One Book, One Watertown

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2021 Virtual Programs

We can't gather in person this year, but One Book, One Watertown programs will continue online! As we look forward to a re-opened world, let's share what we love most (and miss the most) about being human. We hope you'll participate in whatever way feels comfortable.

Wednesday, 3/3 | 7 PM | The Wednesday Book Group is WFPL’s monthly book discussion group for adults. Discussions are informal and generally based on personal reactions, not academic analysis.

Friday, 3/5 and 3/19 | 7 PM | Join us for a rousing community game of Among Us! See if you can figure out who among us is the alien in this popular online game of deduction. Detailed instructions will be provided upon registration. Space is limited. Recommended for ages 15+. Register for March 5 or March 19.

In Haig's novel, Newton the dog made being human almost bearable. Now we’re inviting you to celebrate your furry best friends! Send a photo of your pet (or you with your pet) to Please include: 1.) your pet's name, 2.) species/breed, 3.) what they think is the BEST thing about humans. We'll post the photos and captions on social media in March!

What makes you/us human? What do you like about being human? What gives you hope for humanity? Submit your thoughts via our community board submission form. Your entry will be transcribed onto a digital post-it, which will appear on the Google jamboard linked below. We'll share the jamboard on social media in March!

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2021 SELECTION: The Humans

We are pleased to announce The Humans by Matt Haig as our selection for One Book, One Watertown 2021!

“A thought-provoking, compulsively readable delight.” - Booklist (Starred Review)

“Funny, poignant and full of heart." - Entertainment Weekly

This year, we faced the task of selecting a title during this time of great uncertainty, isolation, and hardship in our community, our country and around the world. Despite the challenges we all face, we have also observed wonderful demonstrations of bravery, selflessness, and kindness. We wanted to find a book to help us celebrate the good we see around us. Matt Haig’s book is a laugh-out-loud, heart-filled exploration of what it truly means to be human. We believe this is the kind of story we all need to read right now. 

The Humans tells the story of a reluctant alien who arrives on Earth with the goal of erasing all traces of a monumental scientific discovery. To do this, he takes the place of Professor Andrew Martin, the mathematician who made the breakthrough. The alien’s initial impression of humanity is one of disgust and confusion, and he finds he prefers the company of Martin’s dog, Newton. Through creating a life with Martin’s wife and teenage son, he comes to see the hope and beauty in their mortality, and the value in human life. As he begins to understand the concept of love, he realizes his mission endangers everything he now holds dear.

Borrow The Humans

We invite you, your friends, and families, to read this novel during the cold and dark of January and February, then join us for themed programs in March! Copies of The Humans will be available at the Reference Desk beginning in January. In addition to regular hardcover books, we’ll have large print books, ebooks, and e-audiobooks available. 

About our Community Read

Each year, the Watertown Free Public Library chooses a book, encourages everyone in the community to read it along with us, and hosts a variety of programs related to the book, its setting, and its themes. This community reading program is known as One Book, One Watertown.

Selected titles are usually announced in mid to late December, and hundreds of copies of the book become available for borrowing at the beginning of the calendar year. Programs take place during the month of March.

Past Titles

In 2021, the Watertown Free Public Library will present its 13th One Book, One Watertown community reading program. Here are the titles we’ve presented in the past:

  • 2020 - The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott
  • 2019 - The Library Book by Susan Orlean
  • 2018 - Refuge by Dina Nayeri
  • 2017 - Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  • 2016 - The Race Underground by Doug Most
  • 2015 - The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian
  • 2014 - No selection, One Book, One Watertown shifted from October to March
  • 2013 - WOOL by Hugh Howey
  • 2012 - To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • 2011 - Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam
  • 2010 - March by Geraldine Brooks
  • 2009 - Hot, Flat, and Crowded by Thomas L. Friedman
  • 2008 - The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri