Read Harder Challenge

Cover of Bone GapI realised last week that I signed up for some reading challenges at the start of this year. Cue panic! I’ve completely bombed on the Reading the World Challenge, unless we’re going for continents rather than countries, but with some creativity I’ve managed to fit books I read this year into most of the Read Harder Challenge (previous categories completed are at my original post):

  • A book written by someone when they were under the age of 25 – Nimona, Noelle Stevenson
  • A book written by someone when they were over the age of 65 – The New Moon with the Old, Dodie Smith
  • A book published by an indie press – Redemption in Indigo, Karen Lord
  • A book that takes place in Asia – Bearkeeper’s Daughter, Gillian Bradshaw (Turkey counts, right?)
  • Cover of SwindledA book by an author from Africa – Under the Udala Trees, Chinelo Okparanta (the audiobook has a fantastic narrator)
  • A book that is by or about someone from an indigenous culture – Dogside Story, Patricia Grace
  • A microhistory – Swindled, Bee Wilson (fascinating and horrifying in equal measure)
  • A romance novel – The One Plus One, Jojo Moyes (because my kind of romance story involves single parents and road trips and farting dogs)
  • A National Book Award, Man Booker Prize or Pulitzer Prize winner from the last decade – Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel
  • A book that is a retelling of a classic story (fairytale, Shakespearian play, classic novel, etc.) – Bone Gap, Laura Ruby
  • An audiobook – Freedom Maze, Delia Sherman (highly recommended!)
  • A collection of poetry –
  • Cover of Under the Udala TreesA book that was originally published in another language – The Arab of the Future, Riad Sattouf (so depressing)
  • A book that you would consider a guilty pleasure – I’d have to go with Things I Wish I’d Known, because for some reason I like reading horror stories about poop and babies
  • A book published before 1850 – The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
  • A self-improvement book (can be traditionally or non-traditionally considered “self-improvement”) – Bears in the Backyard, Edward Ricciuti (I’m really reaching here, but the survival techniques might be useful if I ever get attacked by a cougar?)

As you can see I’ve failed to complete four of them. I did start three (still reading Wolf Hall!) but unfortunately they might have to count for next year’s challenge. Yes, that’s right, I’ve optimistically signed up for the Read Harder Challenge 2016 already. Maybe I’ll tick them all off this time!

How did you all get on with your reading challenges this year? Are you planning to sign up for another for 2016?

4 thoughts on “Read Harder Challenge

  1. Robyn 6 January 2016 / 1:52 pm

    I am drawing a veil over my reading challenges of 2015, being that I failed them utterly. Perhaps I could try reading harder. In January I am responding to a colleague’s challenge to read 30 minutes a day of books aimed at children or Young Adults. So far I’ve failed at the 30 minutes but I have managed nearly all of Marianne Dreams by Catherine Storr, and all of Remarkably Rexy by Craig Smith.

    • alinaccl 10 January 2016 / 10:54 am

      I totally forgot that I was doing reading challenges until December and just shoe-horned books I’d already read into the categories, so you’re not alone! I’m hoping 2016 will be a successful reading year.

      If you’re reading picture books then I recommend Emily Gravett and Catherine Rayner as author/illustrators.

  2. rachaelccl 7 January 2016 / 12:40 pm

    I’m pretty pleased with my effort on this challenge – I didn’t achieve the “Self-improvement” category – unless it was improvement of nail polish art or something similar! I also dropped the ball on the “Award winner (National, Pulitzer, Booker)” – I had simplified it to being any award at any time. I figure I made up for it by reading a “Translated book” which had been translated from English to French. You can see all the books I read in my list here: . The 2016 challenge looks good too, I’m definitely on board!

    • alinaccl 10 January 2016 / 10:52 am

      Impressive! Some interesting looking titles on your list. I look forward to seeing what you read this year!

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