Celebrate One City, One Story


PASADENA, Calif. — Chosen from a field of thought-provoking nominees, the book selection for Pasadena’s 17th One City, One Story community reading celebration is In the Distance by author Hernán Diaz.

This national bestseller has sparked an intriguing blend of book discussions, films, lectures, events and exhibits throughout March, encouraging the community to join in conversation about the book. Hosted by Pasadena Public Library, all events are free and open to the public.


In the Distance is a Western about a trek through America’s frontier in the 1800s. Penniless and alone in California, a young Swedish boy travels east on foot in search of his brother. Driven back over and over again on his journey through vast expanses, Håkan meets naturalists, criminals, religious fanatics, Indians and lawmen, and his exploits turn him into a legend. Diaz defies the conventions of historical fiction and genre, offering a probing look at the stereotypes that populate our past and a portrait of radical foreignness.


Author Hernán Diaz will discuss his experiences writing In the Distance. A question and answer session led by Pasadena Public Library Director Michelle Perera will immediately follow. Diaz’s books will be available for sale and signing following the program.
Thursday, March 7, 7 p.m.
All Saints Church Sanctuary, 132 N. Euclid Ave., Pasadena.

Fee-based event parking is available in surrounding parking facilities.


• Event - Author Experiences
Hernán Diaz will share his experiences as an author with students and the community, followed by a question and answer session. Diaz’s books will be available for sale and signing following the program. Thursday, March 7, 11 a.m., Pasadena City College, Creveling Lounge (Campus Center), 1570 East Colorado Blvd.

• Event – ArtNight
Wild, Wild West - Yeehaw! It’s a Western Shindig, featuring western, classical and country western music, two-step and line dancing, shows, pioneering photographs of Rudolph D'Heureuse from The Mojave Road in 1863, art and crafts honoring Pasadena’s 2019 One City, One Story selection, In the Distance by Hernán Díaz.
Friday, March 8, 6-10 p.m., Pasadena Central Library, 285 E. Walnut St.

• Lecture – A New Layer of Desolation: The Mythic Wests of Hernán Diaz’s In the Distance
Dr. Peter Blodgett examines author Hernán Diaz’s epic story in the context of 150 years of Western fables, fictions and folklore. The book reminds us of the enduring power of the mythologies associated with America’s West. Presented by Peter J. Blodgett, Ph.D., H. Russell Smith Foundation Curator of Western American History, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
Saturday, March 16, 2 p.m., Pasadena Central Library/Donald Wright Auditorium, 285 E. Walnut St.

• Lecture - Not So Far in the Distance: True Legends of the California Gold Rush
Join us as storyteller Ed Landler (“Mr. Ed”) uses his many voices, multiple hats - and perhaps some surprises! – to tell both factual and poetic accounts of the discovery of gold, the naming of Death Valley, and the exploits of legendary bandit Joaquin Murrieta. His stories explore how the present can change the way we view the past. Presented in partnership with the Pasadena Museum of History.
Saturday, March 23, 2 p.m., Pasadena Museum of History, 470 W. Walnut St.


Tuesday, March 5, 1:30 p.m.
iBook Club of Pasadena
Hastings Branch Library
3325 E. Orange Grove Blvd.

Tuesday, March 5, 6:30 p.m.
Book Chit Chat
Hastings Branch Library
3325 E. Orange Grove Blvd.

Saturday, March 9, 10:30 a.m.
Allendale Book Discussion Group
Allendale Branch Library
1130 S. Marengo Ave.

Wednesday, March 13, 7 p.m.
New Adult Book Club
Pasadena Central Library, 4th Floor Conference Room
285 E. Walnut St.

Monday, March 18, 11 a.m.
Great Literature & Discussion Group
Lamanda Park Branch Library
140 S. Altadena Dr.

Monday, March 18, 3 p.m.
Pasadena Readers Book Club
Pasadena Central Library, Studio on 4th
285 E. Walnut St.

Saturday, March 23, 10:30 a.m.
Hill Avenue Book Discussion Group
Hill Avenue Branch Library
55 S. Hill Ave.

Saturday, March 23, 11 a.m.
West Pasadena Book Discussion Group
San Rafael Branch Library
1240 Nithsdale Rd.


The March film selections complement and expand on the themes of the One City, One Story selection, In the Distance.

Pasadena Central Library/Donald Wright Auditorium • 285 E. Walnut St.

Presented by The Friends of The Pasadena Public Library.

March 6 • Winchester ’73 (1950) NR

March 13 • The Searchers (1956) PG

March 20 • Cowboy (1958) NR

March 27 • True Grit (2010) PG-13

THURSDAYS • 6 p.m.

Western song singalong by local country-rock group McMains, followed by film series introduction and talk by Carl Kozlowski, Arts Editor and Film Critic, Pasadena Weekly.

March 14 • Stagecoach (1939) PG

March 21 • High Noon (1952) PG

March 28 • Shane (1953) PG


March 30 • 2 p.m.

How the West Was Won (1962) PG

Pasadena Public Library’s annual One City, One Story program is designed to broaden and deepen an appreciation of reading and literature in the community, engage participants in dialogue and bring Pasadenans together by promoting greater understanding of differing points of view. The novel is available for check-out at all Pasadena public libraries and for sale at local bookstores.

For more information, visit http://cityofpasadena.libguides.com/onecityonestory or call (626) 744-7076.


Catherine Hany, Communications, Pasadena Public Library
(626) 744-4207, chany@cityofpasadena.net

Christine Reeder, One City, One Story Program Coordinator
(626) 744-7076, creeder@cityofpasadena.net