Rochester Reads

Writers & Books is a nationally renowned non-profit literary center located at 740 University Ave., in the heart of Rochester’s Neighborhood of the Arts. In 2001, Writers & Books initiated the Rochester Reads program. The goal of Rochester Reads is to encourage people to connect to others in our community through reading and discussion, and through the shared experience of literature. Each year, Writers & Books selects one book for our community to explore together, leading to an extended residency by the author.

Rochester Reads 2019

American War by Omar El Akkad

Full List of Author Appearances

Rochester Reads 2019: Dear Reader

About the Author

A Conversation with Omar El Akkad

During each author’s residency in Rochester, they make a number of appearances at local libraries, schools, and universities to read and discuss their work and sign books.
They also talk about the writing process in the more intimate setting of a Master Class at Writers & Books.

2019 Rochester Reads Events

Discussion Points & Related Materials

The eAudiobook of AMERICAN WAR by Omar El AKkad will be available to download anytime between February 18 and March 31st without any wait times! –

Our past books have included:

  • 2018 – The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande
  • 2017 – The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld
  • 2016 – Queen of the Fall by Sonja Livingston
  • 2015 – The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
  • 2014 – The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
  • 2013 – Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea
  • 2012 – Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean
  • 2011 – The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti
  • 2010 – Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
  • 2009 – Jim the Boy by Tony Earley
  • 2008 – Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits by Laila Lalami
  • 2007 – The Buffalo Soldier by Chris Bohjalian
  • 2006 – Name All the Animals by Alison Smith
  • 2005 – Servants of the Map by Andrea Barrett
  • 2004 – Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
  • 2003 – Kindred by Octavia Butler
  • 2002 – The Sweet Hereafter by Russell Banks
  • 2001 – A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines

All past Rochester Reads books are available for purchase in our bookstore at 740 University Ave.

We would like to thank our generous sponsors. Rochester Reads 2019 would not be possible without their support.


The Fred & Floy Willmott Foundation







New York State Council on the Arts

The Rochester Reads program is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Thank you to the City of Rochester, Department of Recreation and Youth Services for their sponsorship