American Regionalism

We’re trying something new! This year’s Adult Winter Reading Program is a little simpler—just read 5 books set in different geographic regions of the United States. Everyone who completes the program and reports his or her progress will earn a small prize for participation. In addition, all finishers will be entered into a random drawing for larger mystery prizes. A big thanks to Missouri Council of the Blind’s Library Users of Missouri for funding this year’s Adult Winter Reading Program.

The program begins January 1 and closes March 9. Make sure you turn in your log or report your progress by March 16.

You choose what books to read, but we have some suggestions to help you get started.  To find these suggestions and other titles, search our online catalog, call your reader advisor, or download the audio and selected braille books from BARD.

Thank for participating in our reading challenge. We hope you have fun and enjoy talking with us about your reading!   

Visiting New England

The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell (DB 67904; BR 17935): A history of the Puritan founders of New England. Contrasts Loyalist Massachusetts Bay Colony founder John Winthrop with earlier Plymouth settlers led by the Reverend John Cotton. 7 hours, 36 minutes or 2 volumes of braille (Download Volume 1 and Volume 2).

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (DB 58830): Recounts the lives of the four March sisters--quick-tempered Jo, who is restless for freedom; Beth, who loves her home and family; Meg who longs for pretty clothes; and self-absorbed Amy. 21 hours, 35 minutes.

 A Beautiful Place to Die by Philip Craig (DB 66122): From the shores of Martha's Vineyard, ex-cop Jeff "J.W." Jackson and his friends witness a boat explosion that kills a likable island drifter. J.W. reluctantly rejoins the investigative trade. Martha's Vineyard series, book 1. Some strong language. 1989. 6 hours, 24 minutes.

Goodbye to Yesterday by Wanda Brunstetter (DBC01522): Newlyweds Meredith and Luke Stoltzfus are an Amish couple who are faced with the greatest challenge of their young lives. Will their love and faith be enough to bring them back together again, against all odds? Discovery, book 1. 2013. 1 hour, 55 minutes.

Visiting the South

Whiskey in a Teacup: What Growing Up in the South Taught Me about Life, Love, and Baking Biscuits by Reese Witherspoon (DB 92884): Reese Witherspoon shares her personal style and tips for entertaining. Her southern heritage influences everything in her life, including how she entertains, decorates, and cooks. 2 hours, 52 minutes.

The Feud: The Hatfields and McCoys; The True Story by Dean King (DB 77289): Chronicles the post-Civil War feud between the Hatfield and McCoy families that left thirteen people dead. Unrated. 12 hours, 5 minutes.

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (DB 35745; LP001687): This classic novel tells the story of Janie, a handsome black woman, and her three marriages. 1937. 6 hours, 32 minutes or 414 pages.

Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind by Ann B. Ross (DB 49141; BR 12542): Miss Julia is just recovering from the shock of her husband's death when Hazel Marie Puckett arrives with a young boy. Mr. Springer might have left Miss Julia well off financially, but he also left her with a stepson. Miss Julia series, book 1. 8 hours, 37 minutes or 2 volumes of braille (download volume 1 and volume 2).

Visiting the Southwest

Wyatt Earp: the Life Behind the Legend by Casey Tefertiller (DB 45609): Traces Earp’s career as a prospector, gambler, and marshal of Tombstone, Arizona, where he became a legend in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. 21 hours, 10 minutes.

Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver (DB 32451, BR 08406): Codi returns to Arizona to teach high school and care for her aging father. Her life is complicated by efforts to save the town from environmental catastrophe and the renewal of an old love affair with a Native American man. 11 hours, 16 minutes or 3 volumes of braille.

Lonesome Gods by Louis L’Amour (DB 19209): Sweeping novel of the southern California frontier set in pre-Civil War times tells the story of Johannes Verne, a young orphan raised in part by the mysterious Indians of the desert. 14 hours, 27 minutes.

Sprinkle with Murder by Jenn McKinlay (DBC05021): Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura have just opened their own shop, Fairy Tale Cupcakes, in Scottsdale. However, all is not happily ever after when Mel discovers her friend Tate's high maintenance fiancé dead with a cupcake in her hand. Cupcake Bakery Mystery, book 1. 2010. 7 hours, 50 minutes.

Visiting the Pacific Northwest

Alaskan Holiday by Debbie Macomber (DB 92504, LP033367): Chef Josie Avery takes a summer job at a lodge in Alaska. She bonds with the locals, including swordsmith Palmer Saxon. 4 hours, 52 minutes or 334 pages.

Outlaws of the Pacific Northwest by Bill Gulick (DBC06887): The Pacific Northwest had its share of bandits, vigilantes, madams, and killers in its frontier days. These are some of their colorful stories from a rough-hewn time. Some strong language and some violence. 7 hours, 20 minutes.

Chinook: A North-Western Story by Max Brand (DB 48298): Joe Harney is a greenhorn, heading for the Alaskan goldfields. On the way he joins up with Andrew Steen and his great husky dog, Chinook. Together they come to the aid of a young woman, Kate Winslow. Joe falls for Kate and helps her out of many jams. 1998. 9 hours, 15 minutes.

Enchanting Lily by Anjali Banerjee (DBC00275): A romance with mystical elements tells the story of a young widow who starts a new life on Puget Sound's Shelter Island. A mysterious cat adopts Lily's vintage clothing shop and draws in customers after word gets around that the cat directs people to their perfect items. 2012. 5 hours, 44 minutes.

Visiting the Midwest

Lake of the Ozarks: My Surreal Summers in a Vanishing America by William Geist (DB 95362): A news correspondent and reminisces about working for his bombastic Uncle Ed as a teenager at a resort in Lake of the Ozarks. Unrated. 2019. 4 hours, 52 minutes.

Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth by Sarah Smarsh (DB 93467): The author recounts her childhood among the working poor in Kansas. Discusses the class divide in America, myths about poverty, and the impact of intergenerational poverty. 9 hours, 38 minutes.

City of the Sun by David Levien (DB 67163): Paul and Carol Gabriel's twelve-year-old son, Jamie, disappears on his paper route in an Indianapolis suburb. They hire PI Frank Behr to find Jamie. Frank Behr, book 1. Violence and strong language. 2008. 10 hours, 16 minutes.

A Patchwork Family by Charlotte Hubbard (DBC06046): Living on the Kansas plains, Mercy Malloy’s family endures Indian attacks, a runaway daughter, and an abandoned baby. Through it all, Mercy’s faith holds her family together. Angels of Mercy, book 1. 10 hours, 5 minutes.

Final Thoughts

If you’d prefer to pick another geographic region, that’s okay too!

Stick with our categories, or make up your own challenge. Reader Advisors have great suggestions for other geographic areas that might interest you. (Hawaii anyone? Or American Territories, Appalachia, etc.) They also can help you discover many other titles that would also fulfill the program requirements in addition to these short lists.

We want to hear from you.    

Call for help making your selections.

Call to let us know what you are enjoying and you think your fellow patrons might enjoy.

Share your personal reviews with your Reader Advisor and/or let us know if you’d like to share your reflections about what you’re reading in the newsletter, on our Facebook page, or if participating in a drop-in book club over the phone to talk about what you’re reading sounds like fun.

Happy Winter Reading and thanks for taking this new journey with us!