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?