I did two reading challenges during 2019, the Book Riot Read Harder challenge (I also did this last year) and my local library system’s 10 to Try. While I didn’t complete the Read Harder challenge, I came closer than last year and only missed 5 of the tasks. (Quick glossary: YA= young adult, MG= middle grade, AOC= author of color)
Read Harder 2019:
A epistolary or collection of letters: 84, Charing Cross Road, by Helene Hanff
An alternate history novel: Dread Nation, by Justina Ireland
A book by a woman and/or AOC that won a literary award in 2018: The Poet X, by Elizabeth Acevedo
A book by a journalist or about journalism: Killers of the Flower Moon: the Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, by David Grann
A book by an AOC set in or about space: Binti: The Night Masquerade, by Nnedi Okorafor
An #ownvoices book set in Mexico or Central America: Did not complete
An #ownvoices book set in Oceania: Did not complete
A book published prior to Jan. 1, 2019 with fewer than 100 reviews on goodreads: Why Indigenous Literatures Matter, by Daniel Heath Justice
A translated book written by and/or translated by a woman: Our Dreams at Dusk: Shimanami Tasogare, Vol. 1, by Yuhki Kamatani, trans. by Jocelyne Allen
A book of manga: Yakitate!! Japan, Vol. 1, by Takashi Hashiguchi
A book in which an animal or inanimate object is a POV character: The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate
A book by or about someone that identifies as neurodiverse: Did not complete
A cozy mystery: By Book or By Crook, by Eva Gates
A book of mythology or folklore: Empress of All Seasons, by Emiko Jean
An historical romance by an AOC: Did not complete
A novel by a trans or nonbinary author: This is Where It Ends, by Marieke Nijkamp
A book of nonviolent true crime: Billion Dollar Whale: The Mano Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World, by Tom Wright and Bradley Hope
A book written in prison: Did not complete
A comic by an LGBTQ+ creator: Bingo Love, by Tee Franklin
A children’s or MG (not YA) that has won a diversity award since 2009: The Parker Inheritance, by Varian Johnson
A self-published book: Swordheart, by T. Kingfisher
A collection of poetry published since 2014: blud, by Rachel McKibbens
(Image description: Small green button of a person wearing glasses reading a book that says 10 to Try Reading Challenge Finisher 2019) Because yes, I did pick up my finisher badge at the library 🙂
KCLS 10 to Try 2019:
A book about history: The Making of Asian America: A History, by Erika Lee
A children’s book: The Parker Inheritance, by Varian Johnson
A book about a subject that can be difficult to discuss: Practical Equality: Forging Justice in a Divided Nation, by Robert L. Tsai
A book of poetry: The Poet X, by Elizabeth Acevedo
A book by a journalist: Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, by David Grann
A book recommended by KCLS staff: The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas
A book by an LGBTQ + author: This Is Where It Ends, by Marieke Nijkamp
A book about a crime: Bad Blood: Secrets & Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, by John Carreyrou
A book about family: Merci Suarez Changes Gears, by Meg Medina
A book by an immigrant author: Internment, by Samira Ahmed
I didn’t double dip for Read Harder as my goals were to read a separate book for each task, and for each to be a new read not a re-read. If I had, then maybe I would’ve gotten to tasks that I didn’t complete. Then again, I also read 120+ books this year, and many of those would’ve counted as repeats in some of the tasks. So, in 2020 I’m going to try and be more focused on completing the challenge list. I really like the list for next year and have nearly all the tasks planned out. KCLS is also doing 10 to Try again next year!
One thing I really like about doing these reading challenges is that it’s made me diversify my reading list. I started tracking my books read in 2017 where I read 55 books and almost entirely speculative fiction. In 2018 I started doing reading challenges. I finished the year with 108 books read, and while still a lot of speculative fiction (I love my fantasy), I also added a lot more nonfiction, other genres, and comics. That trend appears to have continued in 2019. I read a lot more nonfiction, comics/graphic novels, and middle grade than previous years. Also, a lot of contemporary YA this year. And, since utilizing my library more in the last two years I’ve started reading a ton of current releases. Out of over 120 books read this year, only 34 were published before 2018.
A couple personal reading goals for next year are to complete the Read Harder 2020 challenge without using a book written by a white male author, and to read more short fiction. I have a couple of years of back issues for several speculative fiction magazines waiting on my e-reader.
And, to read more of my collections/anthologies. I’ve acquired quite a few through various kickstarters and fundraisers and plain old buying from the bookstore. It’s kind of embarrassing how few of them I’ve actually read!
Non-reading goals are to continue with the Bob Noble Photography Challenge, which is a bi-weekly challenge I’ve been participating in for the last couple of years. It’s a small but friendly group, and I’m so happy that a new pair of photographers have stepped up to keep it running in 2020.
Tied into that, I know that I say every year that I’m going to be more active/consistent in blog posting (Ha!). But maybe I actually will be? I like the idea of posting more photography here, but I’m also super lazy when it comes to processing photos and posting them ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Happy New Year!