Nevada County Reads 2024

Nevada County Reads, a  project developed in 2005, is presented in partnership with the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools, and is funded in part by the Friends of the Nevada County Libraries and made possible through the National Endowment for the Arts’ Big Read initiative. A program designed to deepen engagement in literature through reading and discussion, everyone in the community can participate: read a book, share perspectives, attend a program, engage on social media and build a stronger Nevada County together.

Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude

by Ross Gay

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Join a Book Discussion or Attend a Program

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. In addition to his poetry, Ross has released three collections of essays—The Book of Delights was released in 2019 and was a New York Times bestseller; Inciting Joy was released in 2022, and his newest collection, The Book of (More) Delights was released in September of 2023.

Author Event with Ross Gay

Saturday, April 13th at 5:30 pm 
Sierra Poetry Festival at Center for the Arts 
Free and open to the public

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NCR Writing Prompt 2024

Nevada County Reads 2024 logo designed by the 2024 Nevada County Reads Logo Contest winner MC Caddy.

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Previous Year's Nevada County Reads Book Selections

  1. 2023
  2. 2022

Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu

Interior Chinatown book jacket red and orange background with image of Chinese temple

"From the infinitely inventive author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe comes a deeply personal novel about race, pop culture, immigration, assimilation, and escaping the roles we are forced to play. Willis Wu doesn’t perceive himself as a protagonist even in his own life: he’s merely Generic Asian Man. Every day, he leaves his tiny room in a Chinatown SRO and enters the Golden Palace restaurant, where Black and White, a procedural cop show, is in perpetual production. He’s a bit player here too. . . but he dreams of being Kung Fu Guy–the highest aspiration he can imagine for a Chinatown denizen. Or is it? After stumbling into the spotlight, Willis finds himself launched into a wider world than he’s ever known, discovering not only the secret history of Chinatown, but the buried legacy of his own family, and what that means for him, in today’s America. Playful but heartfelt, a send-up of Hollywood tropes and Asian stereotypes–Interior Chinatown is Charles Yu’s most moving, daring, and masterful novel yet." --

  1. 2021
  2. 2020
  3. 2019
  4. 2018
  5. 2017

Round House by Louise Erdrich woman wrapped in red blanketThe Round House is a winner in the National Book Award for fiction.  One of the most revered novelists of our time—a brilliant chronicler of Native-American life—Louise Erdrich returns to the territory of her bestselling, Pulitzer Prize finalist The Plague of Doves with The Round House, transporting readers to the Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota. It is an exquisitely told story of a boy on the cusp of manhood who seeks justice and understanding in the wake of a terrible crime that upends and forever transforms his family.

Riveting and suspenseful, arguably the most accessible novel to date from the creator of Love Medicine, The Beet Queen, and The Bingo Palace, Erdrich’s The Round House is a page-turning masterpiece of literary fiction—at once a powerful coming-of-age story, a mystery, and a tender, moving novel of family, history, and culture.

  1. 2016
  2. 2015
  3. 2014
  4. 2013
  5. 2012
  6. 2011

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice  Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children  trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of  his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was  sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit.  The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination,  and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and  justice forever.

“Every bit as moving as To Kill a Mockingbird, and in some ways  more so . . . a searing indictment of American criminal justice and a  stirring testament to the salvation that fighting for the vulnerable  sometimes yields.”—David Cole, The New York Review of Books
“Searing, moving . . . Bryan Stevenson may, indeed, be America’s Mandela.”—Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times
 “You don’t have to read too long to start cheering for this man. . . .  The message of this book . . . is that evil can be overcome, a  difference can be made. Just Mercy will make you upset and it will make you hopeful.”—Ted Conover, The New York Times Book Review

  1. 2010
  2. 2009
  3. 2008
  4. 2007
  5. 2006
  6. 2005

Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson

San Piedro, a small island in the Pacific Northwest, is home to salmon fishermen and strawberry farmers. It is also home to many Japanese-Americans. Snow Falling on Cedars opens in Judge Lew Fielding's courtroom as the trial of one of these Japanese-Americans, Kabuo Miyamoto, who is on trial for killing fellow fisherman Carl Heine, Jr., commences.

First-novelist Guterson presents a multilayered courtroom drama set in the aftermath of the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII. -- Publishers Weekly

"Haunting. . . . A whodunit complete with courtroom maneuvering and surprising turns of evidence and at the same time a mystery, something altogether richer and deeper." -- Los Angeles Times