2024 One Book One County selection announced

Pulitzer Prize-winning author to visit county libraries in March

Image courtesy Sarasota County

An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us, by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ed Yong, “beat out several top contenders” — including The House in the Cerulean Sea, by T.J. Klune, and Lessons in Chemistry, by Bonnie Garmus — as the 2024 Sarasota County selection for the One Book One County program, county staff has announced.

“Jungle Gardens hosted a feathered spectacle like no other on Wednesday, Nov. 15, as a parrot on roller skates took center stage to unveil the much-anticipated 2024 Sarasota County One Book One Community selection,” a news release explains.

“Amber, a scarlet macaw, towed a string connected to a cleverly devised pulley system,” the release continues. “When she rolled across the stage, a poster revealing the One Book selection rose above the stage as onlookers cheered.”

On March 1, 2024, author Yong will visit both the Shannon Staub Library in North Port and the Selby Public Library in downtown Sarasota, the news release notes. His schedule will be as follows:

  • 10:30 a.m. at Suncoast Technical College Conference Center, standing at 4445 Career Lane in North Port; it adjoins the Shannon Staub Library.
  • 7 p.m. at Selby Library, which is located at 1331 First St. in Sarasota.

Throughout the year, the release points out, other county libraries will incorporate programming related to the book, including offering residents the opportunity to join a One Book club at their local libraries. Younger readers also are encouraged to participate in the program by exploring the Sarasota County Libraries and Historical Resources Department’s “carefully selected companion books,” the release adds.

Sarasota County Libraries’ One Book committee, whose members conduct meetings over a period of months “to select a book they feel would best serve for a community-wide book discussion,” chose An Immense World “because it helps readers gain a deeper appreciation for the diversity of wildlife in the world we live in,” the release continues.

“Almost everyone has experienced some sort of connection with an animal,” said Libraries Director Renee Di Pilato in the release, “whether it’s a connection with a pet or a one-of-a-kind experience, like swimming with dolphins or going on safari. When you have a chance to connect with another species,” she added, “it usually brings a sense of fulfillment, and for many people that bond can truly be lifesaving.”

“In the book, Yong explains that every type of animal, including humans, possesses unique sensory stimuli, each perceiving the world differently,” the release explains.

“Upon reading the book and learning about the sensory experiences of the opossum,” Dr. Elizabeth Adams, education coordinator at Jungle Gardens in Sarasota, “changed how she and her team care for the opossums,” the release notes. “Jungle Gardens will incorporate programming related to the book in some area libraries,” the release adds.

For more information about the One Book One County program, visit scgov.net/onebook.