Pasadena Announces 2021 One City, One Story Selections, Tattoos On the Heart and Leave Only Footprints

PASADENA, CA – Pasadena Public Library announced their two book selections for Pasadena’s 2021 One City, One Story community reading celebration. Tattoos on the Heart by author Father Gregory Joseph Boyle, S. J. is the 2021 One City, One Story selection and Leave Only Footprints: My Acadia – To – Zion Journey Through Every National Park by author Conor Knighton is the 2021 One City, One Story Summer Edition. Now in its 19th year, One City, One Story is designed to broaden and deepen an appreciation of reading and literature and to promote tolerance and understanding of differing points of view by recommending a compelling book that engages the community in conversation. This year’s theme is “Books for our Times.” Tattoos on the Heart is a series of parables about kinship and redemption from pastor, activist and renowned speaker Father Gregory Boyle. In this, his debut book, he distills his experience working with gang members into a breathtaking series of stories inspired by faith. Tattoos on the Heart reminds us that no life is less valuable than another. From giant, tattooed Cesar, shopping at JC Penney fresh out of prison, we learn how to feel worthy of God’s love. From 10-year-old Pipi, we learn the importance of being known and acknowledged. From Lulu, we come to understand the kind of patience necessary to rescue someone from the dark—as Father Boyle phrases it, we can only shine a flashlight on a light switch in a darkened room. This is a motivating look at how to stay faithful in spite of failure, how to meet the world with a loving heart, and how to conquer shame with boundless, restorative love.

Founder of Homeboy Industries, the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world, Father Boyle has dedicated his life to helping the most marginalized individuals find a place in society. In a moving example of unconditional love in difficult times, the Jesuit priest and bestselling author of Tattoos on the Heart and Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship shares what three decades of working with gang members in Los Angeles have taught him about faith, compassion and the enduring power of kinship.

Critics hailed Tattoos on the Heart, as an “astounding literary and spiritual feat” (Publishers Weekly) that is “destined to become a classic of both urban reportage and contemporary spirituality” (Los Angeles Times). Father Boyle has received the California Peace Prize and has been inducted into the California Hall of Fame. In 2014, President Obama named Father Boyle a Champion of Change. He received the University of Notre Dame’s 2017 Laetare Medal, the oldest honor given to American Catholics. Currently, he serves as a committee member of California Governor Gavin Newsom’s Economic and Job Recovery Task Force as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, he received the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize of 2.5 million given to non-profits that have made a difference. One City, One Story community programs will be held throughout March, with a virtual conversation with the author on Sunday afternoon, March 14, 2021, at 2 p.m.

The One City, One Story Summer Edition, Leave Only Footprints: My Acadia – To – Zion Journey Through Every National Park by Conor Knighton is a behind-the-scenery look at his year traveling to each of America's National Parks, discovering the most beautiful places and most interesting people our country has to offer.

When Knighton set off to explore America's "best idea," he worried the whole thing could end up being his worst idea. A broken engagement and a broken heart had left him longing for a change of scenery, but the plan he'd cooked up in response had gone a bit overboard in that department. Over the course of a single year, Knighton would visit every national park in the country, from Acadia to Zion. In Leave Only Footprints, Knighton shares informative and entertaining dispatches from what turned out to be the road trip of a lifetime. Whether he's waking up early for a naked scrub in a historic bathhouse in Arkansas or staying up late to stargaze along our loneliest highway in Nevada, Knighton weaves together the type of stories you're not likely to find in any guidebook. Through his unique lens, America the Beautiful becomes America the Captivating, the Hilarious, and the Inspiring. Along the way, he identifies the threads that tie these wildly different places together—and that tie us to nature—and reveals how his trip ended up changing his views on everything from God and love to politics and technology. Knighton is an Emmy-winning correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning, America’s #1 Sunday morning news program. Depending on your cable package, you may have also seen him hosting shows on Current TV, AMC, and The Biography Channel or providing commentary for the likes of MTV, E!, and CNN. He has been to all of America’s national parks and what feels like 40 percent of its Hampton Inns. His debut nonfiction book, Leave Only Footprints (Crown/Penguin Random House), was recently certified as New York Times bestseller. Leave Only Footprints is a fun summer read and a perfect selection to help you plan your post COVID-19 vacation, with thematic programs and opportunities for community dialogue and discussion planned around the book throughout June and July. Event details will be announced in the future. Copies of the books are available for checkout from the Library in eBook or book format and may be picked up via curbside service. For more information on One City, One Story visit