About Richmond Reads

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Richmond Reads is a community one-book program designed specifically for the Richmond Memorial Library community. The goal of the program is for the community to join together in reading the chosen title, and then to participate in subsequent discussions and programs.

2020 Selection: Nothing More Dangerous by Allen Eskens

richmond reads

Thank you to all who participated in our 2020 program! 

Click here to watch the 2020 virtual author visit on YouTube!

2020 review contest winners: 

Jessica Beal:
"How many of us had a moment in our lives in which we were not proud? Whether small or large, moments such as those can change our destiny. In Nothing More Dangerous, Eskens shows how a tragic event can transform a life. This is exemplified through the character Hoke Gardner. A quiet, shattered man devastated by a fatal misjudgement, he secretly devotes his life to perform random acts of kindness for his community and neighbors. Although an unforgettable, unfortunate mistake on an evening long ago, Eskens' Gardner does not wallow in his misery, but rather lets his past define his future as a compassionate, giving man, who lightens the lives of others. For the reader, there is an instant connection to the character; wondering why this man is seemingly broken. By the end of this intriguing tale all is revealed, and Gardner's mistakes ultimately cause him to become a hero for young Boady, the main character. This is a read for any of us who are living with a dark moment and may provide a shining light in how to turn our sadness into love and kindness to others."

Jason Smith: 
"The most significant moments in the plot, in my view, centered around the character of Hoke. He was both mysterious and entirely central to the story. When Hoke's role was revealed in the backstory was especially telling and pivotal as to how he met Boady and his family. He was instrumental at the end of the story as well and was essentially the driving force for the entire plot and characters. Not only did Hoke tie all the characters together, he tied the entire plot together, so I would argue that any key plot moments involved Hoke. Hoke was generous and a flawed individual who saw his chance for redemption entirely through Boady. Given this, I would say the most significant plot point occurred at the end, when Hoke’s final act of charity and redemption was bestowed upon Boady and his family. This certainly tied the entire story together for all characters and especially Hoke. What a beautiful ending (which in some ways reminded of the wonderful novel A Man Called Ove). Thank you for this opportunity and for another great program." 

Past Selections: 

2019 Selection: Southernmost by Silas House


Richmond Reads is sponsored by The Friends of Richmond Memorial Library!


About the Title

richmond readsDescribed by Library Journal as a “powerful, unforgettable crime novel” and "a coming-of-age book to rival some of the best,” Nothing More Dangerous by Allen Eskens presents a timely story filled with mystery, intrigue and personal discovery. Fifteen year old Boady Sanden wants nothing more than to escape the small town of Jessup, Missouri, where he lives with his widowed mother. His life changes in  unexpected ways when the Elgins– a black  family– move in across the street and cause Boady to reexamine his understanding of the world as he knows it. The town has also been unsettled by the sudden and ominous disappearance of Lida Poe, a black woman who kept the books at the local plastics factory. As Boady delves into this mystery and navigates the racial tensions around him, he uncovers more than he expected about his family, his neighbors and himself.


About the Author

richmond readsAllen Eskens is the bestselling author of The Life We Bury, The Guise of Another, The  Heavens May Fall, The Deep Dark Descending, The Shadows We Hide, and Nothing More Dangerous. He is the recipient of the Barry Award, Minnesota Book Award, Rosebud Award (Left Coast Crime), and Silver Falchion Award and has been a finalist for the Edgar® Award, Thriller Award, and Anthony Award. His books have been translated into 26 languages. Allen has a journalism degree from the University of Minnesota and a law degree from Hamline  University. After law school, he studied creative writing in the M.F.A.  program at Minnesota State University-Mankato, as well as the Loft Literary Center and the Iowa Summer Writer’s Festival. Allen grew up on the hills of central Missouri. He now lives with his wife, Joely, in greater Minnesota where he recently retired after practicing criminal law for 25 years.

Biographical information from alleneskens.com.

Read the Book

Nothing More Dangerous by Allen Eskens is available to check out at the Richmond Library in hardcover or audio. It is available as an eBook or Audiobook on Overdrive. Limited copies are available to purchase for $24 at the library (coordinated by Lift Bridge Books in Brockport).  Don't have a library card?  Here's how to get one.

Participate in the events!

Registration is required for all events!

Author Visit 
Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 7 pm
Join author Allen Eskens for a virtual visit, talk and reading. 

All who register will be entered in a raffle to win one of three signed copies of the book!

Book Discussions
Thursday, October 15
at 7 pm -Virtual Discussion on Zoom- Click here to register for 10/15 discussion
Friday, October 16 at 1 pm - In Person discussion at RML - Click here to register for 10/16 discussion
(note- in- person program size is limited and is intended for those without computer or internet access at home.)
Monday, October 19 at 7 pm- Virtual Discussion on Zoom - Click here to register for 10/19 discussion

Review Contest: Write a review of Nothing More Dangerous for a chance to win a signed copy of the book and $50 to a local restaurant.
Review Contest Form

Copies of the book are available to purchase at the library for $24, cash or check.

*Due to circumstances surrounding the COVID19 pandemic, programs may be virtual or in-person.
More details will be available as the event date gets closer!  If the author visit is in-person, location details will be announced.




Support the Program

Richmond Reads is an independent initiative of Richmond Memorial Library.  We welcome all support of the program.  Should you wish to contribute financially, forms are available at the front desk or at the reference desk.

Attend the Author Visit

Richmond Memorial Library will host Allen Eskens for a virtual author visit on Thursday, October 22 at 7 pm for a reading and book signing.  

Register here for the virtual author visit on October 22 on Zoom!

Limited space will be available to view the program at the library. This is intended for those who do not have computer access or internet at home. Click here to register for the in-person viewing or call Samantha at 585-343-9550 x 8. 


Contact Samantha Stryker, Adult & Community Services Librarian at sstryker@nioga.org or at 585-343-9550.

Ways to Connect
Richmond Reads Committee

Sue Briggs
Sue Chiddy
Leslie DeLooze
Cynthia Hagelberger
Irene Hickey
Judy Sikora
Samantha Stryker