Reading Challenge Finisher Councilmember Upthegrove’s Picks

King County Councilmember and Des Moines Library user Dave Upthegrove recently finished this year's 10 to Try reading challenge! He agreed to answer some questions about the books he read and share his list with us.

King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove represents the 5th Council District in South King County. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date on news from his office and the County.

What was your favorite category this year?

My favorite book was a book about crime. I’ve read very little true crime (except While the City Slept by Eli Sanders, a fabulous book) so I decided to read I'll Be Gone in the Dark by journalist Michelle McNamara. I couldn’t put down this creepy and compelling page-turner about McNamara’s hunt for the Golden State Killer—who committed at least 13 murders and countless other crimes between 1974 and 1986. McNamara sadly passed away before the book was published, so she didn’t live to see police finally arrest the killer last year using new DNA evidence from a genealogy database.

Which category was the most challenging for you this year?

A book of poetry proved to be my most challenging read. I had a difficult time deciding on a book of poetry because of the many wonderful, diverse contemporary poets recommended to me by friends. I ended up deciding to read a book of Selected Poems by Theodore Roethke. Roethke is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet with Washington State connections and is the author of my favorite poem, The WakingUnfortunately, the rest of his writing didn’t connect with me the same way as The Waking. I found it to be a slog to get through the whole book.

Did you read anything out of your comfort zone for 10 to Try? What was it, and what did you think about it?

Almost everything was out of my comfort zone. This challenge was perfect for people like me who tend to stick to one genre. Despite my husband being a public school librarian, I always gravitate to the same kind of books: contemporary political nonfiction or civic/political biographies. Diving into the historical nonfiction genre with Astoria by Peter Stark was new for me, but the book ended up being one my favorite reads. Astoria is a wild and well-told adventure story about the efforts to establish the first American settlement here in the Pacific Northwest. It includes harrowing personal stories of the journey over land and sea, all driven by the interconnection of politics and commerce at the time. I can’t wait for next year’s list to keep expanding my horizons. 

Check out the rest of Councilmember Upthegrove's 10 to Try list:

10 to Try 2019: Councilmember Upthegrove's List

Read a children's book

Read a book about a subject that can be difficult to discuss

Read a book by a journalist

Read a book recommended by KCLS staff

Read a book by an LGBTQ+ author

Read a book about family

Read a book by an immigrant author

View Full List

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