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One City, One Book 2024

CONTACT: Charlotte Burrows, Public Services Division Manager, (805) 381-7338;

       Alexandra South, Strategic Communications and Public Affairs Director, (805) 449-2120;

One City, One Book 2024

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., March 20, 2024 - The votes are in! The 2024 Thousand Oaks Reads: One City, One Book (OCOB) selection is The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi! 

OCOB is citywide literary event that encourages community members to collectively read and discuss the same book. It is a testament to the belief that literature has the unique ability to build connections, spark meaningful conversations, and enrich our community. This annual program reinforces the library as a vibrant hub for cultural enrichment and community connection, celebrating the power of storytelling to inspire and foster a shared sense of belonging. 

In the spirit of true community collaboration, we introduced a new approach to selecting our book this year – by giving our community the power to decide. By inviting everyone to participate in this decision-making process, we reached new readers, sparking curiosity and inviting fresh perspectives into the conversation.  

Alka Joshi’s debut novel, The Henna Artist, is set in post-Raj 1950s Jaipur and follows Lakshmi — a skilled henna artist and confidante to the upper class — as she navigates the delicate balance between her dreams of independence and the shadows of her past. Books are available in paperback, large print, eBook, and eAudiobook, and are now available at both libraries.   

An Afternoon with Alka Joshi is the culminating author talk, discussion, and book signing. This program will be held on Sunday, April 28 at 2:00 pm in the Bank of America Performing Arts Center - Fred Kavli Theatre. FREE TICKETS are required for this event. Digital tickets are now available via Ticketmaster. Paper tickets will be available starting April 1 at both libraries. Friends of the Library members will enjoy priority entry 30 minutes before the event. For membership information, visit the library information desks. For more details, visit One City, One Book is generously sponsored by The Friends of the Thousand Oaks Library. 

OCOB Kick off with Chili Beatz & Beautiful Henna with Suchita  

Kick off this year’s One City, One Book with Southern California's top Bollywood band, Chili Beatz. Immerse yourself in the vibrant world of live Bollywood music. Additionally, Suchita, an experienced henna artist with more than 20 years of skill, will be offering small henna designs during the Chili Beatz concert. This program will be held on Saturday, March 30 from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm in the Grant R. Brimhall Library. 

Henna 101 with Henna Me Beautiful 

Learn about the history of henna, and the basics of how to create simple and beautiful design elements. Henna Me Beautiful's lead artist, Afshan Khan, is certified through ICNHA (International Certification of Natural Henna Arts). With her guidance you will learn how to create beautiful henna designs. Best suited for teens and adults. Materials and supplies provided. This program will be held on Saturday, April 6 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm in the Grant R. Brimhall Library Community Room. Space is limited. Registration required. 

Tea Tasting with Alaya Tea 

Join us to try a variety of teas! Alaya is an Indian, women-owned tea company. Their name comes from “Himalaya,” a region where some of the finest teas grow and thus, inspired the founders Esha Chhabra and Smita Satiani to build a tea company. This program will be held on Sunday, April 7 from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm in the Grant R. Brimhall Library Community Room. Space is limited. Registration required.  

Dot Mandala Crafternoon 

Transform a compact mirror into a vibrant mandala masterpiece. This program will be held from 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm on Saturday, April 13 in the Newbury Park Library Art Gallery, and on Sunday, April 21 in the Grant R. Brimhall Library Community Room. Registration required. 

Kathak Dance Demo & Follow Along with Sona Lewis 

Indian classical “Kathak” dance artiste and performer Sona Lewis will present Kathak dance. There will be a “follow-along” segment for anyone who wants to learn more about Kathak. No prior dance knowledge is needed. Sona Lewis is a Kathak Indian Classical Dance Instructor, Choreographer and Artiste. Sona was professionally trained in Kathak under renowned Guru Pandit Munna Shukla ji, New Delhi, India for over 15 years. For ages 11-adult. This program will be held on Sunday, April 14 from 12:15 pm to 1:30 pm in the Grant R. Brimhall Library Community Room. 

Cal Lutheran Faculty Panel Discussion 

Professors explore unique perspectives and offer thoughtful responses to many of the themes and issues presented in The Henna Artist. Sponsored by University Relations. This program will be held on Wednesday, April 17 from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm in the Grant R. Brimhall Library Community Room. 

Story Slam: Inspired by The Henna Artist 

Calling for submissions! Writers of all ages are invited to submit a story based on the themes of family, found family, culture, tradition, new starts, unexpected change, or independence. Eight selected stories will be read on stage by the authors on Friday, April 26th at 7:00 pm. Audience favorite will win a $50 gift card. Submission guidelines: Stories must be able to be read in under seven minutes and be between 1,000-2000 words. Story content must be library appropriate. Email to with the subject heading “Story Slam.” Print: Submit entry in-person at the Information Desk. Entries must include your name and contact information. Submission Deadline: April 12, 2024. Selected authors will be notified on April 19, 2024. This program will be held on Friday, April 26 from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm in the Grant R. Brimhall Library Community Room. 

Paint & Sip: Elephant Art Class 

Paint, snack, and socialize as you are taught step by step how to create this painting inspired by the Munnar Tea Plantations in Kerala, India. Painting will be done on a 16”x20” canvas using acrylic paints. Painting can sometimes be messy, so we recommend that you keep that in mind when selecting your outfit for the afternoon. Light refreshments will be served. This program will be held on Saturday, April 27 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm in the Newbury Park Library Art Gallery. Space is limited. Registration required. 

Tea Kit  

Experience the rich flavors of India! Each kit includes a tea bag and one of the following loose-leaf teas: Darjeeling First Flush, Darjeeling Second Flush, Masala Chai, or CTC Assam. Tea sources from The Healing Tree, a local small business with a vast selection of over 1,000 bulk exotic teas and traditional herbs from around the globe. Please check the ingredients if you have any dietary restrictions or concerns. Kits are available at both libraries starting March 30. While supplies last.