Read Harder Challenge :: Update

Here we are over halfway through the year, so I thought it was a good time to check in with how I’m doing with the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge! 

First, a little reminder of what the challenge is about. The Read Harder Challenge is an annual reading challenge hosted by Book Riot. The challenge encourages participants to do exactly what it says – read harder – by reading books to meet each of 24 different tasks, with a particular emphasis on increasing the diversity of books read, and reading outside one’s comfort zone. (You can read more about it on the Book Riot website here).

You can see this year’s prompts below – I’ve put the ones I’ve done already in bold font, and the ones still on my list are in italics. There is more info about the books I’ve read for each of the prompts over on my Read Harder page here.

1. A book published posthumously
2. A book of true crime
3. A classic of genre fiction (i.e. mystery, sci fi/fantasy, romance)
4. A comic written and drawn by the same person
5. A book set in or about one of the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, or South Africa)
6. A book about nature
7. A western
8. A comic written or drawn by a person of color
9. A book of colonial or postcolonial literature
10. A romance novel by or about a person of color
11. A children’s classic published before 1980
12. A celebrity memoir
13. An Oprah Book Club selection
14. A book of social science
15. A one-sitting book  
16. The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series
17. A sci fi novel with a female protagonist by a female author
18. A comic that isn’t published by Marvel, DC, or Image
19. A book of genre fiction in translation
20. A book with a cover you hate
21. A mystery by a person of color or LGBTQ+ author
22. An essay anthology
23. A book with a female protagonist over the age of 60
24. An assigned book you hated (or never finished)

If I’ve managed to count correctly, I’ve completed 11 of the challenges and have 13 left to go.

The easiest challenge for me so far has probably been number 16 – the first book in a new YA/middle-grade series. I have read at least 5 books that fit into this category already!

The most difficult one that I have managed to tick already off was number 20 – a book with a cover you hate. I chose Red Clocks for this one, but to be honest, the cover really grew on me as I read it!

I have some idea of what I think I’ll read for some of the remaining prompts – I think Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia will count as the essay anthology, and Fremantle Press very kindly sent me a copy of The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt, which will be my book with a female protagonist over the age of 60.

The two challenges that I am most unsure about are 2 – a book of true crime (I am such a wimp!) and number 7 – a western (although maybe this has more to do with not being entirely sure what comes under that genre). Any suggestions welcome for both of these ones!

I’d love to know how everyone else is doing!

One Comment

  • Sue

    Excellent progress well done! I used This House of Grief by Helen Garner about Robert Farquharso’s Murder of his 3 sons. It’s based on her attendance of the court proceedings. Pretty devastating though. I’m also looking for something ‘western’y!

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