So how’s your year of reading going so far? Back at the beginning of the year, I decided to do the Book Riot 2015 Read Harder challenge as a fun way to make sure my reading is varied. I have a tendency to read a lot of the same thing, which I don’t necessarily think is a negative. But still, there are a whole lot of books out there, and I’d like to make sure I’m at least exploring them.
Here are the challenge books I’ve read so far:
A book published by an indie press: Safari Honeymoon.
A book by a person whose gender is different from your own: The Colorado Kid by Stephen King. I love him but I did not love this book.
A book that takes place in Asia: Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed, which mostly takes place in Pakistan.
A book by an author from Africa: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who’s from Nigeria.
A YA novel: Probably 60% of what I read is YA, so…I’ve already completed this one several times over.
A romance novel: Again, I read a lot of romance. But Vision in White by Nora Roberts is one of the first true “romance novels” I’ve read.
A National Book Award, Man Booker Prize or Pulitzer Prize winner from the last decade: I tried to read Redeployment and decided not to after the first story. Read harder, sure, but also don’t give yourself stress nightmares. But I requested Olive Kitteridge from the library!
A book that is a retelling of a classic story (fairytale, Shakespearian play, classic novel, etc.): This is hard for me because I really don’t like retellings of myths, Bible stories, Shakespeare, etc. They only remind me about how I know NOTHING about ANY myths and I have no religious education whatsoever, so I don’t get any references. But I’ll do it, Read Harder challenge. I’ll do it. I’m thinking of reading The Wrath and the Dawn.
An audiobook: The Stephen King book I mentioned earlier! It’s his shortest book, so a good pick for a few hours of driving. But be warned: the ENTIRE thing is narrated in dialect.
A book that someone else has recommended to you: Gonna read Olive Kitteridge because of Lauren’s recommendation! But honestly, I’ve probably already read something she recommended this year.
A graphic novel, a graphic memoir or a collection of comics of any kind: Safari Honeymoon by Jesse Jacobs. I also have Kiss and Tell by MariNaomi on my TBR list.
A book that you would consider a guilty pleasure: This is a little hard, since I don’t believe in the concept of guilty pleasures. BUT I guess Nora Roberts isn’t seen as “literature.” Guess what? She rules. Suck it, haters. She practically owns an entire town and she’s incredibly rich and she gets to write all day.
A book published before 1850: I’m working on Wuthering Heights. It’s really hard to read Wuthering Heights when you have so many funny, romantic YA novels to read.
A book published this year: I’m a book reviewer, so I’ve already read tons of books that came out or are coming out this year.
A self-improvement book (can be traditionally or non-traditionally considered “self-improvement”): I’m not sure if Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work! counts, but I think it does.
I still have to read a book by or about someone that identifies as LGBTQ, a collection of poetry, a book that was originally published in another language, a sci-fi novel, a collection of short stories (either by one person or an anthology by many people), a microhistory, a book that is by or about someone from an indigenous culture (Native Americans, Aboriginals, etc.), a book written by someone when they were under the age of 25, and a book written by someone when they were over the age of 65.
I’m a little surprised that I’m not doing so bad, and it’s only April, so I have plenty of time to read books that fit in the rest of the categories on the list (and I already have most of the books sitting around, which makes it easy). But I wouldn’t say that I’m really “reading harder.” If anything, I’m reading waaaaay easy. I’ve been reading a lot of stuff that will not upset me because I’ve been stressed out and anxious, and let me tell you, when you’re already having weird nightmares the last thing you want to do is read a book of short stories about war and PTSD. So I’ve been reading a lot of romance novels and lighter things. But you know? I don’t feel bad about it. I write things that are definitely on the lighter, funnier side (sort of), and I think all writers should read really widely in their genre. Still, I probably need to read some more classics.
You can find me on Goodreads if you want to know more about what I’m reading!