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Gemma

Book Riot's 2018 Read Harder Challenge

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In a nutshell, this is an honor system challenge to read books in 24 categories (tasks) that may fall outside of your usual genre/style/literary comfort zone. Some books may fit in more than one category, some may be "what you normally read all the time." Target is 2 reading tasks per month, but it is also possible that some books will satisfy more than one task. 

 

Full details are at https://bookriot.com/2017/12/15/book-riots-2018-read-harder-challenge/, including an editable PDF that you can use to track your progress - and there's a Goodreads group and all, but I thought that if any other NF nerds were into this sort of thing, perhaps we could chat about it here.

 

The 2018 tasks: 

  1. A book published posthumously
  2. A book of true crime
  3. A classic of genre fiction (i.e. mystery, sci fi/fantasy, romance)
  4. A comic written and illustrated by the same person
  5. A book set in or about one of the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, or South Africa)
  6. A book about nature
  7. A western
  8. A comic written or illustrated by a person of color
  9. A book of colonial or postcolonial literature
  10. A romance novel by or about a person of color
  11. A children’s classic published before 1980
  12. A celebrity memoir
  13. An Oprah Book Club selection
  14. A book of social science
  15. A one-sitting book
  16. The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series
  17. A sci fi novel with a female protagonist by a female author
  18. A comic that isn’t published by Marvel, DC, or Image
  19. A book of genre fiction in translation
  20. A book with a cover you hate
  21. A mystery by a person of color or LGBTQ+ author
  22. An essay anthology
  23. A book with a female protagonist over the age of 60
  24. An assigned book you hated (or never finished)
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Just in case anyone comes along later who is still interested in this, here is what I have found (not read, just added to the plan) so far:

 

2. A book of true crime: Ruth Ellis: My Sister's Secret Life

3. A classic of genre fiction (i.e. mystery, sci fi/fantasy, romance): Murder at the Vicarage, Agatha Christie

4. A comic written and illustrated by the same person: Touching Evil Vol. 1, Dan Dougherty

8. A comic written or illustrated by a person of color: Runaways Vol. 1, illustrated by Adrian Alphona and Takeshi Miyazawa

11. A children’s classic published before 1980: A Swiftly Tilting Planet

12. A celebrity memoir: Crazy is My Superpower, A. J. Mendez

16. The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series: Upside-Down Magic

17. A sci fi novel with a female protagonist by a female author: The Ship Who Sang, Anne McCaffrey 

18. A comic that isn’t published by Marvel, DC, or Image: Touching Evil Vol. 1 (published by Beardo Comics) 

19. A book of genre fiction in translation: Out in the Open (dystopian sci-fi translated from Spanish)

Edited by Gemma
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Oeh, this sounds like quite a nice challenge! I think I already hit a few on my to-read list, will try to search for the others and add them as I find them.

  1. A book published posthumously: When breath becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi
  2. A book of true crime
  3. A classic of genre fiction (i.e. mystery, sci fi/fantasy, romance): A hero born, Jin Yong
  4. A comic written and illustrated by the same person
  5. A book set in or about one of the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, or South Africa): Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
  6. A book about nature
  7. A western
  8. A comic written or illustrated by a person of color
  9. A book of colonial or postcolonial literature: This Earth of Mankind, Pramoedya Ananta Toer
  10. A romance novel by or about a person of color
  11. A children’s classic published before 1980
  12. A celebrity memoir
  13. An Oprah Book Club selection
  14. A book of social science: The Aid Lab: Understanding Bangladesh' Unexpected Success
  15. A one-sitting book
  16. The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series: Noughts & Crosses, Malorie Blackman
  17. A sci fi novel with a female protagonist by a female author: Record of a spaceborn few, Becky Chambers
  18. A comic that isn’t published by Marvel, DC, or Image
  19. A book of genre fiction in translation
  20. A book with a cover you hate
  21. A mystery by a person of color or LGBTQ+ author
  22. An essay anthology
  23. A book with a female protagonist over the age of 60
  24. An assigned book you hated (or never finished)
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I know it's March already, but is this challenge still open for new participants?

 

And is 24 really required? There's typically a good reason I don't finish books...

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7 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

I know it's March already, but is this challenge still open for new participants?

 

And is 24 really required? There's typically a good reason I don't finish books...

 

It's always open, you just have less than a full year to finish it. As far as what is "required," - well, nothing. I mean, it doesn't have to be 24 distinct books, for example I am using the same book for task 4 and 18 because the same book satisfies both requirements. But if you do complete the list - with 24 books, or with less - take a picture of your completed list, and e-mail it to Book Riot, you get a 30% discount at their store o' literary-nerd loot.

 

If you don't finish it, then for whatever you do accomplish you get the satisfaction of knowing that you have exposed yourself to material that you otherwise might not have considered (I would never have even thought about reading "Out in the Open" but I loved it). Still a win. 

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1 hour ago, Gemma said:

 

If you don't finish it, then for whatever you do accomplish you get the satisfaction of knowing that you have exposed yourself to material that you otherwise might not have considered 

 

This is the reason I want to do the challenge. I read voraciously, but I am a lot more limited in what I read than I used to be, and I feel like I'm missing out on a lot of the benefits of reading because of that.

 

I checked out Bookriot during my breaks at work, and fell in love with the blog and podcasts, so I'm already benefiting! :) 

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Whoo hooo! Party in the library!

Here's what I am planning - or have read - so far (some of the ones I've chosen but haven't yet read are subject to change.) 

  1. A book published posthumously - Beren and Lúthien
  2. A book of true crime - Ruth Ellis: My Sister's Secret Life
  3. A classic of genre fiction (i.e. mystery, sci fi/fantasy, romance) - The Haunting of Hill House READ
  4. A comic written and illustrated by the same person - Touching Evil Vol. 1, written and illustrated by Dan Dougherty
  5. A book set in or about one of the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, or South Africa) - One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich READ
  6. A book about nature - Nature, Love, Medicine: Essays on Healing in Wilderness
  7. A western - A Man Called Outlaw
  8. A comic written or illustrated by a person of color - Runaways Vol. 1, illustrated by Adrian Alphona and Takeshi Miyazawa READ
  9. A book of colonial or postcolonial literature - Wide Sargasso Sea 
  10. A romance novel by or about a person of color - A Bollywood Affair
  11. A children’s classic published before 1980 - A Swiftly Tilting Planet  READ
  12. A celebrity memoir - Crazy is My Superpower, A. J. Mendez Brooks READ
  13. An Oprah Book Club selection - Song of Solomon
  14. A book of social science - Rising Strong READ
  15. A one-sitting book - Catwings
  16. The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series - Fablehaven READ
  17. A sci fi novel with a female protagonist by a female author: The Ship Who Sang, Anne McCaffrey READ
  18. A comic that isn’t published by Marvel, DC, or Image: Touching Evil Vol. 1 (published by Beardo Comics) 
  19. A book of genre fiction in translation: Out in the Open (dystopian fiction translated from Spanish) READ
  20. A book with a cover you hate - Out in the Open READ
  21. A mystery by a person of color or LGBTQ+ author - The Last Place You Look 
  22. An essay anthology - Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture
  23. A book with a female protagonist over the age of 60 - Britt-Marie Was Here
  24. An assigned book you hated (or never finished) - Slaughterhouse-Five
Edited by Gemma
Filled in some blanks; changed plan for task 23

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I've downloaded the editable PDF from Book Riot and will post my book list later, when I've had a chance to create one. I plan to reply on the suggestions from Book Riot and on the lists others are porting here, since I really, truly, need to broaden my reading horizons. :P 

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  1. A book published posthumously - Diasy-Head Maizy - Dr Seuss (Read)
  2. A book of true crime - 
  3. A classic of genre fiction (i.e. mystery, sci fi/fantasy, romance) - 
  4. A comic written and illustrated by the same person - Nimona - Noelle Stevenson (Read)
  5. A book set in or about one of the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, or South Africa) - 
  6. A book about nature - 
  7. A western - Borderline - Nevada Barr (Read)
  8. A comic written or illustrated by a person of color - Runaways (Vol 1) - Brian Vaughan & Adrian Alphona (Read)
  9. A book of colonial or postcolonial literature - 
  10. A romance novel by or about a person of color - Americanah - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  11. A children’s classic published before 1980 - Diasy-Head Maizy - Dr Seuss (Read)
  12. A celebrity memoir - Dad is Fat - Jim Gaffigan (Read)
  13. An Oprah Book Club selection - 
  14. A book of social science - 
  15. A one-sitting book - 
  16. The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series - Splintered - A.G. Howard
  17. A sci fi novel with a female protagonist by a female author - The Stars Are Legion - Kameron Hurley (Read)
  18. A comic that isn’t published by Marvel, DC, or Image - Runaways (Vol 1) - Brian Vaughan & Adrian Alphona (Read)
  19. A book of genre fiction in translation - The Neverending Story - Michael Ende (Read)
  20. A book with a cover you hate - 
  21. A mystery by a person of color or LGBTQ+ author - The Unquiet Dead - Ausma Zehanat Khan
  22. An essay anthology - 
  23. A book with a female protagonist over the age of 60 - The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules - Catharina Ingelmen-Sundberg (Read)
  24. An assigned book you hated (or never finished) - The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
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Here is my book list, or rather, the beginnings of my book list. I will update it as I go. I have already come to realize that I will need to purchase most of the books, which is having a lot more influence of my selection than I thought it would.

 

  1. A book published posthumously - The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath
  2. A book of true crime - Conan Doyle for the Defense DONE
  3. A classic of genre fiction (i.e. mystery, sci fi/fantasy, romance) - Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier DONE
  4. A comic written and illustrated by the same person - Priest: Genesis, by Win-Moo Hyung
  5. A book set in or about one of the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, or South Africa) - Spring Moon, by Bette Bao Lord
  6. A book about nature - Edible Wild Plants, by John Kallas
  7. A western - Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann
  8. A comic written or illustrated by a person of color - Priest: Genesis, by Win-Moo Hyung
  9. A book of colonial or postcolonial literature – Things fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe DONE
  10. A romance novel by or about a person of color - Let's talk about love, by Claire Kann
  11. A children’s classic published before 1980 - Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson Reading
  12. A celebrity memoir - Becoming Kareem, by Kareem Abdul-Jabaar
  13. An Oprah Book Club selection - Song of Salomon, by Toni Morrison Reading
  14. A book of social science – Body Positive Power, by Megan Jayne Crabbe
  15. A one-sitting book
  16. The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series – Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda, by Becky Albertalli
  17. A sci fi novel with a female protagonist by a female author - The Stars are Legion, by Kameron Hurley
  18. A comic that isn’t published by Marvel, DC, or Image – Touching Evil Vol. 1
  19. A book of genre fiction in translation
  20. A book with a cover you hate - Things fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe DONE
  21. A mystery by a person of color or LGBTQ+ author – The Last Place You Look, by Roxane Weary
  22. An essay anthology - Nasty women, edited by Samhita Mukhopadhyay & Kate Harding
  23. A book with a female protagonist over the age of 60 – Britt-Marie Was Here, by Fredrik Backman
  24. An assigned book you hated (or never finished) – Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte

 

EDIT #3: First off, stole ideas from Chant's list so I could fill in some blank spots. Thank you, @Chant ! Also marked off the true crime book, and decided to flag all books I checked out from the library as "reading", for accountability.

 

EDIT #2: Added a posthumously published book, and one on True Crime.

 

EDIT #1:

Added a few books, changed a couple of the categories that already had books. (I stole ideas from @CourtnieMarie :P ) I didn't like that I had one single title meeting the criteria of four different categories, for example. This weekend I will haunt the local library and see what I can find there. :) 

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9 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

I have already come to realize that I will need to purchase most of the books, which is having a lot more influence of my selection than I thought it would.

Why not use the library? You don't even need to leave the house if you get an e-card.

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3 hours ago, Grumble said:

Why not use the library? You don't even need to leave the house if you get an e-card.

 

Because

 

No matches were found in the library database. Click here to search follow-on databases.

 

After the third or fourth, I politely told the library's online database to go screw itself until it became more open minded, and gave up.

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3 minutes ago, scalyfreak said:

 

Because

 

No matches were found in the library database. Click here to search follow-on databases.

 

After the third or fourth, I politely told the library's online database to go screw itself until it became more open minded, and gave up.

 

You wanna borrow my library account? I found all but the comics.

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20 minutes ago, scalyfreak said:

 

Because

 

No matches were found in the library database. Click here to search follow-on databases.

 

After the third or fourth, I politely told the library's online database to go screw itself until it became more open minded, and gave up.

 

 

I have a similar problem - I live in a tiny little town, and even though our library system covers three counties it is blind dumb luck if they happen to have the particular thing I'm looking for. That's why I am willing to cough up the $50/year for a non-resident e-card at the Brooklyn Public Library.  I think lots of big city library systems have that option.

 

If I had to buy all the books I want to read it would be a whole lot more than $50 a year :o

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44 minutes ago, Grumble said:

 

You wanna borrow my library account? I found all but the comics.

 

Thanks for the offer, but I don't think I will mind buying some of these books. If I later discover that to be the case, I will probably follow Gemma's example and just cough up the fee for an out-of-state card, but for the Free Library of Philadelphia.

 

One way or another, I will get my grubby little hands on these books! :devilish:

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GUYS! I'm in :D some of these I stole for your lists :P

 

1.       A book published posthumously - Beren and Lúthien

2.       A book of true crime

3.       A classic of genre fiction (i.e. mystery, sci fi/fantasy, romance) - The Dragon Reborn (Read)

4.       A comic written and illustrated by the same person - Touching Evil Vol. 1, written and illustrated by Dan Dougherty

5.       A book set in or about one of the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, or South Africa)

6.       A book about nature

7.       A western

8.       A comic written or illustrated by a person of color - Runaways Vol. 1, illustrated by Adrian Alphona and Takeshi Miyazawa 

9.       A book of colonial or postcolonial literature - Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe

10.   A romance novel by or about a person of color - Let's talk about love, by Claire Kann

11.   A children’s classic published before 1980

12.   A celebrity memoir – Choose Your Own Autobiography, Neil Patrick Harris (Reading)

13.   An Oprah Book Club selection - Song of Solomon

14.   A book of social science – Body Positive Power (Read)

15.   A one-sitting book 

16.   The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series – The Armored Saint

17.   A sci fi novel with a female protagonist by a female author: Bone Crossed (Read)

18.   A comic that isn’t published by Marvel, DC, or Image: Touching Evil Vol. 1 (published by Beardo Comics) 

19.   A book of genre fiction in translation: 

20.    A book with a cover you hate - The Dragon Reborn (Read)

21.   A mystery by a person of color or LGBTQ+ author - The Last Place You Look 

22.   An essay anthology - Nasty women, edited by Samhita Mukhopadhyay & Kate Harding

23.   A book with a female protagonist over the age of 60 – Britt-Marie Was Here

24.   An assigned book you hated (or never finished) – I think I finished all my assigned books no matter how much I hated them…

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29 minutes ago, CourtnieMarie said:

24.   An assigned book you hated (or never finished) – I think I finished all my assigned books no matter how much I hated them…

 

Annoyingly, my English teacher in high school was in the habit of assigning "one of these three books", because she believed that giving us even such a limited choice still was better than assigning just one and expecting everyone to read it. So unfortunately there are books that were assigned to me that I never read, because I didn't like the look of them.

 

I will steal from your list and make changes to mine, and re-post it with more books listed after gym tonight. :)

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5 hours ago, CourtnieMarie said:

 

24.   An assigned book you hated (or never finished) – I think I finished all my assigned books no matter how much I hated them…

 

4 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

 

Annoyingly, my English teacher in high school was in the habit of assigning "one of these three books", because she believed that giving us even such a limited choice still was better than assigning just one and expecting everyone to read it. So unfortunately there are books that were assigned to me that I never read, because I didn't like the look of them.

 

That's exactly my deal -  Mr. Loetscher never actually "assigned" me Slaughterhouse-Five, but I know it was on the list of ones we could choose from and I never did. He just gave us lists to pick from every semester. 

 

5 hours ago, CourtnieMarie said:

GUYS! I'm in :D some of these I stole for your lists :P

 

8.       A comic written or illustrated by a person of color - Runaways Vol. 1, illustrated by Adrian Alphona and Takeshi Miyazawa 

 

 

It doesn't count as stealing if I got it from you to begin with ;) 

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12 hours ago, Gemma said:

It doesn't count as stealing if I got it from you to begin with ;) 

haha true! i've been itching to re-read it after the TV show started up

 

6 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

Updated the original list! Only seven empty categories now... but it's only all the tricky ones, so they should be easy to find.

nice! i will likely troll book riot's website for their suggestions in my empty categories

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It sucks when I read read as read and not read, so I have to re-read read as read so I can read read correctly and it can make sense.

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41 minutes ago, Grumble said:

It sucks when I read read as read and not read, so I have to re-read read as read so I can read read correctly and it can make sense.

 

Dude I think you are reading too much into how you read read, if you read read as read you can just re-read read as read and read it right. No harm no foul, read me?  

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On 4/3/2018 at 2:20 PM, CourtnieMarie said:

 

23.   A book with a female protagonist over the age of 60 – Britt-Marie Was Here

 

I'm stealing this, it looks amazing! Any of the Miss Marple's would have worked, but that is so much inside my comfort zone that it felt like cheating. This one will stretch me a little, and I expect to love it :) 

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