Open Books Reading Challenge

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option


What Is 'Open Books'?

The Open Books Reading Challenge is a year-long reading challenge for people interested in pushing the boundaries of their reading. Here's how it works: We give you a list of 15 challenge categories. You'll have until the end of the year to read a book from at least 12 of those categories (that's just one book a month!). If you finish, you'll get a coffee mug that you can use to brag about your accomplishment! (Or just to drink coffee. Or tea. Whatever you want, really—we promise we won't come to your house and police how you use it.)

The Challenge

Here's what you'll be reading in 2017:

  • A mystery book that has won an award (an Agatha, Edgar, Hammett, or Dagger Award)
  • A book by or about a person from Southeast Asia
  • A book set in Minnesota
  • A book by or about someone who is Latinx
  • A horror novel
  • A book that is set before the year 1700
  • A book that is set in the future
  • A book that you downloaded from Overdrive
  • A book that has been banned or challenged
  • A book by or about someone who is transgender
  • A book that you picked up from a library display
  • A retelling or spinoff of a classic story
  • A book for the Mayo Community Read (Hint: It's Mary Shelley's Frankenstein)
  • A steampunk novel
  • Your favorite book

Click here to download a printable .pdf of the 2017 checklist!

To successfully complete the challenge, you'll need to read a book in at least 12 of the 15 categories. That may sound like a lot, but no worries—you've got until December 31st to finish! Not only that, but if you happen to read a book that falls into more than one category, you can count it more than once!

Need help finding a book for some of these categories? Check out the lists below, or join the Open Books Facebook group to discuss what you're reading with fellow challengers!

The Lists

  • Award Winning Mysteries
  • Challenged and Banned Fiction Books
  • Fiction Set Before 1700
  • Futuristic Fiction
  • Horror Fiction
  • Latinx Fiction
  • Minnesota Settings Fiction
  • Southeast Asia Fiction
  • Steampunk Fiction
  • Tales Retold
  • Transgender Fiction


    Free viewers are required for some of the attached documents.
    They can be downloaded by clicking on the icons below.

    Acrobat Reader Flash Player QuickTime Windows Media Player Microsoft Silverlight Word Viewer Excel Viewer PowerPoint Viewer