In our busy lives, it can be difficult to find time to read for fun—or to read at all! Yet one of the most enjoyable parts of our work as historians is reading scholarship about the past and discussing that work with others.

The AHA presents the third annual Summer Reading Challenge. To complete the challenge, participants will complete just three reading tasks (one per month) in June, July, and August. These tasks encourage you to read widely—outside your field, your areas of expertise, and your personal experiences. For these tasks, we define“a history” as nonfiction of any length—a book, an article, a chapter.

The 2024 #AHAReads tasks are:

  • Read a history of a place you’re visiting this summer.
  • Read a history by a scholar whose day job is outside academia.
  • Read a co-authored history.
  • Read a history of Indigenous people.
  • Read a piece of historical fiction (novel, story, poem, play) set in the time or place you study.
  • Learn from a historian presenting their scholarship in an amicus brief, digital collection, exhibition, podcast, video, or another format outside traditional academic publishing.

And we’re hoping you’ll talk about how you’re fulfilling the challenge. We encourage participants to post about what they’re reading for this challenge on the AHA Member Forum or on social media using the hashtag #AHAReads.

Want paper checklist? Tear off the back cover of the May issue of Perspectives on History or download a PDF.

Past AHA Reads Challenges