Pay It Forward: A winter of big reads at the library

Homer to read and celebrate “The Cold Millions” by Jess Walter in January

Friends of the Homer Public Library is one of 62 organizations nationwide selected to receive a 2023-2024 NEA Big Read grant.

A grant of $11,450 will support a community reading program in January and February 2024 focusing on “The Cold Millions” by Jess Walter. An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the power of a shared reading experience.

The Friends of the Homer Library and Homer Public Library will host a dynamic community read of the novel “The Cold Millions.”

The Homer Big Read 2024 will focus on the early 20th-century history of the Northwest and Alaska, including the treatment of women, Indigenous peoples, the working poor, and free speech.

Over a six-week period in January and February 2024, the community will be invited to participate in book clubs and events that promote curiosity, conversation and engagement with the book, the library, and the community. The Big Read will begin with a kickoff featuring skits inspired by the text and performed by Pier One Theatre, and will culminate with an in-person keynote address by the author Jess Walter.

Copies of the book and a schedule of events will be made available in November. If you would like to get involved or volunteer for events, please reach out. Big Read funds require a 1:1 match, and FHL is seeking donations of air miles or travel coupons to support the travel of Walters to Alaska. Please email for more information on how to volunteer or support Big Read activities.

Friends of the Homer Library looks forward to a winter season of coming together over a good book with our community!

NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

Cheryl Illg is the coordinator for Friends of the Homer Library.