2017 Read Harder Challenge Results


I completed Book Riot’s 2017 Read Harder Challenge way back in December, but neglected to post about my results until now. Last year, I posted about the books I had chosen and planned to read, knowing that what I actually read to fit the criteria was likely to be very different. Still, if you know me, I like going in with a plan — and I wanted to compare!

Being that I read 104 books in total last year, each requirement had a few books that could apply — and, of course, there were a few books that applied to several of the requirements. I tracked it all in a spreadsheet like the data-freak I am, but for the purposes of this list, I'm including only one book per requirement, and a book will only be listed once. If you want to see all the books I read last year, you can check that list out on Goodreads.

Without further ado, my results!

  1. Read a book about sports.
    Swimming Studies by Leanne Shapton
  2. Read a debut novel.
    Chemistry by Weike Wang
  3. Read a book about books.
    The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
  4. Read a book set in Central or South America, written by a Central or South American author.
    Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
  5. Read a book by an immigrant or with a central immigration narrative.
    The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
  6. Read an all-ages comic.
    Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 by David Peterson
  7. Read a book published between 1900 and 1950.
    Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner
  8. Read a travel memoir.
    Wild by Cheryl Strayed
  9. Read a book you’ve read before.
    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  10. Read a book that is set within 100 miles of your location.
    The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert
  11. Read a book that is set more than 5000 miles from your location.
    A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers
  12. Read a fantasy novel.
    The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
  13. Read a nonfiction book about technology.
    Technically Wrong: Sexist Apps, Biased Algorithms, and Other Threats of Toxic Tech by Sarah Wachter-Boettcher
  14. Read a book about war.
    Red Rising by Pierce Brown
  15. Read a YA or middle grade novel by an author who identifies as LGBTQ+.
    George by Alex Gino
  16. Read a book that has been banned or frequently challenged in your country.
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  17. Read a classic by an author of color.
    The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  18. Read a superhero comic with a female lead.
    Wonder Woman, Vol. 1: Blood by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang
  19. Read a book in which a character of color goes on a spiritual journey.
    Green Grass, Running Water by Thomas King
  20. Read a book published by a micropress.
    Tales of the Night Watchman, Issue 1 by Dave Kelly & Lara Antal, via So What? Press
  21. Read an LGBTQ Romance
    Patience & Sarah by Isabel Miller
  22. Read a collection of stories by a woman.
    St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell
  23. Read a collection of poetry in translation on a theme other than love.
    100 Poems from the Japanese by Kenneth Rexroth (Translator)
  24. Read a book wherein all point-of-view characters are people of color.
    Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell

Things Of Note

  • I stuck pretty close to my original list, but a few of the books wound up shuffling around.
  • It is possible to find a tasteful romance novel. Originally, I had removed that requirement from my list because it made me uncomfortable. I'm glad I found a book and read it, though romance will still never be “my” genre.
  • I learned that, yes, there are quite a few women that write science fiction and fantasy — and there always has been! Even though these have been my favorite genres, I fell into the mainstream trap of believing only men were writing it and only men were good at it. Ew.
  • I learned that, actually, I do enjoy reading science fiction. I always used to tell myself I preferred to watch it rather than read it, but A Closed and Common Orbit opened me up to a whole, beautiful new-to-me world universe.
  • I learned to accept books in all their forms without placing value judgement. Physical books, ebooks, audiobooks, comic books, young adult fiction, middle-grade fiction — they all count as books read!