Check It Out Category: Fiction

Summer Reading: G. Spectacular Covers

spectacular reading journey - read a book with a spectacular cover (a summer reading challenge category)

As the Adult Summer Reading Challenge: The Spectacular Reading Race wraps up after August 31st, we thought we’d show off some of the spectacular covers chosen by participants for this reading challenge category. We hope you enjoyed some truly spectacular titles on this spectacular summer reading journey. Thanks to all for participating!

The Glass Hotel book coverThe Glass Hotel
Emily St. John Mandel
Arabella of Mars book coverArabella of Mars
David D. Levine
In the Hall with the Knife book coverIn The Hall With
The Knife

Diana Peterfruend
Headliners book coverHeadliners
Lucy Parker
Pleasantville book coverPleasantvillle
Attica Locke
Watch Me Disappear book coverWatch Me Disappear
Janelle Brown
Mexican Gothic book coverMexican Gothic
Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Black Chalk book coverBlack Chalk
Christopher J. Yates
Untamed book coverUntamed
Glennon Doyle

Summer Reading: K. Turn Back Time, Read A Classic – From Any Decade!

read a classic from any decade - a summer reading challenge category

“Read a Classic – Of Any Decade” is one of the reading challenge categories for the Adult Summer Reading Challenge: The Spectacular Reading Race! Here is a sampling of some classics first published in different eras:

kindred book cover

Kindred by Octavia Butler (1979)

Dana, a Black woman, finds herself repeatedly transported to the antebellum South, where she must make sure that Rufus, the plantation owner’s son, survives to father Dana’s ancestor.

slaughterhouse-five book cover

Slaughterhouse Five, or The Children’s Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death by Kurt Vonnegut (1969)

Billy Pilgrim, a chaplain’s assistant during the Second World War, returns home only to be kidnapped by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore, who teach him that time is an eternal present.

Ceremony book cover

Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko (1977)

On a New Mexico reservation, one Navajo family–including Tayo, a World War II veteran deeply scarred by his experiences as a Japanese POW and by the rejection of his own people–struggles to survive in a world no longer theirs in the years just before and after World War II.

Wuthering Heights book cover

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (1847)

Heathcliff, an orphan, is raised by Mr Earnshaw as one of his own children. Hindley despises him but wild Cathy becomes his constant companion, and he falls deeply in love with her. When she will not marry him, Heathcliff’s terrible vengeance ruins them all – but still his and Cathy’s love will not die…

The Joy Luck Club book cover

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan (1989)

After being drawn together by the shadows of their past, four women start meeting every week in San Francisco to engage in hobbies they all enjoy. After one of the four members dies, her daughter takes her place to fulfill her mother’s dying wish. After the revelation of a secret, the women are forced to think back to their pasts and remember the sometimes painful events of their lives.

In Cold Blood book cover

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (1965)

Presents Capote’s masterful account of the senseless 1959 murders of four members of a farm family in Holcomb, Kansas, and the search for the killers, Richard Eugene Hickock and Perry Edward Smith.

1984 book cover

1984 by George Orwell (1949)

Orwell’s classic novel of one man’s nightmare odyssey through a world ruled by warring states and a power structure that controls not only information but individual thought and memory.

Be sure to add all the titles you’ve read between June 1st through August 31st for Summer Reading on Beanstack!


Summer Reading: Top Books Read for The Spectacular Reading Race

top books read for the adult summer reading challenge

Below is only a sampling of the top books read for the Adult Summer Reading Challenge: The Spectacular Reading Race. These titles were pulled from a total of 1,209 books read so far! The Summer Reading Challenge ends on August 31st this year, so be sure to enter all your books you’ve read on Beanstack!

Vanishing Half book coverThe Vanishing Half
Brit Bennett

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in The American City book coverEvicted
Matthew Desmond

Ordinary Grace book coverOrdinary Grace
William Kent Krueger
The Guest List book coverThe Guest List
Lucy Foley
Honey-Don't List book coverThe Honey-Don’t List
Christina Lauren
Between the World and Me book coverBetween The World And Me
Ta-Nehisi Coates
In Five Years book coverIn Five Years
Rebecca Serle

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek book coverThe Book Woman of
Troublesome Creek

Kim Michelle Richardson

untamed book coverUntamed
Glennon Doyle
such a fun age book coverSuch A Fun Age
Kiley Reid
the river of doubt book coverThe River of Doubt
Candice Millar
Clap When You Land book coverClap When You Land
Elizabeth Acevedo
cinder - the lunar chronicles book coverCinder
Marissa Meyer
the hate you give book coverThe Hate U Give
Angie Thomas
Mother-in-Law coverThe Mother-in-Law
Sally Hepworth
Outlander book coverOutlander
Diana Gabaldon
white fragility book coverWhite Fragility
Robin Diangelo
the wedding dress book coverThe Wedding Dress
Danielle Steel

Educated book coverEducated
Tara Westove

Summer Reading: Category H. Time Travel

Time Travel - a summer reading challenge category and so much more

Travel certainly looks a bit different this summer. So why not try time travel? “Read a book about time travel” is a category in the Adult Summer Reading Challenge: The Spectacular Reading Race, and we are in the final stretch of 2020’s reading challenge!

Will you be immersing yourself in a book that could transport you? Time travel can have many different flavors, twists, and possibly fiery skid marks! Here is a sampling of some of our favorites:

All Our Wrong Todays book cover


All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

Living in an alternate world of flying cars, moon bases and plentiful food, aimless Tom Barren is blindsided by an accident of fate that leads to a time-travel mishap that lands him in our less-than-ideal 2016, where he discovers wonderful unexpected versions of his own life.



11/22/63 book cover

11/22/63 by Stephen King

Receiving a horrific essay from a GED student with a traumatic past, high-school English teacher Jake Epping is enlisted by a friend to travel back in time to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy, a mission for which he must befriend troubled loner Lee Harvey Oswald.


The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Doomed to repeat the same day over and over, Aiden Bishop must solve the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle in order to escape the curse in a world filled with enemies where nothing and no one are quite what they seem.


This is How You Lose the Time War book cover


This Is How You Lose The Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandant finds a letter. Thus begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents hellbent on securing the best possible future for their warring factions. Now, what began as a battlefield boast, grows into something more. Something epic. Something romantic. Something that could change the past and the future. Except the discovery of their bond would mean death for each of them.


Here And Now And Then book cover


Here And Now And Then by Mike Chen

Stranded for 18 years since the 1990s, time-traveling agent Kin Stewart, suffering from memory loss, has started a new life, but when rescuers from the year 2142 finally arrive, he must choose between his current family and the one he left behind in the future.



Be sure to add all the titles you’ve read between June 1st through August 31st for

Summer Reading on Beanstack!

Summer Reading: Category I. Travel Around the World, Characters on a Journey

character or person on a journey - a summer reading challenge category

Travel plans delayed this summer? Travel vicariously through traveling characters and persons in books! “Read a book about someone on a journey” is one of the reading challenge categories for the Adult Summer Reading Challenge: The Spectacular Reading Race! Here is a sampling of some of our favorite traveling characters and/or persons in books:

the Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper book cover

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

Less book cover

Less by Andrew Sean Greer

The Travelers book cover

The Travelers by Regina Porter

The Buried Giant book cover

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Leisure Seeker book cover

The Leisure Seeker by Michael Zadoorian

Royal Holiday book cover

Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory

The Woman in Cabin 10 book cover

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Be sure to add all the titles you’ve read between June 1st through August 31st for Summer Reading on Beanstack!