The 2015 Read Harder Challenge Update

I have been working my way through Book Riot’s 2015 Read Harder Challenge this year and thought it was about time I did a little update on my progress, since we’re halfway two-thirds of the way through the year and these sorts of posts tend to keep me accountable for my challenges.  It doesn’t hurt that Brandyn recently posted her update and reminded me that I’ve been promising to write this post for two months now.  I’ve already completed 16 of the 24 tasks so far, so I’m doing way better than I’ve expected.  Also, most of the books I chose outside of my comfort zone have proven to be great (or in some cases absolutely amazing).  This has been a good experiment, but I still have some big categories left to tackle throughout the rest of the year.

 What I have left:

Task 1: A book written by someone when they were under the age of 25

I originally thought I’d reread Frankenstein for this category, but think I might move that to the classic book category, so I recently requested The D.U.F.F. from the library.  This is a book I never thought I’d read, but all my friends like it, so I guess I will give it a chance.  Plus it’s YA, so I don’t have to gear myself up for it as much as I do classics.

Task 2: A book written by someone when they were over the age of 65

There are a few titles I’m considering for this– Juliet Marillier’s newest book comes out in November and she’s over 65, Kent Haruf had a book published earlier this year, and then Agatha Christie wrote some books after turning 65.  Still deciding, as none has grabbed my immediate attention.

Task 6: A book by a person whose gender is different from your own

So… I somehow have gone half a year without reading a book by a male author (well, I have, they have all just counted for other Read Harder challenge categories).  This is kind of ridiculous, as I thought I’d do this category on its own without even thinking about it, but I read a lot of genre fiction in genres dominated by women, so I guess I will actually have to work for this one.  I have no idea.  Does a book co-authored by a male (I am currently reading The Heist by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg) count?  It might have to.

Task 10: A microhistory

Earlier this year I started a massive book for this, got like 70% of the way through and gave up.  I just could not sit through any more of it.

Now I am listening to Stiff by Mary Roach, a book I’ve wanted to read since forever and I’m going to count it towards this category.  Just can’t listen to it with the kid in the car and I’ve been doing more driving with her lately than I usually do.

Task 12: A sci-fi novel

I think I want to read The Martian for this category.  I keep meaning to get it on Audible and then I choose something else instead.

Task 14: A National Book Award, Man Booker Prize or Pulitzer Prize winner from the last decade

I still want to read The Emperor of All Maladies for this category, but I can only get it from the library as a physical copy and for some reason that means I’ve had a hard time getting around to it.  It sounds like a total “me” book, though.

Task 19: A book that was originally published in another language

I thought I’d go with the latest Herman Koch book here, but the problem is that I started that one last summer and did not get into it after a few pages.  I was willing to give it another try when I was in more of a thriller mood, but that just hasn’t happened.  I don’t have any other ideas.  I keep forgetting I have this category left, actually.

Task 22: A book published before 1850

As mentioned above, I think I will try to reread Frankenstein for this category.  I already bought it on audio, just haven’t motivated myself to start it yet.


So mostly, I have categories left that I am having trouble getting in the mood for or getting excited for.

Anyways, did you sign up for any challenges this year?  How are they coming?  Any other suggestions for these categories or particular encouragement for any of my selections?

8 thoughts on “The 2015 Read Harder Challenge Update

  1. Do read The Martian, it is excellent. For the male author, read something like a Dr. Suess book, it’s books not novels right? 😉 I am too unfocused in my reading to try anything like this, so I am happily cheering you on for your success.

    • I actually have read some Dr. Seuss books to my daughter this year! Challenge completed! haha. This has been a bit challenging, especially as the year goes on and I find myself getting less motivated to read “challenging books” but overall I find that pushing myself outside my comfort zone is a good thing. And book blogging for a few years has really made me weirdly disciplined about reading anyways.

  2. I actually read The DUFF last year and really liked it. I had it on audio and it was one of those where I wanted to keep driving so I could listen to more. I hope you like it!

  3. I first came across The DUFF several years ago and was put off by the description. But I love Mae Whitman and decided I should read it before I went to see the movie and really liked it. REALLY liked it. Too the point that I was less excited about the movie because it seemed like they changed it a LOT. Still haven’t seen it. I think you’ll like the book.

    I’m lucky on the male author thing that I have a few series mystery series from back in my college days that I’m still reading and the books come out annually. I’m abysmally low overall on male authors this year though. It’s embarrassing. Have you ever read Stephen King? I’m not into Horror but his writing is great so I’ll attempt a genre I’m not comfortable with just to read his dialogue. Also his nonfic “On Writing” was excellent too.

    I’m struggling on the translation category too. Worst case – I just finished “Quiet” and I could count that as my self-help and move “The Magical Art of Tidying Up” to translation. It just feels like cheating.

    • I have read a couple King books here and there, but it’s been a long time. The last one I attempted was Salem’s Lot and I was bored stiff by it. I really think I may just count this co-written book. Or, to take the cheating even further, maybe I’ll count “Robert Galbraith” for that category.

      I have thought about moving Throne of Glass from whatever category it counted as (YA or audiobook, it was just one of the first of many I read this year) to author under 25. But I was hung up on a technicality… Maas was 25 when it came out and turned 26 shortly after. I’m not sure BEING 25 counts as under 25 so I was holding out. In any case… not sure it’s cheating to move them around… some of my books could have fit multiple categories, so do what you gotta do to make it work!

      • Every time I count books written by men I wish I could count the Galbraith books:)

        Bloomsbury acquired “Throne of Glass” two years before it was published so Maas was under 25 when writing it so I think it counts.

        I don’t know why but using a self help book as my translation feels like cheating I don’t know why. I’ve definitely moved books between categories.

  4. Task 19: try reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, if you haven’t already. I read the whole trilogy this summer and loved it. If you’ve already read the trilogy, a fourth book comes out in early September, which should count as well.

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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