This year’s Winter Reading Challenge for adults has drawn to a close, and judging by the final numbers and the record of books read, this has been another successful year. 

Some fun statistics about this year’s Winter Reading Challenge:

A total of eighty community members participated. Of those, thirty-eight completed the challenge, or just a little more than 
forty-seven percent of participants. Completion of the challenge means a participant read and recorded at least five books in the program.

A total of four hundred thirty-six books were recorded. What an astounding number! 

There were several books logged by more than one reader. At least three participants recorded reading Fortune and Glory by Janet Evanovich; Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty; and Things in Jars by Jess Kidd. Other titles that were represented a couple of times in the logs include A Time for Mercy by John Grisham; All the Colors of Night by Jayne Ann Krentz; Daylight by David Baldacci; The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult; Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell; and Twelve Days of Christmas by Debbie Macomber. You may want to add these to your to read list too!

Personally, I enjoy reading challenges like these, as they stretch my reading goals and help me read a variety of topics. Two books I highly recommend that I read during the first six weeks of this year are Wintering by Katherine May and The Other Madisons by Bettye Kearse. In Wintering, May writes a self-acceptance narrative that focuses on each reader’s “wintering” time, the time when the reader needs additional support. “Wintering” is different for everyone and could symbolize any circumstance from addiction to depression to anxiety to illness. May tells of coping mechanisms and the techniques that help her recognize her limitations and her feelings on a daily basis. Everyone copes differently, and this book celebrates that. 

The Other Madisons tells a story of hope and discovery, of love and loss, and of acceptance and the weighing of “goodness” versus “greatness.” Kearse is her family’s current griotte, the family’s storyteller and keeper of the family history, passed down generation by generation beginning with her ancestor Mandy, who was captured from outside her village in Ghana and enslaved on the Madison property in Virginia. Kearse is a beautiful storyteller, weaving her contemporary musings and her path of discovery with those stories she knows from her ancestors. But, the book goes beyond this and delves into the darker parts of American history. It is truly amazing and a must read for anyone who appreciates American history, in all of its good and bad lights. 

At the close of the challenge, a drawing was held to determine who wins the grand prize - a bag full of books, a few bookish-themed items, and a pass for a Cupola tour at the Seminary Ridge Museum. Those who completed the challenge received one entry; those who read at least  fifteen books received an additional entry. This year’s winner is Deanna from the Carroll Valley area.

If you missed the opportunity to participate in this year’s Winter Reading Challenge, do not despair! Summer is fast approaching, which means information on this year’s Adult Summer Quest program will be made available in a couple of months. Until then, happy reading!

Submitted by Jessica Laganosky, Manager
Trone Memorial Library, Adams County Library System