. 

Virtual programs including discussions, recommended reading lists, digital content, author panels and web TV series will be available regularly from September through December to explore Bedrock Faith and our theme. Highlights include:

  • Keynote program: Author Eric Charles May in conversation with Booklist's Donna Seaman, Thursday, December 2nd at 6 p.m.
  • South Side Home Movie Project: Join for an introduction to this unique initiative to collect, preserve, digitize and exhibit amateur films from Chicago’s South Side neighborhoods, Thursday, November 30th at 6 p.m.
  • The Art of Storytelling Learning Circles: How would you tell the story of your community? Strengthen your storytelling skills with a learning circle this fall. Courses offered all fall throughout the week
  • Neighborhood Tours: Explore some of Chicago's notable neighborhoods with virtual tours on Facebook and Youtube, Wednesday's at noon.
  • Book clubs and discussion groups citywide

For details on all of these programs and more, visit