Country Bookshelf Reading Challenge 2022

Join us in 2022 for the Country Bookshelf Reading Challenge and add some surprising delights to your reading year.

Follow us on social media and subscribe to our newsletter for bookseller recommendations to fulfill all the categories, and more updates. Posting on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram? Tag us and use the hashtag #cbreadingchallenge and we might share it on our social media as well!

And if that isn't enough of a challenge, or you need to add more books to your reading list be sure to check out our digital audiobook partner Libro.FM's listening challenge as well!

Dowload the new Country Bookshelf Challenge sheet here.

Taylor Brorby In-Person Wednesday 8/24 @ 6pm

Explore the searing coming-of-age memoir BOYS & OIL from a young, gay environmentalist, set against the arid landscape of rural North Dakota

RSVP on Eventbrite!

From a young, gay environmentalist, Taylor Brorby's searing coming-of-age memoir 'seems akin to a ticking bomb.'

"I am a child of the American West, a landscape so rich and wide that my culture trembles with terror before its power.' So begins Boys and Oil a haunting, bracingly honest memoir about growing up gay amidst the harshness of rural North Dakota, 'a place where there is no safety in a ravaged landscape of mining and fracking.' In visceral prose, Brorby recounts his upbringing in the coalfields; his adolescent infatuation with books; and how he felt intrinsically different from other boys. Now an environmentalist, Brorby uses the destruction of large swathes of the West as a metaphor for the terror he experienced as a youth. From an assault outside a bar in an oil boom town to a furtive romance, and from his awakening as an activist to his arrest at the Dakota Access Pipeline, Boys and Oil provides a startling portrait of an America that persists despite well-intentioned legal protections.

BOYS AND OIL cover image

“The story of North Dakota is then the story of self-destruction. Everything leaves North Dakota full and comes back empty. The only way I’ve understood my home is by getting out, escaping its crushing weight, watching the destruction, now from the outside.”

In Boys and Oil, a bracingly honest memoir, Taylor Brorby brings new focus to a chronically ignored region of the country whose rich resources—its land and its people—are too often ravaged for America’s expedient purposes. In his hometown, Center, North Dakota, there are no stoplights, grocery stores, or motels, just a few bars and churches, with pews filled on Sundays by men who will return to the coal mine or the power plant on Monday and every day after. Here Brorby recounts his story, and that of the prairie, too, interweaving historic coal- country vignettes with scenes from his youth to forge a new path across a notoriously unforgiving landscape.

In visceral prose, Brorby recalls his upbringing in a trailer house in Center, and later in Bismarck; his adolescent infatuation with books; and how he felt intrinsically different from other boys in his home state, a state that ranks first in binge drinking. Childhood memories of picking chokecherries and fishing for bluegill with his beloved grandfather are soon replaced with the recollections of a closeted adolescent—of taunting and mocking, even beatings, from peers. Still, Brorby remained in North Dakota until he was outed to his family, and it became clear that to survive home, he had to leave first. Drawing readers into the tumultuous relationships of his early adulthood, Brorby relays his decision to flee North Dakota—physically, but never spiritually—for Minnesota, and eventually to come out on his own terms. Now an environmentalist, Brorby casts the prairie as a place of vulnerability, “where humans and animals must be resilient to survive.” Using the terror he experienced as a youth as a metaphor for the destruction of his homeland, Brorby describes his awakening as an activist, his arrest in Iowa at the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the yearning for the lush green grass and brown buttes of his childhood, “for a way to return.”

Haunting and deeply affecting, BOYS AND OIL is as much a book about growing up gay in rural America as it is an extraordinary paean to the natural environment, and a plea to stop destroying the land we call home.

“I have been waiting for this book. Boys and Oil is more than a memoir, it is a protest. Taylor Brorby has created a bridge between daydreams and nightmares, the gentle stirrings of the prairie and the violence of the oil and gas industry. We see through the lens of a gay man how character and identity are shaped by the landscapes that raise us. There is nothing sentimental in these pages. The literary West is more complete because of this stand-up story of beauty and brokenness by a fearless writer named Brorby.”                              —Terry Tempest Williams, author of Erosion: Essays of Undoing

Taylor Brorby image

Taylor Brorby is an essayist and poet. The coeditor of Fracture: Essay, Poems, and Stories on Fracking in America, his work has appeared in the Huffington Post, Orion, and North American Review, where he is a contributing editor.

Celebrate Bookstore Romance Day!

Bookstore Romance Day is a day we love to celebrate!

Dedicated to Romance fiction—its books, readers, and writers—and  strengthening the relationships between bookstores and the Romance community, Bookstore Romance Day is in it's fourth year!

Virtual Event Program

11am - Gotta Have Faith--explore elements of faith in Romance outside the white, evangelical Christianity usually associated with the Inspirational sub-genre alonside authors Stacy Agdern, Rosie Danan, Farah Herron, Uzma Jalaluddin and Preslaysa Williams. Moderated by Olivia Waite
1pm - Authors to Grow With--authors who have published books specifically for the MG/YA market and specifically for the Adult market. Our friends at Loyalty Books will moderate this panel of amazing cross-category authors: Alisha Rai, Suzanne Park, Kosoko Jackson, Ashley Herring Blake, and Megan Bannen.
2pm - History in Color--Historical Romance by and about people of color reflects some of the best writing in Romance. Blogger and Indie Bookseller Kristian Beverly leads this conversation with Beverly Jenkins (the great and honorable Miss Bev herself!!! We're screaming!), Vanessa Riley, Adriana Herrera, Diana Quincy, and Amalie Howard.
3pm - Is This a Kissing Book?--S-F/F w/Romance elements & Romance w/ S-F/F elements,  either way you look at it, this panel has chemistry! Tubby & Coo's Mid-City Bookshop takes use to faraway and fantastical lands with CL Polk, Ilona Andrews, Travis Baldree, Alexandra Rowland, and Rachel Gillig.
4pm - Love is Queer--Romance by and about the LGBTQIA+ community is the perenial favorite of Bookstore Romance Day! Featuring TJ Alexander, Erica Ridley, Timothy Janovsky and Chencia Higgins, and moderated by Bettie's Pages!

Check out this catalog of all the authors celebrating Bookstore Romance Day virtually this year!

Win Fabulous Prizes!

Bookstore Romance Day will have some great book giveaways happening on Bookstore Romance Day. There are prize packs from Atria Books, St. Martin's Press, and Avon. Entry is easy. On Saturday, August 20, share a photo of your Bookstore Romance Day haul (or any Romance novel) to social media using the hashtag #IndiesLoveRomance & tag Bookstore Romance Day (@bookstoreromanceday) and your favorite independent bookstore. Winners will be chosen randomly from all eligible entries and contacted by August 31. (Sorry. Giveaways are open to US readers only.)

Sourcebooks publishing is also offering two extra-special prize packs that include a selection of Sourcebooks titles and some really excellent swag, including a Kate Spade tote! Full details on the prize and how to enter can be found by clicking on the adjacent image. 


Looking for some Bookstore Romance Day swag? Check out their Bonfire site for t-shirts and more! 

Happy Book Birthday to PIGEON & CAT by Eddie Hemingway

We're so excited to welcome local author Edward Hemingway to launch his newest picture book for young readers Pigeon & Cat. Eddie will read and sign copies of this heartwarming story about being houseless in the city, and the unexpected friendships that arise from hardship.  


In an abandoned city lot, Cat lives alone in a cardboard box. He leaves only to find food. One day, Cat discovers an unbroken egg too beautiful to eat. Soon, out pecks Pigeon, and they become fast friends. Cat is happy to share his box with Pigeon. But when Pigeon flies far away from where they live, Cat must brave the city in order to rescue his friend. This journey will forever transform his understanding of home. This heartwarming story explores unlikely friendships, the creative spark within us, and how to give comfort and kindness in small, impactful gestures. It is also a celebration of urban community.

Edward Hemingway is the acclaimed creator of many popular books: Tough Cookie: A Christmas StoryField Guide to the Grumpasaurus, and Bad Apple: A Tale of Friendship. His writing and artwork have been published in the New York Times, Nickelodeon Magazine, and GQ Magazine, among others. He lives in Bozeman, Montana. He invites you to visit him at

Event Guidelines

This event is free and open to the public. To join the signing line and have books signed by the author at this event, please consider purchasing your copy of Pigeon & Cat from Country Bookshelf, either in-store, over the phone, or online (scroll down). The author's previous titles will be available for purchase at the event as supplies last.

Can't make it to the event, but still want to purchase an autographed or personalized book? Place your order below, enter "signed copy" plus any personalization details in the comments section of your order, and we'll have the author sign your books and ship them to you after the event!

Find Waldo Local Returns to Bozeman!


Iconic Children’s Book Character Continues to Create Summertime Fun to Support the Shop Local Movement

Where’s Waldo? In Bozeman, of course! The iconic children’s book character in the red-and-white-striped shirt and black-rimmed specs is visiting twenty-five local businesses throughout our community this July. Celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2022, Find Waldo Local is a great summer vacation activity and a wonderful way to support local businesses.

Anyone who wishes to participate can pick up a “Find Waldo Local in Bozeman!” stamp card on or after Friday July 1st, which contains the names of all the participating sites; with each Waldo they spot, they can get their card stamped or signed by the participating shop. To make things a little more challenging, there will be *one* slightly different Waldo hiding in Country Bookshelf. Collecting store stamps or signatures at twenty or more businesses will entitle diligent seekers entry into a grand-prize drawing for Waldo books and paraphernalia at a party on Sunday, July 31st at 4pm.   

Martin Handford’s collections of crowd scenes took the world by storm in the late 1980s, and since then the books have held a cherished place on bookstore shelves. More than 78 million Waldo books have been sold worldwide, and they’ve been translated into over thirty languages. An entire generation has grown up searching for Waldo.

Heather White with Betsy Gaines Quammen & Asher Jay

Monday, June 27th at 5:30pm

Heather White invites you to unlock your eco-friendly superpower in One Green Thing with Asher Jay and Betsy Gaines Quammen. 

The climate crisis is the biggest challenge of our time, and we all have a unique role to play. Local Author and noted environmentalist, Heather White, encourages us to start here and now with One Green Thing her book on conserving what remains to us on this planet. Joining White in a discussion of this revolutionary call to action are fellow locals - writer Betsy Gaines Quammen, and artist Asher Jay.

Heather White offers an easy-to-follow guide for climate action while brilliantly weaving together warm and funny stories from her childhood in East Tennessee, anecdotes from 20+ years of environmental advocacy, and scenes from parenting two GenZ daughters in Bozeman, Montana.

In One Green Thing, White shows you how to contribute to the climate movement through self-discovery - your personality, interests, and strengths. Setting the intention each day to take a small step-- a "one green thing" to care for the planet--can help ease your eco-anxiety, push our culture toward climate solutions, and create a sense of joy.

Jason Reynolds - Live & In Person!!

We are over the moon to welcome award-winning and best-selling author Jason Reynolds for our first in-person event since 2020! Join Reynolds for a lively talk about his books, writing life, and his current "Grab The Mic" initiative with the Library of Congress as the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature that has him visiting underserved and rural communities (including schools here in Dutton, Wilsall and Ronan, Montana). Author of middle grade books, graphic novels, young adult fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, Reynolds's wealth of work has a title for every reader--even those who haven't found their knack for reading (yet!). Reynolds's voice is authentic and deliberate, letting the truth shine through in each of his books--whether that be of historical, personal, or character based truths. After a long pause on our in-person events, we are so excited and honored to host such a prolific writer during his first visit to Montana. We hope you will join us for this incredible event.

Jason Reynolds is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, a Newbery Award Honoree, a Printz Award Honoree, a two-time National Book Award finalist, a Kirkus Award winner, a Carnegie Medal winner, a two-time Walter Dean Myers Award winner, an NAACP Image Award Winner, and the recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors. He's also the 2020-2022 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. His many books include All American Boys (cowritten with Brendan Kiely); When I Was the GreatestThe Boy in the Black SuitStampedAs Brave as You; For Every One; the Track series ( Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu); Look Both WaysStuntboy, in the Meantime; Ain't Burned All the Bright; My Name Is JasonMine Too. (with Jason Griffin); and Long Way Down, which received a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, and a Coretta Scott King Honor. He lives in Washington, DC. You can find his ramblings at

This event is free, no ticket required!

Support THRIVE with the Bookshop Amanda Gorman Book Drive


Amanda Gorman Book Drive to benefit Thrive!

To celebrate National Poetry Month, and Country Bookshelf are proud to partner with Penguin Young Readers to donate copies of Amanda Gorman’s books to Thrive! Thrive's mission to support our community's youth in growing and succeeding is very near and dear to our hearts. 

We are helping Thrive's Child Advancement Project recruit mentors. In just one hour a week, as a Child Advancement Project (CAP) mentor you can help a child believe in themselves. Join a community of over 500 students and professionals invested in local youth. We think that books, and in particular the words of our National Youth Poet Laureate are a great way to welcome CAP mentors and mentees to the program, and to inspire them to chase their dreams.

When you purchase a copy through this page, you will be supporting our chosen donation partner Thrive with the donated books, as well as supporting our bookstore with your purchase!

Book donations accepted from March 14, 2022 through May 13, 2022, but you can become a CAP mentor at anytime.