My lovely friend Rachel started the Read Harder Challenge a couple years ago that involves reading 24 books throughout the course of the year. Why? Rachel says it best:
“We encourage you to push yourself, to take advantage of this challenge as a way to explore topics or formats or genres that you otherwise wouldn’t try. But this isn’t a test. No one is keeping score and there are no points to post. We like books because they allow us to see the world from a new perspective, and sometimes we all need help to even know which perspectives to try out. That’s what this is – a perspective shift – but one for which you’ll only be accountable to yourself.”
What’s really cool this year is that several authors have contributed to the list. You’ll find their names below as well as links with suggestions if you’re at a loss.
Read Harder Challenge List
- Read a book about sports.
- Read a debut novel.
- Read a book about books.
- Read a book set in Central or South America, written by a Central or South American author.
- Read a book by an immigrant or with a central immigration narrative.
- Read an all-ages comic.
- Read a book published between 1900 and 1950.
- Read a travel memoir.
- Read a book you’ve read before.
- Read a book that is set within 100 miles of your location.
- Read a book that is set more than 5000 miles from your location.
- Read a fantasy novel.
- Read a nonfiction book about technology.
- Read a book about war.
- Read a YA or middle grade novel by an author who identifies as LGBTQ+.
- Read a book that has been banned or frequently challenged in your country.
- Read a classic by an author of color.
- Read a superhero comic with a female lead.
- Read a book in which a character of color goes on a spiritual journey (From Daniel José Older, author of Salsa Nocturna, the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series, and YA novel Shadowshaper)
- Read an LGBTQ+ romance novel (From Sarah MacLean, author of ten bestselling historical romance novels)
- Read a book published by a micropress. (From Roxane Gay, bestselling author of Ayiti, An Untamed State, Bad Feminist, Marvel’s World of Wakanda, and the forthcoming Hunger and Difficult Women)
- Read a collection of stories by a woman. (From Celeste Ng, author Everything I Never Told You and the forthcoming Little Fires Everywhere)
- Read a collection of poetry in translation on a theme other than love. (From Ausma Zehanat Khan, author of the Esa Khattak/Rachel Getty mystery series, including The Unquiet Dead, The Language of Secrets, and the forthcoming Among the Ruins)
- Read a book wherein all point-of-view characters are people of color. (From Jacqueline Koyanagi, author of sci-fi novel Ascension)
I’ll get a separate page set up eventually to keep track of my books. I will say that the romance novel challenge (#20) will be the most difficult for me since I never read romance novels, but I’m excited to give it a go. Bring it on!
If you’re participating, do you have any books on your list already? What challenge would be the hardest for you?