Read Harder Challenge: Update

Earlier this year, I chose to participate in Book Riot’s 2015 Read Harder Challenge. I let this list of challenges guide me in making some reading decisions, but I didn’t read solely to check things off the challenge list. I’ve managed to complete 18 out of 24 challenges for the year, and I am pretty pleased with that. I really enjoyed participating in this challenge because it helped me become aware of all the different kinds of books I chose to read throughout the year. This is definitely proof of the different genres and styles of books that I’ve explored this year. There are a few challenges on this list that I did not complete, but I plan to complete soon.

  1. A book written by someone when they were under the age of 25 – White Teeth by Zadie Smith
  2. A book written by someone when they were over the age of 65 – Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  3. A collection of short stories (either by one person or an anthology by many people) – Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
  4. A book published by an indie press – On Immunity: An Inoculation by Eula Biss
  5. A book by or about someone that identifies as LGBTQ – Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
  6. A book by a person whose gender is different from your own – American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  7. A book that takes place in Asia – Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
  8. A book by an author from Africa – Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  9. A book that is by or about someone from an indigenous culture (Native Americans, Aboriginals, etc.)
  10. A microhistory – Stiff by Mary Roach
  11. A YA novel – Say What you Will by Cammie McGovern
  12. A sci-fi novel – Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  13. A romance novel
  14. A National Book Award, Man Booker Prize, or Pulitzer Prize winner – The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
  15. A book that is a retelling of a classic story (fairytale, Shakespearian play, classic novel, etc.)
  16. An audiobook – Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to be a Grown-up by Grace Helbig
  17. A collection of poetry
  18. A book that someone else has recommended to you – Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
  19. A book that was originally published in another language – One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Márquez
  20. A graphic novel, a graphic memoir or a collection of comics of any kind – Ms. Marvel: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Adrian Alphona
  21. A book that you would consider a guilty pleasure (Read, then realize that good entertainment insetting to feel guilty over) – Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
  22. A book published before 1850
  23. A book published this year – The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  24. A self-improvement book (can be traditionally or non-traditionally considered “self-improvement”)

Did y’all participate in this challenge? Let me know how you did in the comments below!





Author: Rainbow Rowell

Publisher: Dutton, 2011 (Hardcover, 323 pages)

Read: July 2015

Rating: 4owls

Memorable Quotes:

“Money is a cruel thing. It’s the thing that stands between you and the people you love.” p. 32

“There are moments when you can’t believe something wonderful is happening. And there are moments when your entire consciousness is filled with knowing absolutely that something wonderful is happening. Lincoln felt like he’d dunked his head into a sink full of Pop Rocks and turned on the water.” p. 311

“‘I didn’t know love could leave the lights on all the time. Do you know what I mean?’…‘I thought it took more naps,’ she said, struggling to find the right words. ‘Or blinked. I didn’t know it could just go on and on like this without falling off an edge. Like pi.’” p. 323

The Handmaid’s Tale


The Handmaid’s Tale

Author: Margaret Atwood

Publisher: Everyman’s Library, 2006 (Hardcover, 350 pages)

Read: July 2015

Memorable Quotes:

“We lived, as usual, by ignoring. Ignoring isn’t the same as ignorance, you have to work at it.” p. 67

“Sanity is a valuable possession; I hoard it the way people once hoarded money. I save it, so I will have enough, when the time comes.” p. 125

“What we prayed for was emptiness, so we would be worthy to be filled: with grace, with love, with self-denial, semen and babies.” p. 222

“The more difficult it was to love the particular man beside us, the more we believed in Love, abstract and total. We were waiting, always, for the incarnation. That word, made flesh.” p. 257

“As all historians know, the past is a great darkness, and filled with echoes. Voices may reach us from it; but what they say to us is imbued with the obscurity of the matrix out of which they come; and, try as we may, we cannot always decipher them precisely in the clearer light of our own day.” p.350