Summer is sliding into the valley and it’s time to pull out or create the annual summer reading list. Public libraries have been hosting summer reading programs since the late 1800s, and Wilkinson in Telluride is set to continue its version of the tradition this summer with diverse programming, new titles, and reading lists for everyone of every age.
“We’re excited. When summer comes, with those publisher release dates, we hope that people will use their library card and come talk with us and get excited about summer reading, too,” said Sarah Landeryou, Wilkinson Public Library director.
Three of Wilkinson’s staff, including Landeryou, along with Tiffany Osborne and Crisanne Schworn, both library service specialists, spoke on KOTO Access last week and in Landeryou’s office at the library about the upcoming summer reading season and the library’s programming.
Joanna Spindler, the library’s adult programs specialist as well as San Miguel County Poet Laureate, also contributed.
“There’s so much that is exciting,” said Osborne. “Summer reading is different for all of us; we all read different things. I tend to read the same thing I read all year long; I love a light read.”
Osborne said that, despite her preference for a light read, she can help match people’s interests with books.
“As a service specialist, I'm the one people will see, and I can always find others who know a genre if I’m not familiar with the books in it,” she said.
One of her summer picks is the debut novel from Jasmin Aiolani Hakes, a writer based in Hilo, Hawaii. The novel, “Hula,” is a “fiction, coming-of-age story that deals with cultural appropriation and history,” said Osborne. She added, “And Ann Patchett is always good for a summer read.”
Landeryou said she loves the beach read (a “mind vacation”) and exploring new places through the pages of books. She is excited about Booker Prize-winner Deborah Levy’s just-released book, August Blue, and is currently reading
“The Niger Wives” by Vanessa Walters.
“It’s a fast-paced thriller, and I’ve never read one set in Nigeria,” she said.
Schworn is the opposite of Osborne and Landeryou.
“I like to think when I read books,” she said, which also means that she, too, will “just go with whatever I’m reading” for the summer.
She’s currently reading Stephen Graham Jones’ “Lake Witch” trilogy.
“He’s a brilliant writer that makes you laugh and cower with fear,” said Schworn.
Her summer picks are a memoir titled “The Quickening,” Elizabeth Rush’s upcoming tale about her 2019 scientific exploration of a remote glacier in Antarctica, and “Brave the Wild River,” about two women who mapped the botany of the Grand Canyon, by Melissa L. Sevigny.
For kids, Schworn suggested the picture book
“The Knowing” by singer Ani DiFranco and
“Remember,” an illustrated version of Joy Harjo’s poem.
While poetry is her passion, Spindler reads a variety of genres. Right now, she’s reading bell hooks’ 2018 book of essays, all about love. Hooks was a poet who wrote in several genres.
“It’s a foundational read on relationships, feminism, and the future of love,” said Spindler.
She’s also reading “Around the World in 80 Plants,” a book “full of the coolest fun facts and beautiful illustrations of plants worldwide,” she said.
The poetry book Spindler recommends for summer reading lists is sure to spark the interest of lovers of Southwest landscapes. Written by Laura Tohe, the second Navajo Nation poet laureate, “Tseyi: Deep in the Rock,” is “a beautiful poetic and photographic reflection on Canyon de Chelly,” said Spindler.
For readers who love company, the Reading Flash Mob will happen on June 1 from noon to 1 p.m. at the Gondola Plaza.
“Bring a blanket and a book, or grab one from the wagon we’ll bring. We’ll supply the cookies,” said Landeryou.
As for obtaining books, there are as many ways to get books as there are genres, and readers can choose from diverse programming to discuss books, from Brews and Books, a morning coffee club at 10 a.m. on fourth Tuesdays, to the year-long reading challenge, for fun. With a Wilkinson library card, readers can access physical books, audio books and kindle books, playaway (an mp3 device) and books on CD, as well as magazines and newspapers. More information is available at the library or online at telluridelibrary.org.
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