2013 Stoughton Reads Together Book Selection a Sweeping Historical Adventure

"People of the Book," a 2008 historical fiction novel inspired by the true story of a mysterious codex known as the Sarajevo Haggadah, is the 2013 Stoughton Reads Together Book Selection.

The following is adapted from a press release from the Stoughton Public Library:

Inspired by the true story of a mysterious codex known as the Sarajevo Haggadah, People of the Book is a sweeping fictional adventure through five centuries of history.

In 1996, Hanna Heath, an Australian rare-book expert, is offered the job of a lifetime: analysis and conservation of the famed manuscript, which has been rescued once again from Serb shelling during the Bosnian war. 

Priceless and beautiful, the book is one of the earliest Jewish volumes ever to be illuminated with figurative paintings. When Hanna, a caustic loner with a passion for her work, discovers a series of tiny artifacts in its ancient binding—an insect wing fragment, wine stains, salt crystals, a white hair—she becomes determined to unlock the book’s mysteries. 

As she seeks the counsel of scientists and specialists, the reader is ushered into an exquisitely detailed and atmospheric past, tracing the book’s journey from its creation to its salvation.  

Written by Pulitzer Prize winning author Geraldine Brooks, People of the Book came out in 2008. It is this year's Stoughton Reads Together book selection.

This program, which runs from March 1 until May 1, is provided by the support of the Stoughton Public Library, SOLA, Mass. Cultural Council Grant and a State Aid to Public Libraries Grant from the Mass. Board of Library Commissioners.

“Stoughton Reads Together” pins and books (borrow or purchase at a reduced price of $10.00) are available at the Library.  There are a number of special events associated with Stoughton Reads Together, starting March 6, which can be found below:

DATE TIME EVENT Wed., March 6 7 p.m. ABC News Nightline Searching for Hope: Sarajevo Haggadah, video presentation followed by discussion with Dr. Adnan Zubcevic, Executive Director of the Bosnian Community Center for Research Development.  Dr. Zubcevic will also bring a copy of the Sarajevo Haggadah for display. Wed., March 13 7 p.m.  *A History and Lesson in Calligraphy offered by Harvey Levensohn. Wed., March 20 7 p.m.  *Passover Seder for All, hosted by Harvey Levensohn and catered by NRM Catering.  Mr. Levensohn will follow the Haggadah during the meal and explain traditions to all who attend.  All religious affiliations welcome.   Tues., April 9 7 p.m. Is There Value in Your Old & Rare Books, by Kenneth Gloss of Brattle Book Shop Followed by Free Appraisals of Treasures from Your Attic.
Tues., April 16 1 p.m.  *Book Discussion, led by Cynthia Walsh, with Turkish Food for Lunch. Wed., April 24 2 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. *Visit to Harvard University Museum of Natural History to see the Butterfly Display, and other collections such as the blown glass flower collection, followed by dinner at Sabur, a Bosnian restaurant in Union Square, Somerville. Cost $25. Bus will depart from X&O (Albert’s Plaza) parking lot, 217 Washington St.  Return by 7:30 p.m. Wed., May 1 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. *Author Lecture and Book Signing at the Vineyard Haven Public Library on Martha’s Vineyard, includes bus trip to Falmouth, then boat to Martha’s Vineyard for Author Visit at
11:30. Purchase lunch on island and return to Stoughton by 5 p.m. Cost $25.00. Bus will depart from TBA.

*Reservations are required for attendance at these programs so that we can plan for food, transportation, etc.  All programs will be held in the Wales French Room at the Stoughton Public Library, 84 Park St., unless listed elsewhere, and all programs are free except where cost is listed.  Please call the Library at 781-344-2711 for more information.  


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