Amazing Read Challenge

Have Book – Will Travel Through Time! Amazing Read Challenge Week 9

Amazing Read Graphic

Where did you travel for last week’s challenge? Did you stand on the podium in Barcelona with the 1992 U.S. Olympic Men's Basketball Team as they received their gold medals or survive the Hunger Games? After all that athletic excitement, perhaps you’re ready for a leisurely trip through time.

You could relax and travel back in time to appreciate the art on the cave walls in Brian Fagan’s Cro-Magnon, or visit the tense days of 1912 in Barbara Tuchman’s classic The Guns of August. However, if you prefer a more imaginative narrative with more character development you could also visit the Ice Age in Jean Auel's The Land of Painted Caves or the days of The Great War in the novels of Ford Madox Ford.

Have Book - Will You Triumph or Be Defeated? Amazing Read Challenge Week 8

Where did you travel for last week’s challenge? Wherever you went, I hope you met some new friends, saw some new sights, and plan to go back sometime soon.

After seven of these challenges, we figure your competitive juices should be flowing, so this week we want you to read books about sports or other competitions. For you fiction readers, how about Chad Harbach's bestselling The Art of Fielding, or Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain? If you like your competitions with somewhat higher stakes, you could try any one of The Hunger Games Trilogy. For you nonfiction folks, there are quite a few recent releases that might get your motors running. Try Dream Team by Jack McCallum, or Over Time, the memoir by the always thought (and argument)-provoking Frank Deford.

Have Book - Will Travel Somewhere New, Amazing Read Challenge Week 7

amazing read logoSo did you travel to the dark side for last week's challenge, or stay on the side of the angels? I tend to prefer heroes who straddle the line myself--like Dashiell Hammett's Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon which I re-read on a plane ride.

Now on to this week's challenge! Most of us are creatures of habit. We find something we like and stick with it even though we’re pretty sure we could find a better cup of coffee, say, or a dentist with smaller hands, if we only bothered to look. The same can be said of our reading lives: we like what we like and see no reason to look elsewhere. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but just for this week we are challenging you to step out of your comfort zone and  read something by an author you've never read before, or about a subject you don't know anything about

There are a lot of directions you can go with this one. Below are just a few suggestions.

If you're a mystery lover, why not slip over to the nonfiction aisles and try some true crime reads like Lost Girls by Robert Kolker or Deal with the Devil by Peter Lance.

How about a first novel by an up-and-coming author like The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani, or The Marlowe Papers by Ros Barber,

The Amazing Read: Summer Reading Challenge, Week 9

Amazing Read LogoI hope you had a chance to take last week's challenge. With all the news zipping at us from all directions these days, it was nice to be reminded that peeling it off the page is not just a viable option, but in many ways a better one. I had a chance to whittle down the stack of New Yorkers gathering dust on the nightstand. That's right, The New Yorker isn't just a  collection highbrow of cartoons. It features some of the best long-form journalism going today by writers like Susan Orlean and John McPhee among many others.

Ok! Onto this week's challenge! We're moving from earthbound facts to the far reaches of space. We want you to read something out of this world. There are an almost infinite number of directions you can go with this one. How about some straight-ahead, blow-your-mind space travel science fiction, like Firebird by Jack McDevitt, or Leviathans of Jupiter by the prolific and always reliable Ben Bova. Or you can go for some straight-head, blow-your-mind out-of-this-world nonfiction, like Everywhere and Everywhen: Adventures in Physics and Philosophy by Nick Huggett. Or you could go with a more nuts-and-bolts approach, like the Apollo Mission Reports. Or you could reach back to the beginnings of U.S. space exploration and the people who made it happen with Tom Wolfe's still stylish, The Right Stuff. Whatever you choose, leave us a comment and let us know about it!

The Amazing Read: Summer Reading Challenge, Week 8

amazing readI could spend the whole summer exploring last week's challenge, but I'm learning to mix up my reading diet.  My funny read revisited some old friends, P.G. Wodehouse's Bertie Wooster and his butler Jeeves.  I chose Right Ho, Jeeves because it features my favorite of Bertie's silly friends, Gussie Fink-Nottle, and his hilarious prize-giving speech at Market Snodsbury grammar school.

This week we're going to be a bit more informative and challenge you to read something in the news.  It could be a book about the upcoming elections or the latest in true crime.  Or you could pick up Time or Newsweek to read about current world events.  It could be old news, like All the President's Men by Woodward and Bernstein, or fake news, like I am America by Stephen Colbert.  You could even read Bloggers Boot Camp and learn to create your own news. 

I'm going to start by reading the latest issue of Wired magazine at lunchtime.  What are you reading?


The Amazing Read: Summer Reading Challenge, Week 7

Amazing Read Challenge LogoA Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Library: I've always found it fascinating that so many of our funniest artists lead such unhappy private lives: think comedians like Buster Keaton, W. C. Fields, and Lenny Bruce, or writers like John Kennedy Toole, and Dorothy Parker. So for last week's challenge to read about someone who intrigues us, I read the recently published biography of one of my all-time favorite seriously funny writers, Kurt Vonnegut.

But with this week's challenge, we want to lighten things up a bit. We challenge you to read something that makes you laugh, and HCPL has plenty of books that fit that bill. We've got nonfiction that will make you titter, snicker, giggle, chuckle, chortle, snort and guffaw, like Tina Fey's Bossypants, and David Sedaris' Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim.

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