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Uniting Our Island with Literature: Nantucket’s One Book One Island 2022

For sixteen years, One Book, One Island (OBOI) has united the intrepid beings living on Nantucket Island throughout the raw, cold, and windy winter months. This collaborative community project, is designed to promote reading and community and encourage the whole population to read, reflect, and engage in themed activities that foster life-long learning for all ages. We also strive to be inclusive of a variety of audiences and reading levels and to select a title that is available in alternate translations and formats. 

This time of year is especially cold and quiet, and OBOI serves a bright occasion for widely sharing a sense of community warmth. All events are offered at no charge, and we give away at least 500 copies every year.

The book selected for Nantucket Island’s 2022 OBOI is The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. “Few fantasies are more enduring than the idea that there might be a second chance at a life already lived, some sort of magical reset in which mistakes can be erased, regrets addressed…and choices altered.” The NY Times. In this novel, Haig addresses weighty topics through a main character, Nora Seed, who attempts suicide and must explore what it means to live while in the gray area between life and death. The book also addresses themes including small acts of kindness that can have large impacts and the power of perception. The Midnight Library won the Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Fiction and became a best seller upon publication. Haig is also known for Reasons to Stay Alive (a Sunday Times best seller), the children’s novel A Boy Called ChristmasHow to Stop Time, and Notes on a Nervous Planet.

The 2022 One Book One Island events for 2022 are dedicated in memory of Jim Lentowski. He was involved from the very first years of One Book, One Island as the Executive Director of the Nantucket Conservation Foundation. Jim passed away on July 6, 2021 after a long battle with cancer.

The program is made possible by funding from the Tupancy-Harris Foundation and from the Hale Family Foundation, together with financial and staff support from multiple organizations on Nantucket.

Locations to pick up a free copy of Midnight Library are:

  • The Nantucket Atheneum
  • The Corner Table
  • Nantucket Book Partners (Mitchell’s Book Corner & Bookworks)
  • The Nantucket Historical Association
  • The Inquirer & Mirror office
  • The El Salvadorian Market, for copies in Spanish
  • Saltmarsh Center, for copies in Large Print

More than a dozen One Book, One Island events will be held from March 18 to April 3, and more events may be added as we get closer to March. Check back on events calendar on The Insider’s Guide to Nantucket for a complete listing.

MARCH 18 – APRIL 3…Visit an art exhibit:
MIDNIGHT MAGIC at the Artists Association of Nantucket
Join us for the One Book, One Island kick off on Fri, Mar. 18 for an ongoing “Midnight Magic” exhibit at the Artists Association of Nantucket Visual Arts Center at 24 Amelia Drive. A take and make art project that relates to The Midnight Library will also be available for kids.

MARCH 18 – APRIL 3… Participate in this interactive project:
The Midnight Library contains a “Book of Regrets,” and the main character is encouraged to read this book and let her regrets go. Stop by the Nantucket Historical Society at the Whaling Museum on Broad Street between March 18 and April 3 and pen a personal regret on one of the smooth stones provided outside the museum. Place your regret by the NHA Squid sculpture and take your choice of a “Wish” stone.  This interactive art project will culminate on Apr. 3 when participants may watch a live stream of all of regrets being released into the harbor.

Enjoy a stroll through the Atheneum garden for this month’s story-walk selection which shares the OBOI title, The Midnight Library. But this is a children’s picture book by Kazuno Kohara about an unusual library that is only open from midnight until dawn. In striking block-printed pictures, a nocturnal pigtailed librarian and her three assistant owls help each and every visitor find the perfect book or activity. The squirrel band wants to practice their noisy new material; Miss Wolf reads a sad book and weeps rain-like tears all over the reading room; and Tortoise needs a library card so that he can finally leave at closing time. They are all in for a long and busy night. Pick up the accompanying Grab & Go craft on the steps of The Weezie Library on Sat, Mar. 26, starting at 9:30am, while supplies last!

MARCH 19…NISHA BOOK DISCUSSION for ages 8-12, at The Atheneum
In the Midnight Library, our main character finds solace and companionship with the pets in her many lives. Our OBOI author, Matt Haig, has also written children’s books, and we will be featuring another of his works, To Be A Cat, in a book discussion facilitated by the Fifth Grade Book Club of Nantucket’s Safe Harbor for Animals. Join us in the Atheneum’s Gallery on Sat, Mar. 19 at 10AM.

MARCH 19 at 7 pm…a storytelling event in The DREAMLAND:
The Midnight Library imagines how sometimes even small decisions turn out to be life changing. Join us at the Dreamland to hear from Nantucketers tell about the decisions that have shaped their lives. If you’d like to be a part of this One Book One Island event by being one of the a storytellers, send an email to

MARCH 21 & 28… watch two VIRTUAL “YUMMY MONDAYS”:
In The Midnight Library, one of the character’s lives involves pub food and another owns a vineyard. Join Janet from the Nantucket Atheneum for more episodes of the Yummy Monday series and featured cooking lessons in honor of One Book, One Island. Sign up via the Atheneum’s calendar.

  • Mar. 21, 7PM – Virtual – Wine Tasting
  • March 28, 7PM – Virtual – Pub Food

MARCH 22 at 6PMDISCUSIóN SOBRE EL LIBRO La Biblioteca de la Medianoche en español
Zacil Nash estará en El Atheneum para discutir La Biblioteca de la Medianoche.
Ann Scott will be at The Atheneum for a discussion of The Midnight Library.

MARCH 31 at 5:30PMPersuade, Prevent, Refer (PPR Training)
In The Midnight Library, the main character struggles with feelings of loneliness and hopelessness, and with suicide. Fairwinds brings us a community training event to educate us in how to recognize if someone is suicidal, ways to ask and how to offer support. Anyone can learn how to Persuade, Prevent and Refer during this event in The Atheneum’s Great Hall.

Ann Scott will be at The Atheneum for a discussion of The Midnight Library.

APRIL 3 at 12 noon…THE HUMAN LIBRARY, at The Atheneum
In The Midnight Library, the main character has the opportunity to experience many other lives she could have lived. In our own lives, there are choices that we get to make. But, there are some aspects of our lives that we do not actively choose. The Human Library is, in the true sense of the word, a library of people, where human beings serve as open books that many of us would not normally have access to. Every human book from our bookshelf represents a group in our society that is often subjected to prejudice, stigmatization or discrimination, because of their lifestyle, diagnosis, belief, disability, social status, or ethnic origin. Join us at the Atheneum for the opportunity to learn and “unjudge” in a Q&A style forum.

More OBOI 2022 events are in the works: check the calendar for updates!

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