Read Harder 2019: A Quarterly Challenge Update

This year I want to post at least a quarterly update on the challenges I’m working on.  Each quarter I’ll focus on a different challenge.  I’m trying to keep these low-pressure but I’m finding myself a little bit obsessed with the Read Harder challenge this year.  The categories are tough!  I like to go on Goodreads and read everyone’s suggestions about books that fit each category.

You can find all of my 2019 challenge updates here.

On Read Harder 2019, I’ve only read 7 out of 24 books.  And while that’s a quarter of the way, I’ve knocked out the easiest categories first, so it will get a lot tougher.  Here’s what I need to finish (with ideas for each).  Do you have any suggestions for these categories?

  • An epistolary novel or collection of letters (Frankenstein)
  • A book by a woman and/or author of color that won a literary award in 2018 (The Friend or Poet X)
  • A book by an AOC set in or about space (The Tea Master and the Detective)
  • A translated book written by and/or translated by a woman (Human Acts or Heidi)
  • A book in which an animal or inanimate object is a point-of-view character (Watership Down or The Last Unicorn)
  • A book by or about someone that identifies as neurodiverse (The Kiss Quotient or something by Temple Grandin)
  • An historical romance by an AOC (A Hope Divided by Alyssa Cole)
  • A novel by a trans or nonbinary author (Freshwater or The City in the Middle of the Night)
  • A comic by an LGBTQIA creator (Relish, Nimona, or My Favorite Thing is Monsters)
  • A children’s or middle grade book (not YA) that has won a diversity award since 2009 (Lucky Broken Girl, Dreamer, Echo, Front Desk, One Crazy Summer)
  • A self-published book (After the Wedding by Courtney Milan)

And here’s where I really need your suggestions!

  • A book of manga
  • A book written in prison (something by Nelson Mandela?)
  • An #ownvoices book set in Mexico or Central America
  • An #ownvoices book set in Oceania
  • A collection of poetry published since 2014

On Reading Women, I’ve read 13 of 24, which is pretty good.  Here’s what I still need to read but I have pretty good ideas for each one.

  • A mystery or thriller written by a woman of color (The Language of Secrets)
  • A book by an author from Nigeria or New Zealand (My Sister the Serial Killer)
  • A book about or set in Appalachia (Dopesick)
  • A book featuring a woman in science (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks)
  • A novella (The Tea Master and the Detective)
  • A play (Ruined by Lynn Nottage or Eclipsed by Danai Gurira — did you know she’s a playwright?)
  • A book about a woman athlete (Forward or Butterfly or Grandma Gatewood’s Walk)
  • A Lambda Literary Award winner (The Devourers or My Favorite Thing is Monsters)
  • A translated book published before 1945 (Heidi)
  • A book written by a South Asian author (Burnt Shadows)
  • A book about nature (Grandma Gatewood’s Walk)

And in other challenges, I’ve made some but not a lot of progress.  I’m not sure Les Miserables is going to get read this year, but we’ll see.

  • TBR Challenge: 2 books read out of 12.
  • Nonfiction Reading Challenge: 4 books read out of 25.
  • Back to the Classics: 1 book read out of 6.
  • Around the World: 1 out of 10. I’ve read quite a few books set in other countries this year (China, Japan, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany).  Unfortunately, I haven’t added many new countries to my list this year.  Melmoth takes place in the Czech Republic; that’s my only new one.

What challenges are you working on, and what are you enjoying most?

  5 comments for “Read Harder 2019: A Quarterly Challenge Update

  1. March 29, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    For the category, A book written in prison, how about The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner which was shortlisted for the Booker prize. It’s written from the POV of a woman sentenced to a women’s correctional facility for murdering a guy who stalked her.

    • March 29, 2019 at 9:18 pm

      That’s a good suggestion, but I read it last year. And I’m interpreting this challenge as a book written while the author was in prison, so I don’t think that would qualify. But if it’s a book that takes place in prison, that would open things up a bit.

      • April 1, 2019 at 10:43 am

        Oh blimey, you are making it hard on yourself. LOL

  2. April 1, 2019 at 7:23 pm

    You are doing so well with the Book Riot challenge. For written in prison I think I’m going to read Cherry by Nico Walker. He wrote it while in federal prison for bank robbery.

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