2019 Reading Challenges

Twenty Books of Summer:

  1. Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (read)
  2. My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite (read)
  3. Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li (read)
  4. The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal (read)
  5. Freshwater by Awaeke Emezi (read)
  6. The Devourers by Indra Das (reading)
  7. How Dare the Sun Rise by Sandra Uwiringiyimana (reading)
  8. The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea (reading)
  9. Radical Candor by Kim Scott (Nonfiction Challenge) (reading)
  10. The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish (reading)
  11. The Warden by Anthony Trollope (Back to the Classics challenge)
  12. Human Acts by Han Kang (TBR Pile Challenge)
  13. Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin (TBR Pile Challenge)
  14. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (TBR Pile Challenge, Nonfiction)
  15. Watership Down by Richard Adams (Read Harder Challenge)
  16. Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar (Read Harder Challenge)
  17. See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt (last year’s Women’s Prize longlist)
  18. Little Deaths by Emma Flint (2017 Women’s Prize longlist)
  19. Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (ARC)
  20. Inland by Tea Obrecht (ARC)


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. Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin
  7. Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie
  8. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  9. The Gowk Storm by Nancy Brysson Morrison
  10. How Dare the Sun Rise by Sandra Uwiringiyimana
  11. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  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. (15)

  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
  8. An #ownvoices book set in Oceania
  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
  19. A book of nonviolent true crime: The Library Book
  20. A book written in prison
  21. A comic by an LGBTQIA creator
  22. A children’s or middle grade book (not YA) that has won a diversity award since 2009
  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) (18)

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
8) A play
9) A novella: Exit Strategy
10) A book about a woman athlete
11) A book featuring a religion other than your own: A Place for Us
12) A Lambda Literary Award winner
13) A myth retelling: Spinning Silver
14) A translated book published before 1945: Heidi
15) A book written by a South Asian author
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
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) A book by Jesmyn Ward
26) 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


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


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.
  • 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. Czech Republic: Melmoth by Sarah Perry
  8. France: The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
  9. Ghana: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  10. Greece: My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
  11. Haiti: An Untamed State by Roxane Gay
  12. India: Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao
  13. Iran: The Last Days of Cafe Leila by Donia Bijan
  14. Ireland: The Wonder by Emma Donoghue
  15. Jamaica: Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn
  16. Japan: Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
  17. Malaysia: The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf
  18. Nigeria: Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo
  19. Poland: We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter
  20. Russia: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
  21. Serbia: Miss Ex-Yugoslavia by Sofija Stefanovic
  22. Scotland: The Long Drop by Denise Mina
  23. South Africa: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
  24. Switzerland: Heidi by Johanna Spyri
  25. Uganda: The Atlas of Forgotten Places by Jenny D. Williams
  26. United Kingdom: Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
  27. 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!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

%d bloggers like this: