Good reads and good times.

Adams County Reads One Book

Join other readers in Adams County for lively, intellectual conversation based on our shared reading experience.

Each year, we announce the title of the selected Nonfiction book in January and stock copies in paperback, large print and audio book formats. Throughout April, we hold One Book programs such as book discussions, lectures and film screenings throughout the community. 

In July, we announce the title of the selected Fiction book and stock copies in paperback, large print and audio book formats.  Throughout September, we hold One Book programs such as book discussions, lectures and film screenings throughout the community.  All programs are free and open to all.

In the Garden of Beasts by Erick Larson

In this #1 New York Times bestseller, Larson tells the story of William E. Dodd, who accepts the US ambassadorship to Berlin and moves his family from Chicago to the German city in 1933. Dodd, a college professor and aspiring US history author, seems an unlikely choice as ambassador, living conservatively and refusing to abide by traditional practices of ostentatious soirees and gatherings. As Dodd copes with his new responsibilities, his spirited daughter Martha attends parties and society engagements and becomes entangled with some of the most powerful men in Hitler’s new German government. What at first seems like deep devotion by German countrymen to their new government begins to show troubling and disturbing realities to Dodd. Physical attacks increase on American citizens. Laws targeting segments of the German population start to shed light on Hitler’s true purposes in government. Dodd’s attempts to alert the US State Department about the growing terror and atrocities only elicit silence from the US Government. Meanwhile, Martha’s comradeship with various men in foreign governments leads her down a dangerous path that will change her life, and that of her family, forever.


Next Year's One Book

A committee of library staff and community members select the year's title from a list of about 40 books. Want to help the committee choose next year's book? Submit your ideas here.

Past Selections

2014: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

Harold Fry is a shy, retired British brewery salesman.  He receives a letter from a former coworker whom he hasn’t had any contact with in 20 years, Queenie Hennessey.  This brief note sparks Harold to take an unplanned trek – to walk the 600 miles or so from his home in southern England to the hospice where Queenie is dying of cancer.  Without hiking boots, rain gear, map or cell phone, Harold begins his unlikely pilgrimage across the English countryside. Along the way, he meets strangers who stir up memories and flashbacks – of when his marriage was filled with promise and then not, his inadequacy as a father and shortcomings as a husband.

2013: Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard

The extraordinary New York Times bestselling account of James Garfield’s rise from poverty to the American presidency, and the dramatic history of his assassination and legacy.

2012: A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

Surprised to find himself reborn as a golden-haired puppy after a short life as a stray mutt, Bailey decides that there must be a reason that he was reincarnated, a purpose that he must fulfill and that until he does so, he’ll continue to be reborn.  His search for his life’s meaning leads him into the arms of 8-year-old Ethan where Bailey discovers how to be a good dog.  But a long life as a beloved family pet is not the end of Bailey’s journey.  He is reborn once again as a puppy and begins to wonder – will he ever find his purpose?

2011: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Closely based on Alexie’s own experiences growing up on the Spokane Reservation in Washington State, the novel overflows with truth, pain and black comedy amid cutting memories of daily life on the “rez.”  The novel is an unforgettable portrait of living in harsh circumstances and the struggle to leave those circumstances behind.