Let’s Read Hard

Let’s Read Hard

I haven’t finished every Book Riot Read Harder Challenge, but I love the lists. They give me new aim in diversifying my library. This year I’m close to 80 books (well over the 50 I pledged), so for 2020 I’ve made it a soft goal to finish this list.

Here’s what BR has challenged for us. I’ve included some recommendations that you didn’t ask for. 😉

Read a YA nonfiction book: Haven’t a clue for this one. If you haven’t yet read Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, this will fit.

Read a retelling of a classic of the canon, fairy tale, or myth by an author of color: I’m eyeing The Wind Done Gone by Alice Randall. It draws on GWTW and is labeled parody, a retelling of sorts through new eyes.

Read a mystery where the victim(s) is not a woman: I finished Who Killed the Fonz this summer. That might work here. I’d like to renew my reading of Agatha Christie, so I’m thinking The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.

Read a graphic memoir: I imagine many people will pick up Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home. I read that for a previous challenge a few years back and recommend it. This time, maybe her other book Are You My Mother? or George Takei’s They Called Us Enemy.

Read a book about a natural disaster: Still looking.

Read a play by an author of color and/or queer author: The key here is getting access to a printed play. I’m thinking either Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song Trilogy or Anna Deavere Smith’s Twilight Los Angeles 1992.

Read a historical novel not set in WWII: I just finished The Rose Without a Thorn by Jean Plaidy this past weekend. Gah. Well, she’s written a billion others.

Read an audiobook of poetry: Hm.

Read the LAST book in a series: Well, I did watch the last ep of Game of Thrones without watching the show. Is there a last book yet? If not, I’ll find something.

Read a book that takes place in a rural setting: Open to suggestions.

Read a debut novel by a queer author: I’ve read Rita Mae Brown’s Rubyfruit Jungle already, so maybe I’ll scout the Lambda Award lists for something good.

Read a memoir by someone from a religious tradition (or lack thereof) that is not your own: That rules out The Autobiography of St. Therese, which I’ve read anyway. I’m reading Educated now, so maybe something of the Amish variety or Mennonite in a Little Black Dress.

Read a food book about a cuisine you’ve never tried before: I have to think about what I haven’t eaten.

Read a romance starring a single parent: I’ll defer to my many rom author acquaintances here. I know there are many out there.

Read a book about climate change: It won’t be a happy read, whatever I choose.

Read a doorstopper (500+ pages) published after 1950, written by a woman: Helen Hooven Santmyer’s …And Ladies of the Club and Colleen McCullough’s The Thorn Birds are the obvious choices, but I’ve read them. That leaves Atlas Shrugged or one of Jean Auel’s books that I haven’t gotten to yet.

As for the rest, I am open to ideas for these:

  • Read a sci-fi/fantasy novella (under 120 pages)
  • Read a picture book with a human main character from a marginalized community
  • Read a book by or about a refugee
  • Read a middle grade book that doesn’t take place in the U.S. or the UK
  • Read a book with a main character or protagonist with a disability (fiction or non)
  • Read a horror book published by an indie press
  • Read an edition of a literary magazine (digital or physical)
  • Read a book in any genre by a Native, First Nations, or Indigenous author

Now to finish what I’ve set aside for this year.

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