Renew, Refresh, Read Local
In autumn 2010 many notable Colorado authors arrived at the library with the turning of the leaves. Poudre River Public Library District sponsored its first author series, featuring authors representing a variety of styles and genres. Community members were invited to this free series to meet these nationally known authors and to gain insight into the world of the characters that they bring to life, as well as their personal aspirations and goals. The series highlighted the wealth of the local author scene. Authors included:
The internationally known author Garth Stein spoke about his novel, The Art of Racing in the Rain – the book chosen for the Fort Collins Reads 2010 program. This New York Times bestselling novel is told from the perspective of Enzo, a shepherd-poodle-terrier, who helps his race car driving owner through cancer, death, and courtroom drama. This event was co-sponsored by Fort Collins Reads, Poudre River Friends of the Library, Friends of the CSU Libraries and the Library District.
Author of Cowboys Are My Weakness, which was the winner of the 1993 Western States Book Award and has been translated into nine languages, and Waltzing the Cat which won the Willa Award for Contemporary Fiction, Pam Houston has appeared on CBS Sunday Morning from time to time, sharing literary essays on the wilderness, and has been a guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show. She lives in Colorado at 9,000 feet above sea level, near the headwaters of the Rio Grande.
Temple Grandin was recently included in the 2010 Time 100, a list of the 100 most influential people in the world. An HBO movie about her life starring Claire Danes was released on DVD in August and won seven Emmys. Grandin's speaking engagement, organized by Colorado State University as part of Fort Collins Reads, encompassed animals and our relationship with them.
Connie Willis is a Nebula and Hugo award-winning author who writes enormously entertaining novels about time travel, war, and the great and small deeds of ordinary people who shape history. The Colorado native, who was recently inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, is known for her elegantly simple prose and likable characters.
Top-selling author J.A. Jance, a member of the Top 10 New York Times bestselling author lists, spoke at the library about her books and her creative life as a popular writer. Ms. Jance has written more than 40 detective novels and thrillers, and has written books featuring fictional homicide investigator Detective J. P. Beaumont for 20 years.
Well-known writer Lauren Myracle visited the library during “Banned Books Week” in September. She is famous for her books ttyl and l8r, g8r. These books for young adults are comprised of text messages. This bestselling author for young adults spoke about having her books challenged and the importance of intellectual freedom. Her first novel, Kissing Kate, was selected among ALA Best Books for Young Adults in 2004. It was named by Booklist as one of the "Top Ten Youth Romances" of the year, as well as one of the "Top Ten Books by New Writers". Myracle also wrote Rhymes with Witches, which is included in Anita Silvey's "500 Great Books for Teens", and was nominated for "Best Books for Young Adults" by the American Library Association.
Boulder resident, journalist, and race car driving instructor Frank Amoroso gave a presentation on the philosophical aspects of race car driving, his presentation of “Zen and the Art of Racing in the Rain” was part of the activities surrounding Fort Collins Reads. He brought his very own race cars to the library!
Best known for his book Beneath a Marble Sky: A Novel of the Taj Mahal, John Shors was promoting his new book, The Wishing Trees when fate brought him to Kyoto, Japan, and landed him a job as an English teacher. Shors then backpacked across Asia, visiting 10 countries over the course of the next few years. He spoke at the library about his passion for capturing stories of the Far East.
With a background in cultural anthropology and ESL teaching, Laura Resau has lived and traveled in Latin America and Europe - experiences which inspired her books for young people. Her latest young adult novel, The Ruby Notebook, was praised as "a tender, wise meditation on love and self-identity" (Kirkus, starred). Resau lives with her husband and young son in Colorado. She donates a portion of her royalties to indigenous rights organizations in Latin America.
Willa Cather spent most of her childhood in Nebraska. She was a restless soul who longed for culture and refinement and was afraid of “dying in a cornfield.” After graduation from the University of Nebraska in 1895, she headed for Pittsburgh and then New York for work in journalism. But her deepest impulse was to write creatively from her own experiences and her own country. She kept returning to the West, especially Nebraska. This famous author was brought to life by Lynne Swanson, a Chautauqua performer, who has portrayed Willa Cather for over 17 years.