This guest blog has been written by Johanna Willett, #ThisIsTucson Reporter (Twitter @johannawillett)


Once again, #ThisIsTucson is challenging you to read local with our second Summer Reading Challenge for Grown-Ups.

And we are SO EXCITED. Why should kids get to have all the fun?

The Summer Reading Challenge has 18 titles with some kind of Arizona connection. Many of these books were written by Tucson authors or are set in Tucson or Arizona. Some explore topics relevant to our region. We asked the Pima County Public Library and Bookmans for recommendations — specifically for titles by women and Native American authors. You can get the full list at

There are nine categories, each with two titles. Categories are:

  • Course of nature (sense of place)
  • Dust in the wind (historical fiction)
  • Saguaro-verse (poetry)
  • Arizona superstars (famous Arizona authors)
  • Frontera (border stories)
  • Blinded by science (science)
  • It’s a dry humor (light reads)
  • Desert magic (fantasy)
  • A walk down memory stravenue (biography/memoir)

Like last year, we’re challenging you to read one book from each category or, sure, just read them all. We are also fully supportive of your busy summer if you need to just stash the list for when life calms down.

(Also, if you missed last year’s reading challenge, you can check that list out here.)

We kicked off the challenge with a launch event on Sunday, May 19th at Bookmans Midtown, and so many of you came to pick up a list. THANK YOU. It’s so good to see Tucson’s book lovers in person. 🙂

If you weren’t able to purchase a challenge book on Sunday or got there after they sold out (!), check out your branch library. We recommend placing holds now! Bookmans Midtown will also be getting in more challenge books throughout the summer.

In August, we’ll all regroup to wrap up our summer of reading local with a book club meeting and PRIZES. Obviously.

#ThisIsTucson will be giving away 50 “Read Local” t-shirts to reading challenge participants. To get your prize, show up for book club at the end of the summer with your reading challenge tracker and tell us about your favorite books on the list. Or tell us which ones you hated. We’re open to that, too. We’ll hang out and share our love of reading with fellow book nerds. More details on that later.

All summer long, you can find us in the #ThisIsTucson Book Club on Facebook, where we’ll be chatting about the challenge books we read. If you want to post about your progress on Insta, use #thisistucsonbookchallenge.

Thanks for reading with us! ❤️