Harvard Public Library 2021 Reading Challenge


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The librarians at the Harvard Public Library invite you to join us for a fun, year-long reading challenge that will help you read outside the box and introduce you to other readers in our community!

We have come up with 12 book categories that are designed to stretch your reading horizons and take you on a scavenger hunt for new books. The categories are numbered, but you can read them in any order you’d like.

Best of all, you can choose to either take the challenge on your own, or connect with members of the community to discuss your progress and talk about the books you discover.

The only rule is that you need to have read one book in each category by midnight on December 31st, 2021 in order to complete the challenge.

I like a good challenge - how do I get started?

Find a book that fits one of the following categories and start reading:

1. A book that takes place in the 1920s, or was published in the 1920s.

2. A book that is becoming a movie or TV series in 2021.

3. A book by a bestselling author who you have never read.

4. A book with an animal on the cover or in the title.

5. An OwnVoices* book about a protagonist of a different race, ethnicity or identity than you.

6.  A book by an author who lives or lived in Massachusetts.

7. A book recommended by a teen.

8. A book involving a heist.

9. A book that won an award in 2020.

10. A children’s book

11. A book by an author from a country that you would like to visit.

12. A book that's guaranteed to bring you joy.

*#OwnVoices is a term coined by the writer Corinne Duyvis, and refers to an author from a marginalized or under-represented group writing about their own experiences/from their own perspective.

Let’s talk books! How do I get involved in community conversations?

You can talk books with us in a couple of ways: 

The library will host monthly virtual check-ins so you can talk to other participating community members and librarians to swap ideas and book suggestions.  The first meeting will take place on Tuesday, February 23rd at 7pm.

Zoom fatigue getting you down? You may also join the written discussion in our GoodReads Harvard Public Library 2021 Reading Challenge Group

This is a place where you can post discussion threads, ask questions, browse book suggestions and generally get the conversation started.

Remember, you can always call or email your friendly Harvard Librarians for ideas and suggestions - we LOVE talking books- so ask away!

I’m in! Where do I sign up?

Simply send us an email at reference@harvardpubliclibrary.org. We will send you information about how to join the GoodReads group, as well as links to the virtual check-in. We look forward to talking books with you!

Reading Challenge