2019 Reading Challenge: 2018 Top Shelf

In 2019, OPL invites patrons to take part in the reading challenge! Each month, OPL will highlight a theme and offer suggestions for titles to read or listen to. As you’re working through the challenge, feel free to tag @omahalibrary on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to let us know which read you picked up this month!

Inspired by best books lists from other libraries and organizations, Omaha Public Library staff sought out to create one of their own in 2017.

Toward the end of the year, staff answered a call to submit their favorite books of the year, as well as a short review. Titles were gathered and compiled into a list with audience, genres and categories that viewers could choose from.

The list was met with great responses and feedback from patrons and staff, and therefore repeated at the end of 2018!

For April, and to honor National Library Week (April 7-13), the reading challenge is to read a book from OPL’s 2018 Top Shelf List, representing books published in 2018 that OPL staff felt were the most outstanding. Librarians love connecting readers to new and interesting books and are hopeful that there will be something of interest to OPL patrons among the featured titles.

For those looking for some great reads with their kids (and a less time-intensive way of tackling this reading challenge), try out “Good Night, Mr. Panda,” a “snarky, yet sweet story about Mr. Panda helping his friends adhere to a proper bedtime routine;” or “What Would She Do?,” a “fresh new take on the typical anthology of trailblazing women that goes beyond traditional history lessons.”

For young adult reads, consider “A Very Large Expanse of Sea,” a “coming-of-age story following a character “as she works through what it means to be a Muslim American teenager, especially right after September 11, while still being herself and embracing her love of break dancing;” or “Dread Nation” featuring an “excellent, daring protagonist in this re-imagining of the Civil War with zombies!”

For adults, there are more than 60 titles to choose from ranging from nonfiction “How to Change your Mind,” a book that is “meticulously research-driven” and will mesmerize “readers who enjoy immersive science journalism,” to the fiction book “The Calculating Stars,” an “alternative history for fans of 'Hidden Figures' and 'The Right Stuff.’”

With more than 100 titles in all to choose from, there's something for everyone!