For 2020, Mayor’s Book Club to Celebrate Austin Authors

"Read Local" is a campaign promoting books by Austin published this year


Typically, the Mayor’s Book Club choses a book or two that everyone in Austin is invited to read.

But 2020 is hardly a typical year. And so in lieu of selecting a single title, the Austin Public Library and the Library Foundation have launched “Read Local,” a campaign promoting books by Austin that have been published this year.

The list includes more than 30 books that represent a wide range of forms and genres from fiction and non-fiction for adults, to books written for children and teens. With pandemic closures cancelling so many book launch events and author readings, organizers behind the Mayor’s Book Club said that “Read Local” is about giving Austin authors some limelight.

“This expansion of the Mayor’s Book Club provides us with the opportunity to promote Austin’s vibrant literary scene and, in particular, many Austin authors whose titles might not have gotten the attention they deserve this year due to the pandemic,” said Tim Staley, director the Library Foundation.

The ‘Read Local’ list includes Deb Oiln Unferth’s novel “Barn 8,” Go-Go’s bassist Kathy Valentine’s memoir “All I Ever Wanted” and Don Tate’s illustrated children’s book “William Still and His Freedom Stories: Father of the Underground Railroad.”

Related: “The Writing Life: An Interview with Deb Olin Unferth”

Readings, panel discussions and author conversations will take place this fall, possibly virtually.

See the list of “Read Local” titles at



Jeanne Claire van Ryzin
Jeanne Claire van Ryzin
An award-winning arts journalist, Jeanne Claire van Ryzin is the founder and editor-in-chief of Sightlines.

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