North York Central Library Staff Tackle the TPL Reading Challenge

March 10, 2020 | Denise

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Are you participating in the TPL Reading Challenge? It's a great way to expand your literary comfort zone and many of the staff at the North York Central Library have eagerly waded in.

Here's a few books that they have discovered:

Elaine: Cosmoknights by Hannah Templar

Cover image of Cosmoknights. Book 1

Reading Challenge category: A book you would like to live in OR A book you picked because you liked the cover.

"I initially chose this because of the cover – it's so vibrant and dynamic that it begs to be picked up. I feel like in the graphic novel genre in particular, it's so important to have an immediate visual hook on the cover to draw the eye and keep it there. Cosmoknights does this effortlessly. In this book, a girl named Pan finds herself embroiled in a secret underground rebellion against the patriarchal mandate that princesses are only useful as chattel, to be lost and won among the battling cosmoknights. She finds herself aligned with a feisty duo who've been saving princesses under the radar for years, pinging the attention of a femme fatale-like figure who's got more than secrets up her sleeve. This is an exciting first volume to what looks to be an epic adventure of massively queer proportions!"


Kristen: Tales of the Marvellous and News of the Strange, translated by M.C. Lyons

Cover image of Tales of the marvellous and news of the strange

Reading Challenge category: A book that is older than you OR A book originally written in a language that's not your first language.

"I originally I stumbled across this book in our collection while working. Its gorgeous cover caught my eye. I've been reading more ebooks lately but there's something deeply satisfying about the more tactile pleasures of holding a beautifully designed book in your hands. Once I flipped open the front cover to read the synopsis, I was hooked. I've also been trying to expand my reading to include more works from outside of the Western literary tradition. This book is the earliest known collection of Arabic stories so it certainly fits the bill. Some of these tales originally appeared in The Arabian Nights but many have never been translated into English before. I'm excited to dip my toes in."


Corinne: In the Company of Ogres by A. Lee Martinez

Image result for In the company of ogres

Reading Challenge category: A book that made you laugh.

"Immortal man + Ragtag group of creatures = Hilarious situations the protagonist has to deal with while being in charge of the legion. Author struck gold with this one."

NOTE: This particular book is a reference-only copy in the Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation, and Fantasy at the Lillian H. Smith Branch but there are lots of other quirky A. Lee Martinez books you can check out and take home!


Janet: The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Sŏn-mi Hwang 

Cover image of The hen who dreamed she could fly

Reading Challenge category: A book originally written in a language that's not your first language OR A book under 200 pages long.


Kelli: Christ Stopped at Eboli: The Story of a Year by Carlo Levi

Cover image of Christ stopped at Eboli : the story of a year

Reading Challenge category: A book that is older than you OR A book about a real person OR A book originally written in a language that's not your first language.

"I've been reading more about the history of Italy, particularly southern Italy, since I visited Calabria with my Mom, aunts and cousin in 2018. Carlo Levi's book has been mentioned in other memoirs by people exploring the history and people of southern Italy, so I thought I should read it as well.


Viveca: Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham

Cover image of Midnight in Chernobyl : the untold story of the world's greatest nuclear disaster

Reading Challenge category: A book about something that scares you.

"A truly terrifying minute-by-minute account of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. I was reading this early in the morning when the message (sent in error) by the Pickering Nuclear Plant came through. "


Aminata: We are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby

Cover image of We are never meeting in real life : essays

Reading Challenge category: A book that made you laugh.

"I was browsing in Indigo, and read the first essay, "My Bachelorette Application" and I have never laughed so hard in my life. It's the perfect pick-me-up if you're having a bad day. Samantha Irby feels like an old friend by the time you get to the end of her essay collection."


Bradley: Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less by Barry Schwartz 

Cover image of The paradox of choice : why more is less

Reading Challenge category: A book that you found helpful.

"I find I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to pick the "best" solution when presented with so many options to choose from. I'm hoping the book will provide insights into the decision-making process so I can be not as overwhelmed when faced with so many choices."


Speaking of too many choices, with great challenge categories to inspire you and so many books to choose to from, getting started can be a bit overwhelming. These are our recommendations to you...but have you got any recommendations for us?