We need summer reading now more than ever. 

Because this, unlike so many other seasonal traditions, is not canceled this year. Plus, we have so much more time to read these days. 🙌

So, we bring you, #ThisIsTucson's 2020 Summer Reading Challenge for Grown-Ups, a list of 18 books with some kind of Arizona connection. Many of these titles are written by local Tucson authors or are set in Tucson or Arizona. Some explore topics relevant to our region. 

In the last three years of putting together this challenge, we have accumulated a list of more than 200 titles, in large part because of recommendations over the years from the Pima County Public Library, Bookmans Entertainment Exchange, Antigone Books and Mostly Books. Thank you to our amazing, bookish community. 

This year, we have nine categories with two books each. Categories are: 

• Prickly plates: Food

• SPF 20 and under: Middle grade / YA

• Hot hot hot: Bestsellers

• It came from the swamp (cooler): Dystopian / post-apocalyptic

• Sun and games: Sports

• Tumble(weed)ing back in time: History

• Wide open pages: Nature / garden

• Spilling the sun tea: Memoir

• Throwing shade: True crime

We'll be releasing the complete (super cute) list of titles on Friday, May 15 at thisistucson.com/readingchallenge. We'll also start previewing a few of those titles early, starting Monday for our members and in our digital #ThisIsTucson Book Club. This can be super helpful to place your holds early!

(Learn more about membership here).

Kimi Eisele

You can also join us on Instagram Live at noon on Friday, May 15, for a chat with Kimi Eisele, a Tucson author who wrote the novel "The Lightest Object in the Universe." This book — which was published in July 2019 — is a hopeful take about what happens when the economy collapses and the electrical grid goes down. This end-of-world scenario, by the way, is preceded by a deadly flu. 😶

We'll chat with Eisele about her book (which is on our summer reading challenge list) and her thoughts on what happens when bits of your fictional story wander into real life.

As always, we're challenging you to read one book from each category, read them all or just pick and choose what sounds good. Our interpretation of "challenge" is quite loose. We'd just like you to read local and discover a new book to love. 

If you want to begin your reading adventure now, here are our 2019 and 2018 Summer Reading Challenge for Grown-Ups lists. There are some fantastic books on both of those lists. 

We'll be around all summer chatting about the books we read in the #ThisIsTucson Book Club Facebook group. Join us there, or post about your progress on Instagram with the hashtag #thisistucsonbookchallenge. 

You can purchase books online or check out Mostly Books and Antigone, which both have great local collections and can order most titles they don't have in stock. Both stores have delivery and curbside pickup options. 

The Pima County Public Library also has many of these books in a digital format — it might just require hopping into a long hold line

We look forward to spending another summer reading local with you. ❤️


Join #ThisisTucson today. Members get access to our super secret Facebook group and discounts on merch.