One City One Book

1C1B logo WebOne City One Book: Walnut Creek Reads is a “citywide book club” that encourages the community to read the selection and participate in a series of events that celebrate the book. The annual choice is typically announced in May-June and the community events are planned in the fall giving the community the summer months to read and enjoy the book. Now in its ninth year, One City One Book: Walnut Creek Reads is presented by the Walnut Creek Library Foundation and Contra Costa County Library. Please sign up for our e news below to learn more.

Read the Book!: The Pastures of Heaven by John SteinbeckPastures of Heaven JS

To pay homage to Walnut Creek’s farming and ranching roots, this year’s selection for the One City One Book program is John Steinbeck’s The Pastures of Heaven.

First published in 1932, The Pastures of Heaven is a short story cycle comprising 12 interconnected stories about a small, beautiful agrarian valley — similar to Walnut Creek in the early 1900s — located near Salinas and Monterey.

The stories are written in classic Steinbeck style.  Throughout the book, Steinbeck explores themes familiar to his later works, such as farming in rural America, the importance of landscape, human frailties, and family and marital relationships. He also delves into controversial subject matter such as mental instability and the oppression of Native Americans.

Copies of The Pastures of Heaven are available at both public libraries, online through, at the Rossmoor Library and through local bookstores.


OPENING EVENT  “A Journey Into Steinbeck’s California” 

Steinbeck CaliforniaSusan Shillinglaw, Steinbeck Center Scholar in Residence
Wed, Sept. 17   7:00 pm
Walnut Creek Library
Susan Shillinglaw, author of 3 books about John Steinbeck, offers insight into how landscapes and townscapes influenced John Steinbeck’s creative process and how his legacy has influenced modern California. Come learn more about Steinbeck’s California and how he came to write The Pastures of Heaven. Register HERE.

shadelands_museumRanching in the Valley

Sun, Sept. 21   12:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Re-live Walnut Creek’s history! Families have an opportunity to look at life in the time of Walnut Creek’s beginnings. Free self-guided tours of the Shadelands house, and outdoor activities for children such as games and chores from that era. Light refreshments will be available for sale. Free parking is available in a near-by lot; follow the signs.

Pastures of Heaven – Live: Scenes from Octavio Solis’ Play

Mon, Sept. 22   7:15 pm
Lesher Center for the Arts
Actors will bring to life scenes from Octavio Solis’ play based upon Steinbeck’s book. Tickets are $14. Call 943-SHOW or visit

Steinbeck Center logo


Day in Steinbeck Country – CANCELLED

Wed, Oct. 1  
Steinbeck Center Tour & Lunch at Steinbeck House




Mon, Sept. 29   10:00 am @ Rossmoor Library
Tue, Sept. 30   7:00 pm @ Ygnacio Valley Library

Join others who have read the book in lively discussions.


Thank you to our 2014 sponsors.




Click HERE to learn about One City One Book programs at other Contra Costa County libraries.

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