2024 Santa Fe Reads
The National Endowment for the Arts Big Read—a partnership with Arts Midwest—broadens our understanding of our world, our neighbors, and ourselves through the power of a shared reading experience. The NEA Big Read aims to inspire meaningful conversations, artistic responses, and new discoveries and connections in each community that participates. This year, through surveys and community input from local organizations and educators, Santa Fe has chosen Circe by Madeline Miller for adult and teen readers. For middle-grade readers, our selection is the Olympians series by George O’Connor. For our youngest readers, a couple of the selected companion books that will be highlighted is Goddesses and Gardens by Valerie Tripp and Teresa Martinez and Little Bear, You’re a Star!: A Greek Myth about the Constellations by Jean Marzollo.
READ · REFLECT · ENGAGE · CREATE
APRIL 20 – MAY 16, 2024
Connect with our community to explore the themes of The Hero’s Journey, Female Strength and Greek Mythology through the 2024 Santa Fe Reads selected works and program activities.
Santa Fe Reads Kick-Off Event & Concert
“BEGIN THE JOURNEY”
In Partnership with the Southside Teen Center & AMP Concerts
Live music and activities in celebration of kicking off the 2024 Santa Fe Reads!
April 20th, 2024
12PM – 4PM
Southside Teen Center, 6600 Valentine Way, Santa Fe, NM 87507
& Southside Library, 6599 Jaguar Dr, Santa Fe, NM 87507
Stay tuned for updates and 2024 Santa Fe Reads / NEA Big Read program listings on our Library Calendar and at the Santa Fe Reads webpage coming soon! More copies of the selected books will be added to the SFPL circulating collection and giveaway copies of the books will be available at special events!
Santa Fe Reads Culminating Event with Author Madeline Miller
“OUR JOURNEY’S END”
In Partnership with Santa Fe International Literary Festival
May 16th, 2024
Santa Fe Convention Center, 201 W Marcy St, Santa Fe, NM 87501
Program information and registration coming soon!
Santa Fe Reads 2022, part of the NEA Big Read, is presented by the City of Santa Fe Public Library with the support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Arts Midwest, Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library, local sponsors, and community partners.
CIRCE BY MADELINE MILLER
With unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language and page-turning suspense, Circe is a triumph of storytelling, an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss, as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man’s world.
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child–not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power–the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.
Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.
But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.
AUTHOR MADELINE MILLER
Madeline Miller grew up in New York City and Philadelphia. She attended Brown University, where she earned her BA and MA in Classics. She has taught and tutored Latin, Greek, and Shakespeare to high school students for over fifteen years.
She has also studied at the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought, and in the Dramaturgy department at Yale School of Drama, where she focused on the adaptation of classical texts to modern forms.
The Song of Achilles, her first novel, was awarded the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction and was a New York Times Bestseller. Miller was also shortlisted for the 2012 Stonewall Writer of the Year. Her second novel, Circe, was an instant number 1 New York Times bestseller, and won the Indies Choice Best Adult Fiction of the Year Award and the Indies Choice Best Audiobook of the Year Award, as well as being shortlisted for the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction. Circe also won The Red Tentacle Award, an American Library Association Alex Award (adult books of special interest to teen readers), and the 2018 Elle Big Book Award. It is currently being adapted for a series with HBO Max. Miller’s novels have been translated into over twenty-five languages including Dutch, Mandarin, Japanese, Turkish, Arabic and Greek, and her essays have appeared in a number of publications including the Guardian, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Telegraph, Lapham’s Quarterly and NPR.org. She currently lives outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
“An epic spanning thousands of years that’s also a keep-you-up-all-night page turner.” — Ann Patchett
“A bold and subversive retelling of the goddess’s story that manages to be both epic and intimate in its scope, recasting the most infamous female figure from the Odyssey as a hero in her own right.” — The New York Times
“Think a novel based on Greek mythology isn’t for you? Just wait. Miller’s spell builds slowly, but by the last page you’ll be in awe. In prose of dreamlike simplicity, she reimagines the myth of Circe, the sun god’s unloved daughter who went on to invent witchcraft and enchant Homer’s Odysseus. The ancient stories and characters are reshaped by truths that modern women can finally speak about sisterhood and sexism, rape and rage, and most exquisitely, motherhood.” — People
“Luminous. . . Deft and compassionate. . . A compelling and engagingly feminist piece of ancient fantasy. . . Readers who know the source stories already will delight in the craft of Miller’s quietly revisionist amendments to these well-worn tales. . . But Circe is also a brilliantly strange work of mythic science fiction, as effortlessly expressive within the palaces of gods as it is about the world below. . . This is both a fabulous novel and a fascinating retelling; the best compliment, perhaps, that any myth could hope for.” — Daily Telegraph
“Miller’s lush, gold-lit novel — told from the perspective of the witch whose name in Greek has echoes of a hawk and a weaver’s shuttle — paints another picture: of a fierce goddess who, yes, turns men into pigs, but only because they deserve it. . . The character of Circe only occupies a few dozen lines of [The Odyssey], but Miller extracts worlds of meaning from Homer’s short phrases.” — NPR
MIDDLE READER SELECTION
Olympians Series By George O’Connor
In OLYMPIANS, O’Connor draws from primary documents to reconstruct and retell classic Greek myths. But these stories aren’t sedate, scholarly works. They’re action-packed, fast-paced, high-drama fantasy adventures, with monsters, romance, and not a few huge explosions. O’Connor’s vibrant, kinetic art brings ancient tales to undeniable life, in a perfect fusion of super-hero aesthetics and ancient Greek mythology.
George O’Connor is an author, illustrator and cartoonist. Above all, George is a Greek mythology buff and a classic superhero comics fan, and he’s out to remind us how much our pantheon of superheroes (Superman, Batman, the X-Men, etc) owes to mankind’s original superheroes: the Greek pantheon. Now he has brought his attention to OLYMPIANS, an ongoing series retelling the classic Greek myths in comics form.
In his New York Times bestselling Olympians series, O’Connor draws from primary documents to reconstruct and retell classic Greek myths. But these stories aren’t sedate, scholarly works. They’re action-packed, fast-paced, high-drama adventures, with monsters, romance, and not a few huge explosions. O’Connor’s vibrant, kinetic art brings ancient tales to undeniable life, in a perfect fusion of super-hero aesthetics and ancient Greek mythology.
George’s first graphic novel, Journey Into Mohawk Country, used as its sole text the actual historical journal of the seventeenth-century Dutch trader Harmen Meyndertsz van den Bogaert, and told the true story of how New York almost wasn’t. He followed that up with Ball Peen Hammer, the first graphic novel written by playwright Adam Rapp, a dark, dystopian view of a society’s collapse.
In addition to his graphic novel career, O’Connor has published several children’s picture books, including the New York Times best-selling Kapow!, Sally and the Some-Thing, If I Had a Raptor and If I Had a Triceratops.
George lives in Brooklyn, NY with two terrible cats and one good one.
LITTLE READER SELECTIONS
Goddesses and Gardens
By Valerie Tripp (Adapter), Teresa Martinez (Illustrator)
In this must-have children’s storybook collection, young readers will enter a world where goddesses command the seasons, trespassers turn into pigs, and every flower has a story.
Discover magic and mythology, fruits and flowers, in three exciting myths:
- Descend into the underworld―and back again―with Persephone, the goddess of spring!
- Join Echo as she finds her independence with the help of the goddess Nemesis!
- Wash ashore on Circe’s remote island, where a mighty sorceress turns men into beasts!
This enchanting introduction to mythology by Valerie Tripp will have ancient stories of goddesses and gardens leaping right off the page. Discover the magic, and experience the triumph firsthand!
With stunning, full-color illustrations from Teresa Martinez and foil on the cover, Goddesses and Gardens promises to thrill a new generation of readers with bold heroines and fantastical flora―for a lifetime to come.
Little Bear, You’re a Star!: A Greek Myth about the Constellations
By Jean Marzollo
A Greek myth about the love of a mother and child introduces two constellations.
This lively, vibrantly illustrated rendition of the story of Big and Little Bear provides a wonderful introduction to classic Greek myths and the constellations. Jean Marzollo, beloved author and expert in early childhood education, vividly retells this dramatic and heartwarming tale about the enduring bond between mother and child. Small bird characters at the bottom of each page offer thought-provoking commentary.
2024 Santa Fe Reads
2024 Santa Fe Reads, part of the NEA Big Read, is presented by the City of Santa Fe Public Library with the support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Arts Midwest, Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library, local sponsors, and community partners.
NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.