Still time to participate in free summer reading programs

If you’ve noticed lots and lots of youngsters reading, and if you’re having trouble finding a parking spot at the library, it’s not your imagination. What you’re seeing is the huge success of the library’s many free summer reading programs underway right now — and there still is time for you and members of your family to join in the fun.

Some 150 kids already have signed up for the these programs, which started June 1. They are reading to a very important deadline — if they complete their reading contract by July 5 they will win prizes and be invited to a celebration party in Town Park on July 8.

Preschoolers through second grade meet Wednesdays from 10 to 11:30 a.m. In addition to stories, they are enjoying performers and activities in the creative arts such as music, dance, theater, art and writing. Last week, for example, 71 children enjoyed jazz and blues music played on a guitar and saxophone. Third through six grades meet Mondays from 1 to 2 p.m. for similar engaging activities.

Free summer fun at the library also extends to teens and adults. The Arts Café on Friday afternoons from 2 to 3 p.m. offers a glass of lemonade or iced tea while you experience a live art performance. Participants have enjoyed the folk music of singer/guitarist Brooks Lindner and performances by actors from the Springs Theatre Company. Tomorrow several hip hop dancers will be featured.

And don’t forget the Arts In Your Own Backyard Bingo Game, also underway now. Teens and adults fill up lines in their bingo cards by attending or participating in different art experiences offered here in Pagosa Springs. They then are eligible for a drawing for generously donated arts-related prizes including tickets to a performance at Music in the Mountains or the Springs Theatre Company, CDs, digital photo key chains, movie tickets to the Liberty Theater, a gift certificate for Pagosa Pottery and more.

So, no matter your age, these programs offer fun opportunities to expand your reading enjoyment and local arts appreciation this summer. And everything is free — a big bonus in today’s troubled economic times.

Large print

“Brimstone” by Robert B. Parker is another in the western series featuring Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch.

New novels

“Nose Down, Eyes Up” by Merrill Markoe tells of the lives of a man and his four dogs.

“To Honor the Dead” by Joseph W. Shaw is the story of a prodigal homecoming in western Oklahoma involving a corrupt local policeman, a mixed-blood southern Cheyenne trickster and an aging Vietnam vet.

“Road Dogs” by Elmore Leonard brings together three popular heroes from the author’s previous novels. “Assegai” by historical novelist Wilbur Smith is an adventure set in 1913 British East Africa. “Olive Kitteridge” by Elizabeth Strout binds together 13 narratives, the points of view of a retired schoolteacher.

Historical fiction

“People of the Thunder” by W. Michael and Kathleen O’Neal Gear explores the ancestral heritage of the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Yuchi peoples.

Mysteries and thrillers

“Last Call” by James Grippando is a thriller focusing on a 20-year-old conspiracy of greed and corruption. “Pressed to Kill” by Dolores Johnson is the latest installment in the dry-cleaning sleuth series featuring Many Dyer. “The Sign” by Raymond Khoury is a provocative thriller in which humanity meets either its salvation or its destruction. “Whispers of the Dead” by Simon Beckett is a crime story about a serial killer. “The Scarecrow” by Michael Connelly features Los Angeles Times reporter Jack McEvoy investigating a 16-year-old murderer who may be innocent. “Cemetery Dance” by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child is a thriller focusing on the murder of a New York Times reporter. “Gone Tomorrow” by Lee Child is the latest in the Jack Reacher series.

Economic analysis

“A Failure of Capitalism” by Richard A. Posner is a non-technical examination of the financial and economic crisis that began in 2008, looking at the causes and the author’s view that the responses to date of the government and economic profession have been indecisive.

Fantasy and sci-fi

“Arthas: Rise of the Lich King” by Christie Golden is part of the World of Warcraft science fiction series.

“The Island” by Tim Lebbon is a fantasy about a mysterious island that appears during a cataclysmic storm. “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith is an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel including some zombie mayhem. “Dead and Gone” by Charlaine Harris is part of a vampire series that has been called “deliciously fiendish.” In “Star Wars Republic Commando Novel” by Karen Traviss, the Galactic Republic faces the end of life as they know it.

Memoirs and autobiographies

“Losing Mum and Pup” by Christopher Buckley is a tragicomic true story of the 12 months between 2007 and 2008 when both his parents died, his Dad being the father of the modern conservative movement and his mother a glamorous socialite. “My Remarkable Journey” is the autobiography of TV talk-show host Larry King.

Thanks to our donors

We are very grateful for generous donations in memory of William Seielstad from Mr. and Mrs. E. J. Colton, Jr. and from Darrel and Peggy Cotton.

For books and materials this week we thank Alice Chavez, Karen Cook, Carol Fulenwider, Scottie Gibson, Sheila Lane, Martin Margulies, Beth Mazzole, Carol Mestas, Pat Mitchell, Marjorie Nevitt, Henry William, and Pat and Gene Wissler.

Quotable quote

“There are too many books I haven’t read, too many places I haven’t seen, too many memories I haven’t kept long enough.” — American short story writer Irwin Shaw.

Web site

For more information on library books, services and programs – and to reserve books from the comfort of your home — please visit our Web site at