Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Book Riot's 2018 Read Harder Challenge - Announcement and TBR


I'm hopeful that 2018 is going to be a great year!  Like 2017, my resolution is to complete Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge, which is a fantastic way to challenge myself to read more widely and broadly.  There are twenty-four tasks to complete over the course of the year.  You can read one book to complete multiple tasks, or read one book per task.  In order to get the most out of this challenge, I will be reading one book per task.  Here's the list of the twenty-four challenge tasks and my proposed reading list.  This year, rather than complete these in official task order, I'm going to change things up a bit:

January:

A comic written or illustrated by a person of color


My choice: Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, Book 1 by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze - I'm beyond excited for the upcoming Black Panther Marvel movie, and I've been wanting to try one of the comics featuring the character.

A one-sitting book 


My choice: Revival, Deluxe Collection Volume 1 by Tim Seeley - This graphic novel horror series was brought to my attention via Chew, Vol. 11 which featured a little flipbook crossover and I've been meaning to get my hands on it for awhile now.

February:

A comic that isn’t published by Marvel, DC, or Image 


My choice: Hellboy, Vol. 1: Seed of Destruction by Mike Mignola - I love the movies, and I'd like to try Mignola's original series!

A comic written and illustrated by the same person 


My choice: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel - This sounds like a fascinating graphic memoir - I don't know all that much about it, but I've been told that I absolutely must read it so many times.  What better than to tackle it as a part of this challenge?

March:

A book published posthumously


My choice: The Opposite of Loneliness by Maria Keegan - Keegan passed away in a 2012 car accident, this collection of her stories and essays was published two years later.  I've heard so many great things about this bestselling collection, and it's about time I see what it's all about.

A celebrity memoir 


My choice: As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride by Cary Elwes - The Princess Bride is one of my favorite movies, so, of course, I feel like I should have read this yesterday.  Plus, I plan on trying it on audio which is narrated by Elwes and features the voice talents of many others from the film.

April:

A book of true crime 


My choice: The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson - This nonfiction book has been recommended so many times, both by friends and on the job - this has been one of the most popular nonfiction books (that isn't about WWII) that we can't keep on our shelves at the library, so I'm excited to try it for myself!

A classic of genre fiction (i.e. mystery, sci fi/fantasy, romance) 


My choice: 1984 by George Orwell - I have absolutely no idea why I haven't already read this sci-fi classic, which was originally released in 1949.  Though, I have seen the movie adaptation (released in 1984), which is brilliant if difficult film to watch.  I need to finally check this classic off my tbr!

May:

A book set in or about one of the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, or South Africa) 


My choice: Tsarina by J. Nelle Patrick - This sounds like such a cool historical fantasy set in St. Petersburg and Moscow, Russia in 191 featuring a magical Faberge egg.  I've had this on my tbr for nearly three years and I can't wait to finally try it!

A book about nature 


My choice: The Garden of the Gods (Corfu Trilogy #3) by Gerald Durrell - I completed book two of this British zoologist's memoir for the 2017 challenge, and book one is one of my all time favorite reads.  Needless to say, I'm looking forward to seeing how this trilogy concludes!

June: 

A romance novel by or about a person of color 


My choice: The Hidden Blade (The Heart of Blade Duology #1) by Sherry Thomas - I really liked Thomas's take on Sherlock Holmes with A Study in Scarlet Women, so although romance isn't really my thing I'm looking forward to it.  Plus, it's described as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon meets Downton Abbey - that sounds like a pretty awesome combination to me!

A mystery by a person of color or LGBTQ+ author 


My choice: A Conspiracy in Belgravia (Lady Sherlock #2) by Sherry Thomas - Like I mentioned above, the first book in the Lady Sherlock series was fantastic and I can't wait to continue Charlotte's adventures!

July:

An essay anthology 


My choice: Supernatural and Philosophy: Metaphysics and Monsters... For Idjits edited by Galen A. Foreman - I've other books in the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture series and they've all been fascinating, so of course as soon as I realized they tackled one of my favorite tv show's I knew I needed it in my life!

A book of social science


My choice: Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty - If you've ever watched Doughty's Ask A Mortician channel on YouTube, then you'll know why I've been meaning to try her first book.

August:

A western 


My choice: Retribution Rails (Vengance Road #2) by Erin Bowman - I really enjoyed Vengeance Road and I can't wait try this companion novel - and to have the opportunity to read it as a part of this challenge.

A book of colonial or postcolonial literature 


My choice: Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor - This post-apocalyptic fantasy set in postcolonial Africa? Yes, please!

September: 

An assigned book you hated (or never finished) 


My choice: The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison - I didn't exactly hate this assigned book, but my high school teacher didn't do a good job of presenting it to our class.  This was actually my first Morrison book, and I'd love to give it another shot now since I've tackled more of her works.

An Oprah Book Club selection


My choice: A Million Little Pieces by James Frey - Remember all the controversy surrounding this "embellished" memoir?  I sure do - and that's mostly because of his connection to my college alma mater.  Anyway, I've been putting this off for awhile now, and this challenge gives me the perfect excuse to check it out.

October:

A book of genre fiction in translation 


My choice: Handling the Dead by John Ajvide Lindqvist - I've been meaning to read this zombie novel from the author of Let the Right One In for ages.  Better late than never!

The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series 


My choice: Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1) by Robin LaFevers - I have no idea why I haven't already started in on this series, but it sounds exactly like the kind of historical fantasy I'd enjoy.

November:

A sci fi novel with a female protagonist by a female author 


My choice: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) by Becky Chambers - I've heard so many awesome things about this from some of my favorite people, so I need to get to this stat!

A book with a cover you hate 


My choice: A Son's Vow (The Charmed Amish Life #1) by Shelley Shepard Gray - Have I ever mentioned how much I can't stand the covers of Amish fiction?  You know, the ones where the Amish men and/ or women are facing the camera - and they look nothing like a real life an Amish person in terms of hair styles, facial hair, clothes, or makeup?  Those have always irked me and this one is no exception.  Hopefully the story will surprise me - I have to say that I am kind of pleased that it's set in Charm, Ohio, a place that I've actually visited!  I've always enjoyed visiting Amish country here in Ohio.  Fun fact: Guggisberg Cheese Company, which is less than two miles from Charm, developed Baby Swiss Cheese in the 1960s!

December:

A book with a female protagonist over the age of 60 


My choice: The Thirteen Problems (Miss Marple #2) by Agatha Christie - I've only ever read the first Miss Marple story, but I've seen so many of the adaptations I really should need to continue on with the book series.

A children’s classic published before 1980


My choice: Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers - Somehow, I've never read this classic series opener which was originally published in 1934.  Sure, I've seen the movie a ton of times, but now it's time to try the source material!


Congratulations for making it this far!  Have you ever taken part in Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge?  Have you tried any of the books on my tbr?  If so, what did you think of them?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

12 comments:

  1. I look into this challenge every year, and I must say, it is name appropriately. You have some awesome picks up there and I wish you all the best with this challenge.

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    1. Thanks, Sam - the name is totally fitting! :)

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  2. I've always wanted to try this challenge, but a lot of the tasks are outside my blog genre, so I've never done it. But you've picked some really good books, and we have a lot of our reading tastes in common, so maybe I will try it! Handling the Undead was really good, and I'm dying to read Who Fears Death. Good luck!

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    1. Good luck if you do! It's so much fun! :)

      Thanks, Tammy!

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  3. Tim Seeley lives near(ish) me and I've always been a fan of his stuff! Revival is a great series (that I need to actually continue).

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  4. Hi!

    Some great choices here. Black Panther, and Revival look particularly brilliant! oh and Supernatural essays... I'm going to have to add a few of these right now.
    Luv Sassy x

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    1. I hope you find the essays, Sassy! They sure sound fascinating. :)

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  5. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing your reviews for many of these picks! :) I also still need to get to The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet! Fingers crossed I'll get to it soon! :)

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    1. I hope we'll both enjoy it!

      Thanks for visiting, Erica!

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