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NEA Big Read

Welcome from OC Public Libraries!

County Librarian image

OC Public Libraries (OCPL)  invites you to join us for the 2022 NEA Big Read!

This year’s selection, Infinite Country, is the story of Talia’s family as they navigate in two different worlds: Colombia and the United States. From September to December of 2022, OCPL will hold an array of events, including film screenings, book discussions, and a culminating live event with author Patricia Engel.

- Julie Quillman, County Librarian

Meet Author Patricia Engel

Meet the author


Thu | Dec 8 | 6:30pm
Bowers Museum

Patricia Engel is the author of Infinite Country, a New York Times bestseller, Washington Post Notable Book of the Year, Reese’s Book Club selection, Esquire Book Club selection, Book of the Month Club pick, and Amazon Best Book of the Year.

No registration required.
Early arrival suggested.
Books available for purchase.

NEA Big Read Kick Off!

Kick off event

Sat | Oct 1 | 11am

Costa Mesa Donald Dungan Library

Join OCPL as we kick off our NEA Big Read celebration with bilingual storytimes, crafts, face painting, arepa tasting and a special performance by the Algarabía Colombiana folkloric dance group!

Come meet author Monica Brown and receive a copy of Waiting for the Biblioburro (while supplies last). Ms. Brown will be signing books!

11:00am – 1:00pm
Face Painting

11:00am – 11:30am
Bilingual Storytime

11:30am – 12:00pm
Burro Craft

12:00pm – 12:30pm
Colombian Dance Performance

12:30pm – 1:00pm
Arepa Informational Session & Tasting

1:00pm – 2:00pm
Meet Author Monica Brown





Film Screening
Visit one of the following branches to view the Walt Disney Animation Studios film Encanto (2021). 

The movie follows the multigenerational family, the Madrigals, who live in the mountains of Colombia in a magical place called an Encanto. This film about family and culture complements the NEA Big Read book selection, Infinite Country.

Sat | Sep 10 | 2pm
Rancho Santa Margarita Library

Thu | Sep 22 | 4pm
Fountain Valley Library

Sat | Sep 24 | 2pm
Costa Mesa Donald Dungan Library

Sat | Oct 22 | 2pm
La Palma Library 

Sat | Nov 19 | 2pm
Garden Grove Main Library 

Fri | Dec 16 | 3pm
San Juan Capistrano Library (La Sala)


Fruits of Labor

Documentary Screening
Wed | Sep 21 | 6pm

Tustin Library

Join us for a special screening of Fruits of Labor (2021), a documentary by Emily Cohen Ibañez. Fruits of Labor is the story of Ashley Solis, a teenage farmworker who dreams of graduating high school. Ashley must divide her time between school and supporting her family.

Join director, producer, cinematographer, and co-writer Emily Cohen Ibañez for a Q&A after the screening!

book of life

The Book of Life

Film Screening
Fri | Oct 28 | 6pm
Tustin Library

Join us for a special outdoor screening of The Book of Life (2014). This animated comedy from producer Guillermo del Toro follows the journey of Manolo, a young man torn between fulfilling the expectations of his family and following his heart. The film is inspired by Mexican folklore and other Latin American traditions relating to the themes expressed in the NEA Big Read book, Infinite Country.

Picnic blanket or lawn chair recommended.

Book Clubs

book clubs


As part of the NEA Big Read, readers are invited to join OCPL’s book discussion groups to explore the ideas and themes that resonate in Patricia Engel’s Infinite Country.

Copies of the book are available at each of our branches prior to discussions. Contact a library for more information.

For eBooks and eAudiobooks, please visit

Wed | Sep 7 |10:30am
Laguna Hills Technology Library

Wed | Sep 7 | 5:00pm
Library of the Canyons Library

Wed | Sep 14 | 5:30pm
Laguna Beach Library

Thu | Sep 15 | 4:30pm (Virtual)
Brea Library

Sat | Sep 24 | 10:00am
Ladera Ranch Library

Sun | Sep 25 | 3:00pm
Costa Mesa Mesa Verde Library

Thu | Oct 6 | 10:30am (In-Person) &
Wed | Oct 12 | 6:00pm (Virtual)
Irvine University Park Library

Tue | Oct 11 | 11:00am
Garden Grove Main Library

Tue | Oct 11 | 5:30pm
Tustin Library

Thu | Oct 20 | 10:30am
Cypress Library

Thu | Oct 20 | 10:30am
Laguna Niguel Library

Wed | Nov 2 | 5:30pm
Los Alamitos - Rossmoor Library
Thu | Nov 3 | 10:30am
Foothill Ranch Library

Thu | Nov 10 | 6:30pm
Irvine Heritage Park Library

Wed | Nov 16 | 11:00am
Irvine Katie Wheeler Library

Thu | Nov 17 | 1:00pm
Costa Mesa Donald Dungan Library

Tue | Nov 22 | 1:00pm
Fountain Valley Library

Wed | Nov 30 | 10:30am
San Clemente Library

Tue | Dec 6 | 6:00pm
Garden Grove Tibor Rubin Library

Thu | Dec 8 | 11:00am
Stanton Library

Fri | Dec 9 | 1:00pm
El Toro Library

Wed | Dec 14 | 11:00am
Villa Park Library

Tue | Dec 20 | 10:30am
Aliso Viejo Library

A special thanks to our generous supporters:

FOL Tustin
big read logo

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