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November 4, 2015

read harder update: the first ten months of the year
posted by soe 2:20 am

Back at the beginning of the year, I decided to do Book Riot’s Read Harder challenge. Then I stopped reading much of anything, which makes completing any book-based challenge more difficult. I thought I’d take today to assess where I am in the challenge in order to see what I need to request from the library or pull from my TBR stacks.

No one will be surprised by some of the categories I’ve managed to leave until the end (foreign, non-fiction, sci-fi):

  1. A book written by someone when they were under the age of 25: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson, age 23, was long-listed for the NBA in YA this year.
  2. A book written by someone when they were over the age of 65: 68-year-old Dave Barry’s middle-grade book about an 8th-grade field trip gone awry: The Worst Class Trip Ever
  3. A collection of short stories (either by one person or an anthology by many people): POSSIBILITY: In the Company of Sherlock Holmes (edited by Laurie King and Leslie Klinger)
  4. A book published by an indie press: TO FINISH: Claudia Rankine’s Citizen was put out by Graywolf Press.
  5. A book by a person whose gender is different from your own: Ross Gay’s Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude
  6. A book that takes place in Asia: POSSIBILITY: The God of Small Things
  7. A book by an author from Africa: POSSIBILITY: Something by Veronique Tadjo, perhaps.
  8. A book that is by or about someone from an indigenous culture (Native Americans, Aboriginals, etc.): TO FINISH: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  9. A microhistory: POSSIBILITY: I think I have one of Simon Winchester’s books in the other room… Or maybe Rebecca Skloot’s book’s book about Henrietta Lacks and the HeLa cells.
  10. A YA novel: Ana of California by Andi Teran.
  11. A sci-fi novel: POSSIBILITY: The Martian or Ready Player One (I’ve taken both books out several times this year; I’m starting to doubt my actual interest in reading either.)
  12. A romance novel: Katie Fforde’s Practically Perfect was adorable and just what I wanted for a Valentine’s Day read.
  13. A National Book Award, Man Booker Prize or Pulitzer Prize winner from the last decade: Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See won the Pulitzer earlier this year.
  14. A book that is a retelling of a classic story (fairytale, Shakespearian play, classic novel, etc.): Breadcrumbs, by Anne Ursu, takes on Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of the Snow Queen.
  15. An audiobook: I listened to Mr Churchill’s Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal on audio.
  16. A collection of poetry: Jane Hirshfield’s The Beauty
  17. A book that someone else has recommended to you: George by Alex Gino, was recommended to me by the children’s librarian at the Georgetown library.
  18. A book that was originally published in another language: TO FINISH: Hotel Bosphorus by Esmahan Aykol (Translated by Ruth Whitehouse) was originally published in Turkish.
  19. A graphic novel, a graphic memoir or a collection of comics of any kind: Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal, by G. Willow Wilson, is the collection of the first five comic books that tell how a nice Muslim girl in New Jersey becomes a superhero.
  20. A book that you would consider a guilty pleasure (Read, and then realize that good entertainment is nothing to feel guilty over): I’m putting Jeff Goldberg’s Unrivaled: UConn, Tennessee, and the Twelve Years that Transcended Women’s Basketball here. I don’t feel guilty about the things I read, but this book fell so far of my hopes for it that I felt bad sticking with it when I had so many other books I wanted to read.
  21. A book published before 1850: TO FINISH: Mansfield Park by Jane Austen, published in 1814, was the last of her completed novels I hadn’t read.
  22. A book published this year: Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith
  23. A self-improvement book (can be traditionally or non-traditionally considered “self-improvement”): Find the Good: Unexpected Life Lessons from a Small-Town Obituary Writer by Heather Lende

So I still have nine categories to finish, but several books are in progress and/or in my possession at the moment, so here’s hoping. If anyone has alternative suggestions for those categories where I’ve put down possibilities (as opposed to ones where I have books to finish), I’m open to them.

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