Nevada Reads

Nevada Reads is a one community-one read program designed to support our local literary community, encourage life-long learning, provide opportunities for community engagement, and offer avenues for safe discussion of topics facing Nevada's population. 

The objective of the program is to encourage discussion on much larger topics, through safe and respectful platforms such as book discussions.  Discussion of the fictional characters and scenarios presented in the Nevada Read's selections provide for a platform wherein members of a culturally diverse group can safely and calmly explore different perspectives and opinions on what can be considered socially sensitive topics.   

The program is intended for an adult audience, although the books selected may be attractive to teens as well. Further, our intention is to encourage all communities to get involved.  More than half of the library jurisdictions in the state participate and display the books and promotional materials to encourage individuals and groups alike to read and discuss the book.  Some book clubs also rearrange schedules to include the current selection in their schedule.     

It is the hope that the NV Reads selection should:

  • Raise universal social issues relevant to Nevadans
  • Lend itself to sustained, spirited and in-depth discussion
  • Be accessible to adults and high school aged youth
  • Be available in a wide variety of formats
  • Should be a recent publication, within the last 5 years
  • Should have a Nevada connection (desired but not required)

For information about Nevada Reads programming around the state, visit:


Nevada Reads Titles


Julie Buntin, Marlena: A Novel

Everything about fifteen-year-old Cat’s new town in rural Michigan is lonely and off-kilter, until she meets her neighbor, the manic, beautiful, pill-popping Marlena.  As the two girls turn the untamed landscape of their desolate small town into a kind of playground, Cat catalogues a litany of firsts—first drink, first cigarette, first kiss—while Marlena’s habits harden and calcify.




Sam Quinones, Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic

In 1929, in the blue-collar city of Portsmouth, Ohio, a company built a swimming pool the size of a football field; named Dreamland, it became the vital center of the community. Now, addiction has devastated Portsmouth, as it has hundreds of small rural towns and suburbs across America—addiction like no other the country has ever faced. 

Convicts round up wild mustangs, a schizophrenic homeless man wins the jackpot and disappears, a truck driver with a child's mind spends his last hours in the embrace of a prostitute's photos—disparate and vivid, Mark Maynard's characters intersect in the new wild west of Reno, Nevada.

"Your heart will break…then soar" ( Redbook ) when, far from the neon lights of the Vegas strip, three lives collide in a split-second mistake and a child's fate hangs in the balance. 

Avis thought her marriage had hit a temporary rut... Luis only wants to make the grandmother who raised him proud... every day, young Bashkim looks forward to the quiet order of school and the kind instruction of his third grade teacher. When these lives come together in a single, shocking moment, each character is called upon to rise. 

Originally published in 1978, this is the autobiography of an indomitable woman and her family's 20 years of adventures and misadventures in a desert wilderness. 

In 1908, a venturesome woman named Sarah Olds packed up her brood and went homesteading in the deserts north of Reno, west of Sutcliffe on Pyramid Lake. Her book tells of their hardships, poverty and tribulations.


Rory Hendrix, the least likely of Girl Scouts, hasn't got a troop or a badge to call her own. But she still borrows the Handbook from the elementary school library to pore over its advice, looking for tips to get off the Calle―the Reno trailer park where she lives with her mother, Jo, the sweet-faced, hard-luck bartender at the Truck Stop. 

Brash, sassy, vulnerable, wise, and terrified, she struggles with her mother's habit of trusting the wrong men, and the mixed blessing of being too smart for her own good.


Friendly Fallout 1953 is a hybrid work of literature that combines the actual history of atomic tests in the Nevada desert in 1953 with fictional vignettes that explore the impact of the tests on the people who participated in them and on civilian downwinders.

The book brings to life a turbulent era when Cold War fears, patriotic enthusiasm, scientific progress, and unacknowledged political agendas often collided with the welfare of ordinary citizens and the environment.