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Concord Reads Returns for 2024!

Concord Reads is a citywide literary event encouraging community members to read and discuss the same book. Celebrate the power of books in creating a stronger community!

This year's book is UNLIKELY ANIMALS by Annie Hartnett -- available for checkout now at any Concord Public Library branch! (Audiobook and e-book, too!) The library has a full slate of FREE programs for adults and children, including an author visit on Tuesday, May 14. Programs take place at Concord Public Library unless otherwise noted. Please REGISTER for all programs individually through the CPL website (links in each program title).

Sat. April 27 - 2:00pm - Lower Lounge

Children's Music with Miss Julieann: The Resilient Child Concert

Recommended for ages 0 - 10. Mental health is an important theme of this year's Concord Reads book, Unlikely Animals by Annie Hartnett. Award-winning children’s musician and music therapist, MISS JULIEANN, brings a chorus of coping skills to her latest album, Resilient Child, a dazzling, roots-infused romp with a therapeutic focus. Click here to check out Miss Julieann's music! Please register here.

Tues. April 30 - 5:00pm - Lower Lounge

Film Screening: The Fantastic Mr. Fox

Enjoy a classic Roald Dahl story brought to the big screen. Foxes have an unavoidable and important presence in this year's Concord Reads selection, Unlikely Animals. Let's celebrate the fox and his woodland friends through Wes Anderson's stop-motion animated adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, The Fantastic Mr. Fox. All ages welcome! Please register here.

Fri. May 3 - 3:00pm - Lower Lounge

The Currier Art Museum's Memory Cafe

Come take part in some Slow Looking with the Currier Art Museum! Join us in the library's lower lounge as the Currier Art Museum discusses their Memory Cafe, a joyful and creative social experience designed for people in early stages of memory loss - one of the themes of this year's Concord Reads selection, Unlikely Animals. Participants will be introduced to the fun and exploratory practice and method of Slow Looking, a method of angaging with a work of art thoughtfully and reflectively. No prior experience or knowledge of art is necessary. Space is very limited, so please register here. 

Sat. May 4 - 2:00pm - @ Susan N. McLane Audubon Center, 84 Silk Farm Road

NH Wildlife with NH Audubon

Learn about the animals you may find in both the wilds and backyards of New Hampshire.

Set in New Hampshire, this year's Concord Reads selection, Unlikely Animals, includes a menagerie of wildlife. As part of our Concord Reads programming, join NH Audubon at their McLane Center in Concord, and learn about the animals you may find in both the wilds and backyards of New Hampshire. All ages welcome! Please register here.

Tues. May 7 - 6:00pm - Lower Lounge

Baynes, Bison & Birds - A Talk with Mary Kronenwetter

20th century wildlife conservationist and writer, Ernest Harold Baynes, is an important element in this year's Concord Reads selection, Unlikely Animals. Join us as Mary Kronenwetter discusses Baynes and his life and work. A self-taught naturalist, he wrote and lectured extensively on animal behavior, bison and bird restoration, the role of animals in WWI, and vivisection. This lecture includes important archival images recently digitized by the Plainfield Historical Society. Please register here.


Thurs. May 9 - 5:30pm (meet at CPL) or 6:00pm (at Old North Cemetery) 

Old North Cemetery Walking Tour - "Stories, Stones and Superstitions"

Since the spirits at the local cemetery have a lot to say about the action in this year's Concord Reads selection, Unlikely Animals, it seems only natural to include a cemetery tour in our programming slate! Join us at the Old North Cemetery, in Concord, as Roxie Zwicker, author of NH Book of the Dead, leads you on her Stories, Stones and Superstitions walk. Choose to meet outside of the library at 5:30 and we'll walk over as a group, or meet at the cemetery for 6pm. Space is limited, so please register here.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024 - 7:00pm (BNH Stage - doors open at 6:00pm)

Author Annie Hartnett On Stage with Guest Host Laura Knoy

The Concord Public Library Foundation is pleased to present Annie Hartnett, author of Concord Reads 2024 selection Unlikely Animals, in a FREE special event with guest host Laura Knoy at BNH Stage, 16 S. Main Street in downtown Concord, NH. Please join us for a book signing and light refreshments at 6:00pm (Gibson's Bookstore will be selling books at the event, or bring your own) and author chat at 7:00pm. You do not need to have read the book to enjoy what promises to be an engaging, wide-ranging conversation - Annie is an energetic and funny speaker, dedicated to reading, writing, and teaching! Thank you for registering here.

The goal of Concord Reads is to celebrate the written word and to build social capital. Concord Reads brings people together by encouraging them to read and participate in discussions and other events about the same book.

When choosing a title, the committee considers many things, including if it appeals to a wide audience and resonates with the citizens of the Greater Concord, NH community; whether it appeals to all age groups from teens to older adults; whether the themes of the book are relevant to the times and community and lend to open and robust discussion; whether the themes of the book lend to library programming at all age levels; whether the book is available in a multitude of formats; and whether the themes of the book vary from years prior.


If you would like to recommend a book for Concord Reads, please submit an entry for recommendation!

Past Concord Reads Programs

2020-2023: Concord Reads took an extended hiatus!

2019: Ghost of the Innocent Man by Benjamin Rachlin

2018: Following Atticus by Tom Ryan

2017: Adrift: 76 Days Lost at Sea by Steve Callahan

2016: When Books went to War by Molly Guptil Manning


2014-2015: The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters


2013: Maxine Kumin's three books: Inside the Halo and BeyondWhere I Live: New & Selected Poems, 1990-2010,

Women, Animals & Vegetables: Essays & Stories.


2012: Weight of Water by Anita Shreve


2011: Outcasts United by Warren St. John


2010: Firoozeh Dumas’ two books Funny in Farsi and Laughing Without an Accent 


2009: “How one person can make a difference” - theme with two books:
Pay It Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde and The Soloist by Steve Lopez

2008: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver


2007: Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich


2006: When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka


2005: Water Witches by Chris Bohjalian


2004: The works of poet and author Donald Hall

2003: Empire Falls by Richard Russo

2002: The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder

Unlikely Animals book cover (provided by Annie).jpg
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