2019 Reading Challenge: Read a Classic That’s New To You

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!

This challenge is the perfect opportunity to finally read that classic you’ve either always meant to read or the one that you’ve always claimed to have already read but secretly you haven’t! 

Something to keep in mind with a “classic” is that the term really could mean a lot of things. Some people would say the term applies to works based solely on their date of publication or whether they are included on  “essential” or “required” reading kinds of lists, but classics can also be a matter of a reader’s opinion.

If you don’t have something in mind already, it might be a good time to read Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” since the latest adaptation will be hitting the big screen in December. 

This is also a great time of year to read Jane Austen. The library celebrates Austen's birthday every year in December with a Jane Austen Tea. Any of her books are a great choice including the gothic parody “Northanger Abbey” or the romantic “Persuasion.”

If the term “classic” makes you think “long, slow read,” the following classics are all under or around 200 pages: “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Silas Marner” by George Eliot, “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston, “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, “Passing” by Nella Larson, “Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes, “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe and “If Beale Street Could Talk” by James Baldwin.

If you’d prefer to read a more modern classic, you could try “Kindred” by Octavia Butler, “The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, “Blindness” by José Saramongo, “The Joy Luck Club” by Amy Tan, “Gilead” by Marilynne Robinson, “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle” by Haruki Murakami or  “A Fine Balance” by Rohinton Mistry. 


If you’re still in the Halloween mood and want some spookier classic reads, we have a whole list of classic horror reads

And if you’re still undecided on what to try, feel free to stop by your local branch for suggestions or request a custom reading list for more options. 

Once you complete the 2019 Reading Challenge, remember to enter your reading log online or submit your completed tracking sheet at your nearest OPL branch. All completed submissions will be entered into a drawing for some fun literary-themed merchandise! All completed tracking sheets or online challenge form entries must be received by December 31, 2019, to be entered into the prize drawing.

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