2018 Hub Reading Challenge May Check-In

Hub readers, I have a confession to make.

I have a really hard time getting into most fantasy.

I understand why people love fantasy. I have the potential to enjoy fantasy; I definitely tore through A Shadow Bright and Burning and A Poison Dark and Drowning earlier this year. But, typically, the conversation goes something like this.

Well-meaning reader:
“Stephen, you have got to read this fantasy book!”

Me trying to look excited even though I’m just thinking about contemporary fiction or magical realism:


But this is the magic of the Hub Reading Challenge! This challenge is designed to encourage people to read outside their comfort zone. So, in the spirit of that, I have decided my next book will be a fantasy book. I’ve looked through the sortable spreadsheet (PS, have you seen the beautiful and amazing sortable spreadsheet!?!?!?!) and I’ve picked out a few options. I’ve heard amazing things about Strange the Dreamer (Printz Honor, #BFYA2018) and Girls Made of Snow and Glass (Bloomer). I’ve also been wanting to dive into the 2018 Alex Award winners, so maybe an urban fantasy like An Unkindness of Magicians would be good?

What do you think? Which fantasy is for me? Have you warmed up to any genres during the challenge you’d written off (no pun intended) in the past? Share in the comments! And be sure to tag any social media posts about the Hub Reading Challenge with #hubchallenge!

We’ll check in one more time towards the end of June, so keep on reading! Here’s a quick reminder of the challenge guidelines:

  • The goal of the Hub Reading Challenge is to read 25 books over the next four months from a list of the most recent award winner and honor books and YALSA selected lists.
  • Format matters: a title that has been recognized for both the print version and the audiobook version can be both read and listened to and count as two books, but a book that has won multiple awards or appears on multiple lists in the same format only counts as one title.
  • Books must be read/listened to (both begun and finished) between the date the award winners and selected lists have been released and June 30, 2018 at 11:59pm EST. If you’ve already read/listened to a title (before the winners/selected lists were announced), you must re-read/listen to it for it to count. The challenge ends on June 30, 2018 at at 11:59pm EST.
  • Just about everyone who doesn’t work for ALA is eligible to participate. Non-ALA/YALSA members are eligible. Teens are eligible. Non-US residents/citizens are eligible. (More eligibility questions? Leave a comment or email us.)
  • Once you finish the challenge, we’ll contact you with details about creating and publishing your response.
  • If you’ve already finished, let us know here! The grand prize winner will be selected by 11:59pm EST on July 1, 2018. The winner will be notified via email.

–Stephen Ashley, Hub Member Manager