CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) is creating Book Club Central, a new online platform of reading resources, including recommendations, expert book lists and other content for book clubs and their readers. Award-winning television and film actor, producer, designer, library supporter and avid reader Sarah Jessica Parker is partnering with the ALA to serve as the Honorary Chair of Book Club Central.
As honorary chair, Ms. Parker will provide a selection of recommended titles for Book Club Central throughout the year. She will unveil her inaugural pick at the official launch of Book Club Central, which will take place during the President’s Program at the ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition in Chicago on Saturday, June 24, 2017, at 3:30 p.m. at McCormick Place West.
“I can’t think of anyone more perfect than Sarah Jessica Parker to be the American Library Association chair of Book Club Central,” said ALA President Julie Todaro. “Ms. Parker is an advocate for libraries and literacy issues, has served on a Presidential Task Force to integrate literature and drama into schools, has experience starting a book club, is the Editorial Director of a new line of books: SJP for Hogarth, and is – most importantly – a lifelong reader who shares her love of reading with others. The ALA is lucky to be able to share Ms. Parker’s passion and expertise with book clubs and readers everywhere.”
Said Ms. Parker, “From an early age, books were my constant companions and my local library a place I could find a new friend on every shelf. It is a great honor and privilege to partner with the American Library Association and Book Club Central. I’m thrilled to help champion original voices for dedicated readers as well as for a new generation, supporting libraries in what they do best.”
Libraries and librarians are champions of reading and fostering love of books. Whether it’s through early literacy programs for children, one-on-one tutoring or community-wide reading initiatives known as “One Book, One Community,” libraries and librarians are transforming lives through reading and lifelong learning. According to Pew Research, more than 78 percent of Americans believe that libraries are effective at promoting literacy and love of reading. Book Club Central is being designed to provide the public with the very best in reading. Book Club Central partners include Booklist, the book review magazine of the ALA, and United for Libraries, a division of the ALA.
Ms. Parker recently launched SJP for Hogarth in partnership with Molly Stern, Senior Vice President and Publisher of Crown, Hogarth, Broadway, Crown Archetype, and Three Rivers Press. SJP for Hogarth will selectively publish high-quality works of fiction by both established writers and distinctive emerging voice with critical and commercial promise. In this new role, Ms. Parker will be involved in all aspects of the publication process, from their selection and acquisition to cover design and promotion with her vision providing the editorial foundation for each publication.
About Sarah Jessica Parker: Sarah Jessica Parker is the star and executive producer of “Divorce,” which premiered in October 2016 on HBO and which has been renewed for a second season. She currently serves as the Vice-Chairman of the board of directors for the New York City ballet. In November 2009, the Obama administration elected her to be a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. Parker lives with her husband, three children, and lots of books in New York City.
About the American Library Association: The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 57,000 members in academic, public, school, government, and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.
About Hogarth: Drawing on its inspiration from Virginia and Leonard Woolf’s original Hogarth Press founded in 1917, Hogarth re-launched in 2012 as a partnership between Chatto & Windus in the UK and Crown in the U.S. It is a home for a new generation of literary talent, an adventurous fiction imprint with an accent on the pleasures of storytelling and a broad awareness of the world. Its authors include NBCC award-winner Anthony Marra; New York Times bestselling Dutch novelist Herman Koch; Cynthia Bond, whose novel was an Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection; Booker Prize winner Howard Jacobson; Booker International Prize winner Han Kang; Baileys Prize winner Eimear McBride; Granta’s Best Young British Novelist Jenni Fagan; Whitbread nominee and international bestseller Michel Faber; and other fresh new writers both in English and in translation, whose work promises to define contemporary fiction in the years to come. In October 2015 Hogarth launched the Hogarth Shakespeare program, to coincide with the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. The project sees the Bard’s plays retold by acclaimed, bestselling novelists and brought to life for a contemporary readership. Hogarth Shakespeare authors include Jeanette Winterson, Anne Tyler, Gillian Flynn, Margaret Atwood, Jo Nesbø, Edward St. Aubyn, Howard Jacobson, and Tracy Chevalier.
About Penguin Random House LLC: Penguin Random House, the world’s largest trade book publisher, is dedicated to its mission of nourishing a universal passion for reading by connecting authors and their writing with readers everywhere. The company, which employs more than 10,000 people globally, was formed on July 1, 2013, by Bertelsmann and Pearson, who own 53 percent and 47 percent, respectively. With nearly 250 independent imprints and brands on five continents, Penguin Random House comprises adult and children’s fiction and nonfiction print and digital trade book publishing businesses in more than 20 countries worldwide, including the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, China, India, South Africa, Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Portugal, and Uruguay. With over 15,000 new titles, and close to 800 million print, audio and eBooks sold annually, Penguin Random House’s publishing lists include more than 60 Nobel Prize laureates and hundreds of the world’s most widely read authors.