Led by Seattle in the late 1990s, a number of cities around the U.S. have since embraced the “One City, One Book”
program, which encourages an entire metropolis to read the same book at the same time.
At a Wednesday night forum for the St. Pete City Council candidates, the moderator asked a few of the candidates what book they would choose if St. Pete participated in One City, One Book. This was an unconventional question that no doubt had minds racing on the dais the moment after it was asked.
District 8 candidate Alex Duensing was the first person on the hot seat.
"Wow," he said, as he contemplated a title and author that he enjoyed that would also be politically correct (this was a political debate, after all). He ended up choosing the collected works of the bard, William Shakespeare. "He shows a lot of the drama of warring parties, how reason can often prevail," he said.
[page]Steve Galvin named Rick Baker's recent memoir about his time governing St.Pete, The Seamless City,
which he labeled "an incredibly good read," adding that Baker provided a "tremendous amount of insight" into how his mind worked during his time as mayor.
Amy Foster named Brene Brown's The Gifts of Imperfection.
District 6 candidate Trevor Mallory asked if he could name a movie, saying he wasn't sure if there was a literary version of Steven Spielberg's 1998 Oscar nominated film Saving Private Ryan (
Referring to the plot of the motion picture, "They sent out a team to get the military guy." Mallory then equated it to life in his neighborhood. "I'm saying it's a battlefield where I live in South St. Pete. I have four daughters. It's just rough day to day. I wake up and I think about my area where I live, I grew up. I still feel unsafe."
And District 4 candidate Carolyn Fries provided perhaps the most interesting response of the bunch: Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead.