12 Jan 2020, 15:37

Book Riot's 2020 Read Harder Challenge


I’ve done the BookRiot Read Harder Challenge for the last few years and it has helped get me out of my usual genres while also helping me connect with a bunch of fantastic books and keep me looking for new and interesting reads. Sometimes when I’m feeling stuck with a book, it’s fun to check my list, and see what else I had wanted to read so I can switch things up.

I completed most of my ReadHarder 2019 Books with a few exceptions, but one thing I found helpful is having a live document where I could write out some of the books I wanted to read, the categories they fit under, and check them off when or if I completed them. The experience is different versus on GoodReads but I like tracking them on both.

You can see the post from bookriot here with all of the categories and also with suggestions for many categories. I appreciate that they always have some solid recommendations for each of them, and add more as time passes.

You can see my collection of 2020 ReadHarder books on GoodReads, arranged in no particular order right here.

(this list is still a work in progress)

Read Harder 2020

  1. Read a YA nonfiction book
    • #NotYourPrinces by Lisa Charleyboy
    • How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child by Sandra Uwiringiyimana
    • Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson, Narrated by Laurie Halse Anderson
  2. Read a retelling of a classic of the canon, fairytale, or myth by an author of color
    • Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi
  3. Read a mystery where the victim(s) is not a woman
    • Iced in Paradise: A Leilani Santiago Hawai’i Mystery by Naomi Hirahara
  4. Read a graphic memoir
    • ✔ Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home - Nora Krug
    • ✔ Palestine by Joseph Sacco
  5. Read a book about a natural disaster
    • Haiti: After the Earthquake by Paul Farmer (Non-fiction)
    • We Speak in Storms by Natalie Lund (Fiction)
  6. Read a play by an author of color and/or queer author
    • ✔ The Amen Corner by James Baldwin
  7. Read a historical fiction novel not set in WWII
    • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
  8. Read an audiobook of poetry
    • Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga, Narrated by Vaneh Assadourian
    • Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson, Narrated by Laurie Halse Anderson
  9. Read the LAST book in a series
    • Finish the Broken Earth Trilogy - N.K. Jemisin
  10. Read a book that takes place in a rural setting
    • The Round House by Louise Erdrich
  11. Read a debut novel by a queer author
    • ✔ Small Beauty - jia qing wilson-yang
  12. Read a memoir by someone from a religious tradition (or lack of religious tradition) that is not your own
    • Laughing all the way to the mosque by Zarqa Nawaz
    • I am Malala - Malala Yousafzai
    • Daughter of Gloriavale: My life in a religious cult by Lilia Tarawa
    • ✔ We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib
  13. Read a food book about a cuisine you’ve never tried before
    • The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South by Micheal W. Twitty.
  14. Read a romance starring a single parent
    • ✔ Fumbled by Alexa Martin
    • The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred
  15. Read a book about climate change
    • The Migration by Helen Marshall
    • Greenwood by Michael Christie
  16. Read a doorstopper (over 500 pages) published after 1950, written by a woman
    • ✔ Invisible Women by Caroline Criado-Pérez I started reading and listening to this book last year, and it’s massive, but brilliant and incredibly frustrating. I now realize it’s not over 500 pages but it’s seriously massive, and I’m just going to give this one to myself.
  17. Read a sci-fi/fantasy novella (under 120 pages)
    • ✔ To Be Taught if Fortunate - Becky Chambers
    • The Black God’s Drums - P. Djèlí Clark
    • ✔ All Systems Red by Martha Wells (first book in the murderbot diaries)
  18. Read a picture book with a human main character from a marginalized community
    • ✔ Queen of the Hannukah Dosas
    • ✔ Baby Loves the Five Senses: Hearing by Ruth Spiro and Irene Chen
    • ✔ Sulwe: Lupita Nyong’o, Vashti Harrison
  19. Read a book by or about a refugee
    • ✔ No Friend but the Mountains - Behrouz Boochani
    • ✔ We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib
  20. Read a middle grade book that doesn’t take place in the U.S. or the UK
    • ✔ Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor (now that I’ve read this one, I have to read Akata Warrior!)
  21. Read a book with a main character or protagonist with a disability (fiction or non)
    • Beast of Burden: Animal and Disability
    • ✔ Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me by Anna Mehler Paperny
    • ✔ Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space by Amanda Leduc
  22. Read a horror book published by an indie press
    • Taaqtumi: An Anthology of Arctic Horror Stories
  23. Read an edition of a literary magazine (digital or physical)
    • ✔ Quill & Quire - March 2020, the Spring Kidlit Special, seemed perfect for me. I picked it up at the small press store in the Toronto Reference Library.
  24. Read a book in any genre by a Native, First Nations, or Indigenous author
    • ✔ Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline
    • #NotYourPrinces by Lisa Charleyboy
    • Sanaaq - Mitiarjuk Nappaaluk