The Halton Hills Public Library's One Book, One Halton Hills program began in 2011 as a way to encourage reading throughout the community. The aim of the program is to have everyone read the same book once each year, creating a town-wide book club.

The Library also offers programs to complement the theme of each year's book selection, including an evening with the author. Over the years, the One Book, One Halton Hills program has helped introduce the community to new books and bestselling novels, and the Library has welcomed a diverse range of respected Canadian authors.

One Book, One Halton Hills through the years:

2023 - Willie by Willie O'Ree with Michael McKinley

Willie: The Game-Changing Story of the NHL’s First Black Player is an inspiring memoir that shows that anyone can achieve their dreams if they are willing to fight for them. Willie O'Ree shares his story of playing hockey on ponds in New Brunswick, moving up to the minors, hiding his loss of vision in one eye, confronting racial discrimination, and getting that long-sought and history-making call up to the NHL on January 18, 1958. In that pioneering first NHL game, O'Ree broke the NHL's colour barrier and proved that no one could stop him from being a hockey player. He later worked with NHL Diversity to share the message that "Hockey is for everyone." In 2018, O'Ree was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. He was also awarded the Order of Canada for his contributions to the growth of hockey across communities in Canada and the United States.

2022 - The Day the World Stops Shopping by J.B. MacKinnon

In The Day the World Stops Shopping, author and journalist J.B. MacKinnon investigates what would happen to our world if consumerism came to a sudden halt, and asks if society can reduce consumption to planetary-saving levels without triggering the collapse of civilization. At first this question took him around the world, seeking answers from America’s big-box stores to the hunter-gatherer cultures of Namibia to communities in Ecuador that consume at an exactly sustainable rate. Then the thought experiment came shockingly true: the coronavirus brought shopping to a halt, and MacKinnon’s ideas were tested in real time. Drawing from experts in fields ranging from climate change to economics, MacKinnon investigates how living with less would change our planet, our society, and ourselves, and reveals just how much we stand to gain 

2021 - Gutter Child by Jael Richardson

Gutter Child reveals one young woman’s journey through a fractured world of heartbreaking disadvantages and shocking injustices. Elimina is a modern heroine in an altered but all too recognizable reality who must find the strength within herself to forge her future and defy a system that tries to shape her destiny. Set in an imagined world in which the most vulnerable are forced to buy their freedom by working off their debt to society, Gutter Child uncovers a nation divided into the privileged Mainland and the policed Gutter. In this world, Elimina Dubois is one of only 100 babies taken from the Gutter and raised in the land of opportunity as part of a social experiment led by the Mainland government.

To see the complete One Book One Halton Hills: An Evening with Jael Richardson, visit our HHPL YouTube channel.

2020 - Recipe for a Perfect Wife by Karma Brown

Recipe for a Perfect Wife is a page-turning, dual-narrative novel that interlaces the stories of Alison Hale and Nellie Murdoch. In the modern-day, Alice has left her career in New York City and moved to the suburbs with her husband.  She finds a vintage cookbook in the basement of their new home that belonged to the previous owner – 1950s housewife, Nellie. Unaccustomed to filling her days alone in a big, empty house, Alice begins to cook her way through the past and becomes fascinated with her home’s previous owner.

On the outside, Nellie lived a charmed life. She had a beautiful garden, a lovely kitchen and always had dinner ready when her husband got home from work. But the secrets Alice finds sprinkled between Nellie’s recipes reveal the dark side of her marriage, and cause Alice to question the foundation of her own.

To see the complete One Book One Halton Hills: An Evening with Karma Brown, visit our HHPL YouTube channel.

2019 - Machine Without Horses by Helen Humphreys

Machine Without Horses combines a reflection on the process of a modern-day author crafting a novel, along with an account of a woman ahead of her time, crafting her art and livelihood. Helen Humphreys takes on the task of crafting a fictional life inspired by events in her own life and the famous salmon-fly dresser Megan Boyd, a craftswoman of great renown who worked for sixty years out of a bare-bones cottage in a small village in the north of Scotland.

2018 – A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena

In A Stranger in the House, readers are transported to a quiet, prosperous suburb in upstate New York where nothing is as it appears. Only a few things are for certain – a man is dead, the police have an unlikely suspect, and a housewife is convinced that a stranger can get inside her home.

2017 – Motorcycles & Sweetgrass by Drew Hayden Taylor

Motorcycles and Sweet Grass is set in Otter Lake: a sleepy Anishnawbe community. Little happens there...until the day a handsome stranger pulls up astride a 1953 Indian Chief motorcycle – and turns Otter Lake completely upside down.

2016 – The Night Stages by Jane Urquhart

The Night Stages tells the interconnected stories of Tamara, a former pilot in the war, her married lover, Niall, a charismatic Irishman and meteorologist, and his troubled brother Kieran, who is separated from his family and fostered in a mountain home by a maternal countrywoman. Running parallel is the story of Canadian artist Kenneth Lochhead and how he created the mural that is Tamara's only companion through three long days and nights when she is grounded by fog at Gander Airport, Newfoundland. 

A novel of emotional depth that vividly evokes a time and a place, The Night Stages explores the meaning of separation, the sorrows of fractured families, and the profound effect of home in a world where a way of life is changing.

2015 – Girl Runner by Carrie Snyder

Girl Runner is the story of Aganetha Smart, a former Olympic athlete who was famous in the 1920s, but now, at age 104, lives in a nursing home, alone and forgotten by history. For Aganetha, a competitive and ambitious woman, her life remains present and unfinished in her mind. Part historical page-turner, part contemporary mystery, Girl Runner is an engaging and endearing story about family, ambition, athletics and the dedicated pursuit of one's passions. It is also, ultimately, about a woman who follows the singular, heart-breaking and inspiring course of her life until the very end.

2014 – The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan

Following their father's sudden death, the Van Goethem sisters find their lives upended. Marie is dispatched to the Paris Opéra, where she will be trained to enter the famous Ballet and meet Edgar Degas. Her older sister, Antoinette, finds employment—and the love of a dangerous young man—as an extra in a stage adaptation of Émile Zola's Naturalist masterpiece L'Assommoir. Set at a moment of profound artistic, cultural, and societal change. The Painted Girls is a tale of two remarkable sisters rendered uniquely vulnerable to the darker impulses of “civilized society.”

2013 – The Headmaster's Wager by Vincent Lam

Compulsive gambler and womanizer Percival Chen is the headmaster of the most respected English school in Saigon and fiercely proud of his Chinese heritage. Percival is accustomed to bribing government officials, but he faces the limits of his connections and wealth when his son gets into trouble with the Vietnamese authorities and Percival is forced to send him away. He finds solace in a new lover and the son they have together, but his newfound happiness is affected by the war that is encroaching into his world.

2012 – The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis

A burnt-out political aide quits just before an election-- but is forced to run a hopeless campaign on the way out. He makes a deal with a crusty old Scot, Angus McLintock-- an engineering professor who will do anything, anything, to avoid teaching English to engineers-- to let his name stand in the election. No need to campaign, certain to lose, and so on. Then a great scandal blows away his opponent, and to their horror, Angus is elected. He decides to see what good an honest M.P. who doesn't care about being re-elected can do in Parliament. The results are hilarious-- and with chess, a hovercraft, and the love of a good woman thrown in, this very funny book has something for everyone.

2011 – Midnight at the Dragon Café by Judy Fong Bates

Set in the 1960s, Judy Fong Bates' much-talked-about debut novel is the story of a young girl, the daughter of a small Ontario town's solitary Chinese family, whose life is changed over the course of one summer when she learns the burden of secrets. Through Su-Jen's eyes, the hard life behind the scenes at the Dragon Café unfolds. As Su-Jen's father works continually for a better future, her mother, a beautiful but embittered woman, settles uneasily into their new life. Su-Jen feels the weight of her mother's unhappiness as Su-Jen's life takes her outside the restaurant and far from the customs of the traditional past. When Su-Jen's half-brother arrives, smouldering under the responsibilities he must bear as the dutiful Chinese son, he forms an alliance with Su-Jen's mother, one that will have devastating consequences. Written in spare, intimate prose, Midnight at the Dragon Café is a vivid portrait of a childhood divided by two cultures and touched by unfulfilled longings and unspoken secrets.