The Sacramento Public Library is going for broke this year with its Sacramento One Book program, celebrating two books rather than one, according to director Rivkah Sass.
Appropriately for an election year, the library's main book choice is "The Penguin Guide to the United States Constitution" by constitutional scholar Richard Beeman (Penguin, $12, 224 pages), Sass announced.
"The book is set in a small colony where a group of terrorists is plotting the overthrow of a king," Sass joked about the guide to the making of the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution. "Much like the characters in the movie 'Oceans 11,' each has a special skill."
The library's "companion" selection, "Constitution Cafe," is by educator Christopher Phillips (W.W. Norton, $24.95, 321 pages).
"The Penguin Guide" is described as "a marvel of accessibility and what every American should have: a compact, fully annotated copy of the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution and amendments." Visit Beeman at www.richardbeeman.com.
Publishers Weekly magazine writes of "Constitution Cafe": "In an era of hyper-partisanship, it's refreshing to read instances of Americans from all political persuasions holding rational and respectful conversations with one another." Visit Phillips at www.christopherphillips.com.
California Reads: Sacramento One Book asks everyone in our community to read the same book and participate in events online and at library branches, schools and other venues. Programs will be tailored to adults, teens and children, and will include hands-on activities, films, music, writing projects, and group readings and discussions. The program is on track to start in mid-September and run through October.
For other information, call (916) 264-2920 or visit www.saclibrary.org.
-- Allen Pierleoni