Santa Monica Citywide Reads, a program that encourages people who live or work in or visit Santa Monica to read the same book and come together to discuss the book in public book clubs and related events held citywide, began Tuesday, April 12th, and continues through May 21st.

The featured book is The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Set in Afghanistan and California over a period of three decades, this novel is a story about the relationship between two boys of different social statuses and the complicated relationship between a father and son.

Said to be “the first Afghan novel to be written in English,” The Kite Runner provides insights into the turbulent recent history of Afghanistan and the rich cultures of the people of Afghanistan and Afghan-Americans.

Hosseini, was born in Kabul in 1965 and immigrated with his family to Northern California in 1980, where he has been a practicing physician since 1996.

As part of Citywide Reads, Hosseini is making a special appearance at Santa Monica College Saturday, May 21st.

Sponsored by the Santa Monica Public Library, with support by the Friends of the Santa Monica Public Library, the Santa Monica College Associates, and community, educational, and business partners, Citywide Reads has scheduled the following public book discussions:

Tuesday, April 19th, 1:30 p.m., Ken Edwards Center, 1527 Fourth St.;

Wednesday, April 20th, 7 p.m., Montana Avenue Library, 1704 Montana Ave.;

Monday, April 25th at 2:15 p.m., Emeritus College, 1227 Second St., Room 407;

Saturday, April 30th at 11 a.m., CafÈ Bolivar, 1741 Ocean Park Blvd.; teen book discussion;

Monday, May 2nd, 7 p.m., Borders, 1415 Third Street Promenade;

Thursday, May 5th, 11:15 a.m., Santa Monica College Library, Room 193, 1900 Pico Blvd.;

Saturday, May 7th, 11 a.m., Fairview Library, 2101 Ocean Park Blvd.;

Wednesday, May 11th, 7 p.m., Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, 1426 Montana Ave.;

Sunday, May 15th, 2 p.m., Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, 3150 Ocean Park Blvd.; and

Thursday, May 19th, 7 p.m., Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, 200 Santa Monica Blvd.

Book clubs are also encouraged to read and discuss The Kite Runner, using a Citywide Reads Resource Guide available at all Santa Monica Public Library locations and on the Citywide Reads Web site,

Citywide Reads book discussions and events are free and open to the public.

Information, Santa Monica Public Library, (310) 458-8600, or