Meet our 2024 Library Foundation Award honorees.

Barbara Kingsolver and Alice Waters Round Out One Book, One Chicago Spring Programming

It may have been announced in the fall, but the Chicago Public Library One Book, One Chicago program is still well underway with exciting programs, classes and more!

As a reminder, this year’s One Book, One Chicago selection is Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by acclaimed author Barbara Kingsolver. It is a nonfiction account that tells the story about a family who chooses to eat only food grown and produced locally — for a full year.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

Based on this selection, One Book, One Chicago is exploring the central theme —“Eat Think Grow” – with citywide programming focused on cultural cuisine, cooking, eating, sustainability and urban farming. Programming kicked off in October and runs through May of this year. One Book, One Chicago is supported with grant funding to the Library Foundation from The Chicago Community Trust and BMO Harris Bank. We thank them both for keeping this beloved program running year over year.
What events are coming up that you can take advantage of through the spring? Here are just a few to consider!

Cookbook Author, Restaurateur and PBS Television Host Lidia Bastianich

Wednesday, February 1, 6 p.m.
Harold Washington Library Center
Lidia Bastianich is an Emmy award-winning public television host, best-selling cookbook author, restaurateur, and owner of a flourishing food and entertainment business. She is the chef/owner of four acclaimed New York City restaurants – Felidia, Becco, Esca and Del Posto, as well as Lidia’s Pittsburgh and Lidia’s Kansas City along with her daughter Tanya. Along with her son, Joe Bastianich, Mario Batali, and Oscar Farinetti, the team opened Eataly, the largest artisanal Italian food and wine marketplace. She is the founder and president of Tavola Productions, and stars in several television programs including Lidia’s Family Table, Lidia’s Italy, Lidia’s Italy in America, Lidia’s Kitchen and Lidia Celebrates America. Lidia also has a line of pastas and all natural sauces called LIDIA’S.

Seed Saving with Naomi Davis

Thursday, February 2, 6 p.m.
Harold Washington Library Center
Join the Chicago Public Library African American Services Committee opening program for the celebration of African American History Month with an exciting program presented by Naomi Davis, proud granddaughter of Mississippi sharecroppers, in which she builds on the “Suitcase Monologue” that shares how victory flourished over decades after the Great Migration journey to the North. Hear her story and memories of what travelers brought with them, often times with nothing but a box with seeds, recipe cards, lunches and luggage.

Trainer and Author Jen Widerstrom

Thursday, February 16, 6 p.m.
Harold Washington Library Center
At the forefront of the health and fitness community, Jen Widerstrom is committed to helping people understand, learn, and implement a holistic approach to health and wellness. Formerly a star of American Gladiators, she is now a trainer on NBC’s The Biggest Loser. After completing her degree at the University of Kansas in sports administration, she went on to become certified by the leading certification program in the country, the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She is currently the global women’s brand ambassador for Reebok. Her first book, Diet Right For Your Personality Type, shares her revolutionary plan for maximizing weight loss and keeping it off once and for all by eating right for your specific personality type.

One Book, One Chicago Themed Maker Lab Programs

  • Make a 3D Plant Pot Decoration
  • Make a Set of Garden Stakes with the Laser Cutter
  • Make a Heat-Transfer Farmer’s Market Tote Bag with the Electronic Cutter

Chef, Author, and Food Activist Alice Waters

Monday, April 3, 2017
Harold Washington Library Center
Alice Waters is chef, author, food activist, and the founder and owner of Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley, California. She has been a champion of local sustainable agriculture for over four decades. In 1995 she founded the Edible Schoolyard Project, which advocates for a free school lunch for all children and a sustainable food curriculum in every public school. She has been Vice President of Slow Food International since 2002. She conceived and helped create the Yale Sustainable Food Project in 2003, and the Rome Sustainable Food Project at the American Academy in Rome in 2007.  In 2015 she was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama, proving that eating is a political act, and that the table is a powerful means to social justice and positive change. Alice is the author of fifteen books, including New York Times bestsellers The Art of Simple Food, The Art of Simple Food II and Edible Schoolyard.

Season Finale: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle Author Barbara Kingsolver

Thursday, May 18, 6 p.m.
Harold Washington Library Center
Barbara Kingsolver’s fourteen books of fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction include the novels The Bean Trees, The Poisonwood Bible, and The Lacuna, winner of The Orange Prize for Fiction. Translated into more than twenty languages, her work has won a devoted worldwide readership and many awards, including the National Humanities Medal. Many of her books have been incorporated into the core English literature curriculum of colleges throughout the country. As a grower of food, she traces her roots back to the family garden where she was given her own plot on which to grow one vegetable of her choice, starting at age 6. (She chose squash.) She cultivated the soil of many cities, on several continents, before settling once and for all on the Virginia farm where she now lives with her husband.
And this is just a snapshot! Get involved with more of these many foodie-themed events as part of the Chicago Public Library’s One Book, One Chicago program. Thank you again to #OBOC supporters, The Chicago Community Trust and BMO Harris Bank.