The 2018 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge

We’re rounding out my three book challenges with what ended up being my least favorite this year. Not that I have anything against Book Riot, but there were several categories down here where I felt like it was beyond a stretch to find a book I wanted to read, or the books I picked don’t come close to matching up with my real reading goal for the year of quality over quantity.

This, with the bookshelf french doors idea (see other pin on board), and the book-drawers in the door (see other pin). :D


In the end, though, I love finding potential titles for these challenges because of the way they force me to think deeply about what I’m reading. Since I started recording the possibilities a couple of years ago, I have picked up books I wouldn’t have otherwise at times throughout the years. I’m not one to force myself to read titles just because; to me that feels like something that should die after high school and college. But these little yearly lists definitely get me thinking about new books to read.

A book published posthumously – The Bright Hour, by Nina Riggs

A book of true crime –Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, by John Berendt

A classic of genre fiction (i.e. mystery, sci fi/fantasy, romace) – Rebecca, by Daphne DuMaurier (I add this to one list or another every year. It’s about time already!)

A comic written and illustrated by the same person – Pashmina, by Nidhi Chanani

A book set in or about one of the five BRICS countries – State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett

A book about nature – Last Child in the Woods, by Richard Louv

A western – O Pioneers! by Willa Cather (A stretch in this category? Maybe)

A comic written or illustrated by a person of color – Malice in Ovenland, by Micheline Hess

A book of colonial or postcolonial literature – The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy

A romance novel by or about a person of color – Waiting to Exhale, by Terry McMillan

A children’s classic published before 1980 – Little House on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder

A celebrity memoir – Not My Father’s Son, by Alan Cumming

An Oprah Book Club selection – We Were the Mulvaneys, by Joyce Carol Oates

A book of social science – The Social Animal, by David Brooks

A one-sitting book – Heating and Cooling, by Beth Ann Fennelly

The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series – Emily of New Moon, by L.M. Montgomery

A sci-fi novel with a female protagonist by a female author – The Wrinkle in Time series, by Madeleine L’Engle (Which, yes, I put on every list, BECAUSE WHY HAVE I STILL NOT FINISHED THIS SERIES???)

A comic that isn’t published by Marvel, DC, or Image – Um, no thank you on the comic book front.

A book of genre fiction in translation – Like Water for Chocolate, by Laura Esquivel

A book with a cover you hate – The Best Advice I Ever Got, by Katie Couric

A mystery by a person of color or LGBTQ+ author – I’m skipping the mystery part, and we’ll go with The Lowland, which is what AGOMYR tells me I should be reading by Jumpa Lahiri

An essay anthology – Essays of E.B. White, by E.B. White

A book with a female protagonist over the age of 60 – The Summer Book, by Tove Jansson (This may have just jumped to the number one overall spot on my list.)

An assigned book you hated (or never finished) – Everything I was supposed to read in high school. Or, just Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

3 thoughts on “The 2018 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge

  1. Little House on the Prairie! I remember being little and my mom gave me her 1980s set, and I read the first book but then I thought the others were boring. I love your list!!! 🙂

  2. I am impressed by your planning. I feel like I just stumble from book to book each year. I want to read The Bright Hour, too. (Did you see the recent Post (I think?) piece about how Riggs’ widower and Paul Kalanithi’s widow got together?) I’ve got Heating and Cooling if you want to borrow. (Your list is making me want to read a bunch of things over: Rebecca, O Pioneers!, Last Child in the Woods, The God of Small Things, We Were the Mulvaneys!) Little House on the Prairie is one of my least favorite of the series— Big Woods and Farmer Boy (which would be worth it for the descriptions of food alone!) are my favorites. Yay reading!

    • I once heard that you should start with Farmer Boy, especially if you’re reading it to a boy! I’m such a rule follower it might hurt to read out of order, but it sounds like that’s what I need to do. And I did just see that article yesterday! Too funny. I have The Bright Hour – I’ll read it next and pass it to you? Would love Heating and Cooling. I WILL get you Little Fires back Sunday!

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