TPL Reading Challenge 2020: A Year in Review

January 19, 2021 | Nalini

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And it's a wrap! 2020 has finally ended, and our 2021 TPL Reading Challenge is already underway. But, let's take a moment to look back at last year's Challenge.

331 participants filled out our year-end survey. Based on those results alone, over 3,900 books were read! Here are the 10 most popular books read, and the categories that they were used for.

Convenience Store Woman: A Novel: Murata, Sayaka, Tapley Takemori, Ginny:  9780802128256: Books - Amazon.ca

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

A short novel about a 30-something woman in Toyko, who works in a convenience store.

  • A book under 200 pages
  • A book originally written in a language that's not your first language

 

From the Ashes: My Story of Being Métis, Homeless, and Finding My Way:  Thistle, Jesse: 9781982101213: Books - Amazon.ca

From the Ashes by Jesse Thistle

Jesse Thistle shares the story of his life on the streets and how he overcame trauma and addiction.

  • A book by an Indigenous author
  • A book about a real person
  • A book about current events

 

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood: 9780525562627 | PenguinRandomHouse.com:  Books

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

In this sequel to The Handmaid's Tale, the story continues 15 years later through the testaments of three female narrators from Gilead.

  • A book told from multiple points of view
  • A dystopian or utopian book
  • A book you picked because you liked the cover or title
  • A book about something that scares you

 

Circe by Madeline Miller

Circe by Madeline Miller

A retelling of Greek mythology's The Odyssey from the perspective of Circe.

  • A book based on a fairy tale, myth or legend.
  • A book you would like to live in

 

The Skin We're In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power: Cole, Desmond:  9780385686341: Books - Amazon.ca

The Skin We're In by Desmond Cole

Journalist and activist Desmond Cole recounts a year of struggle against racism in Canada.

  • A book about a real person
  • A book you found helpful
  • A book of short stories or essays
  • A book about history
  • Two books on the same topic by different authors

 

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

A love story that takes place in a secret, magical underground world.

  • A book you picked because you liked the cover
  • A book that celebrates books, reading or libraries
  • A book you would like to live in
  • Two books on the same topic by different authors

 

Becoming: Obama, Michelle: 9781524763138: Books - Amazon.ca

Becoming by Michelle Obama

The former First Lady of United States shares her memoirs in this 2018 book.

  • A book about a real person
  • A book written by someone who is more famous for something else
  • A book about current events

 

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Blindness by José Saramago

A plague of blindness hits a city in this novel by Nobel Prize winning author José Saramago.

  • A book related to vision (because it's 2020, get it?)
  • A book originally written in a language that is not your first language
  • Two books on the same topic by different authors

 

No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference: Thunberg, Greta: 9780141991740:  Books - Amazon.ca

No One is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg

A collection of speeches made by environmentalist Greta Thunberg.

  • A book about climate change
  • A book under 200 pages long

 

All the Light We Cannot See - Wikipedia

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

This novel shares the story of a blind French girl and a German boy during occupied France as they both try to survive World War II.

  • A book related to vision (because it's 2020, get it?)
  • A book you would like to live in
  • A book that celebrates books, reading or libraries 

 

Key numbers: January 1 to December 31, 2020

  • 25,138 visits were made to our 2020 Reading Challenge website, plus an additional 2,733 visits to program listings.
  • 25 reading lists were created in support of the 2020 Challenge, and they had 33,567 total page views.
  • 9 online book discussions with 372 participants. (Our online events are archived, so have a look if you missed them, and see what everyone was reading last year).
  • Over 1000 members joined our TPL Reading Challenge Facebook Group, from 650 members on December 31, 2019 to 1651 as of December 31, 2020. We had over 6,200 FB comments, and 20,000 total likes.
  • We were only able to host 5 in-person meet up events, but we hope to continue this activity in 2021 when COVID restrictions allow for it.

 

Here's what some participants had to say about the 2020 TPL Reading Challenge:

"I enjoyed the challenge, and read all the blog posts along the way to get suggestions. I also relied on the [Facebook] group for recommendations. My challenge got off to a good start, then dipped a bit when the pandemic arrived. Due to that I read a few lighter books, and reread some favourites to cover some of the categories. I did finish early, in late September, and was happy to have discovered several new favourite books and authors."

- Eliza

 

"This was my first challenge. I loved it because it kept my reading on track, with a list of what to read next, and I read books that I might not have read otherwise. I also did the Advanced Challenge. I finished the year by reading the most books I have ever read in one year."

- Reader

 

Check out the 2021 TPL Reading Challenge with all new categories and online discussions. Here's to a year filled with great books, happy reading!

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