The Santa Monica Citywide Reads Advisory Committee is asking the community to offer input for the 2008 book selection.

The mission of Citywide Reads is to encourage a culture of reading and to promote book-centered dialogue in Santa Monica, according to a Santa Monica Public Library spokesperson.

Criteria for book selection are that it must be fiction, be amenable to good group discussion, have broad appeal, be challenging but not exclusive and be available in a variety of formats, such as paperback and audio book, according to the library.

In 2003, Santa Monica read Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, by Dai Sijie; in 2004, The Berlin Stories, by Christopher Isherwood; in 2005, Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner; and in 2006, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer.

The Citywide Reads selection this year was The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger.

To make a suggestion for Citywide Reads 2008, community members are asked to either complete an online suggestion form at www.smpl.org/cwr, visit any Santa Monica Public Library, call (310) 458-8600, or email citywidereads@smgov.net.

Suggestions will be accepted until September 1st. The 2008 Citywide Reads title will be chosen and announced in the fall and the program will take place in the spring.

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