Read Harder 2017 – 95.8% Complete

bookstoreSo I didn’t finish every task on the 2017 Read Harder Challenge. Try as I might, I couldn’t find a book that kept my attention for task #4. But 23 out of 24 tasks complete, a couple in multiple ways, is pretty good in my book, so I’m ok with not reading one book that I maybe should have. I read a ton of other books this year on top of the RH Challenge anyway, partly for myself and partly because I was reviewing them, either for the Historical Novel Society or for Discovering Diamonds. All told, I read 85 books in 2017, though there are still a few days left. I might squeeze in one or two more.  

So my final list ended up as follows (my originally planned books are in parentheses):

  1. Read a book about sports: Riding Lessons – Sara Gruen (The Sport of Kings – CE Morgan)
  2. Read a debut novel: Scribe of Siena – Melodie Winawer (Cinder – Marissa Meyer)
  3. Read a book about books: My Life with Bob – Pamela Paul (The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane – Katherine Howe)
  4. Read a book set in Central / S. America by a Central/S American author: did not finish. I tried Perla by Carolina de Robertis, a collection of short stories by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, one of Isabel Allende’s novels, and some random book I found in the library. I was just bored. It was the last task I got to. (I’d planned to read House of Mist – Maria Luisa Bombal)
  5. Read a book by an immigrant or with a central immigration narrative: Listen, Slowly – Thanhha Lai (Funny in Farsi – Firoozeh Dumas)
  6. Read an all-ages comic: Phoebe and her Unicorn – Dana Simpson (read as planned)
  7. Read a book published between 1900 – 1950: The Door in the Wall – Marguerite di Angeli (had also considered I Capture the Castle, And Then There Were None, 1984, or The House of Mirth)
  8. Read a travel memoir: Wild – Cheryl Strayed (Gorge – Kara Richardson Whitely)
  9. Read a book you’ve read before: The Door in the Wall – Marguerite di Angeli (didn’t have one in mind)
  10. Read a book set within 100 miles of your location: Stargirl – Jerry Spinelli (I’d planned The Turquoise Ledge – Leslie Marmon Silko)
  11. Read a book more than 5000 miles from your location: so many. Listen, Slowly – Thanhha Lai; Leonardo da Vinci – Walter Isaacson; the Du Lac Chronicles – Mary Anne Yarde; GoddessGirls 1-4; Deeds of Darkness – Mel Starr; Season of Blood – Jeri Westerson; A Secret History of Witches – Louisa Morgan; An Argument of Blood – JA Ironside; Down the Common – Ann Baer; Homegoing – Yaa Gyosi; Half Sick of Shadows – Richard Abbott; Hunting Prince Dracula – Kerri Maniscalco; The Colour of Cold Blood – Toni Mount; The Colour of Gold – Toni Mount; The Eleventh Hour – MJ Trow; The Inquisitor’s Tale – Adam Gidwitz; Daughter of Destiny – Nicola Evelina; The Thief Taker – CS Quinn; The Scribe of Siena – Melodie Winawer; H is for Hawk – Helen Macdonald. (Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala; Flirting with French; The Tale of Raw Head and Bloody Bones; The World We Found; The Light Between Oceans)
  12. Read a fantasy novel: Miranda and Caliban – Jacqueline Carey (didn’t have one in mind)
  13. Read a nonfiction book about technology: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry – Neil Degrasse Tyson (Bringing Columbia Home by Michael Leinbach or Rise of the Rocket Girls by Nathalia Holt)
  14. Read a book about war: Listen, Slowly – Thanhha Lai (House of Splendid Isolation – Edna O’Brien)
  15. Read a YA or MG book by an author who identifies as LGBTQ+: Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel – Sara Farizan; Tattoo Atlas – Tim Floreen (read as planned)
  16. Read a book that has been banned or frequently challenged in your country: The Color Purple – Alice Walker (The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood)
  17. Read a classic by an author of color: The Color Purple – Alice Walker (Lakota Woman – Mary Crow Dog)
  18. Read a superhero comic with a female lead: The Legend of Wonder Woman vol 1 (Captain Marvel – Kelly Sue DeConnick)
  19. Read a book in which a character of color goes on a spiritual journey: Labyrinth Lost – Zoraida Cordova (Ceremony – Leslie Marmon Silko)
  20. Read an LGBTQ+ romance: Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel – Sara Farizan (Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters)
  21. Read a book published by a micropress: Deer Woman – Elizabeth LaPensee; Fig Tree in Winter – Anne Graue (read as planned)
  22. Read a collection of stories by a woman: Prickle Moon – Juliet Marillier (Interpreter of Maladies – Jhumpa Lahiri)
  23. Read a collection of poetry in translation on a theme other than love: The Rubaiyat – Omar Khayyam (Old Norse Women’s Poetry – Sandra Ballif Straubhaar)
  24. Read a book wherein all point-of-view characters are people of color: Listen, Slowly; Labyrinth Lost; The Color Purple; When Dimple Met Rishi; Little & Lion; The Hate U Give; Deer Woman (Association of Small Bombs – Karan Mahajari)

Overall, I am pretty happy with the end results, though I ended up reading less diversely than I had intended. I am planning to go back and pick up the ones I had wanted to read, like The Association of Small Bombs or an LGBTQ romance that actually fits the romance genre a little better and use those in the 2018 Read Harder Challenge. I am also challenging myself to use only books from my own bookshelf or, in a pinch, from the library. I refuse to buy more books this year (barring receiving a gift certificate or getting review copies from publicists).

Did you do any reading challenges this year? If so, what one(s) did you do and how did you fare?


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