Book Riot 2017 Read Harder Challenge

Ok, so I didn’t complete my 2016 Read Harder Challenge. It’s not a big deal. At least I got closer to completing it than I did in 2015. I’ve decided to participate in the challenge again for 2017. I’ll do the same as I did in the previous two years and just see whether or not the books I read fit the challenge. One of these years I’ll make the effort of looking up books for the challenge and reading them. (I did half of that plan last year.)


The tasks:

Read a book about sports.

Read a debut novel.

Book read: Gilded Cage by Vic James

A YA fantasy novel set in present day U.K. about people with magical powers who enslave those who lack such abilities.

I was engrossed in the story at first, but gradually lost interest as it progressed due to its weak world building and character development.

Read a book about books.

Read a book set in Central or South America, written by a Central or South American author.

Book read: Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enriquez, trans. by Megan McDowell

A book of short stories set in Argentina.

A great collection of short stories that were often dark and unsettling.

Read a book by an immigrant or with a central immigration narrative.

Read an all-ages comic.

Read a book published between 1900 and 1950.

Read a travel memoir.

Read a book you’ve read before.

Book read: Eragon by Christopher Paolini

The first book in the Inheritance Cycle, a YA fantasy series about a boy who becomes a dragon rider and helps to rid the land of its evil tyrant.

This was my third time reading Eragon and I enjoyed even more than the previous two times. I think this is because I listened to it on audio book and the narrator,  Gerard Doyle, did a great job.

Read a book that is set within 100 miles of your location.

Book read: The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak

A YA contemporary novel set in the late 1980s about the crazy plans of a boy and his friends as they try to steal an issue of Playboy that features scandalous photos of Vanna White, the presenter on the popular TV show Wheel of Fortune.

This is a debut novel. I debated whether to categorize it as contemporary or historical fiction since the story is set in late 1980s New Jersey though the narrator is in the present. It was an enjoyable read.

Read a book that is set more than 5000 miles from your location.

Book read: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Noah’s autobiography about growing up in South Africa during apartheid.

A surprising read because I didn’t expect to enjoy it. It’s both humorous and insightful.

Read a fantasy novel.

Book read: The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold

An adult fantasy novel about a veteran who seeks to retire in peace but becomes a pawn of the gods and instrumental in his country’s political and mystical affairs.

I loved this book and it’s now a favorite.

Read a nonfiction book about technology.

Read a book about war.

Read a YA or middle grade novel by an author who identifies as LGBTQ+.

Read a book that has been banned or frequently challenged in your country.

Book read: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

A middle-grade/YA fantasy novel about an orphan boy who learns he belongs to a magical community.

The Harry Potter books have been banned for several reasons over the years, but I chose to highlight the last book in the series because of its strong similarities to certain aspects of the Christian religion since, in my experience, it’s mostly Christian believers who’ve tried to ban me from reading it.

Read a classic by an author of color.

Read a superhero comic with a female lead.

Read a book in which a character of color goes on a spiritual journey (From Daniel José Older, author of Salsa Nocturna, the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series, and YA novel Shadowshaper)

Read an LGBTQ+ romance novel (From Sarah MacLean, author of ten bestselling historical romance novels)

Read a book published by a micropress. (From Roxane Gay, bestselling author of Ayiti, An Untamed State, Bad Feminist, Marvel’s World of Wakanda, and the forthcoming Hunger and Difficult Women)

Book read: The River by Alessandro Sanna (illus.)

An illustrated children’s book that tracks the seasonal changes of a river.

The story is sweet but it was overpowered by Sanna’s beautiful watercolor paintings, which I loved.

Read a collection of stories by a woman. (From Celeste Ng, author Everything I Never Told You and the forthcoming Little Fires Everywhere)

Book read: Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enriquez, trans. by Megan McDowell

A book of short stories set in Argentina.

A great collection of short stories that were often dark and unsettling.

Read a collection of poetry in translation on a theme other than love. (From Ausma Zehanat Khan, author of the Esa Khattak/Rachel Getty mystery series, including The Unquiet Dead, The Language of Secrets, and the forthcoming Among the Ruins)

Read a book wherein all point-of-view characters are people of color. (From Jacqueline Koyanagi, author of sci-fi novel Ascension)