Book Riot Read Harder Challenge

And so, another year of reading begins.

One of the main things I want to focus on this year is diversity – diversity of genres, as well as diversity of authors and content. To help with this I’ve decided to participate in a reading challenge – my first one ever. There’s freaking thousands of challenges out there on the old interwebz, way more than I could ever hope to review, so I’ve decided to go with the Book Riot Read Harder challenge – mostly because I love everything that Book Riot does, but also because it looks nice and diverse and, as the name suggests it should be, challenging.

I’m still deciding whether I should use this challenge as a way of getting through my TBR pile, because there are a few on my shelf that fit the descriptions, or whether I should choose totally new books for all the tasks. Most likely I’ll end up doing a combination of the two.

Below are the list of tasks and the books I’m hoping to read, although I’m sure I’ll be changing some of these as the year goes on (and as soon as I work out what a microhistory is I’ll be good to go).

  1. A book written by someone when they were under the age of 25: St Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell
  2. A book written by someone when they were over the age of 65: All That Is by James Salter
  3. A collection of short stories (either by one person or an anthology by many people): The Isle of Youth by Laura van den Berg
  4. A book published by an indie press: Heat and Light by Ellen Van Neerven (University of Queensland Press)
  5. A book by or about someone that identifies as LGBTQ: The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith
  6. A book by a person whose gender is different from your own: The Bone Clocks by David MItchell
  7. A book that takes place in Asia: The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh
  8. A book by an author from Africa: We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo or Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
  9. A book that is by or about someone from an indigenous culture: Mullumbimby by Melissa Lucashenko
  10. A microhistory: I have NO idea, are Jared Diamond’s books considered microhistories?
  11. A YA novel: Laurinda by Alice Pung
  12. A sci-fi novel: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  13. A romance novel: Never Judge a Lady by her Cover by Sarah MacLean
  14. A National Book Award, Man Booker Prize or Pulitzer Prize winner from the last decade: The Good Lord Bird by James McBride or The Gathering by Anne Enright
  15. A book that is a retelling of a classic story (fairytale, Shakespearian play, classic novel, etc.): Boy Snow Bird by Helen Oyeyemi
  16. An audiobook: More Fool Me by Stephen Fry
  17. A collection of poetry: Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes
  18. A book that someone else has recommended to you: The Wife Drought by Annabel Crabb
  19. A book that was originally published in another language: All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
  20. A graphic novel, a graphic memoir or a collection of comics of any kind: Ms Marvel by G. Willow Wilson
  21. A book that you would consider a guilty pleasure (I know what they are talking about with this, but I object so hard to reading being a ‘guilty’ pleasure – just read what you like and get over it – but that’s a rant for another day/blog post): The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes
  22. A book published before 1850: Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  23. A book published this year (seeing as this challenge was conceived last year, I’m reading ‘this year’ to mean 2014): Lila by Marilynne Robinson or Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  24. A self-improvement book (can be traditionally or non-traditionally considered “self-improvement”): How to Eat by Thích Nhat Hạnh

Any advice for a first time reading challenger? Any books I should consider for these categories? If you’re joining the challenge, I’d love to see (and potentially steal from) your list…

4 replies »

  1. Yay. So glad you are joining the challenge! I am in it too and I did it specifically to diversify my reading. I have a Read Harder challenge page on my blog where I say what I will possibly use for each category. But I think you have some good choices there. I am so clueless on the microhistory as well. I think I will go to the Goodreads group and see if anyone has any ideas.


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