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