The Read Harder 2018 Results Are In!
Last year I attempted my first reading challenge, specifically Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge. I gave up after reading Patrick Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind. I hated that book so much that I didn’t take on a single other book challenge for the rest of the year. By the way, Lin-Manuel Miranda is adapting the Kingkiller Chronicles for TV and once hype for that reaches the mainstream I will get even more preachy about how the source material SUUUUUCKS.
Anyway! I attempted the Read Harder Challenge again this year and did much better. I, to my own shock, completed the whole thing (Real Talk: I am writing this in advance and have two books to go but I have like 10 days and it’s getting done. I’m just hoping writing this doesn’t jinx me). Here’s my completed reading challenge list, in case you’re looking for ideas on what to read, or if you want to compare your own challenge picks to mine. Also, I wrote one post about my Read Harder Challenge progress which you can read here.
A book published posthumously: I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
A book of true crime - The Spider and the Fly - Claudia Rowe
I did not enjoy this book. If you’re looking for a true crime book, may I suggest you check out my favorite one, People Who Eat Darkness by Richard Lloyd Parry
A classic of genre fiction (i.e. mystery, sci fi/fantasy, romance): Frankenstein - Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
I went classic with my classic pick. If you’re going to read Frankenstein, make sure it’s the 1818 edition so you can lord that over literature nerds. Also keep in mind that at one point the story is told as the creature telling Frankenstein, who is telling the story to a ship captain, who is writing it in a letter to his sister. If I were friends with Mary Shelley I’d have been like, “Mary, WYD?” But then again I’ve never written a classic that’s lasted 200 years so what do I know.
A comic written and drawn by the same person: Nimona - Noelle Stevenson
A book set in or about one of the five BRICS countries: An Excess Male - Maggie Shen King
A book about nature: From the Ground Up - Amy Stewart
I didn’t think I was going to like this book, but I ended up loving it and multiple times reading it I thought, “Should I start a garden?!” (I should not)
A western: Brokeback Mountain - Annie Proulx
Fun fact: I have never seen this movie!
A comic written or drawn by a person of color: The Prince and the Dressmaker - Jen Wang
A book of colonial or postcolonial literature: The Joys of Motherhood - Buchi Emecheta
A romance novel by or about a person of color: The Wedding Date - Jasmine Guillory
A children’s classic published before 1980: The Westing Game - Ellen Raskin
A celebrity memoir: The Last Black Unicorn - Tiffany Haddish
This book was great until I found out it was ghostwritten by Tucker Max.
An Oprah Book Club selection: An American Marriage - Tayari Jones
A book of social science: So You Want to Talk About Race - Ijeoma Oluo
A one-sitting book: Smile - Raina Telgemeier
The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series: Akata Witch - Nnedi Okorafor
A sci fi novel with a female protagonist by a female author: Kindred - Octavia Butler
A comic that isn’t published by Marvel, DC, or Image: The Witch Boy - Molly Knox Ostertag
Here’s a fun fact, Molly Knox Ostertag is affianced to Noelle Stevenson, who is also on this list.
A book of genre fiction in translation: The Hole - Hye-young Pyun
A book with a cover you hate: A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J. Maas
A mystery by a person of color or LGBTQ+ author: Long Black Veil - Jennifer Finney Boylan
I read this book after I had moved and therefore left my book club, but this would be a great book club book if you’re looking for one.
An essay anthology: Waveform - ed. Marcia Aldrich
A book with a female protagonist over the age of 60: Elizabeth is Missing - Emma Healey
I complained the whole time I was reading this one.
An assigned book you hated (or never finished): Sex & Rage - Eve Babitz
You may have noticed that I added an additional layer to this challenge by only reading books by women. I highly suggest it and may do it for the next reading challenge. Speaking of, the 2019 Read Harder Challenge is already posted, and a LOT of these books could apply to that challenge as well. Happy reading!