Santa Monica book lovers are buzzing over this year’s selection for the citywide reading program.

Santa Monica Citywide Reads, a community program sponsored by the Santa Monica Public Library that invites residents to read and discuss the same book for one month, has chosen “Little Bee” by Chris Cleave as its novel for 2010.

The novel depicts the lives of two women — 16-year-old Nigerian refugee Little Bee and London journalist Sarah O’Rourke — and how their meeting significantly impacts the rest of their lives.

As part of the Citywide Reads program, residents are encouraged to read and discuss the novel between Feb. 12 and March 13 — whether in existing book groups or through the program’s events. Public book discussions will be held throughout the time period, beginning Feb. 13 with an 11 a.m. discussion at Cafe Bolivar, 1741 Ocean Park Blvd.

Other special events relating to the novel will take place as well, including a discussion and book signing with the author, which will take place Feb. 20 in the Martin Luther King Auditorium in the main branch of the Santa Monica Public Library.

The program is free and open to the public. A full list of events and information pertaining to “Little Bee” can be found at

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