2019 Reading Challenges

The TBR Pile Challenge, hosted by Roof Beam Reader, asks you to take 12 books, plus two alternates, that have been on your TBR list for over a year.  These are the books on my list:

  1. Ghostwritten by David Mitchell (read)
  2. Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler (read)
  3. What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons (read)
  4. Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (read)
  5. Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula LeGuin (read)
  6. How Dare the Sun Rise by Sandra Uwiringiyimana (read)
  7. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (read)
  8. Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie (read)
  9. Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin
  10. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  11. The Gowk Storm by Nancy Brysson Morrison
  12. The Brain that Changes Itself by Norman Doidge
  13. Alternate: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
  14. Alternate: The Idiot by Elif Batuman


The Read Harder Challenge, by Book Riot, is a list of 24 categories designed to push you to read different types of books. (4 remaining)

  1. An epistolary novel or collection of letters
  2. An alternate history novel: The Black God’s Drums
  3. A book by a woman and/or AOC (Author of Color) that won a literary award in 2018: The Poet X
  4. A humor book: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told
  5. A book by a journalist or about journalism: Dopesick
  6. A book by an AOC set in or about space: The Tea Master and the Detective
  7. An #ownvoices book set in Mexico or Central America: Gods of Jade and Shadow
  8. An #ownvoices book set in Oceania: The Things She’s Seen
  9. A book published prior to January 1, 2019, with fewer than 100 reviews on Goodreads: The Glass Diplomat by S.R. Wilsher
  10. A translated book written by and/or translated by a woman: Heidi
  11. A book of manga
  12. A book in which an animal or inanimate object is a point-of-view character: The Last Unicorn
  13. A book by or about someone that identifies as neurodiverse: The Kiss Quotient
  14. A cozy mystery: The Body in the Library
  15. A book of mythology or folklore: Spinning Silver
  16. An historical romance by an AOC: A Hope Divided
  17. A business book: We Fed an Island
  18. A novel by a trans or nonbinary author: Freshwater
  19. A book of nonviolent true crime: The Library Book
  20. A book written in prison
  21. A comic by an LGBTQIA creator: Relish
  22. A children’s or middle grade book (not YA) that has won a diversity award since 2009: Lucky Broken Girl
  23. A self-published book: After the Wedding
  24. A collection of poetry published since 2014


Similar to Read Harder is the 2019 Reading Women Challenge (all books must be by or about women) (3 remaining)

1) A mystery or thriller written by a woman of color: The Language of Secrets
2) A book about a woman with a mental illness: The Astonishing Color of After
3) A book by an author from Nigeria or New Zealand: Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree
4) A book about or set in Appalachia: Dopesick
5) A children’s book: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
6) A multigenerational family saga: The Great Believers
7) A book featuring a woman in science: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
8) A play (to read: Ruined by Lynn Nottage)
9) A novella: Exit Strategy
10) A book about a woman athlete: Forward
11) A book featuring a religion other than your own: A Place for Us
12) A Lambda Literary Award winner (reading: Autonomous by Annalee Newitz)
13) A myth retelling: Spinning Silver
14) A translated book published before 1945: Heidi
15) A book written by a South Asian author: Burnt Shadows
16) A book by an Indigenous woman: Heart Berries
17) A book from the 2018 Reading Women Award shortlist: All You Can Ever Know
18) A romance or love story: The Duke I Tempted
19) A book about nature (reading: The Girl of Limberlost)
20) A historical fiction book: Salt to the Sea
21) A book you bought or borrowed in 2019: Parable of the Talents
22) A book you picked up because of the cover: Fruit of the Drunken Tree
23) Any book from a series: In the Woods
24) A young adult book by a woman of color: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
25) BONUS: A book by Jesmyn Ward
26) BONUS: A book by Jhumpa Lahiri


My goal will be 25 books for the Doing Dewey Nonfiction Reading Challenge.

  • The Greatest Love Story Ever Told by Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally
  • Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot
  • We Fed an Island by Jose Andres
  • The Library Book by Susan Orlean
  • All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung
  • Dopesick by Beth Macy
  • The Line Becomes a River by Francisco Cantu
  • How Dare the Sun Rise by Sandra Uwiringiyimana
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  • Shortest Way Home by Pete Buttigeig
  • Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir by Ruth Reichl
  • Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas
  • Forward by Abby Wambach
  • Relish by Lucy Knisley
  • There’s Something About Darcy by Gabrielle Malcolm
  • Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb


Reading the Women’s Prize Longlist:

  • An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
  • Circe by Madeline Miller
  • Normal People by Sally Rooney
  • Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss
  • My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
  • Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li
  • Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi
  • See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt


I’ll continue to work towards the Back to the Classics challenge by reading at least six books.

  • 19th Century Classic: Heidi
  • 20th Century Classic: The Body in the Library
  • Classic by a Woman Author: Left Hand of Darkness
  • Classic in Translation: Heidi
  • Classic Comic Novel:
  • Classic Tragic Novel:
  • Very Long Classic:
  • Classic Novella:
  • Classic From the Americas (includes the Caribbean): The Last Unicorn
  • Classic From Africa, Asia, or Oceania (includes Australia).
  • Classic From a Place You’ve Lived: If Beale Street Could Talk
  • Classic Play.


I’m going to continue with the Feed Your Fiction Addition Book Blog Discussion Challenge:


And last, I’ll continue with the Reading All Around the World challenge, hosted by Howling Frog, where you choose at least 50 countries and read books set in those countries and written by people who live there.  This is a multi-year challenge I started in 2017.  My goal is to reach 50 countries by 2021, or 10 new countries a year.

  1. Argentina: Who is Vera Kelly? by Rosalie Knecht
  2. Bulgaria: The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova
  3. Canada: The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill
  4. Chile: In the Distance with You by Carla Guelfenbein
  5. China: What We Were Promised by Lucy Tan
  6. Colombia: The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez
  7. Congo, Democratic Republic of: How Dare the Sun Rise by Sandra Uwiringiyimana
  8. Czech Republic: Melmoth by Sarah Perry
  9. France: The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
  10. Ghana: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  11. Greece: My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
  12. Haiti: An Untamed State by Roxane Gay
  13. India: Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao
  14. Iran: The Last Days of Cafe Leila by Donia Bijan
  15. Ireland: The Wonder by Emma Donoghue
  16. Jamaica: Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn
  17. Japan: Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
  18. Malaysia: The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf
  19. Mexico: Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  20. Nigeria: Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo
  21. Pakistan: Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie
  22. Poland: We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter
  23. Russia: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
  24. Serbia: Miss Ex-Yugoslavia by Sofija Stefanovic
  25. Scotland: The Long Drop by Denise Mina
  26. South Africa: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
  27. Spain: The Return by Victoria Hislop
  28. Switzerland: Heidi by Johanna Spyri
  29. Uganda: The Atlas of Forgotten Places by Jenny D. Williams
  30. United Kingdom: Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
  31. Vietnam: The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen


3 Responses to “2019 Reading Challenges”

  1. Tarissa

    Looks like you have some epic reading planned out this year. I see you’re going to read Les Miserables (that’s one of my favorite classics EVER, so I hope you enjoy that one, especially…. I will say that it goes through chapters of deep/hard reading… but just stick with it!).

    Best of luck to you in your 2019 literary adventures!



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