Old Favorites: Great American Read!

Great American Read

We’re focusing on newer books, movies, and television shows for 2018, but that doesn’t mean we’re entirely ignoring old favorites! After all, what’s that saying–what’s old may just become new again (or something like that)?

I usually use this feature to commemorate a special event in literary history, but this month is going to be a little different!

I am very excited to announce that the Berryville Public Library was one of only 50 libraries in the nation chosen to receive an ALA programming grant for PBS’s upcoming Great American Reads series.

As you can imagine, we were all very excited to win, but we’re even more excited about the programming we have in store, courtesy of the grant!

Now, you might be wondering exactly what all this means or even what it has to do with our regular Old Favorites feature.

In case you haven’t yet heard, the Great American Read is a PBS series that is intended to get Americans reading, talking about reading, and–ultimately–voting for their favorite book. One hundred books were selected for Americans to vote on, and the list includes everything from classic old favorites to more contemporary new favorites and genres that range from literary fiction to romance to mystery to horror to Westerns. You can view all the books here.

The first episode premieres tonight on PBS and is intended as an introduction. Then, through the summer, people will be able to read books on the list, discuss those books, and start voting for favorites. In the fall, the show will return to PBS with episodes examining themes in the book. The series finale will culminate in a reveal of the results of the voting. For more information, check out their website.

However, in the immortal words of the late, great Billy Mays, “But wait there’s more!” While we’re engaged in the Great American Read voting, we’re also going to be hosting a Great Berryville Read to see what Berryville’s favorite book is.

We’ll be updating you more on both the Great American Read and the Great Berryville Read as time goes on, and we’ll be using the blog to share people’s favorites and to review books from the list.

One of the first things on the agenda is sharing our “first favorites.” Those are the books that, as soon as we look at the list, we automatically think, “Oh I’d vote for that one.” I have 3 and will be revealing them next month in a review of one of them.

But in the meantime, what’s your first favorite? How many books have you read on the list? Will you be tuning in and voting? (We sure hope so!) Tell us in the comments!


It’s That Time of Year Again!

Books in Bloom

Make sure you pencil in Sunday, May 20th, 12-5 p.m. on your calendar! That will be the 13th Annual Books in Bloom Literary Festival at the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs. You can rub elbows with some of your favorite authors, get signed books, and hear the writers give talks on everything from the inspiration behind their books to writing tips to readings of their work.

Continue reading “It’s That Time of Year Again!”

Sneak Peek for Next Year

A whole new year, a whole new blog? Not exactly but definitely time for a few tweaks.


This year, a lot of our blog posts have focused on our 2016 Library Challenge. But as the year is winding down and the challenge deadline is drawing near, I wanted to spend some time looking ahead to next year.

Continue reading “Sneak Peek for Next Year”

2016 Library Challenge: Reminder


One month to go!

As the year is winding down, this is just a friendly PSA that if you’ve been participating in our reading challenge this year and have or will have successfully completed 40 of the 48 challenges by the end of the year, you’ll need to present your scorecard in person at the Berryville Public Library by December 31st.

Here’s a link to a recap of the rules and a downloadable copy of the scorecard.

Personally, I still lack 4 categories. I have the books I need to read for them checked out. They stare at me reproachfully every night before I go to sleep, but I’ve managed to ignore them while I read other things. . . .

So, how’s your reading challenge coming along? If you’re not participating in the 2016 Library Challenge, how many books have you read this year? How many books are you planning on reading in December? Tell us in the comments!


One of my favorite parts of working in the library has always been the conversations I’ve had with patrons and coworkers about books. Over the years, I’ve received a lot of wonderful book recommendations while I was waiting on patrons or chatting with coworkers.

We at the Berryville Public Library wanted to start our own blog to provide another forum for book discussions, one not limited by time or place. Now we don’t have to limit talking about books to book clubs or times when you’re in the library because this blog lets us bring the conversation to you. To help start this online conversation about books, we’ll be posting weekly reviews, recommendations, and thoughts about books, as well as other items in our collection, like music, movies, and television shows.

In addition, we’ll be partaking in the 2016 Library Book Challenge and chronicling it on the blog. If you haven’t already, stop by the library and pick up your copy of the Book Challenge calendar, so you can participate too.

One reason we really like this particular book challenge is it’s so flexible. Unlike many other yearly book challenges, which require you to read specific titles or have a rigid timeline you must follow, this one provides you with general categories. That way, you can explore titles, authors, and genres you may not normally read, but you can still easily adapt them to your own interests. For instance, challenges include “Read a funny book,” “Read a book set in another country,” “Read a book that became a movie,” and “Read a book by an author with your initials,” among many others. In addition, the categories are not listed in any specific order, so you can work through the different challenges at your own pace and according to whichever sequence you prefer.

Even if you don’t want to participate in the Book Challenge, because the categories are broad enough, you can still enjoy the resulting reading suggestions and book reviews.

Be sure to bookmark this site, so you don’t miss any of our upcoming posts!

Interested in the 2016 Library Book Challenge? Post a comment below, and we’ll save a calendar for you behind the circulation desk.