Reading Challenge: Read Harder 2019

I've basically quit doing reading challenges since I wasn't actually challenging myself in my reading, just trying to tick off boxes for what I was picking up. But I want to change things up in 2019 since I did what I wanted in 2018 and I didn't blow myself away with my reading. (Although I read far more authors of color than in other years, which was an intentional choice I intend to continue.)

Book Riot's Read Harder challenge intrigues me -- but also daunts me.

The categories always include options I've zero interest in, but I'm going to attempt to hit each one this year!

To help me out, I might populate this with ideas as I hit them -- so if you've any recommendations for me, please share!

Read Harder 2019

1) An epistolary novel or collection of letters
  • The Color Purple
  • The Parting Gift 
  • Among Others 
  • Vanessa and Her Sister
2) An alternate history novel
  • The Black God's Drum by P. Djèlí Clark (finished 5/9/2019)
3) A book by a woman and/or AOC (Author of Color) that won a literary award in 2018
  • Flights by Olga Tokarczuk 
  • Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
4) A humor book
5) A book by a journalist or about journalism
  • Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann (finished 3/22/2019)
6) A book by an AOC set in or about space
  • Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon (finished 3/1/2019)
7) An #ownvoices book set in Mexico or Central America
8) An #ownvoices book set in Oceania
9) A book published prior to January 1, 2019, with fewer than 100 reviews on Goodreads
10) A translated book written by and/or translated by a woman
  • The Taiga Syndrome by Cristina Rivera Garza (finished 7/22/2019)
11) A book of manga
12) A book in which an animal or inanimate object is a point-of-view character
  • Three Bags Full by Leonie Swann (finished 3/19/201)
13) A book by or about someone that identifies as neurodiverse
14) A cozy mystery
  • Aunty Lee's Delights by Ovidia Yu (finished 5/6/2019)
15) A book of mythology or folklore
16) An historical romance by an AOC
17) A business book
  • Emergent Strategy ?
18) A novel by a trans or nonbinary author
  • All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders (finished 6/9/2019)
19) A book of nonviolent true crime
20) A book written in prison
  • De Profundis (Wilde)
21) A comic by an LGBTQIA creator
  • Nimona by Noelle Stevenson (finished 3/25/2019)
22) A children’s or middle grade book (not YA) that has won a diversity award since 2009
23) A self-published book

24) A collection of poetry published since 2014


  1. This looks like a fun challenge! I'm terrible at doing reading challenges historically, but oh gosh, there are so many fun things on this list! Maybe I can at least start thinking about books to populate these categories, and see how that goes.

  2. Hallo, Hallo Audra,

    I just posted my reading challenges for 2019, as like you, I made some changes over the past year about how I approach my reading life whilst also how I participate in RALs and challenges; things went so well this past year, I wanted to explore a few more in 2019 but really focus on Classics, INSPY and my backlogue; whilst still branching out. I read this list but I actually *loved!* the prompts for Pop Sugar this year more so I went with that one instead.

    Thanks for letting me know about The Kiss Quotient!! I had no idea what to mark for that category myself - I borrowed this book this year but failed to read it due to time issues. It's one I want to get to this year instead. I'll have to put a think on to see if I can help you out.. which categories are you struggling with the most?

    For Historical Romance by an AOC - I'd go with anything by Beverly Jenkins first and foremost as I love her series set in the small towne. I want to read more by her as well. Also, you might enjoy a HistRom I read this year but never had the chance to review/feature (rescheduling it for 2019) which was "The Lawyer's Luck" by Piper Huguley.

    For Mythology and Folklore you might find something inspiring on my post about #Mythothon both the main page where I discussed which stories interested me (top menu, Self-Directed Reading Challenges under Past Challenges) and/or you might like the post where I did a #25PagePreview of the stories I was selecting to read (top menu, this feature has a link under Features/Memes). I was truly surprised by how many I found which interested me to explore further as they were rooted in the original canons of thought but re-inspired for a new generation to appreciate.

    Look forward to seeing how you progress!

  3. Oooo! This looks like such fun!
    I have a few ideas that might work for you.
    6. Binti
    7. Certain Dark Things
    10. I, Tibula (this is on my TBR this year)
    14. Last Wool and Testament 16. I don't really read romance but I hear great things about Alyssa Cole


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