2024 One Maryland One Book

2024 One Maryland One Book: Top Three

We are pleased to announce our Top Three finalists for the 2024 One Maryland One Book!

Under the theme of Restorative Futures, our selection committee has generated a list that includes literary, speculative and science fiction, Afrofuturism, and creative nonfiction. The authors behind our 2024 One Maryland One Book Top Ten come from far and wide: three local Marylanders, many from across the country, and a few from across the world. These books speak to how we may come from different places, but come together to stake a better world tomorrow.

Which of these books will go on to be the book that Maryland will read this year? We will announce in March!

(presented in alphabetical order by author)


What Storm, What Thunder
by Myriam J.A. Chancy

Set in and around the aftermath of the 2010 7.0 quake that rocked Port Au Prince, Haiti, this book unearths issues of Blackness, colorism, immigration, and more through a rich cast of characters that give a nuanced portrait of a disaster.

(Tin House Books, 2021)

Buy on Bookshop.org

Behind You is The Sea
by Susan Muaddi Darraj

Follow three Palestinian immigrant families in Baltimore from weddings to funerals, summer vacations to grueling jobs, we follow different characters in each chapter, as they navigate across divides of class, generation, and religion.

(Harpervia, 2024)
Buy on Bookshop.org

The World Doesn’t Require You
by Rion Amilcar Scott

Welcome to Cross River, Maryland, established by the leaders of the country’s only successful slave revolt and is populated by residents (past, present, and future) who face trials and squabbles told through lyrical prose that blends magical realism and social commentary.

(Liverlight, 2020)
Buy on Bookshop.org


  • Top Ten

    1. Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adeji-Brenyah
    2. What Storm, What Thunder by Myriam J.A. Chancy
    3. Behind You is The Sea by Susan Muaddi Darraj
    4. The Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans
    5. How Far the Light Reaches: A Life in Ten Sea Creatures by Sabrina Imbler
    6. How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue
    7. How High We Go In the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu
    8. Noor by Nnedi Okorafor
    9. The World Doesn’t Require You by Rion Amilcar Scott
    10. The Immortal King Rao by Vauhini Vara

  • About our theme

    Our 2024 theme is: Restorative Futures

    In a time of uncertain futures, knowing how we will live tomorrow depends on considering, reckoning, and restoring the issues of today. These could be monumental ones of politics, environment, and society; intimate ones of the self, relationships, and daily life; or more likely, a combination of both.

    Literature helps us envision this. Across genres, writers show us possibilities for who we can be, as individuals and communities, and what struggles we must come to terms with to get there. What books have shown you a future that compels you to reckon with it in the present?

  • About the Selection Process

    Each fall, Maryland Humanities sends out a call for suggestions to the general public, educators, librarians, schools, book clubs, and other partners. The call for suggestions is based on an annual theme and pre-determined criteria. Maryland Humanities staff researches all suggestions to make sure they fit the established criteria. Then the selection committee takes the lead, narrowing the list of potential choices to a short list for review.


    • Top Ten – January 2024
    • Top Three – February 2024
    • Final Pick – March 2024

  • About 2023's Selection

    Our 2023 OMOB selection was There There by Tommy Orange.

    Winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize, There There weaves together a cast of twelve interconnected characters from across Native communities, as they converge toward the Big Oakland Powwow. Some contend with sobriety and mental health, while others desire to preserve cultural dance and history. A few, meanwhile, plan to rob the powwow’s contest cash prize. Through these multiple facets, filled with pain, humor, sorrow, and ambition, Tommy Orange gives readers a riveting, modern portrait of the urban Indian experience.