Skip to main content

What the Dickens!: Home

Read Oliver Twist, the One Book One Community title for Spring 2011, and learn all about the book's author, Charles Dickens!


Dickens Quotes

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...."
"To begin with: Marley was dead."
"Bah, humbug!"
"No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another."
"A loving heart is the truest wisdom."
"Electric communication will never be a substitute for the face of someone who with their soul encourages another person to be brave and true."
"Vices are sometimes only virtues carried to excess!"
"A day wasted on others is not wasted on one's self."
"Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There's no better rule."

About One Book, One Community

What Is It?

One Book/One Community is a community-wide reading program sponsored by the Baton Rouge Area Chamber and the East Baton Rouge Parish Library, covering nine parishes. People from all walks of life, including middle and high school students, are encouraged to read and then discuss important issues raised by Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.

Reading Discussion Groups meet at libraries, bookstores, coffee shops and cafés, businesses, churches, schools, clubs, and homes from January to May 2012. Reading Discussion Guides are provided and Discussion Leaders are trained to draw out conversation on the key themes of the novel.

The concept started in 1998 with the Washington Center for the Book's project, "If All of Seattle Read the Same Book"; today, cities and towns all over the nation strengthen their communities through a celebration of reading.

One Book/One Community program is sponsored by the East Baton Rouge Parish Library, and the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, who have partnered with libraries, school systems, religious and community organizations, and key leaders of industry and commerce throughout the nine-parish area to implement this comprehensive program. This year's selected novel, Oliver Twist, was chosen for its wide appeal and social relevance.

Why participate?

One Book/One Community expands the world of the reader by providing a broader and deeper understanding of literature.

Reading great literature provokes people to think about their environment, their relationships, and themselves. Talking about great literature with friends, family and neighbors or co-workers add richness and depth to the experience of reading.

This information sharing strengthens our community - we develop a sense of community around the shared experience of reading and talking about one great book.

Does it really work?

Yes! Reading sparks our imaginations, raises questions, exposes us to different viewpoints, and shapes our understanding of the world.

The shared experience of reading and discussing the same book provide the community with the opportunity to start an open dialogue with friends, neighbors, and coworkers!

Watch "Oliver Twist" directed by David Lean

In the News