Read Harder 2018: First Edition
Now that I've finally finished my list of Read Harder 2017 books (I read 20 out of 24, which I will beat this year), I can list my progress so far for the Read Harder 2018 challenge. Apparently there was criticism last year for how difficult some of the challenges were to complete (I read a micropress book online in a web browser, so maybe you just need to have been raised by a research librarian), and I think this year's challenge reflects those complaints. I'm excited to tackle a few of these challenges (I don't think I've ever read a western) and I'll begrudgingly complete others (I already gave up on one book with a cover I hate because I hated the inside as well!).
Fun fact about my progress so far: Nimona and The Westing Game are the only books that I've read specifically for this reading challenge. Everything else was something I had on my personal to-be-read list and then realized it could fulfill a task for the challenge. (This is how I end up getting so many checked off in a short time.)
4. A comic written and drawn by the same person: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
I love Noelle Stevenson, and I've recommended her work before (If you haven't read Lumberjanes, correct that immediately). Stevenson started Nimona as a webcomic while in art school and when it was published it also doubled as her senior thesis. Now it's being turned into a feature at Fox. You never know where your side project is going to take you.
10. A romance novel by or about a person of color: The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
I went to an event for The Wedding Date and got to hear Jasmine Guillory talk about the book and her journey to becoming a writer. I read this novel in one day, not even intending to - it was just so enjoyable and fun. I highly recommend it if you want to read a book that feels like a realistic romcom. Also, if you have a long flight coming up, GET THIS BOOK. That trip will fly by (pun not originally intended, but it is now).
11. A children’s classic published before 1980: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
I read The Westing Game when I was in elementary school. I only vaguely remember it, but I did remember that I liked it a lot, so when I saw that it came out before 1980 I chose it for this challenge. Let me tell you: It totally holds up. I'm now in my 30s and not only did I really enjoy The Westing Game, but I liked it as a book, not as a children's book. If you've never read it (I have a friend who'd never even heard of it!) or you haven't read it in 20 years, pick up The Westing Game, you'll have a blast.
14. A book of social science: So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
I have been looking forward to reading So You Want to Talk About Race for months, and I got my copy on its release day and read it immediately. My mom is a university librarian and asked me what books I'd recommend she buy for their collection and I replied thusly:
So yeah, I'm a big fan.
16. The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series: Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
I had a hold on Akata Witch since some time in 2017, and it finally came through in January of this year. I liked it so much I put a hold on the next book in the series, Akata Warrior when I was about 50 pages into Akata Witch.
24. An assigned book you hated (or never finished): Sex and Rage by Eve Babitz
Sex and Rage was assigned in the sense that it was a book my book club was reading. I would have stopped reading it, if I didn't decide that I was going to use it for this particular challenge. Eve Babitz is an interesting woman, and I'd recommend you look into her and maybe read one of her memoirs, but I cannot, with a clear conscience, recommend that you read this book.