Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge 2015 Wrap Up

Last January I dedicated myself to the Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge for 2015. The challenge was created to help readers pick up more diverse books throughout the year. I think the list helped me read more diversely than I would have otherwise but I probably could have done better. Besides the fact that I managed to read several books that fit multiple categories, as well as multiple books in one category, I still managed to miss a couple requirements completely. Also, I didn't actually stick to the books on my original list.

A book written by someone when they were under the age of 25: I planned on reading "White Teeth" by Zadie Smith. I didn't get around to "White Teeth" this year but I did read "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley.

A book written by someone when they were over the age of 65: I planned on reading "Ship of Fools" by Katherine Anne Porter. As far as I can tell none of the books I read this year were written by anyone over the age of 65.

A collection of short stories: I planned on reading "Tenth of December" by George Saunders. Instead I read "One More Thing" by B. J. Novak.

A book published by an indie press: I was supposed to read "The Empathy Exams" by Leslie Jamison but didn't have time for it this year. With what little research I did into this category I don't believe any of the books I read were published by indie presses.

A book by or about someone that identifies as LGBTQ: "Middlesex" by Jeffery Eugenides (Read)

A book by a person whose gender is different from your own: "The Angel's Game" by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (Read)

A book that takes place in Asia: I had planned on reading "Norwegian Wood" by Haruki Murakami but I read the graphic novel "Boxers" by Gene Luen Yang instead.

A book by an author from Africa: "The Stranger" by Albert Camus (Read) I also read "Americanah" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

A book that is by or about someone from an indigenous culture: "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie (Read)

A microhistory: "Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World" by Mark Pendergrast. I didn't come close to reading any microhistory books this year. Maybe in 2016?

A YA novel: "Lola and the Boy Next Door" by Stephanie Perkins (Read) I also read "Fangirl" by Rainbow Rowell, "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" by Jenny Han, "Thirteen Reasons Why" by Jay Asher, "The Last Little Blue Envelope" by Maureen Johnson, "Ignite Me" by Tahereh Mafi and "Insurgent" and "Allegiant" by Veronica Roth.

A sci-fi novel: I was hoping to finally finish "Dune" by Frank Herbert this year which didn't happen, but I did read "The Martian" by Andy Weir.

A romance novel: "Rule" by Jay Crownover (Read)

A National Book Award, Man Booker Prize, or Pulitzer Prize winner from the last decade: I had planned on reading "A Visit from the Goon Squad" by Jennifer Egan but didn't have time for it. "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" does however fit into this category as well after winning The National Book Award for Young People's Literature in 2007.

A book that is retelling of a classic story: I put "Cinder" by Marissa Meyer down for this category but I was never in the mood to read it. I don't think any of the other books I read fit this requirement either.

An audiobook: "More Than This" by Patrick Ness (Read) I also listened to "Beautiful Ruins" by Jess Walter, "The End of the Affair" by Graham Greene, "Bossypants" by Tina Fey, "Eleanor and Park" by Rainbow Rowell, "The Kept" by James Scott, "Cuckoo's Calling" and "The Silkworm" by Robert Galbraith, "I've Got Your Number" by Sophie Kinsella, and "Stories I Only Tell My Friends" by Rob Lowe.

A collection of poetry: I had planned on reading "Leaves of Grass" by Walt Whitman but ended up reading "You Get So Alone at Times That It Just Makes Sense" by Charles Bukowski and "Chasers of the Light" by Tyler Knott Gregson.

A book that someone else has recommended to you: I was hoping to read "The Hollow Hills" by Mary Stewart which was recommended to me by my mom. I did not get around to reading the second book in the Merlin Series but I did manage to read "Sharp Objects" by Gillian Flynn which was recommended to me by my friend Samantha.

A book that was originally published in a different language: The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (Read)

A graphic novel, a graphic memoir or a collection of comics of any kind: Unfortunately I still haven't read "Encyclopedia of Early Earth" by Isobel Greenberg but I did read quite a few graphic novels this year including "Maus 1 & 2" by Art Spiegelman, "Fun Home" by Alison Bechdel, "Persepolis 1 & 2" by Marjane Satrapi, "The Arrival" by Shaun Tan, and "Ms. Marvel Vol. 1" by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona.

A book that you would consider a guilty pleasure: My original post had "Drums of Autumn" by Diana Gabaldon for this category which is the fourth book in the Outlander series. What I meant to say was "Dragonfly in Amber" which is the second book in the series. I did not read either book, however I did reread "Outlander." I also read the Outlander companion graphic novel, "The Exile," which was just bad.

A book published before 1850: I was supposed to read "Candide" by Voltaire. Instead I did read "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley. I know I already used this one but it's the only book that works for both requirements.

A book published this year: Since my original book, "One More Thing" by B. J. Novak was actually published in 2014 I had planned on changing this book from the beginning. I read more than a few books published in 2015, "Did You Ever Have a Family" by Bill Clegg, "Spinster" by Kate Bolick, "Everything I Never Told You" by Celeste Ng, "P.S. I Still Love You" by Jenny Han, and "Ms. Marvel Vol. 2: Generation Why" by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona.

A self-improvement book: I was planning on reading "Tiny Beautiful Things" by Cheryl Strayed. I never read "Tiny Beautiful Things" but I did read "Lean In" by Sheryl Sandberg which I would consider a self-improvement book.

You can check out all the books I read in 2015 and keep up with my current reads on Goodreads.


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