Citywide Read With Us

Book cover: Crazy Rich Asians
Crazy Rich Asians

Berkeley Public Library is pleased to announce the launch of Citywide Read, a program designed to encourage Berkeley residents to have a shared experience of reading the same book and then participating in discussions and cultural events related to the title.

For its first Citywide Read title, the Library has selected New York Times bestselling novel Crazy Rich Asians, by Kevin Kwan. Throughout March and April, the Library will host a series of events as part of Citywide Read, culminating on Thursday April 11th with Author Kevin Kwan speaking and signing books at Berkeley City College. Free tickets for this event have all been distributed.   

Described by NPR as "a breathless, high-speed romp through the lives of a group of megarich Asians,” Crazy Rich Asians is easily read as escapist fiction. At the same time, it also presents opportunities for discussions of family, diaspora culture, wealth, class, and representation.

The book will be explored through community discussions and programs at Berkeley Public Library locations. Download your reading guide today!

Book discussions will be held at North Branch, Tarea Hall Pittman South Branch, and Claremont Branch

Sociologist and author Dr. Nancy Wang Yuen will speak at the Central Library on race and representation in popular culture, including Crazy Rich Asians. 

Free copies of Crazy Rich Asians are available at library locations while supplies last, and dozens of copies are available in Branch Lucky Day collections available on a first come, first served basis. Finally, instant E-book downloads are also available now.

To select this year’s Citywide Read title, a committee of Berkeley Public Library Librarians considered such factors as community appeal, relevancy, availability, and the title’s support for complementary and creative programming. “The team searched for contemporary titles that could be enjoyed across generations and communities. Crazy Rich Asians fit the bill,” says Acting Director of Library Services Elliot Warren. “We are excited to launch the BPL Citywide Read program and we are especially appreciative of the support of the Friends of Berkeley Public Library who encouraged us to launch it and is making this program possible through its generous support.”