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Summer reading implies leisure: Demand it.

August 3, 2015

How did Summer come to end mid-August? That’s how it feels, anyway. But of course, Summer doesn’t end until the Autumnal Equinox three weeks into September. That’s my preferred definition vs. the school year, the rafting season, the months between Memorial and Labor days, or the duration between frosts.

I like the overlay of clean celestial mechanics rather than a calendar based on the messy vagaries of weather and culture on the surface of the Earth.

The Salida Summer proceeds through FIBArk, Art Walk, Beer Fest, Salida Classic, Chaffee County Fair, Car Show, and now the Studio Tour. I’ve missed some, and there’s more to come. These are mere mileposts among all the summer doings.

The Salida Studio Tour is well worth a weekend drive or bike ride. Fifteen artists will open their thirteen studios for visitors and conversation Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Look for brochures here and there or go to to see the map and brochure. The Salida tour is biannual, which can mean either twice a year or every two years. Don’t count on the former. I suggest attending this year.

A good reason not to end Summer prematurely is not to cut short your summer reading opportunities. Summer reading implies leisure: Demand it.

In February, we noted how Kent Haruf had three titles in our top ten circulating books for 2014 (#1, 7, & 9). So far in 2015, he has three in the top twelve (#1, 3, 12). This accounting is true for the bulk of our collection, but I neglected to figure in books from our “New” shelves for this report.

I won’t recalculate, but let’s look at the most popular items from the “New” shelves this year. Oh, look, Kent Haruf’s “Our souls at night” is #7, even though it didn’t come out until late May.

Number 1 is “The girl on the train,” a psychological thriller by Paula Hawkins—Hitchcockian, they say, which might mean you’ll look at your neighbors differently after reading. Small price for a good book.

Number 2 is “The nightingale” by Kristin Hannah, a persistently popular author, which would also describe C.J. Box, whose “Endangered” is number 3.

One of my favorite books of the year, “Being mortal” by Atul Gawande, is number 4. John Grisham’s “Gray Mountain” is number 5.

Surely you can find something to read out of that short list. But there’s more! At no additional cost, you could also get “The buried giant” by Kazuo Ishiguro, whose novel “The remains of the day” has stayed with me for 25 years.

And number 7 is “Our souls at night,” written by Kent Haruf during the last months of his life, which I think is a remarkable achievement and, frankly, a lesson to us all about how to live.

“The burning room” by Michael Connelly is number 8. The number 9 spot is taken by “H is for hawk” by Helen Macdonald, which I may have to read after finishing “The peregrine” by J.A. Baker—a classic in England from the ‘60s.

And number 10: “Personal: a Jack Reacher novel” by Lee Child. Close behind these are new books by Anne Tyler, Anthony Doerr, David Baldacci, Erik Larson, Laura Childs (whose tea mysteries I’ve been meaning to try).

And—remarkable to me—“The life-changing magic of tidying up” by Marie Kondo, which we discussed just two weeks ago. Some of our challenges never go away.


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