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Libraries Host Series of Events around The Number One Chinese Restaurant

Libraries Host Series of Events around The Number One Chinese Restaurant

(Ferndale Area District Library, March 17, 2019)

Berkley, Ferndale, Huntington Woods and Oak Park, MI – Four local libraries have combined forces as “The Reading Collective,” programming a month’s worth of special events and book club discussions in March and April, exploring the acclaimed debut novel from Lillian Li, The Number One Chinese Restaurant. Librarians from Berkley, Ferndale, Huntington Woods and Oak Park plan to host unique programs that explore or are inspired by the plot, themes, and setting of this 2018 novel. Readers will get a chance to visit their neighboring libraries for these insightful programs and socialize with their fellow patrons.

Li’s book is a multigenerational story that unpacks the complicated lives and loves of people working in a wildly popular Chinese restaurant. says “…Generous in spirit, unaffected in its intelligence, multi-voiced, poignant, and darkly funny, Number One Chinese Restaurant looks beyond red tablecloths and silkscreen murals to share an unforgettable story about youth and aging, parents and children, and all the ways that our families destroy us while also keeping us grounded and alive.”

Lillian Li received her BA from Princeton and her MFA from the University of Michigan. She is the recipient of a Hopwood Award in Short Fiction, as well as Glimmer Train’s New Writer Award. Her work has been featured in Guernica, Granta, and Jezebel. She is from the D.C. metro area and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Number One Chinese Restaurant is her first novel. At the time of Restaruant’s first publication in the summer of last year, she was a bookseller at the stylish Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor.

Upcoming events include an Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine program hosted at the Berkley Library, and a Hands-On Chinese Cooking Class at Huntington Woods. Reading Collective participants can get brochures with more details about each program, including the individual meet-ups structured as traditional book club discussions. The author will be at the Berkley First Church on April 11 to talk about the book and sign copies.

Copies of The Number One Chinese Restaurant  will be available for patrons to check out from their home library. But a surplus of free copies of the book will be also available at all participating libraries on a first-come, first-serve basis, starting February 18th

Public libraries often coordinate Community Read events similar to The Reading Collective, but it will be an exceptional opportunity for residents of each of the four communities to venture out and experience cultural programming in a new setting, where they can encounter and engage with fellow readers the next city over.

Reading Collective Schedule of Events, March / April 2019

Each program will be a new and creative opportunity for commencing more insightful dialogues about the book.  


Book Party

The Emory @ 7:30 pm



Berkley Reading Society

Berkley Public Library @ 6:30 pm



Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine

Berkley Library @ 6:30 pm



Friends Book Club

Ferndale Library @ 7 pm



Hands-On Chinese Cooking

Huntington Woods Library @ 7 pm


Meet the Author

Berkley First @ 7:00 pm


Visit the Event Page for other fun and educational things to do!

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