2015 Reading Challenge – How to find the right book

An interesting reading challenge by PopSugar is making the rounds on social media, and the Pinal County Library District office is pretty excited about it! Some of the librarians are considering tackling the challenge as a New Year’s Resolution. Reading in and of itself is a good time, but finding books to match each of the challenge criteria is also a lot of fun. Some of the categories can feel like a puzzle waiting to be solved! Scroll down for some suggestions that may make finding the right book a little easier. As always, you can also contact your local librarian for book recommendations, or write us here.

If you’re interested in trying out the 2015 Reading Challenge, you can download a handy Word version here. Reading Challenge How to find:

“A Book set in a different country”

This is a great way to take a vacation without ever leaving home. Begin your search for that perfect getaway by perusing Ann Morgan’s blog, “A Year of Reading the World: 196 countries, countless stories

For more suggestions, try GoodReads extensive list of books in different settings or Fantastic Fiction.

Fantastic Fiction’s homepage has links to Awards, Countries, Series and Years. Click on Countries, select a country, then click on any author. You may need to read the book’s summary to determine the setting.

“A Pulitzer Prize winning book” AND a “Play”

Visit the Pulitzer Prize website and knock out two categories at the same time. This may not be strictly “legal” but I won’t tell if you won’t.  Scroll down to their “Letters, Drama, and Music” categories. Click on Drama to find a list of award winning plays.

“A Book more than 100 years old”

Project Gutenberg has thousands of free out-of-copyright books to choose from. Browse their catalog by category, or search by author or title. I recently discovered some mystery books written by Burton Egbert Stevenson that are quite good. Download these free books to your computer, tablet or smart phone, or create a list then borrow a copy from your local library.

“A Book with antonyms in the title”

This is an intriguing category but it’s not as easy as you might think to come up with a list of antonyms and then find books you might actually want to read. A good place to start is Finding the Opposite of Words website, which has a list of online antonym dictionaries.

Create a list of antonyms, such as odd/even or before/after, then go to our catalog and do a keyword search using each pair of antonyms. Be sure to Search By Title to find your antonyms in the title of the book and not in the summary. If you’re not finding titles of interest in our catalog then you might want to try the same search at your favorite online bookstore.

“A Book that came out the year you were born”

To find the number one New York Times Best Sellers in fiction and non-fiction for the year you were born, go to Hawes Publications site.

If none of the number one titles appeal to you, the Hawes website also has a complete week-by-week list of fiction and non-fiction New York Times Best Sellers.

Additionally, Krueger Books has list of Publisher’s Weekly Top Ten bestsellers.

“A Book with bad reviews”

Why would you want to read a book with a bad review? There are too many good books, and not enough time to read them, to waste time reading books with bad reviews. But after taking a look at BuzzFeed’s list of “11 Beloved Books with Shockingly Bad Reviews”, you may change your mind. You will be surprised at the reviews some of these well known books received at the time of publication.

You might also want to take a look at “15 Scathing Early Reviews of Classic Novels” from FlavorWire.

“A book that makes you cry”

This is a tricky category. What makes me cry might not affect you at all. And how do you know if a book will make you cry in advance? You could end up reading a lot of books before you find the one that makes you cry.

If the thought of searching for a book in this category makes you feel like crying, then take a look at LifeHack’s “20 Books that Are Guaranteed to Make You Cry” . Or FlavorWire’s “10 Books guaranteed to Make You Cry”.

“A Book written by an author with your same initials”

While it’s easy to find books written by authors that share your same first or last name, it’s not so easy to ones that with your same initials. A good resource for finding books in this category is Fantastic Fiction. There are two methods for finding authors with your initials:

1. Do an author search using your first name then scroll through the alphabetical list until you find authors whose last name starts with the same letter as yours.

2. Click on Top Authors, then click on the letter of your last name. Scroll through the results, looking for authors whose first name starts with the same letter as your own.

Want to stick to something classic? See if there’s any authors with your initials on the Classic Lit Authors A-to-Z About.com page.

“Banned Books”

The American Library Association compiles lists of challenged/banned books in order to inform the public of censorship efforts that affect libraries and schools. Visit ALA’s website for lists of books in this category but brace yourself, you may be surprised at some of the titles that have made the list.

Post by Pinal County Library District


Summer Reading Programs in Pinal County

There are great summer reading programs all over Pinal County this summer, make sure you find the one (or two) nearest you and sign-up.

Superior – Come celebrate “Our State, Our Story: Celebrating 100 Years of Arizona” at the Superior Public Library’s 2012 Summer Reading Program! Visit the library between May 21st and May 31st to register and programming begins June 5th and runs through June 28th. Children and Teens, Preschool to 12th grade can register for a variety of programs, giveaways, and contests. Everyone who completes the program will be invited to a finale party with certificates and rewards. Parents or Teens willing to volunteer their time to help out are more than welcomed. For more information, visit the library, call 520.689.2327 or visit www.superiorpublib.wordpress.com.

San Manuel – Registration for San Manuel Library’s summer reading programs runs June 11th – June 15th. This year’s theme is “Our State, Our Story: Celebrating 100 Years of Arizona. Children ages 4 to 13 are welcome to participate and if they choose to do so will receive a reading log to record their titles along with a book marker. Contact the library for more information: 520.385.4470

Oracle – The OPL Summer Reading Program will take place at the Community Center in Oracle in July with lots of activities centered on the Arizona Centennial. Contact the library for more information: 520.896-2121.

Maricopa –  Maricopa Public Library’s theme is “Our State – Our Story, Celebrating 100 Years of Arizona” and runs for 8 weeks (June 3 -July 27). Readers can sign up for the program Monday, May 21st through Saturday June 2. The Summer Reading Program is open for ages 4 through adult.  The goal is to read 40 hours during the Summer Reading Program.  Incentive prizes are awarded for children after every 10 hours of reading – teens after every 20 hours of reading.  Grand prizes will be awarded at the end of the program. For more information, call the library at 520.568.2926.

Mammoth – Coming up this summer at Mammoth Public Library: lots of clubs for kids! In the works are Robotics Club, Fashion Club, Craft Club, Model Rocket Club, Book Club, Guitar Club, Toddler Club, and more! Have a suggestion, let the library know! The summer with an exposition of club activities, including a fashion show, recital, robotics competition, and whatever else strikes our fancy. Contact the library for more details: 520.487.2026

Kearny – This year Kearny Public Library is combining the “Dream Big” theme with Arizona’s own Centennial Celebration and promises a variety of activities for children between the ages of 4 and 12.  The Program will begin Thursday June 7th, and will be presented every Thursday in June until the 28th from 10:00AM-11:30AM.

Weekly programs will include stories, hand crafts, activities and fun experiments, ending on June 28th with a “Fiesta” in the park with a piñata, races, and water games followed by presentation of Achievement certificates and “goodie bags” awarded for all who participate, plus special prizes to the reading and attendance winners. For more information, call the library at 520.363.5861.

Florence Calling all ‘pardners’ to join us ‘round the campfire’ at the Florence Community Library this summer! The library is supporting this year’s theme, “Our State, Our Story: Celebrating 100 Years of Arizona”, by offering Reading Club along with a raffle, fun incentives, popcorn and drink. Weekly program activities include Trivia Handouts, Teen Games, Family Storytime, Crafts, and Family Flicks. Families and their caregivers are strongly encouraged to come into the library to register their children and young adults. Registration begins Tuesday, May 29th for the Reading Club.

Florence is also offering a summer reading program for adults, “Our State, Many Stories”. Read books and enter drawings for weekly prizes, plus receive additional prizes for writing reviews to be posted in the library. All activities are free and open to the public. Be sure to check the calendar of events for author visits and more. Please call the library at 520.868.8311 for further information.

Dudleyville – While Dudleyville doesn’t have its own library, it still manages to have a great summer reading program! This year’s theme is “Our State, Our Story: Celebrating 100 Years of Arizona.” Every Wednesday morning in June from 10:00AM-11:30AM Dudleyville children ages 4-11 can read stories, make great crafts, and maybe sing a song! Call 520.866.6457 for more information.

Coolidge – This summer “Dream Big in AZ” with the Coolidge Public Library! Early Registration begins Tuesday, May 29th and the entire summer reading program runs until July 27th! Crafts, Storytimes, and Cool Events are planned throughout the summer and participants have the chance to win awesome prizes (but only if those reading logs are turned in!). For more information, swing by the library, visit the CPL website, or call 520.723.6030.

Casa Grande – This year’s theme, “Dream Big: Read!” is open to all ages, babies through adults.  Register for Casa Grande Library’s program online and pick up your book bag & information packet from either library–Main or Vista Grande–beginning June 1, 2012.  The summer reading program ends on July 27, 2012.  Youth participants who reach their summer reading goal can earn special coupons over the course of the summer, and a brand new book which can be picked up at the end of July.  For more information, please call either library.  Main: 520.421.8710 or Vista Grande: 520.421.8652

Arizona City – Arizona City Library is running two summer reading programs this year! A Tween program for ages 8-13 will run from June 7th-July 19th. Also Tweens can join a summer book club, the club will meet on June 11, July 9th, and August 6th from 5-6PM. The second program is for children ages 3-7 and their families. It runs June 6th-July 21st and will meet on Saturdays from Noon-1PM. For more information, check the events calendar or call the library at 520.466.5565.

Apache Junction – AJPL has summer reading programs for readers of all ages running from May 29th-July 28th. The “Read, Play, Win” Summer Reading Program is open to all children from infants to 18 years.  It is sponsored by Arizona Diamondbacks and the Arizona Republic.  All participants will receive a voucher for selected Diamondbacks regular season games.  Reading is done individually and recorded in order to earn prizes along the way.  Finishers will receive a book of their choice (while supplies last). Finishers for the Dbacks program also receive a chance to win a family pass to the Phoenix Zoo.

Teens that participate in the “100 Reasons to Read” program at AJPL will receive a prize for every 5 hours they read. All participants who finish the program by reading for 30 hours will receive a Harkins movie pass, a voucher for a free Papa Murphy’s pizza and be entered into a drawing for a $100 gift card! Finally, the “Between the Covers” SRP is for readers 18 years old and up. Read for the fun of it and enter a drawing to win prizes and gift certificates! For more details and events information, go to www.ajpl.org.

Not sure what to read this summer? Grab an Adventure Pass provided by the State Library, check out Governor Brewer’s reading list, or check out some of our What-to-Read-Next? Resources!