Santa Monica Citywide Reads, a community reading program that encourages community members to read and discuss the same novel in special events held throughout the city, will take place beginning Wednesday, Feb. 22 through March 31.
This year, Citywide Reads celebrates its 10th anniversary with the featured novel “The Lady in the Lake” by noir master Raymond Chandler. All Citywide Reads book discussions and special events are free and open to the public.
First published in 1943 by Alfred A. Knopf, “The Lady in the Lake” was Chandler’s fourth full-length novel and once again featured wisecracking private detective Phillip Marlowe.
As with the detective’s previous adventures, the story begins with Marlowe being hired for what would seem to be a fairly standard missing-persons case — the disappearance of a Los Angeles doctor’s wife, presumably with her younger lover. The mystery quickly gets more complex as Marlowe follows the woman’s trail and finds a series of dead bodies and crooked characters along the way.
To mark Citywide Reads’ 10th anniversary, the program is also expanding to include a featured novel for kids, “Trouble Is My Beeswax” by Bruce Hale. Aimed at readers aged 7 to 10, Hale’s noir mystery features Chet Gecko, a wise-cracking, reptilian, fourth-grade private detective, who is hired to investigate a cheating ring at his elementary school.
Citywide Reads is sponsored by the Santa Monica Public Library, with support by the Friends of the Santa Monica Public Library and other community, educational and business partners.
Information, including a list of scheduled discussions and events, http://smpl.org/Citywide_Reads.aspx.