Nevada Reads

Nevada Reads is a statewide book club that invites the people of Nevada to read selected works of literature and come together in their communities to share the ideas and perceptions inspired by the books they have read. New books are selected each year, providing the opportunity for book club discussions and/or community partnership events that focus conversation around Nevada Reads books. Nevada Reads offers avenues for discussion of topics that matter to the people of Nevada.


Nevada Humanities Presents Author Willy Vlautin on Nevada Reads 2019 Tour

Nevada Humanities proudly welcomes author Willy Vlautin at a series of events throughout Nevada this fall and early winter. Mr. Vlautin is the author of Don’t Skip Out On Mea moving story about a young man’s search for belonging, which is an understated yet powerful exploration of identity and loneliness pulled from deep within America’s soul. Don’t Skip Out On Me is a 2019 pick for Nevada Reads—a statewide, public book club offered by Nevada Humanities. The following events, which feature Mr. Vlautin and Don’t Skip Out On Me, will take place in northernNevada. All events are free, and open to all. Note that some events are 21+.

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Wednesday, September 11
5:00 – 6:30 pm 
Willy Vlautin in Conversation
Douglas County Public Library
1625 Library Lane, Minden
775-782-9841

Thursday, September 12
12:00 – 1:00 pm 
Willy Vlautin in Conversation
Brown-bag lunch talk 
Nevada State Library, Archives, and Public Records
100 North Stewart Street, Carson City
775-684-3360

Thursday, September 12
9:00 pm 
Willy Vlautin in Concert
JT Basque Bar, 21+
1426 US-395, Gardnerville
775-782-2074

Friday, September 13
7:00 pm 
Willy Vlautin in Concert and Conversation
The Martin Hotel
94 West Railroad Street, Winnemucca
775-623-3197

Saturday, September 14
5:30 – 6:15 pm 
Nevada Humanities Literary Crawl: Performance and Discussion
Ceol Irish Pub, 538 South Virginia Street, Reno
775-329-5558

Monday, September 16
7:00 pm 
Willy Vlautin in Concert and Conversation
Western Folklife Center
501 Railroad Street, Elko
775-738-7508

Events will feature conversations and/or performances with Nevada’s own author Willy Vlautin as he discusses his novel, Don’t Skip Out On Me, a moving story about a young man’s search for belonging. Events include a Q + A, a book signing, and even some music. In December 2019, Vlautin will also visit venues in Las Vegas and Tonopah, Nevada with similar book conversations.

Tuesday, December 10
7:00 pm
Willy Vlautin in Conversation
Nevada State College
Auditorium, Building 200
1300 Nevada State Drive, Henderson
702-992-2380

Wednesday, December 11
7:00 pm
Willy Vlautin in Concert and Conversation
Tonopah Convention Center
301 Brougher Avenue, Tonopah
775-482-3558


Born and raised in Reno, Nevada, Willy Vlautin started playing guitar and writing songs as a teenager and quickly became immersed in music. It was a Paul Kelly song, based on Raymond Carver’s Too Much Water So Close to Home, that inspired him to start writing stories. Vlautin has published five novels: The Motel Life (2007), Northline (2008), Lean On Pete (2010), The Free (2014), and Don’t Skip Out On Me (2018). He is also the frontman of the bank Richmond Fontaine, whose many albums include Post to Wire, and more recently founded The Delines. He now lives in Portland, Oregon.

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2019 Book Selections

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Honesty, identity, and family legacy themes run deep through the 2019 book selections for our Nevada Reads program. This year Nevada Reads features powerful storytelling through three books, two nonfiction memoirs and one novel —Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon, Educated, a memoir by Tara Westover, and Don’t Skip Out On Me, a novel by Nevada author Willy Vlautin. Throughout 2019 Nevada Humanities will offer book clubs, discussion groups, and community partnership-led initiatives all across Nevada that feature discussions around these selected books. Watch this page for a Nevada Reads event near you.

Nevada Reads is a statewide book club that invites Nevadans to read selected works of literature and then come together in their communities to share the ideas and perceptions inspired by the books they have read. Nevada Reads offers avenues for discussion of topics of importance to the people of Nevada. Delve into the 2019 Nevada Reads books:

Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon. Scribner
In Heavy, Kiese Laymon writes eloquently and honestly about growing up a hard-headed, black son to a complicated and brilliant black mother in Jackson, Mississippi. From his early experiences of sexual violence, to his suspension from college, to his trek to New York as a young college professor, Laymon charts his complex relationship with his mother, grandmother, anorexia, obesity, sex, writing, and ultimately gambling. By attempting to name secrets and lies he and his mother spent a lifetime avoiding, Laymon asks himself, his mother, his nation, and us to confront the terrifying possibility that few in this nation actually know how to responsibly love, and even fewer want to live under the weight of actually becoming free. A personal narrative that illuminates national failures, Heavy is defiant yet vulnerable, an insightful, often comical exploration of weight, identity, art, friendship, and family that begins with a confusing childhood—and continues through 25 years of haunting implosions and long reverberations. Heavy, shortlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal and the Kirkus Prize, was named one of the Best Books of 2018 by the New York Times and other publications. It was also named Audible’s Audiobook of the Year.

Born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, Laymon is the Ottilie Schillig Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Mississippi, and is the author of the novel Long Division and a collection of essays, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America. He is also the author of the memoir Heavy: An American Memoir.

Don’t Skip Out On Me by Willy Vlautin. Harper Perennial
A moving story about a young man’s search for belonging, Don’t Skip Out On Me is an understated yet powerful exploration of identity and loneliness pulled from deep within America’s soul. Horace Hopper has spent most of his life on a Nevada sheep ranch, but dreams of something bigger. Mr. and Mrs. Reese, the aging ranchers, took him in after his parents abandoned him, treating him like the son they always wanted. But Horace, ashamed of not only his half-Paiute, half-Irish heritage but also the fact that his parents didn’t want him, feels as if he doesn’t truly belong on the ranch, or anywhere. Believing that he needs to make a name for himself, Horace leaves behind the only loving home he has ever known for Tucson, where he aims to prove his worth as a championship boxer. Horace struggles to adapt to his new life in the city, and grows more and more isolated, withdrawing into himself as he struggles with the pain of his boxing injuries and his loneliness. Born and raised in Reno, Nevada, Vlautin started playing guitar and writing songs as a teenager and quickly became immersed in music. It was a Paul Kelly song, based on Raymond Carver’s Too Much Water So Close to Home that inspired him to start writing stories. Vlautin has published five novels: The Motel Life (2007), Northline (2008), Lean On Pete (2010), The Free (2014), and Don’t Skip Out On Me (2018).

Educated by Tara Westover. Random House
Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills bag.” The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when Westover’s older brother became violent. Then, lacking any formal education, Westover began to educate herself. She taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important world events like the Holocaust and the civil rights movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home. Westover is an American author. Born in Idaho to a father opposed to public education, she never attended school, and was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. After that first encounter with education, she pursued learning for a decade, graduating magna cum laude from Brigham Young University in 2008 and subsequently winning a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. She earned an M.Phil. from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 2009, and in 2010 was a visiting fellow at Harvard University. She returned to Cambridge, where she was awarded a Ph.D. in history in 2014.

Nevada Reads is a program of Nevada Humanities and is made possible with support from Nevada State Library, Archives, and Public Records; the Institute of Museum and Library Services; and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Those interested in reading the 2019 Nevada Reads books and participating in the scheduled programming are encouraged to request the books at their public library or purchase them now.