2020 OPL Reading Challenge by the Numbers

Despite many obstacles presented in 2020, library patrons could not be deterred from completing OPL's 2020 Reading Challenge. OPL staff are grateful to those who carried on with the challenge — including the 150+ participants who submitted a completed log sheet — and hope that participants found some new favorites among the titles they read during the course of the year. This recap highlights the most-read titles and authors from those submissions, which collectively represent an impressive 1,836 books. All prize winners have been notified. 

Find details for the 2021 Reading Challenge, opens a new window for your opportunity to read beyond your comfort zone and win prizes at the end of the year! 

The Top 15 titles read across all categories: 

  1. After the Flood, opens a new window by Kassandra Montag
  2. They Called Us Enemy, opens a new window by George Takei
  3. The Nickel Boys, opens a new window by Colson Whitehead
  4. Queenie, opens a new window by Candice Carty-Williams
  5. Red, White & Royal Blue, opens a new window by Casey McQuiston
  6. Too Much Is Not Enough: A Memoir of Fumbling Toward Adulthood, opens a new window by Andrew Rannells
  7. #imomsohard , opens a new windowby Kristin Hensley & Jen Smedley
  8. The Hate U Give, opens a new window by Angie Thomas
  9. A Fire Story, opens a new window by Brian Fies
  10. Zoo Nebraska: The Dismantling of an American Dream, opens a new window by Carson Vaughan
  11. Pumpkinheads, opens a new window by Rainbow Rowell
  12. Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations, opens a new window by Mira Jacob
  13. My Antonia, opens a new window by Willa Cather
  14. Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, opens a new window by Bryan Stevenson
  15. Eleanor & Park, opens a new window by Rainbow Rowell

The Top 15 authors read across all categories: 

  1. Kassandra Montag, opens a new window
  2. Rainbow Rowell, opens a new window
  3. Willa Cather, opens a new window
  4. Neil Gaiman, opens a new window
  5. George Takei, opens a new window
  6. Colson Whitehead, opens a new window
  7. Candice Carty-Williams, opens a new window
  8. Casey McQuiston, opens a new window
  9. Angie Thomas, opens a new window
  10. Elizabeth Acevedo, opens a new window
  11. Kristin Hensley, opens a new window & Jen Smedley, opens a new window
  12. Andrew Rannells, opens a new window
  13. Fredrik Backman, opens a new window
  14. Brian Fies, opens a new window
  15. Marjane Satrapi, opens a new window

Top titles read in each category:

Read a book in one sitting: 

We Should All Be Feminists, opens a new window by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You, opens a new window by Lin-Manuel Miranda & Jonny Sun
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, opens a new window by Charlie Mackesy
Last Night's Reading: Illustrated Encounters with Extraordinary Authors, opens a new window by Kate Gavino
I'm Thinking of Ending Things, opens a new window by Iain Reid

Read a book made into a movie or TV show: 

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, opens a new window by Bryan Stevenson
Little Fires Everywhere, opens a new window by Celeste Ng
You, opens a new window by Caroline Kepnes
Good Morning, Midnight, opens a new window by Lily Brooks-Dalton
Codename Villanelle, opens a new window by Luke Jennings

Read a book by a Nebraska author: 

Too Much Is Not Enough: A Memoir of Fumbling Toward Adulthood, opens a new window by Andrew Rannells
Zoo Nebraska: The Dismantling of an American Dream, opens a new window by Carson Vaughan
Pumpkinheads, opens a new window by Rainbow Rowell
Eleanor & Park, opens a new window by Rainbow Rowell
#imomsohard, opens a new window by Kristin Hensley & Jen Smedley

Read a book from OPL’s 2019 Top Shelf, opens a new window:

The Nickel Boys, opens a new window by Colson Whitehead
Red, White & Royal Blue, opens a new window by Casey McQuiston
The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper, opens a new window by Hallie Rubenhold
Such A Fun Age, opens a new window by Kiley Reid
The Wolf and the Watchman, opens a new window by Niklas Natt och Dag

Read an “Own Voices” book:

Queenie, opens a new window by Candice Carty-Williams
The Poet X, opens a new window by Elizabeth Acevedo
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, opens a new window by Grace Lin
The Girl with the Louding Voice, opens a new window by Abi Daré
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous , opens a new windowby Ocean Vuong

Listen to a book:

Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know, opens a new window by Malcolm Gladwell
When Dimple Met Rishi , opens a new windowby Sandhya Menon
The Silent Patient, opens a new window by Alex Michaelides
I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life, opens a new window by Anne Bogel
Humble Pi: When Math Goes Wrong in the Real World, opens a new window by Matt Parker

Read a fantasy, myth or fairy tale: 

Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin, opens a new window by Liesl Shurtliff
Mythos: The Greek Myths Reimagined, opens a new window by Stephen Fry
All the Ever Afters: The Untold Story of Cinderella's Stepmother, opens a new window by Danielle Teller
A Wizard of Earthsea, opens a new window by Ursula K. Le Guin
Children of Virtue and Vengeance, opens a new window by Tomi Adeyemi

Read a book in translation:

The Alchemist, opens a new window by Paulo Coelho; translated by Alan R. Clarke
Territory of Light, opens a new window; Yūko Tsushima; translated from the Japanese by Geraldine Harcourt
Parade: A Folktale, opens a new window by Hiromi Kawakami; translated from the Japanese by Allison Markin Powell
Modern Sudanese Poetry: An Anthology, opens a new window translated and edited by Adil Babikir
The Master and Margarita, opens a new window by Mikhail Bulgakov; translated with notes by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky

Read the 2020 Omaha Reads Book*:

After the Flood, opens a new window by Kassandra Montag
The Hate U Give, opens a new window by Angie Thomas
This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm, opens a new window by Ted Genoways
Eleanor & Park, opens a new window by Rainbow Rowell
The Bones of Paradise, opens a new window by Jonis Agee
*Participants were given the choice to read a previous Omaha Reads selection, opens a new window if they preferred. 

Read a book by a nonbinary or LGBTQ+ author:

As the Crow Flies, opens a new window by Melanie Gillman
Surpassing Certainty: What My Twenties Taught Me, opens a new window by Janet Mock
Bingo Love, opens a new window by Tee Franklin; art by Jenn St-Onge
An Unkindness of Ghosts, opens a new window by Rivers Solomon
How We Fight For Our Lives: A Memoir, opens a new window by Saeed Jones

Read a classic that’s new to you:

Little Women, opens a new window by Louisa May Alcott
Their Eyes Were Watching God, opens a new window by Zora Neale Hurston
The Picture of Dorian Gray, opens a new window by Oscar Wilde
The Bluest Eye, opens a new window by Toni Morrison
My Antonia, opens a new window by Willa Cather

Read a nonfiction graphic novel: 

They Called Us Enemy, opens a new window by George Takei, Justin Eisinger & Steven Scott; art by Harmony Becker
A Fire Story, opens a new window by Brian Fies
March: Book One, opens a new window by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin; illustrated by Nate Powell
Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations, opens a new window by Mira Jacob
Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos, opens a new window by Lucy Knisley

We look forward to hearing from this year’s challenge participants! Share what you’re reading on social media and tag @omahalibrary on Facebook, opens a new window, Twitter, opens a new window or Instagram., opens a new window

This year, you can also join a Reading Challenge Book Club, opens a new window online for a lively discussion of each challenge. Share the books you're reading and get ideas for titles that apply to the different challenge themes. Registration is required.

Contact readingchallenge@omahalibrary.org , opens a new windowwith any questions about the Reading Challenge.

We welcome your respectful and on-topic comments and questions in this limited public forum. To find out more, please see Appropriate Use When Posting Content. Community-contributed content represents the views of the user, not those of Omaha Public Library