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Big Read 2020: Introduction

What is The Big Read?

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The Big Read is a monthlong community celebration presented by Golden Isles Arts and Humanities and sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts

The community reads one book and comes together for a variety of programing -- including book talks, films, plays, lectures, and art exhibits -- reflecting the books themes.

This is the 13th year the Big Read has been presented in southeast coastal Georgia. 

Big Read presents In the Heart of the Sea Logo

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Nathaniel Philbrick’s In the Heart of the Sea is “one of the most chilling books I have ever read,” writes Sebastian Junger, author of The Perfect Storm. Winner of the National Book Award for Nonfiction and on The New York Times bestseller list for 40 weeks, this “spellbinding” (Time) “page turner” (The New York Times) tells the true story of the 19th-century whaleship Essex out of Nantucket that got rammed by one of the largest whales anyone had ever seen, the whale that inspired Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick.

But the story doesn’t end there. The ship sank, sending the crewmembers adrift for months as they faced storms, starvation, and disease.

Award-winning author of more than ten books, Philbrick “has created an eerie thriller from a centuries old tale… Scrupulously researched and eloquently written, In the Heart of the Sea is a masterpiece of maritime history,” writes The New York Times. “It gets into your bones.”