Expand your horizons with a new book.

In celebration of Love of Reading Week, Amphitheater School District Superintendent Todd Jaeger launched the “Amphi First Page Challenge,” where members of the public are challenged to film themselves reading the first page of their favorite book. 

Quite a few big names in the Northwest joined in, and while we don’t have room for the first pages of every book, we will include the first sentence. And because we here at Tucson Local Media also love books, we decided to join in. 

So here’s a list of our community’s favorite books, just in time for the Tucson Festival of Books! 

Amphitheater School District Superintendent Todd Jaeger 

“To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee

“When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.” 

Oro Valley Town Manager Mary Jacobs

“The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd

“At night I would lie in bed and watch the show, how bees squeezed through the cracks of my bedroom wall and flew circles around the room, making that propeller sound, a high-pitched zzzzzz that hummed along my skin.”

Oro Valley Police Chief Daniel Sharp

“A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” 

Pima County Schools Superintendent Dustin Williams

“The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway 

“He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish.”

Oro Valley Mayor Joe Winfield

“My Side of the Mountain” by Jean George

“I am on my mountain in a tree home that people have passed without ever knowing that I am here.”

Oro Valley Vice Mayor Melanie Barrett

“Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” 

Literacy Connects Executive Director Betty Stauffer

“A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by Betty Smith

“Serene was a word you could put to Brooklyn, New York.” 

Golder Ranch Fire District Chief Randy Karrer

“It’s Your Ship” by Michael Abrashoff

“My first inkling of the size of the job came at 1:21 in the afternoon on June 20, 1997, after I formally assumed command of USS Benfold.”

 Tucson Local Media Executive Editor Jim Nintzel

“Wonder Boys” by Michael Chabon

“The first real writer I ever knew was a man who did all of his work under the name of August Van Zorn.”

Tucson Local Media Managing Editor Logan Burtch-Buus

“One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcίa Márquez

“Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendίa was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.”

Tucson Local Media Associate Editor Jeff Gardner

“Invisible Cities” by italo Calvino

“Kublai Khan does not necessarily believe everything Marco Polo says when he describes the cities visited on his expeditions, but the emperor of the Tartars does continue listening to the young Venetian with greater attention and curiosity than he shows any other messenger or explorer of his.”

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“In my own effort to illuminate the character and career of Abraham Lincoln, I have coupled the account of his life with the stories of the remarkable men who were his rivals for the 1860 Republican presidential nomination....” Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals

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