Gary Love is reading The East African Elder Garden by Tilth Alliance for Step 7.
Jane Cates is reading Wild Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys for Step 2.
Kristen is reading Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn for Step 9.
Jane Cates is reading Cliffhanger by Ulysses Grant Dietz for Step 1.
Amy Porter is reading Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives by David Eagleman for Step 3.
Amy Porter is reading How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor for Step 4.
Gary Love is reading Zone One by Colson Whitehead for Step 2.
Michael Schrantz is reading The Lost Journals of Sacajewea by Debra Magpie Earling for Step 1.

What are you reading?

Submit your book picks below for each step of the #HCNSummerReading challenge.

I am reading by for

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Read with High Country News

For the second year, High Country News is running a summer reading challenge. The aim is to spark some joy through a bit of structure and a few gentle nudges to read topics, genres of forms you might not otherwise seek out.

This year, the prompts were written by Melissa Chadburn, HCN’s contributing editor for books, culture and commentary, Poetry Editor Paisley Rekdal and Contributing Editor Michelle Nijhuis — an all-star lineup to kick off your reading season!

How to play

1. Download or view the full path with reading prompts included.

2. Follow the path, reading something inspired by each prompt. (Loose interpretations of the prompts are encouraged!)

3. As you go, submit your book picks using the form above — and check to see how other HCNers are interpreting the prompts through their picks.

4. If you make it all the way to the end of the path, congratulations! Let us know at But even if you don’t, we hope you enjoy the journey.

Upcoming events

Check back for updates as upcoming events are confirmed.

Gloria Dickie, Eight Bears

July 13

Gloria Dickie is an award-winning journalist who’s currently a global climate and environment correspondent at Reuters News Agency — as well as a former High Country News intern! In Eight Bears: Mythic Past and Imperiled Future, she embarks on a globe-trotting journey to examine the stories of the eight remaining bear species, all of whom are threatened with extinction.

Ben Goldfarb, Crossings

August 31

HCN Contributing Editor Ben Goldfarb’s latest book, Crossings: How Road Ecology Is Shaping the Future of Our Planet, looks at the ways roads have impacted wildlife — far beyond harms like roadkill. Roads interrupt migrations, contaminate waterways, spread invasive species and even chase away songbirds through traffic noise, but the new science of road ecology is also researching solutions.

Vauhini Vara, This Is Salvaged

September 28

Vauhini Vara — author of The Immortal King Rao, a finalist for the 2023 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction — explores the intricacies of relationships in her latest story collection: This is Salvaged. A young girl reads the encyclopedia to her elderly neighbor, who is descending into dementia. A pair of teenagers seek intimacy as phone-sex operators. A competitive sibling tries to rise above the drunken mess of her own life to become a loving aunt. One sister consumes the ashes of another.


Fire Weather at Powell’s in Portland

HCN Contributing Editor Michelle Nijhuis will be talking with John Vaillant, author of The Tiger, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 7, at Powell’s City of Books in Portland to talk about his latest work: Fire Weather: A True Story from a Hotter World. If that sounds familiar, it’s because Michelle spoke with John for a Q&A about Fire Weather in HCN’s June issue. If you’re local, this is your chance to catch them in person.


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