I’m a Book Riot Contributor, but still, I was kind of resisting the Read Harder Challenge this year. I keep telling myself that I don’t have enough time. But here I am again, doing the thing. I think I have several categories covered already.

If you finish (I totally didn’t know this last year), snap a picture of your completed list, and email it to readharder@bookriot.com by Dec. 31st. No, I won’t be the one answering. But if you do it, you will get 30% off at the Book Riot store! I want a hoodie!

The categories are below, and all of them go to lists of recommendations by my lovely fellow Rioters. Here is the link to the original post on Book Riot.

The ones I still need on this list are in bold.

  1. A book published posthumously – I might read The Master and Margarita or 2666.
  2. A book of true crime – I’m almost done with Killers of the Flower Moon.
  3. A classic of genre fiction (i.e. mystery, sci fi/fantasy, romance) – I’ll probably read some fantasy.
  4. A comic written and drawn by the same person – I need to finally finish Maus.
  5. A book set in or about one of the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, or South Africa) – I’ve been on a Romanovs kick, so I totally have this covered. Most recently, I read Rasputin: Faith, Power, and the Twilight of the Romanovs.
  6. A book about nature – I’m currently re-reading Silent Spring.
  7. A western – I really need to read Lonesome Dove already.
  8. A comic written or drawn by a person of color – I need to finish Monstress.
  9. A book of colonial or postcolonial literature – Tons of options! I need to dig through my stacks.
  10. A romance novel by or about a person of color – I have When Dimple Met Rishi, and I need to read it finally.
  11. A children’s classic published before 1980 – So many options for this one.
  12. A celebrity memoir – I love celebrity memoirs. I have one by Alan Alda that I need to read.
  13. An Oprah Book Club selection – I just finished Tayari Jones’s An American Marriage. Then I met her, and she gave me her autograph, and I have her a fountain pen after a weird, writerly discussion about fountain pens. Here’s hoping she writes something spectacular with it.
  14. A book of social science – The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb. It wasn’t my favorite, but it still fulfills this one.
  15. A one-sitting book – Oh gosh, I can’t even read a comic book in one sitting. I guess I’ll have plenty of time on a couple of the trips I’m taking this year though. Hello 12 hour flight to Brazil.
  16. The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series – I have a few of these on my kindle. They’re all fantasy, because that’s the way I like it. (Uh huh uh huh)
  17. A sci fi novel with a female protagonist by a female author – There are some really interesting looking recs for this one, so I’m looking forward to reading this. I haven’t read any sci-fi in a while, because it got a little…samey? Maybe these recs will fix that.
  18. A comic that isn’t published by Marvel, DC, or Image – Maybe I need to look into a little manga. It’s been a while.
  19. A book of genre fiction in translation – The Neverending Story was originally written in German? I had no idea. It’s been on my list for a while, so now’s the time.
  20. A book with a cover you hate – I usually don’t have strong feelings about covers, but the ones in that Book Riot post are pretty bad. lol
  21. A mystery by a person of color or LGBTQ+ author – I bought some Attica Locke books a while back, but I haven’t read them yet.
  22. An essay anthology – I want to read A Fire This Time. I also have several Best American whatevers on myself.
  23. A book with a female protagonist over the age of 60 – Miss Marple! Let’s go solve some mysteries!
  24. An assigned book you hated (or never finished) – For an English teacher, I have had so many of those. I think I’ve gone back and read most of them, but I’m sure there are a few stragglers I still need to pick up.


So far, I’m 5/24 on this challenge. What about you? Are you doing the Read Harder challege this year? Do you have any recommendations?

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