As anyone who knows me or has read my work knows, I am a major fan of the library, The Field Library in particular (it’s my home library, as well as my employer!).  I have loved libraries since I was a kid in New Jersey, and I can’t imagine living anywhere without a library. I love working here: I love buying the new fiction, I love seeing all the new books as soon as they come out, I love giving people library cards, I love recommending books to people (especially when people come back and tell me they enjoyed the recommendations), I love giving people the items they’ve put on hold. In many ways, this is my dream job.

But even I, after working at the library for 11 years, am not familiar with all the good stuff on the shelves here. When I look for something to read, I, like many other patrons and readers in general, tend to stick to the same books, the same genres, the same type of books.  I wouldn’t say I’m in a rut, exactly, but I would say that I, like many other readers, sometimes need a little push to get me out of my reading comfort zone.

Which is why I’m setting up the 2019 Field Library Reading Challenge.  Those of you who have done the challenges in the last couple of years know what to expect, and for those who haven’t done this before, the rules are simple enough.  I’m posting a list of categories, and your goal is to read at least one book in each category. I will be regularly posting lists of books that fulfill the different categories here on the blog, and, if you sign up with your email address (send to me at and I’ll add you to the list), I’ll send the list to your email on a regular basis as well.  There will be displays of books in each category at the library, but of course you’re welcome to put any of the books on hold to receive wherever and whenever you want.

Give it a try: stretch your mind, try different books, different authors, different kinds of books.  Let’s make 2019 a year in which we all find new books to love!

Here’s the list (you can pick up a copy at the Circulation Desk, too):

Read a Book about Mental Health

Read a Book about Astronomy

Read a Book about Games

Read a Book about Photography

Read a collection of short stories

Read an epistolary novel OR collection of letters

Read a book involving Math

Read a book about philosophy

Read a book about history other than US History

Read a book about money

Read a book about espionage

Read a book about law

Read a book about movies

From time to time over the year, I’ll also be highlighting different categories here in the blog, so keep watching this space, and keep reading.

Happy New Year!

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