2022 Reading Challenge: Read a Book Published or Set in the Decade You Were Born

OPL invites patrons to take part in the 2022 Reading Challenge, opens a new window! For each challenge, OPL offers suggestions for titles to listen to or read. As you’re working through the challenge, feel free to tag @omahalibrary on Twitter, opens a new window, Instagram, opens a new window, or Facebook, opens a new window, to let us know which read you picked up this month!

This month we’re challenging you to reflect on the past through a book that is set or published during the decade you were born. This challenge can be used to get swept away in a piece of historical fiction or dig into real world topics or events with a nonfiction title. Enjoy this whirlwind history tour with a few recommendations from the past century. 

1930s

James Baldwin’s “Go Tell It on the Mountain, opens a new window” is a coming-of-age story set in 1930s Harlem that closely follows his own childhood. Originally published in 1953, this would also work as a title for someone born in the 1950s.

1940s

Spanning in the 1940s, Cormac McCarthy’s “The Border Trilogy, opens a new window” includes “All the Pretty Horses,” “The Crossing” and “Cities on the Plain” and is a series of coming-of-age tales set against the backdrop of the American Southwest.

1950s

Journalist and biographer Patricia Bosworth recounts the repressive but glamorous world of New York City’s art scene during the 1950s in her biographical work, "The Men in My Life: A Memoir of Love and Art in 1950s Manhattan, opens a new window."

1960s

Joan Didion’s classic “Slouching Towards Bethlehem, opens a new window” explores America’s 1960s counter-culture through a series of decade-defining essays. 

1970s

Set in 1970s Ohio, Celeste Ng’s debut novel, “Everything I Never Told You, opens a new window” is a delicate portrait of a Chinese American family rocked by tragedy.  

1980s

Susan Choi’s “Trust Exercise, opens a new window” creates a building sense of unbalance through the story of high-achieving students at a performing arts high school in the 1980s. 

1990s

In Christina Hammonds Reed’s “The Black Kids, opens a new window,” Ashley Bennett, one of the few Black kids at her wealthy L.A. high school must confront the realities outside her protective bubble as the city is rocked by the acquittal of the police officers who beat Rodney King.

2000s

Dive into the world of pop psychology with Malcolm Gladwell’s 2000 debut, “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, opens a new window.” 

For more ideas check out this list, opens a new window or request a custom reading list or book bundle, opens a new window tailored to your interests by OPL librarians.

You may submit your completed reading log online, opens a new window or return a completed tracking sheet to any OPL branch to receive a pin and to be entered into a drawing for some fun literary-themed prizes! All completed tracking sheets or online challenge form entries must be received by December 31, 2022, to be entered into the prize drawing.

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