Please note: This article will be updated as any additional events and details are added.
Updated Feb. 21 with additional Pages in the Parks event set for Saturday, April 6 from 2-4 p.m. at Lake Julian Park.
The Buncombe County Public Library system is delighted to welcome you to an exciting new chapter with our inaugural countywide book club called One Book, One Buncombe. The vision for this communal effort is to have as many people as possible read, discuss, meditate, and ultimately have the shared experience of collectively reading the same book this spring. “Hosting a community reading program has long been a goal for our library system. With so many divisive issues in the world today, now feels like the perfect time for us to launch a program that seeks to bring people together,” says Library Director Jason Hyatt. “Our hope is for participants to engage with their friends, family, neighbors, fellow library patrons, and the community at large through meaningful shared experiences.”
For our first One Book, One Buncombe we have picked The Violin Conspiracy by North Carolina-based author Brendan Slocumb. “We selected The Violin Conspiracy for several reasons: the author’s real-life roots and the story’s primary setting in North Carolina; the theme of the power of the arts, which is so important to our region’s unique cultural landscape; and the examination of racial identity and discrimination, which has the potential to spark thought-provoking community conversations,” explains Jason.
We will officially kick off the countywide book club on March 2 and hope you will join us for this first installment of One Book, One Buncombe as we write a new story celebrating community and collaboration through a shared reading experience. “We’d love it if one of those readers is you! Your participation will help us discover the many ways that one book can bring us all together,” exclaims Jason. “The Violin Conspiracy is a page-turner brimming with heart and soul that is sure to resonate with readers across Buncombe County.”
Below this article, you will find a complete list of events, places to borrow or buy the book, how to get a book club facilitation kit, and additional details. Please note this page will be updated with new information, additional events, and more.
The Buncombe County Public Libraries are launching a community read for Spring 2024 "One Book, One Buncombe". We have selected The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb for our first book. The novel deals with themes such as musical talent and expression, family, the value of art, greed and commerce, and racism. The author is from Fayetteville, NC and has taught at UNC Greensboro.
Our goal for One Book, One Buncombe is to create a shared experience of reading among a wide spectrum of people. The initiative will culminate with a free community event featuring author Brendan Slocumb on Saturday, April 27 at 2 p.m.
Buncombe County Public Libraries have purchased a limited number of copies of The Violin Conspiracy to be given away to readers on a first come, first served basis. These copies will be available to the public beginning on March 2. Interested readers can visit or telephone their local Buncombe County Library branch to learn whether copies are available.
Library staff can also assist library patrons in accessing circulating library copies of the book at any time. Limited free downloads of e-reading and audiobook versions are also available digitally through the Libby app.
Copies of the book will be available for purchase at three local independent bookstores, which are all offering a 10% discount to One Book, One Buncombe readers through the end of April:
- Daymoon Coffeebar and Booksellers at 381 Old Charlotte Highway in Fairview
- Firestorm Books at 1022 Haywood Road in West Asheville or via Firestorm Online Ordering with promo code BOOKCLUB10
- Malaprop’s Bookstore / Café at 55 Haywood Street in Downtown Asheville or via Malaprop’s Online Ordering with promo code VIOLIN
We are encouraging all readers to share their free and purchased book copies with friends and family to expand the circle of readers more widely.
The initiative will culminate with a free community event featuring author Brendan Slocumb on Saturday, April 27 at 2 p.m. This event will take place at Ferguson Auditorium at AB Tech. 19 Tech Drive, Asheville, 28801. Admission is free and everyone is welcome! No advance registration is required to attend this program.
If you can't make it, the event will be streamed on the County's Facebook page.
Slocumb will speak about the book and sign books after the formal program. Books will also be available for purchase at this event.
Learn more about Brendan Slocumb and The Violin Conspiracy on his author page here.
Pages in the Parks
In celebration of our community’s love of reading, our beautiful public parks, and in the spirit of community, we are hosting public reads at local parks. The concept is simple, come to the park and bring something to read. This isn’t a book club; just a time to come together, to enjoy the act of reading, and to remind our community that reading is an essential element to learning, relaxing, and connecting.
Please plan to join us for an hour or two of reading, relaxing, and gathering in our most beautiful public spaces at one of the following times. Things to bring: a book, a friend, a blanket or lawn chair, snacks, and your love of reading!
Buncombe County Public Library staff will be there to sign people up for library cards and answer all of your book and library questions.
- Saturday, April 6 from 2-4 p.m. at Lake Julian Park: 37 Lake Julian Road Arden, NC 28704
- Saturday, April 13 from 10 a.m.-noon
Weaver Park: 200 Murdock Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
- Saturday, April 13 from 1-3 p.m.
Carrier Park: 220 Amboy Road, Asheville, NC 28806
- Saturday, April 20 from 2-4 p.m.
Charles D. Owen Park: 875 Warren Wilson Road, Swannanoa, NC 28778
Library Book Club meetings
- Thursday, March 7 at 3 p.m. – Weaverville Afternoon Book Club
- Tuesday, March 12 at 1 p.m. – Leicester Book Club
- Thursday, March 14 at 2:30 p.m. – Skyland/South Buncombe
- Tuesday, April 2 at 6:30 p.m. - East Asheville Book Club reading the sequel Symphony of Secrets (read The Violin Conspiracy in 2023)
- Tuesday, April 9 at 6:30 p.m. – Black Mountain Library
- Wednesday, April 10 at 10:30 a.m. – Pack Memorial Library Book Club
- Tuesday, April 16 at 7 p.m. – Bookmarked Online Book Club
- Wednesday, April 17 at 2:30 p.m. – Enka-Candler Book Club
- Thursday, April 25 at 4:30 p.m. – Swannanoa Book Club
- Thursday, April 25 at 6:30 p.m. - Black Experience Book Club, meeting at Noir Collective AVL
- Saturday, May 4 at 10:30 a.m. – Land of Sky 101 Book Club reading Violin Conspiracy and A Nation of Descendants together
Diverse Library Programming for All Ages
Our libraries will be providing a wide range of programming to enrich and enhance this community reading experience, such as book club discussions, musical performances, craft projects, and selected speakers. For the most up-to-date listings of One Book, One Buncombe events, click here and then select the "Events Calendar."
Funding for the inaugural One Book One Buncombe community-wide read was generously provided by the Friends of the Pack Memorial Library and the Trust Fund for Buncombe County Public Libraries
We are grateful to Noir Collective AVL and Buncombe County's Office of Equity and Human Rights for their extensive collaboration and support.
Buncombe would also like to give thanks to the following partners:
- A-B Tech Community College
- Building Bridges
- Buncombe County Parks & Recreation
- City of Asheville Parks and Recreation
- Daymoon Coffeebar and Booksellers
- Firestorm Books
- Malaprop’s Bookstore / Café
- North Carolina Arboretum
- North Carolina Humanities
- YMI Cultural Center