I Finished the 2016 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge!

Time to celebrate! For the second year in a row, I’ve finished the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge! *parties*

I definitely was cutting things close here by finishing at the end of December; last year I was much more on top of my game. Oddly, the challenge task that I found most difficult was reading a middle-grade novel; I’ve had the rest of the challenge finished for over a month, but I just couldn’t find a middle-grade novel that really interested me. I actually ended up loving my choice (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente) and am really grateful to the Read Harder Challenge for making me pick it up. Other highlights from this challenge for me were Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay (essay collection), The Passion by Jeanette Winterson (historical fiction set before 1900), and Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (book featuring a main character with a mental illness).  My least favorite book of the challenge (because you can’t love everything, unfortunately) was Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (play), which was basically just a huge disappointment. It’s probably my own fault for not branching out more with that challenge task.

So, here’s what I read for the 2016 Read Harder Challenge:

✓ 1. Read a horror book
Fledgling by Octavia E. ButlerFledgling by Octavia E. Butler
✓ 2. Read a nonfiction book about science
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca SklootThe Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
✓ 3. Read a collection of essays
Bad Feminist by Roxane GayBad Feminist by Roxane Gay
✓ 4. Read a book out loud to someone else – I actually don’t know the name of the picture book I read out loud to my baby cousin. It was about a fancy dog who goes to visit a farm. That’s all I remember!
✓ 6. Read a biography (not memoir or autobiography)
Notorious RBG The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin CarmonNotorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon
✓ 7. Read a dystopian or post-apocalyptic novel
Enclave (Razorland, #1) by Ann AguirreEnclave by Ann Aguirre
✓ 8. Read a book originally published in the decade you were born (1980’s)
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo IshiguroThe Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
✓ 9. Listen to an audiobook that has won an Audie Award
Bossypants by Tina FeyBossypants by Tina Fey
✓ 10. Read a book over 500 pages long
The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2) by Patrick RothfussThe Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
✓ 11. Read a book under 100 pages
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins GilmanThe Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
✓ 12. Read a book by or about a person that identifies as transgender
All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane AndersAll the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
✓ 14. Read a book by an author from Southeast Asia
Sorcerer to the Crown (Sorcerer Royal, #1) by Zen ChoSorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho
✓ 15. Read an historical fiction book set before 1900
The Passion by Jeanette WintersonThe Passion by Jeanette Winterson
✓ 16. Read the first book in a series by a person of color
Binti (Binti, #1) by Nnedi OkoraforBinti by Nnedi Okorafor
✓ 17. Read a non-superhero comic that debuted in the past three years
Nimona by Noelle StevensonNimona by Noelle Stevenson
✓ 18. Read a book that was adapted into a movie, then watch the movie. Debate which is better. (Spoiler alert: both were bad.)
The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy FowlerThe Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler
✓ 19. Read a nonfiction book about feminism or dealing with feminist themes
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieWe Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
✓ 20. Read a book about religion (fiction or nonfiction)
The Daylight Gate by Jeanette WintersonThe Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson
✓ 21. Read a book about politics, in your country or another (fiction or nonfiction)
Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (The Neapolitan Novels #3) by Elena FerranteThose Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante
✓ 22. Read a food memoir
Yes, Chef by Marcus SamuelssonYes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson
✓ 24. Read a book with a main character that has a mental illness
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean RhysWide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
Now that I’ve finished the 2016 challenge, I’ve started looking ahead to the 2017 Read Harder Challenge, which looks really interesting. Several of the tasks are pretty specific, but the Goodreads group has been a really helpful resource for finding ideas for each task, so I’m not too concerned. I’ve generally been able to complete the majority of the tasks without really trying to because I tend to read a pretty good variety of books; this year, though, it may not be so easy. But that’s why it’s called a challenge!
Did anyone else participate in the 2016 challenge, or are you thinking about joining in 2017? Let me know!
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