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#Rogersreads2020: Read a Book About a Historical Figure

Dec 2, 2020

If you haven’t signed up for the #RogersReads reading challenge for 2020, now is the time! Click the #RogersReads image on the library website or use this link to begin logging your completed challenges and enter for monthly prizes! Each month, prizes will be awarded to two readers who enter a new book into their online log by the end of the month. If you complete all twelve prompts before February 2021, you will be entered for the grand prize that will be awarded at the end of the challenge.

Each month we will be highlighting one of the twelve reading prompts along with some ideas of titles that could fulfill that prompt. Share your own ideas and show off your progress by tagging us on social media with #RogersReads. Please remember that you can complete the #RogersReads prompts in any order using eBooks, audiobooks, or print copies of a title. We are excited to see what you select to fulfill this prompt!

Read a book, fiction or non-fiction, about a historical figure.

There are plenty of options you could explore to fulfill this prompt, so don’t worry about stretching the boundaries on this one. You can’t go wrong with a biography or memoir. Becoming by Michelle Obama, Me by Elton John, and Open Book by Jessica Simpson are some popular titles that you may have already read this year.

There are plenty of non-fiction books about historical figures. For example, Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly, Einstein’s Monsters by Chris Impey, and Kepler’s Witch by James A Connor are all non-fiction books about important figures who literally shot for the stars.

Historical fiction has become popular lately, so there are lots of great titles from that genre that you could pick to fulfill this prompt. Mistress of the Ritz by Melanie Benjamin, White Rose by Kip Wilson, and Code Name Hélène by Ariel Lawhon are all fiction books about real-life heroes of the second World War.

There are also plenty of historical fiction novels about people adjacent to familiar historical figures. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain is about Ernest Hemingway’s wife; the main character of Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict is a lady’s maid in Andrew Carnegie’s household; The Age of Light by Whitney Scharer follows the romance between the narrator and visual artist Man Ray.

You can select your historical figure from any time period, so don’t be shy. You can go all the way back to ancient history! The Song of Achilles and Circe by Madeline Miller recount tales of ancient Greece and Rome, and The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White is a retelling of Arthurian legends.

You can choose any book you want as long as there’s a historical figure in the mix, so alternate history does still count as history. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith has Honest Abe himself slaying the undead; In His Majesty’s Service by Naomi Novik is a retelling of the Napoleonic wars with dragons entering the battles; and 11/22/63 by Stephen King features a time traveler trying to prevent JFK’s assassination.

There are even plenty of graphic novels about historical figures. You can check out They Called Us Enemy by George Takei, March by John Lewis, or Brazen by Pénélope Baglieu from our graphic novel section.

We are looking forward to a year full of challenging new reads with you!

Happy reading!

The rest of this year’s challenges are listed below with links, when possible, to suggestions that can fulfill them.

Read a book with “Bronze,” “Silver,” or “Gold” in the title.

Read a book set in the “Jazz Age” (1920s).

Read a book first published in the year you were born.

Read a book that includes a map.

Read a book with a title that is only one word.

Read a book that is the first in a series.

Read a book, fiction or non-fiction, about a historical figure.

Read a book someone you know dislikes.

Read a book from the Young Adult section.

Read a book that is not written in traditional prose.

Read a book that has a season in the title.

Read a book about what you wanted to “grow up to be” when you were a kid.