Stay-in-and-read weather has returned, and the Mid-Continent Public Library system is back with its annual Winter Reading Challenge.
“This will be the fifth year,” said Amy Fisher, the library’s information and reader services manager.
It’s a simple proposition: Read five books over two months and win a distinctive red mug, with a chance for other stuff. It’s on the honor system.
“They can be from the suggested reading list, or they can be any five books you choose,” Fisher said.
The event is Jan. 15 to March 15. Those participating -- 18 and older -- do need to sign up, and they can do that starting Monday on the library’s website, www.mymcpl.org. There’s also a Winter Reading Challenge group on Facebook to weigh in on what you like.
This year’s theme is “Shelf of Suspects,” and dozens of books across several mystery genres are on the suggested list.
“Everybody likes something different,” Fisher points out.
There are contemporary books such as “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson and “‘A’ is for Alibi” by Sue Grafton and from what the library calls golden-age detectives such as “A Roman Hat Mystery,” by Ellery Queen and “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie. There are classics such as “Bleak House” by Charles Dickens and “A Murder, A Mystery, and A Marriage” by Mark Twain. There are also true-crime books, such as “Blind Faith,” by Joe McGinniss and “In Broad Daylight,” the Harry N. MacLean account of a vigilante killing in Skidmore, Mo.