2017 Read Harder Challenge

posted in: Blog, Books / Reading | 0
Share

This was my first year doing Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge and I loved it. Through the help of authors and experts, they defined 24 reading challenges that were guaranteed to stretch the comfort zone of even the most exhaustive reader. Thanks to this, I started reading fiction again, was introduced to new styles and authors, and put myself in the shoes of people going through life events (e.g. becoming a refugee, coming out) that I’ve not experienced myself. At the end, I treated myself to library themed enamel pins from Book Riot’s store. Listed below are my choices for each reading challenge.

1. Read a book about sports.

Seabiscuit: An American LegendSeabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I listened to this as an audio book and oh my gosh, I felt like I was listening to a radio announcer describe the races in real time. It gave a good feel for the excitement this sport had in American during the 1930s.

2. Read a debut novel.

How I Became a North KoreanHow I Became a North Korean by Krys Lee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This novel takes the point of view of three North Koreans who met in the region where China borders North Korea and must learn to survive in exile.

3. Read a book about books.

Fahrenheit 451Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Classic dystopian novel where the government controls all knowledge and firefighters burn books.

4. Read a book set in Central or South America, written by a Central or South American author.

The House of the SpiritsThe House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Follows three generations of the Trueba family through joy, heartache, and revolution. By far my favorite book this year.

5. Read a book by an immigrant or with a central immigration narrative.

In the Country We Love: My Family DividedIn the Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Actress from Orange is the New Black details her experience growing up in America as a child of undocumented immigrants.

6. Read an all-ages comic.

Adventure Time Vol. 1Adventure Time Vol. 1 by Ryan North
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Lich is back for fans of this mathematical TV show.

7. Read a book published between 1900 and 1950.

Animal FarmAnimal Farm by George Orwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

8. Read a travel memoir.

Cruelest Journey: Six Hundred Miles To TimbuktuCruelest Journey: Six Hundred Miles To Timbuktu by Kira Salak
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Memoir of Kira Salak’s kayak voyage on the Niger River to Timbuktu.

9. Read a book you’ve read before.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2 (Harry Potter, #8)Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2 by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Harry Potter’s youngest son Albus struggles to find his place in the magical world under his father’s legacy.

10. Read a book that is set within 100 miles of your location.

Blind Descent (Anna Pigeon, #6)Blind Descent by Nevada Barr
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Trevor Noah accounts his childhood in South Africa, growing up mixed race during the apartheid.

11. Read a book that is set more than 5000 miles from your location.

Born a Crime: Stories From a South African ChildhoodBorn a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Trevor Noah accounts his childhood in South Africa, growing up mixed race during the apartheid.

12. Read a fantasy novel.

Dragonflight (Pern: Dragonriders of Pern, #1)Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey

Lessa bonds with a Dragon Queen to save Pern.

13. Read a nonfiction book about technology.

Babies of Technology: Assisted Reproduction and the Rights of the ChildBabies of Technology: Assisted Reproduction and the Rights of the Child by Mary Ann Mason
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The authors argue that laws need to catch up with modern fertility medicine to protect the children of the twenty-first century.

14. Read a book about war.

Fractured Lands: How the Arab World Came ApartFractured Lands: How the Arab World Came Apart by Scott Anderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Arab Spring is described through the eyes of six individuals: an Egyptian woman, a Libyan Air Force cadet, a Kurdish physician, a Syrian university student, an Iraqi women’s rights activist, and an Iraqi ISIS fighter.

15. Read a YA or middle grade novel by an author who identifies as LGBTQ+.

Annie on My MindAnnie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A coming of age story about two teenage girls learning the meaning of their feelings for each other.

16. Read a book that has been banned or frequently challenged in your country.

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood (Persepolis, #1)Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Graphic novel and memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution.

17. Read a classic by an author of color.

The Conjure WomanThe Conjure Woman by Charles W. Chesnutt
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Post Civil War folk tales.

18. Read a superhero comic with a female lead.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Long Way Home (Season 8, #1)Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Long Way Home by Joss Whedon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Buffy and company’s adventures after the destruction of the Hellmouth.

19. Read a book in which a character of color goes on a spiritual journey (From Daniel José Older, author of Salsa Nocturna, the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series, and YA novel Shadowshaper)

Life of PiLife of Pi by Yann Martel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Pi questions spirituality as he survives 227 days at sea with the companionship of a Bengal tiger.

20. Read an LGBTQ+ romance novel (From Sarah MacLean, author of ten bestselling historical romance novels)

Month of SundaysMonth of Sundays by Yolanda Wallace
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Romance blossoms between a conservative accountant and a famous chef over a month of Sunday dates.

21. Read a book published by a micropress. (From Roxane Gay, bestselling author of Ayiti, An Untamed State, Bad Feminist, Marvel’s World of Wakanda, and the forthcoming Hunger and Difficult Women)

Crazy WomanCrazy Woman by Kate Horsley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sara moves to New Mexico with her new husband where she is captured by Apaches.

22. Read a collection of stories by a woman. (From Celeste Ng, author Everything I Never Told You and the forthcoming Little Fires Everywhere)

St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by WolvesSt. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Short stories set in the magical swamps of the Florida Everglades.

23. Read a collection of poetry in translation on a theme other than love. (From Ausma Zehanat Khan, author of the Esa Khattak/Rachel Getty mystery series, including The Unquiet Dead, The Language of Secrets, and the forthcoming Among the Ruins)

Cattle of the Lord: PoemsCattle of the Lord: Poems by Rosa Alice Branco
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Religion, faith, what it means to be human.

24. Read a book wherein all point-of-view characters are people of color. (From Jacqueline Koyanagi, author of sci-fi novel Ascension)

Say You're One of ThemSay You're One of Them by Uwem Akpan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Stories of extreme circumstances in Africa.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.