I always begin the year with great intentions of completing a million reading challenges, and inevitably my enthusiasm tapers off after the first few months. (I love how Robyn manages to make one book count for many categories. I might have to steal that trick later in the year.) This time I’ve decided to attempt the Read Harder Challenge 2015 because it looks fun and might make me read a bit wider, which is one of my more attainable New Year resolutions (she says optimistically).
So far I seem to be doing pretty well just from reading books I wanted to read anyway, but looking ahead I can see some difficulties. Can anyone recommend an entertaining self-help book? Or a published author under the age of 25?
Here’s what I’ve managed to tick off:
- A collection of short stories (either by one person or an anthology by many people) – Monstrous Affections by Kelly Link
- A book by or about someone that identifies as LGBTQ – The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
- A book by a person whose gender is different from your own – The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami
- A YA novel – The Darkest Part of the Forest, Holly Black
- A sci-fi novel – Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel
- A book that someone else has recommended to you – The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Mary Ann Schaffer
- A graphic novel, a graphic memoir or a collection of comics of any kind – Saga vol. 4, Brian K. Vaughan
- A book published this year – The Just City, Jo Walton
Is anyone else doing a reading challenge?
Why yes I am – thank you for asking. I have three going this year. My team, the FingerTip Library, has their own version of Reading Bingo. Some of the squares reflect the picturesque obsessions of certain team members: a book with a horse for a hero, a book featuring a golf cart, a book that helps you complete goals from your PR&D. I have two squares crossed off. A book based on another book (Marriage Material by Sathnam Sanghera) and I’ve used up a Free Square with Volume Two of David Hockney’s biography by Christopher Sykes. And it’s the last day of March.
My two individual challenges are based on the revolutionary idea that I should actually read the books chosen by the two book clubs I belong to. So far so good with that one.
What a fantastic idea! I might have to steal that and see if I can coerce my team into doing a personalised reading bingo. Or get my flatmates to do one.
Jealous of your book groups! I keep joining newly set up book groups but they then die an apathetic death. Maybe I’m jinxed.
For a published author under 25, you could try Samantha Shannon, who squeaks in at a tender 24. I read her first book The Bone Season last year, and found despite not being a reader of the fantasy genre, that it hooked me in completely!
At 466 pages, its not small, but maybe ‘read a long book’ is another requirement you could tick off…
Thank you, I’ll put the Bone Season on my list! I’ve also discovered that Alice Oseman (author of Solitaire) was born in 1994. 1994!! She wrote Solitaire when she was SEVENTEEN. No idea if the book’s any good though.