Nevada County Reads 2023

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. 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.


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Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu

"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." --

Join a Book Discussion or Attend a Program

Pick up an honor book copy of Interior Chinatown at a library near you. 
When you've finished reading it, pass it along to a friend or add it to your neighborhood Little Free Library!


Headshot of author Charles Yu

Nevada County Reads Author Talk 
with Charles Yu

Saturday, May 27th | 6 pm | FREE

at the Miner's Foundry in Nevada City 
catered appetizers included | beverages available for purchase

With a special performance by Grass Valley Taiko to open the evening!


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Design by the 2023 Nevada County Logo Contest winner, Mya Marsh


Nevada County Reads: Youth Read-A-Like

Front Desk book jacket with colorful drawing of a girl at a crowded office desk

Attend the Front Desk book club 

Ages 8 - 12 | Madelyn Helling Library

Nevada County Reads High School Writing Contest

Details coming soon! 

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SC Superintendent of SChools

Previous Year's Nevada County Reads Book Selections

  1. 2022

CIRCE by Madeline Miller

Circe book cover with drawn face of a greek nymph in gold and black  Opens in new window

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born.  But Circe is a strange child--not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power--the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves. 

With unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language, and page-turning suspense, Circe is a triumph of storytelling, an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss, as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man’s world. A New York Times Best Seller, an Alex Award winner for crossover teen-adult fiction, and named one of the best books of 2018 by NPR, The Washington Post, Time, Kirkus, and Publisher's Weekly, Circe is an intoxicating and powerful read.

  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