All Pikes Peak Reads 2024 Presents: Shelley Read

All Pikes Peak Reads Logo with an author posing with her book "Go As A River"

Pikes Peak Library District is pleased to announce the selected title for All Pikes Peak Reads (APPR) 2024. This year’s book is Go as a River by Shelley Read. (You can also access on OverDrive/Libby

All Pikes Peak Reads is Pikes Peak Library District’s (PPLD) annual community reads program that focuses on celebrating literature, improving community connections, and fostering dialogue across social, cultural, and generational lines. Each year, we select APPR titles that focus on timely topics and plan a variety of community-wide programs. This year’s selection is a historical fiction book set in the former Colorado town of Iola that takes readers on a literary journey that is equal parts hopeful and tragic while encouraging readers to rethink their definition of home and family.  

Hosting a book group? Check out the book discussion guide from the publisher. 

Author visit

Join Pikes Peak Library District as we welcome Shelley Read to discuss her book Go as a River, the 2024 All Pikes Peak Reads selection.  

Following the keynote address, Shelley will do an audience Q&A session and will be available for book signing. Books will be available to purchase during the event. Registration is suggested, but not required.  

When: Sat., Oct. 5 at 3 p.m. 
Location: Library 21c     
Click here for more information

Additional Programs

  • Beneath Blue Mesa: Author Talk
    Join Pikes Peak Library District as we welcome author David Primus to discuss his book Beneath Blue Mesa: The Gunnison River Valley Before the Reservoir. David will present a slideshow of the history of the Gunnison River Valley before Blue Mesa Reservoir was completed in 1965. He will discuss fishing resorts, ranches, towns, and the narrow-gauge railroad that now lie beneath the reservoir as remembered by local residents. Copies of the book will be for sale after the program. 
    • East Library: Thu., Sept. 19 at 6 p.m. 
  • Introduction to Canning: Water Bath Canning
    From preserving your garden harvest to putting up locally purchased produce, canning is a great way to preserve the season’s bounty. Home canning requires knowledge of the science behind food preservation. In this introductory class, participants will learn about the risk of botulism, an overview of proper techniques, and a review of the proper tools for canning. 

    After attending this class, you will be able to safely can high acidic foods such as fruit, peaches, salsa, pickles, tomatoes, jams, jellies, and more. Presented by El Paso County CSU Extension. 

    • Sand Creek Library: Thu., Sept. 5 at noon
    • Calhan Library: Wed., Sept. 25 at noon 
  • Peach Cobbler: A Hands-On Nostalgic Experience 
    Join us to create and sample nostalgic peach cobbler, inspired by the 2024 All Pikes Peaks Read selection, Go as a River. Presented by award-winning author Elayne Prechtel from @sharinglifeloveandfood, this "make and take" class celebrates food, community, and storytelling. Don't miss this special hands-on event artfully blending culinary and literary arts. 
    • High Prairie Library: Mon., Sept. 9 at 1 p.m.
    • Library 21c: Wed., Sept. 11 at 6 p.m. 

Learn More about Iola and the Blue Mesa Reservoir 

Book Clubs 

Several of our book clubs will be reading Go as a River together. Check our Book Clubs page to find out which clubs are reading it. Anyone can join our book clubs at any time, even if you have not been part of the group before. We are always happy to welcome new readers who want to have fun discussing books with others in their community. 

More about Go as a River 

From the publisher: 

Go as a river book cover
Seventeen-year-old Victoria Nash runs the household on her family’s peach farm in the small ranch town of Iola, Colorado—the sole surviving female in a family of troubled men. Wilson Moon is a young drifter with a mysterious past, displaced from his tribal land and determined to live as he chooses.  

Victoria encounters Wil by chance on a street corner, a meeting that profoundly alters both of their young lives, unknowingly igniting as much passion as danger. When tragedy strikes, Victoria leaves the only life she has ever known. She flees into the surrounding mountains where she struggles to survive in the wilderness with no clear notion of what her future will bring. As the seasons change, she also charts the changes in herself, finding in the beautiful but harsh landscape the meaning and strength to move forward and rebuild all that she has lost, even as the Gunnison River threatens to submerge her homeland—its ranches, farms, and the beloved peach orchard that has been in her family for generations.

Inspired by true events surrounding the destruction of the town of Iola in the 1960s, Go as a River is a story of deeply held love in the face of hardship and loss, but also of finding courage, resilience, friendship, and, finally, home—where least expected. This stunning debut explores what it means to lead your life as if it were a river—gathering and flowing, finding a way forward even when a river is dammed. 

About the Author

Shelley Read’s internationally bestselling debut novel, Go as a River, is being translated into over thirty languages and has been optioned for film by Mazur Kaplan in partnership with Fifth Season. She was a Senior Lecturer at Western Colorado University for nearly three decades, where she was a founder of the Environment & Sustainability major and the PRIME program for at-risk students. She holds degrees in writing and literary studies from the University of Denver and Temple University and is a regular contributor to Crested Butte Magazine and Gunnison Valley Journal. She is a fifth-generation Coloradoan who lives with her family in the Elk Mountains of the Western Slope.