Book Cover - Cold Mountain by Charles FrazierCold Mountain by Charles Frazier was the 2016 One Book, One Philadelphia featured selection. National Book Award winner Cold Mountain is the acclaimed American epic of a Civil War soldier journeying through a divided country to return to the woman he loves, while she struggles to maintain her father's farm and make sense of a new and troubling world.

Coinciding with the East Coast premiere of the opera Cold Mountain, composed by Jennifer Higdon and Gene Scheer, the choice of the novel Cold Mountain gave One Book, One Philadelphia a unique opportunity to tie in with another major cultural event. Additionally, our choice provided the inspiration to focus on the Civil War, with all its complexities and ramifications. To that end, two adult companion books were chosen which offered historical context to our featured book: The Civil War, by Geoffrey Ward with Ric Burns and Ken Burns, gives breadth of knowledge to events precipitating the war, decisive battles, and emancipation; Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup tells the harrowing narrative of a free black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery. One Book, One Philadelphia was delighted to bring the city together around these works and featured book Cold Mountain, exploring the intersections of literature and music, history, and current events in an enlightening and extraordinary way.

Opera Philadelphia      Cold Mountain Opera

One Book, One Philadelphia is a project of the Free Library of Philadelphia that has the goal of promoting literacy and encouraging the Philadelphia community to come together through reading and discussing a single book. Each year, lectures, discussions, films, workshops, exhibitions, and performances illuminate both specific and universal themes within a featured selection. The 2016 program will ran from February 2 to March 30.

Hundreds of community partners developed programs and contributed resources to help ensure a successful year of One Book, One Philadelphia. We are grateful for our sponsors and partners for their tremendous support!

One Book, One Philadelphia is a beloved city tradition that engages thousands. We hope that you enjoyed our 14th year.

Download our 2016 Calendar of Events.

For more information, please call 215-814-3514 or e-mail

One Book, One Philadelphia