A Book Related to Vision: Picks for the TPL Reading Challenge 2020

November 30, 2020 | M. Elwood

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When I think of 2020, I think of eyesight probably because mine hasn't been 20/20 for most of my life. 

There are a lot of other possibilities for this category: you can play around a with words. Eye witness, eyeliner, insight, second sight, love at first sight, sight-seeing--even bird-watching. You can find lots of fiction and non-fiction books that will fit. 

When you think about it, any book begins as a vision of the author. 

Some of my ideas:

Cover image of Assassination vacation

Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell

It's about a trip the very amusing Sarah Vowell took to visit the sites of American presidential assassinations. I promise this is the only book about the Lincoln assassination that will make you laugh. 

Cover image of Last chance to see

Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine

Humourist Douglas Adams and zoologist Mark Carwardine take a trip around the world to track down critically endangered species for a 1989 BBC Radio program. It's tragic and heartbreaking and of course, incredibly funny. Twenty years later Carwardine and comedian Stephen Fry recreated the journey for a television series, Last Chance to See: Animals on the Verge of Extinction

Maltese falcon

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett because people are looking for a thing. 

Room with a view

A Room with a View by E.M. Forster

Staff Recommendations

These books were picked by our staff for a book related to vision.

Cover image of Becoming Dr. Seuss : Theodor Geisel and the making of an American imagination

Becoming Dr. Seuss: Theodor Geisel and the Making of an American Imagination by Brian Jay Jones

If you've ever read aloud from the good Dr. Seuss, this book is for you! Theodor Geisel's vision of children's literature has made him into an American icon. With silly characters and simple rhymes, Seuss taught young people how to treat others while fostering a love of reading that has been palpable for generations. Written by a master biographer, this book will open your eyes to the personal and professional influences that turned an ad man and political cartoonist into the uniquely Seussian man we all know and love!

— Reagan, Librarian

Cover image of The onion girl

The Onion Girl by Charles De Lint

In this story, some characters are able to access both the physical and spirit worlds, so I suppose you could say their vision is enhanced in the sense that they can see what many others cannot. Some are able to access the spirit world while dreaming, and others while awake. Beautifully written, and De Lint is a Canadian author. The Merril Collection has a first edition copy, signed by the author. The eBook version is also available through Overdrive.

— Sephora, Senior Department Head, Osborne Collection and Merril Collection

Cover image of Not if I see you first

Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom

Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom is is a YA novel with a blind main character that avoids falling into the category of "inspiration porn". Parker Grant is neither villain nor victim and she certainly isn't a saint: in fact, she has a sharp, salty wit that sometimes makes her a bit unlikeable, but I love her agency and the strong female friendships presented here. A complex and nuanced representation with a few life lessons thrown in for good measure. 

— Kim, Librarian

Cover image of Poems to see by : a comic artist interprets great poetry

Poems to See By: A Comic Artist Interprets Great Poetry by Julian Peters

Now you can "see" these 24 old, classic poems as comics. And Peters needs "vision" to envision the poems as comics... get it? ... Okay, I'm fairly sure that failed miserably. BUT! It's a gorgeous book and a nice (re-)introduction to classic poets too.

Cover image of Ways of seeing

Ways of Seeing by John Berger

There's always "Ways of Seeing" by Berger if needed, but why not try one of the newer how to draw or how to paint books.

— Jennifer, Library Assistant

Recommendations from the Facebook Group

These are just some of the recommendations from our Facebook TPL Reading Challenge 2020 discussion group.


What did you read for a book related to vision? Do you have other recommendations? Share in the comments below!