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Book Riot's 2021 Read Harder Challenge - Announcement & TBR

It's doesn't make sense that 2021 is right around the corner already.  It seems like just yesterday that it was this time last year.  Then again, it also feels like an entire decade has passed.  Anyway, like 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020, my resolution is to complete Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge, which is always a brilliant way to challenge myself to read more widely, broadly, and out of my comfort zone.  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

Read an SFF anthology edited by a person of color

My choice: Vampires Never Grow Old: Tales With Fresh Bite edited by Zoraida Cordova - I can't resist a good vampire story and there are so many amazing contributors to this anthology.  I actually just picked up my own copy and I can't wait to start in on it.

Read an own voices book about disability

My choice: For a Muse of Fire (For a Muse of Fire #1) by Heidi Heilig - I've had this sitting on my shelf for way too long and give the fact that I loved her previous series opener I have pretty high expectations for this as well.

February 

Read a romance by a trans or nonbinary author

My choice: I Wish You All the Best (I Wish You All the Best #1) by Mason Deaver - I've been eyeing this at my local library for ages and it's time to pick it up.

Read a middle grade mystery 

My choice: Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's' Library (Mr. Lemoncello's' Library #1) by Chris Grabenstein - My library has a copy of this on Playaway and I've been considering taking it home what seems like years, so this challenge is giving me the reason to finally try it.

March

Read a work of investigative nonfiction by an author of color

My choice: Adnan's Story: The Search for Truth and Justice After Serial by Rabia Chaudry - I've listened to some of that podcast and I need to get caught up and just like to know more.

Read an own voices YA book with a Black main character that isn't about Black pain

My choice: Slay by Brittney Morris - This just sounds so cool.

April

Read a book set in the Midwest

My choice: Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng - I always enjoy reading books set in my home state of Ohio.

Read a book you've been intimidated to read 

My choice: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley - This classic sci-fi has been on my tbr forever and I need to get to it.  

May

Read a book featuring a beloved pet where the pet doesn't die

My choice: The Purloined Poodle (Oberon's Meaty Mysteries #1) by Kevin Hearne - This is Oberon from The Iron Druid Chronicles spinoff and it sounds delightful.  I can't wait to see him again and Atticus again.

Read a non-European novel in translation

My choice: Ring (Ring #1) by Koji Suzuki, translated by Robert B. Rohmer and Glynne Walley - I love both the original Japanese film adapted from this and the American remake as well so I'm really looking forward to trying the source material.

June

Read a nonfiction book about anti-racism

My choice: How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi - It's more than time to read more from Kendi.

Read an LGBTQ+ history book

My choice: When Brooklyn was Queer by Hugh Ryan - I've seen this come through my library several times and it's time I gave it a try myself.

July

Read a fanfic

My choice: The West End Horror (Nicholas Meyer Holmes Pastiches #2) by Nicholas Meyer - I've loved the other installments of this series I've read, and yes, I'd say a Holmes pastiche totally works for this task.

Read a book that demystifies a common mental illness 

My choice: History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera - I've had pretty good luck with what I've read from this author and I'm looking forward to trying more.

August

Read a genre novel by an Indigenous, First Nations, or Native American author

My choice: Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich - Erdrich is one of my favorites. I'm surprised I haven't already read this actually.

Read a children's book that centers on a disabled character but not their disability

My choice: Forget Me Not by Ellie Terry - I can't believe I hadn't heard of this before I began looking into this task.  It sounds excellent.

September

Read a fat-positive romance

My choice: Spoiler Alert (Spoiler Alert #1) by Olivia Dade - I hasn't heard of this before now, but it sounds like a lot of cute fun.  And, that's coming from someone who isn't a romance reader.

Read a book about a non-Western world leader

My choice: The Woman Who Would Be King by Kara Cooney - I've actually been looking forward to reading this for ages.  It sounds fascinating.

October

Read a book with a cover you don't like



My choice: Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #1) by Laurell K. Hamilton - A friend of mine likes this series quite a bit and it's time I finally jumped in on the fun.  I don't care for this cover though.

Read a food memoir from an author of color 

My choice: Notes from a Young Black Chef by Kwame Onwuachi - I'm not familiar with Onwuachi, but this sounds delicious especially since I'm told it has recipes.

November

Read a realistic YA book not set in the U.S., U.K., or Canada

My choice: The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf - I think this will be the first YA book I've read that's set in Malaysia.

Read a historical fiction with a POC or LGBTQ+ protagonist

My choice: Fingersmith by Sarah Waters - I just realized that the 2016 movie The Handmaiden was adapted from this book.  I can't wait to see what the source material is like because that film was pretty outstanding.

December

Read a book of nature poems 

My choice: A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver - I'm not normally a poetry person, but this sounds like it will be good.

Read a memoir by a Latinx author

My choice: In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado - I didn't realize this was a memoir for some reason, but now that I know a little more about it it sounds like a must read.


Are you taking part in this reading challenge?  Have you read any of these books?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

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