#AHAReads 2022 Summer Reading Challenge


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. To incentivize historians to carve out space for reading in their schedules this summer, the AHA presents:

The 2022 Summer Reading Challenge

Starting June 1, challenge participants will complete three (or more) of the tasks below. Each one prompts you to read a work that meets a certain criterion. You might read a “classic” in your field or something written by a historian in a different identity group. What counts as a “classic,” or an identity group? We leave that up to you. One task encourages you to read historical fiction, others “a history,” which we’re defining as a nonfiction work of any length—it could be a book, an article, a chapter. The AHA hopes that the variety of tasks will encourage you to read widely—outside your field, your areas of expertise, and your personal experiences.

Ideally, participants will complete at least one task per month in June, July, and August. And, if you make it through the summer and complete the challenge by Labor Day, there will even be a small reward.

We’re also hoping you’ll talk to other participants about how you’re fulfilling the challenge. Check in on how others are thinking about the tasks, exchange recommendations, and share your progress on the AHA Member Forum or post on social media using the hashtag #AHAReads.

The 2022 #AHAReads tasks are:

  • Read a “classic” of your field that you’ve never read before.
  • Read a history published in the past 2 years.
  • Read a piece of historical fiction (novel, story, poem, play) set in the time or place you study.
  • Read a history of the place you know the most about that takes place at least a century before or after your time period of expertise.
  • Read a history written by a historian who works in a day job different from your own.
  • Read a history of an identity group you don’t belong to.

You can get a handy PDF checklist of the tasks and instructions here. Happy reading!