ReadDavidson is an annual Town-wide reading initiative and partnership between the Town of Davidson, the Davidson Public Library, Main Street Books, Davidson College, and Davidson’s local avid readers. The program started in 2007 and since has established the ReadDavidson committee who encourages community members to read selected books and attend book-related events intended to make the titles come to life.


ReadDavidson is thrilled to partner with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library (CML) again in 2024 to support and enhance its annual Community Read initiative. Through exciting programming aimed at all age groups, the partnership encourages the Davidson community to read (or listen to) the book, talk about it, attend library programs, and celebrate a shared love of reading.

2024 Read DavidsonCommunity Read

How to participate

READ (and support your local bookstore and library branch at the same time!)
Main Street Books is offering a 10% discount on all of the 2024 ReadDavidson/Community Read titles.

ATTEND an event! Stay tuned for ReadDavidson event information as well as Community Read event details.

For all 2024 Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Community Read events, please see:

Book SynopsesButtermilk Graffiti

Buttermilk Graffiti by Edward Lee
American food is the story of mash-ups. Immigrants arrive, cultures collide, and out of the push-pull come exciting new dishes and flavors. But for Edward Lee, who, like Anthony Bourdain or Gabrielle Hamilton, is as much a writer as he is a chef, that first surprising bite is just the beginning. What about the people behind the food? What about the traditions, the innovations, the memories?

A natural-born storyteller, Lee decided to hit the road and spent two years uncovering fascinating narratives from every corner of the country. There’s a Cambodian couple in Lowell, Massachusetts, and their efforts to re-create the flavors of their lost country. A Uyghur café in New York’s Brighton Beach serves a noodle soup that seems so very familiar and yet so very exotic—one unexpected ingredient opens a window onto an entirely unique culture. A beignet from Café du Monde in New Orleans, as potent as Proust’s madeleine, inspires a narrative that tunnels through time, back to the first Creole cooks, then forward to a Korean rice-flour hoedduck and a beignet dusted with matcha.

Sixteen adventures, sixteen vibrant new chapters in the great evolving story of American cuisine. And forty recipes, created by Lee, that bring these new dishes into our own kitchens.
Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet

Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet by Laekan Zea Kemp
Penelope Prado has always dreamed of opening her own pastelería next to her father's restaurant, Nacho's Tacos. But her mom and dad have different plans—leaving Pen to choose between disappointing her traditional Mexican American parents or following her own path. When she confesses a secret she's been keeping, her world is sent into a tailspin. But then she meets a cute new hire at Nacho's who sees through her hard exterior and asks the questions she's been too afraid to ask herself.

Xander Amaro has been searching for home since he was a little boy. For him, a job at Nacho's is an opportunity for just that—a chance at a normal life, to settle in at his abuelo's, and to find the father who left him behind. But when both the restaurant and Xander's immigrant status are threatened, he will do whatever it takes to protect his newfound family and himself.

Together, Pen and Xander must navigate first love and discovering where they belong in order to save the place they all call home.

This stunning and poignant novel from debut author Laekan Zea Kemp explores identity, found families and the power of food, all nestled within a courageous and intensely loyal Chicanx community.

Measuring Up by Lily LaMotte and Ann XuMeasuring Up
Twelve-year-old Cici has just moved from Taiwan to Seattle, and the only thing she wants more than to fit in at her new school is to celebrate her grandmother, A-má’s, seventieth birthday together.

Since she can’t go to A-má, Cici cooks up a plan to bring A-má to her by winning the grand prize in a kids’ cooking contest to pay for A-má’s plane ticket! There’s just one problem: Cici only knows how to cook Taiwanese food.

And after her pickled cucumber debacle at lunch, she’s determined to channel her inner Julia Child. Can Cici find a winning recipe to reunite with A-má, a way to fit in with her new friends, and somehow find herself too?

Thank You, Omu! by Oge MoraThank you Omu
Everyone in the neighborhood dreams of a taste of Omu's delicious stew! One by one, they follow their noses toward the scrumptious scent. And one by one, Omu offers a portion of her meal. Soon the pot is empty. Has she been so generous that she has nothing left for herself?

Debut author-illustrator Oge Mora brings to life a heartwarming story of sharing and community in colorful cut-paper designs as luscious as Omu's stew, with an extra serving of love. An author's note explains that "Omu" (pronounced AH-moo) means "queen" in the Igbo language of her parents, but growing up, she used it to mean "Grandma." This book was inspired by the strong female role models in Oge Mora's life.

ReadDavidson Playlist

Check out recordings of past events here.


The ReadDavidson initiative would not be possible without the support of the following sponsors:

  • Davidson Public Library
  • Main Street Books
  • Davidson College
  • Local readers!

Prior ReadDavidson selections

2024: Buttermilk Graffiti by Edward Lee; Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet by Laekan Zea Kemp; Measuring Up by Lily LaMotte and Ann Xu; Thank you, Omu! by Oge More

2023: The People We Keep by Allison Larkin; The Edge of Anything by Nora Shalaway Carpenter; Front Desk by Kelly Yang; The Big Umbrella by Amy June Bates

2022: Infinite Country by Patricia Engel; What Makes Us by Rafi Mittlefehldt; When Stars are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed; Story Boat by Kyo Maclear

2021: Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent by Isabel Wilkerson; Legendborn by Tracy Deonn; Genesis Begins Again by Alicia Williams; The Power of One by Trudy Ludwig

2019: Varina by Charles Frazier

2018: News of the World by Paulette Jiles

2017: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

2016: Wherever There is Light by Peter Golden

2015: Guests on Earth by Lee Smith

2014: One Second After by William Forstchen

2013: A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash

2012: State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

2011: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

2010: A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

2009: The Color of Water by James McBride

2008: One Foot in Eden by Ron Rash

2007: The Bridge by Doug Marlette