Generally, I am terrible at reading challenges. It seems that as soon as I challenge myself to do something, it turns into work and I automatically don’t want to do it anymore. The best way to ensure that I won’t ever read a book is to put it on a reading challenge list.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that I am actually kicking butt at one challenge this year, Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge.
The goal of the Read Harder Challenge is to complete 24 tasks (i.e. read 24 books) “that represent experiences and places and cultures that might be different from your own. … We like books because they allow us to see the world from a new perspective, and sometimes we all need help to even know which perspectives to try out. That’s what this is – a perspective shift – but one for which you’ll only be accountable to yourself.”
I wasn’t planning to “officially” do this challenge this year, but when I reviewed the list of tasks a few weeks ago I realized I’m well on my way to being able to complete this challenge. The bullets in bold are tasks I’ve completed, while those that are plain text are tasks I still need to finish.
2015 Read Harder Challenge List
- A book written by someone when they were under the age of 25
- A book written by someone when they were over the age of 65
- A collection of short stories – Almost Famous Women by Megan Mayhew Bergman
- A book published by an indie press – Leaving Orbit by Margaret Lazarus Dean (Graywolf Press)
- A book by or about someone that identifies as LGBTQ – Smash Cut by Brad Gooch
- A book by a person whose gender is different from your own – Eye on the Struggle by James McGrath Morris
- A book that takes place in Asia – Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
- A book by an author from Africa – Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- A book that is by or about someone from an indigenous culture
- A microhistory – The Monopolists by Mary Pilon
- A YA novel – The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
- A sci-fi novel
- A romance novel
- A National Book Award, Man Booker Prize or Pulitzer Prize winner from the last decade
- A book that is a retelling of a classic story
- An audiobook
- A collection of poetry
- A book that someone else has recommended to you
- A book that was originally published in another language
- A graphic novel, a graphic memoir or a collection of comics of any kind – Alex + Ada by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn
- A book that you would consider a guilty pleasure – The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (reread)
- A book published before 1850
- A book published this year – Hammer Head by Nina MacLaughlin
- A self-improvement book – The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
Twelve tasks finished and it’s not even half way through the year! I’m amazed. And kind of excited, since I feel like maybe I can actually finish this one. I’d love your suggestions for books to fill some of my incomplete categories.