ArtYard and the Frenchtown Bookshop are excited to announce the first-ever One Book, One Frenchtown initiative, which kicks off with The Book of (More) Delights by best-selling author Ross Gay, culminating in a community conversation at 6:30 PM on Tuesday, Nov. 21 at the McDonnell Theater at ArtYard.

Modeled after “One Read” programs across the world, One Book, One Frenchtown aims to gather neighbors to read, talk about, and engage with the same book, promoting critical conversations, community building, and literacy through fun and engaging townwide events. As Stephen King said, “Books are a uniquely portable magic.”

Frenchtown, which hums with creativity and community, is a perfect location for that magic. The Book of (More) Delights, whose author has ties to Frenchtown and is an expert on joy, make it the perfect book to launch the initiative.

The author of the New York Times bestselling The Book of Delights is back with a second book cataloging a new year of his daily delights. In this spirited second collection of short, lyrical, genre-defying essays, again written daily over a year, one of America’s most original and observant voices celebrates the ordinary, helping us see our extraordinary world anew. Delights is a record of the small wonders we so often overlook in our busy lives.

In essays that can be at once intimate and political, Gay shows us why he has made the subject of Black joy his own. Even as he practices delight, he doesn’t shy away from complexities of racism in America or the ecological and psychic violence of our consumer culture or the loss of those he loves. More than anything else, though, Gay reveals the beauty of the natural world — the garden, the orchard, the flowers emerging from cracks in the sidewalk, the elegant movements of geese tending to their goslings, and the trillion mysteries of this glorious earth.

As part of One Book, One Frenchtown, we invite book clubs, families, business owners, and individuals to read and discuss The Book of (More) Delights ahead of the community talk.

The Book of (More) Delights is on sale this week at the Frenchtown Bookshop, available at a 15 percent discount for those participating in One Book, One Frenchtown. To ensure community members have access, a limited number of free copies will be available at ArtYard. Local businesses are invited to sponsor additional free copies by contacting the Frenchtown Bookshop.

Registration for the free live One Book, One Frenchtown community conversation at the 162-seat McDonnell Theater opens soon. The community will be invited to submit questions for Ross and share their own delights of Frenchtown life — stay tuned for details.


Ross Gay is the author of four books of poetry: Against Which; Bringing the Shovel Down; Be Holding, winner of the PEN American Literary Jean Stein Award; and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. His first collection of essays, The Book of Delights, was released in 2019 and was a New York Times bestseller. His new collection of essays, Inciting Joy, was released by Algonquin in October of 2022.