This year, the Readers' Services Staff is encouraging all staff at my library to do the 2016 Read Harder Challenge - a list of 24 challenges that are intended to stretch your reading boundaries. To add a little incentive, we'll be doing a drawing each quarter for staff who turn in what they've read so far. It's a great way for us, as librarians and recommenders of books, to learn about books outside of the genres and topics we gravitate toward. Here's what I've read so far:
Challenge #18: Read a book that was adapted into a movie, then watch the movie.
by Andy Weir
Mark Watney is left on Mars after his crew evacuates for safety, mistaking him for dead. A gripping survivor story that's out of this world - literally! This was this year's Read Across Lawrence pick for adults, and the library partnered with a number of organizations in the community on several fantastic programs. (I admit, I haven't watched the movie yet - but I intend to once it's out on DVD.)
Challenge #15: Read a book of historical fiction set before 1900.
by Janice Young Brooks
Set in 1898 (cutting it close I kow!), 29 year old spinster Janet Sullivan leaves her overprotective aunt and uncle to follow a gold-seeking man she's only known for 3 days into the Yukon. In order to survive on her own and ward off unwanted attention, she dresses as a man and calls herself John Glory. An adventurous romance!
Challenge #5: Read a middle grade novel.
The Shadowhand Covenant
by Brian Farrey
The second book in Farrey's Vengekeep Prophecies trilogy about an unforgettable family of thieves turned heroes. Jaxter gets caught in a conspiracy when a highly secretive clan of thieves known as the Shadowhands recruits his mother for a mission. The trilogy is a perfect "next read" for fans of Harry Potter!
Challenge #10: Read a book over 500 pages long.
The Bone Clocks
by David Mitchell
Fifteen year old Holly Sykes runs away from home and encounters the "Radio People" - a group of psychics who follow her throughout her life. I found Mitchell's prediction of the future world most fascinating. A number of shifts in perspectives and jumps through time settings - this is a dense one!