2019 Sages Read

Last week, we launched the 2019 Sages Read community reading challenge. The brain child of famed local book champion, writer and language arts teacher, Katherine Sokolowski, Sages Read is a true community-wide activity in which I am so grateful and excited to participate.

I'm stoked about the list of categories we've put together and will definitely share what I'm reading as I complete my own challenge sheet. Over the course of the year, Hartfield will also put together lists of recommendations to help you check those categories off your own challenge list (you can download the PDF here and we'll have hard copies available soon). We'll share our book lists online and through social media, put them on display in the store and, generally, try to make it as easy as possible for you to find great books to complete your 2019 reading challenge. You'll also get fantastic recommendations from teachers, our local library and by following the Sages Read Facebook page and #SagesRead. I hope you'll share your own recommendations there, as well!

Another Trip into the Outback

Last week I confessed to being a mystery junkie and, while I am continuing to make a conscious effort to read more broadly, I am physically incapable of avoiding a new Jane Harper novel. Anyone who's come into the bookstore and asked for a mystery recommendation has probably heard me talk about The Dry. It is absolutely one of my favorite books of the last few years, and last year's follow-up, Force of Nature (recently released in paperback), was excellent, too.

The Best Surprise

Sometimes I think I do a pretty good job choosing books by a diverse range of authors and from a variety of genres, but at the end of the year when I flip back through my planner (my current method for tracking my reading), I usually get a cold, hard reality check. It's apparently all too easy for me to slip right into a reading rut. My personal go-tos tend to be literary fiction and mystery/suspense. Don't get me wrong, there can absolutely be diversity within each of those categories, but honestly, I've noticed that unchecked, I tend to gravitate toward very similar types of stories.

Summer Reading

I think I've always been a seasonal reader. As the weather changes, I find myself drawn to specific types of books. I tend to go darker and more complex in the winter months. Faced with evenings and weekends spent inside, cuddled under a blanket on the couch, I'm more apt to dig into a meaty biography or memoir, explore a complicated topic like war, or accompany characters into a richly drawn story that isn't necessarily heading for a happy ending. An introvert to the core, I am perfectly content to spend day after day tucked cozily inside.



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