Hello One Book, One Islanders!

1. The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store by James McBride
2. The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
3. How to Say Babylon, by Safiya Sinclair

After putting these three titles out in a community survey and receiving hundreds of votes, the decisive favorite and our selection for this year’s 2024 One Book, One Island is the The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store, from James McBride, award winning musician, screenwriter and author of the bestselling Oprah’s Book Club pick Deacon King Kong, the National Book Award–winning The Good Lord Bird and his landmark memoir and American Classic, The Color of Water, read in schools and universities across the United States.

Kirkus Reviews declares McBrides’s Heaven and Earth Grocery Store, a “boisterous hymn to community, mercy, and karmic justice.”

Heaven and Earth Grocery Store
The Artists Association of Nantucket (AAN) nominated Heaven and Earth Grocery Store. The AAN has been a steadfast supporter of OBOI and generally kicks off the event with an opening of a OBOI themed art exhibit. The AAN, like the Book Foundation which chose 2023’s winning title, has been an excellent partner worth recognizing.

Published in 2023, James McBride’s The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store is an adult historical fiction/mystery novel. In 1972, a skeleton found in an old well unravels the hidden secrets of Chicken Hill, a Pennsylvania neighborhood where Jewish and Black communities coexist amidst racial tensions. Chona Ludlow is the Jewish owner of the Heaven & Earth Grocery Store, which shapes the destinies of various characters over the decades. James McBride is a National Book Award winner, and the novel explores themes of community, survival, and justice. Kirkus Reviews says, If it’s possible for America to have a poet laureate, why can’t James McBride be its storyteller-in-chief?
Page Count: 400


The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness (Sy Montgomery)

The Midnight Library (Haig)

The Yellow House (Broom)

The Overstory (Powers)

The Monk of Mokha (Eggers)

TransAtlantic (McCann)

Elephant Company (Constantine Croke)

The Invention of Wings (Monk Kidd)

Enrique’s Journey (Nazario)

To Kill A Mockingbird (Lee)

The Red Garden (Hoffman)

The Maltese Falcon (Hammett)

The Postmistress (Blake)

Coal Black Horse (Olmstead)

American Chica (Arana)
Seedfolks (Fleischman)
Abuela (Dorros)

The Old Man and the Sea (Hemingway)
The Young Man and the Sea (Philbrick)
Island Boy (Cooney)

The Kiterunner (Hosseini)
The Breadwinner (Ellis)
The Librarian of Basra (Winter)

Support for One Book, One Island

The program is made possible by funding from the Tupancy-Harris Foundation and the Hale Family Foundation together with financial and staff support from:

Nantucket Atheneum
Mitchell’s Book Corner
Nantucket Historical Association
Yesterday’s Island/Today’s Nantucket
Nantucket Book Foundation
Artists’ Association Nantucket
Nantucket Island Safe Harbor for Animals
Nantucket Community School
The Inquirer and Mirrorand Team Annye Camara


Please consider supporting One Book, One Island Program. A $100 gift provides 10 additional free books for the community. To donate, or for more information, please contact Ann Scott, Nantucket Atheneum, 508 228 1110