Marsha McLean | One Story One City

Marsha McLean

A great book can take you on amazing adventures, inspire you to pursue new goals, stir up strong emotions and so much more. Reading brings me so much joy, and I encourage each of you to make time to delve into a new novel (or novels) this year that pique your interest. A wonderful way to start a new book journey is through the Santa Clarita Public Library’s One Story One City program. Every year, One Story One City invites individuals to join a citywide discussion throughout the month of March, focusing on one selected story.

I have had a wonderful time participating in past One Story One City events and very much look forward to this year. The 2021 book selection is “Eat Joy: Stories & Comfort Food from 31 Celebrated Writers,” edited by Natalie Eve Garrett. I cannot wait to begin my new adventure into this colorful, delicious and heartfelt book of curated essays. Every story explores the writer’s relationship with food and how a particular recipe has brought them joy, even when going through difficult, confusing and/or heartbreaking times in their lives. You may cry with the writers, you may laugh with them and you will definitely finish the book with an appetite for all of the delicious recipes featured. Stories range from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie making jollof rice to remember a childhood friend, to Lev Grossman navigating divorce with General Tso’s tofu, Beth (Bich Minh) Nguyen’s grappling with two cultures while making comforting spaghetti, and many others. Each story is accompanied by beautiful illustrations and recipes straight from the writers’ kitchens.

Check out a copy of the book today from your local Santa Clarita Public Library branch, or purchase a copy from Barnes &Noble’s Valencia location. Once you finish reading, join in the fun lineup of events and programs that the library team has planned to celebrate the 2021 One Story One City book selection. To give you a preview, residents can look forward to a mac and cheese cook-along via Zoom, a history talk discussion on historical cuisine, food-themed clay magnet crafts, grab-and-go kits for making your own family cookbooks, virtual food demonstrations, an author event and countless other exciting programs. Please note that the content of the book and upcoming library programs are aimed at teen and adult audiences.

The One Story One City program is made possible by Friends of Santa Clarita Public Library, which is comprised of a lively group of book lovers and community members. These individuals operate a used book store at each of our three Santa Clarita Public Library branches, where 100% of the proceeds go to our local library programming and events. Specific to One Story One City, the library team has come together, with Friends’ sponsorship, to deliver yearly programming for book selections such as previous selections; “Gods of Jade and Shadow,” “Ready Player One” and “The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane.” The annual book selections always range in content and genre, encouraging diverse discussions and fun events throughout our community.  I am proud to be a lifetime member of Friends. To explore the ways you can join Friends, please visit: 

Join me and the Santa Clarita Public Library in celebrating the 2021 One Story One City program by checking out a copy of “Eat Joy: Stories & Comfort Food from 31 Celebrated Writers” today. Regardless of varying interests and backgrounds, delicious food is certainly something that can bring all of us together. The best way to get started and learn more about One Story One City is by visiting On the website, you will find a full lineup of upcoming events you can plan to attend virtually, along with more information about the program and past book selections. I encourage you to discuss the book online using #OSOC2021, and don’t forget to share pictures of any tasty recipes you attempt to make! Bon appétit!

Marsha McLean is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected].

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