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Summer Reading Challenge 2022

Participate in the Boston Athenæum Summer Reading Challenge for a chance to win some BA merchandise! We know our readers love a challenge, and eight books before the end of August is achievable, although still difficult. We’ve come up with ten prompts, and if you complete at least eight, you will be entered into our grand prize raffle! Whether you finish or not, visit us at the Reference Desk for a BA pencil for doing your best. Grand prize winners will be contacted after August 31. See below for recommendations for each prompt.

Download the challenge here.

Listen to an audiobook on cloudLibrary

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
Library of Congress Classification PZ4.B98666 Pa 2016

Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld
Library of Congress Classification PZ4 .S61918 Ro 2020

Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe
Library of Congress Classification HV6574.G7 K44 2019

I Love You but I've Chosen Darkness by Claire Vaye Watkins 
Library of Congress Classification PZ4.W331 Il 2021

Never by Ken Follett
Library of Congress PZ4.F665 Ne 2021

Read a book in translation

Lie With Me: A Novel by Philippe Besson and translated from the French by Molly Ringwald
>Library of Congress PZ4 .B552 Li 2019

The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante and translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein
Library of Congress PZ4 .F356 Ly 2020

Bad Girls by Camila Sosa Villada and translated from the Spanish by Kit Maude
Library of Congress PZ4.S718 Ba 2022

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez and translated from the Spanish by Gregory Rabassa
Library of Congress PZ4.G2164 On 2003 

Read a book longer than 500 pages 

The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Library of Congress PZ4.T188 Se 2002

The Overstory: A Novel by Richard Powers
Library of Congress PZ4.P88932 Ov 2018 

The Witch Elm by Tana French
Library of Congress PZ4.F872735 Wi 2018 

Wolf Hall: A Novel by Hilary Mantel
Library of Congress PZ4.M292 Wo 2009

Read a book fewer than 150 pages

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
Library of Congress Classification PZ4.O3862 Bi 2015

Longing and Other Stories by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki
Library of Congress Classification PZ3.T1626 Lo 2022 

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
Library of Congress Classification PZ7.C5255 Ho 2001

Killing and Dying by Adrian Tomine
Library of Congress Classification PZ4.T6563 Ki 2015

Read a novel set in a library

The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson
Library of Congress Classification PZ4.S188 La 2021

The Midnight Library by Math Haig
Library of Congress Classification PZ4 .H1447 Mi 2020

The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections by Eva Jurczyk
Library of Congress Classification PZ4.J963 De 2022

Mayumi and the Sea of Happiness by Jennifer Tseng
Library of Congress Classification PZ4.T875 Ma 2015

The Sixteen Pleasures by Robert R. Hellenga
Library of Congress Classification PZ4.H4765 Si

Read an ebook on cloudLibrary

Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley
Library of Congress Classification PZ7.B6637 Fi 2021

Crying in H-Mart by Michelle Zauner
Library of Congress Classification CT275.Z386 A3 2021

A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn
Not in Athenæum collection

The Pope at War: The Secret History of Pope Pius XII, Mussolini, and Hitler by David I. Kertzer
Not in Athenæum collection

Read a favorite book from childhood

Here are our librarian’s favorite books from childhood! 

Rebecca Johnston
Sabriel by Garth Nix
Young Adult PZ7.N62 Sab 1995

Carly Stevens
The Bungalow Mystery: The Mystery at Lilac Inn by Carolyn Keene 
Children’s Library PZ7.K24 Bu 1961

Mary Warnement
Harriet the Spy written & illustrated by Louise Fitzhugh
Children’s Library PZ7.F569 Ha 2014

Read an award-winning book

The Night Watchman: A Novel by Louise Erdrich
Library of Congress Classification PZ4.E66 Ni 2020

The Promise by Damon Galgut
Library of Congress Classification PZ4 .G155 Pr 2021

Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo
Library of Congress Classification PZ7.M694 Las 2021

Hell Of A Book, Or The Altogether Factual, Wholly Bona Fide Story Of A Big Dreams, Hard Luck, American-Made Mad Kid by Jason Mott
Library of Congress Classification PZ4.M92 He 2021

Read a book suggested by a librarian

Swing by the Reference Desk on the second floor or email us at for a personalized book recommendation.

Rebecca Johnston 
Beach Read by Emily Henry
Library of Congress PZ4.H5219 Be 2020

Carly Stevens
In the Dream House: A Memoir by Carmen Maria Machado
Library of Congress PS3613.A27 Z46 2019 

Mary Warnement
The Fall of a Sparrow by Robert Hellenga
Library of Congress PZ4.H4765 Fa

Read a book published in 2022

No Gods, No Monsters by Cadwell Turnbull
Library of Congress Classification PZ4.T943 No 2021

City on Fire by Don Winslow
Library of Congress Classification PZ4.W7772 Ci 2022

Land of Snow & Ashes by Petra Rautiainen and translated from the Finnish by David Hackston
Library of Congress Classification PZ4.R2523 La 2022

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
Library of Congress Classification PZ4.G2344 Le 2022

Time is a Mother by Ocean Vuong
Library of Congress Classification PS3622.U96 T56 2022