Reading Harder.

Last week when we shared our “proud of” lists for 2015, my #6 was about reading:

Reading a lot of books. I completed Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge and another round of BotNS Bingo. Both expanded my reading world into new genres (Romance, Non-fiction, even Fantasy) and gave me different perspectives on themes I’d previously avoided (racism, domestic violence, poverty, science 🙂 … and I enjoyed nearly all of it. I’m actually setting a goal to read less in 2016…but to continue to read harder. Stay tuned for more on my plans for the 2016 Read Harder Challenge.

The Read Harder Challenge is sponsored by Book Riot. hands down my favorite bookish place on the internet. There’s a website full of smart content and a bunch of podcasts. I regularly listen to Book Riot and All the Books. fun and informative. (sigh, I wish all my news could be packaged like this!)

2015 was the first year of their Read Harder challenge. They listed 24 challenges and we had to read 24 books. Book Bingo gets me a little outside my comfort zone…but this one landed me in a whole new playground. Here’s what I read last year.

see all the details on Goodreads here

And here’s what we’ve (yes, weSara is doing the challenge with me this year!) planned for this year.

see all the details on Goodreads here

Someone much smarter than I has created an editable pdf… I do love having my own personal list!

Close readers might note that I have not shelved anything for the non-superhero comic that debuted in the last three years… Sara is reading Lumberjanes which I read and thoroughly enjoyed last year. This is a really unfamiliar genre for me, so I think I’ll see what others read – and love! – before deciding.

I must admit a few of the challenges threw me for loop (not sure what the playground analogy even is for this!) but I love that there’s a mix of lighthearted fun … along with the serious.

I completed challenge #4 on Tuesday. Charlie and I read Fox’s Socks (thank you Bonny for the recommendation!) twice. I’m going to keep this image in my mind as I venture on to a few of those harder titles.

There will be another round of Summer Bingo (as long as Ann and Michael make the cards – stay tuned…Memorial Day-ish), which will mean another 25 books. And my neighborhood bookclub is going strong, but that’s likely just another nine or 10. My goal for this year is 60 books. I’ve still got a lot of room on my TBR!

How do you feel about reading “harder”? is there a book I’m missing that you think I MUST read?

9 thoughts on “Reading Harder.

  1. You've a very eclectic list for 2016, a nice mix of very tough and simply easy. You're going to be on a reading roller-coaster. Enjoy!

  2. I wonder if it's the name (read harder) that makes me skittish? Reading is the one area in my life that is complete pleasure, and I'm not sure I want to make it "harder" in any way. I don't even set a reading goal for the year (despite goodreads constantly nagging me 🙂 because that makes reading feel like a chore for me. That being said, good for you! I do admire the mix you've chosen, and I think it's really wonderful that you and Sara are doing this together. I will also be interested in your thoughts about several of them – The Hours, Slade House, Oryx & Crake, and I hope you like Gratitude as much as I did. I know you already have something by Ruth Reichl as your food memoir, but I think Home Cooking and More Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin are also wonderful must-reads. Happy Reading Harder!

  3. I'm thinking along the same lines as Bonny. Read harder makes it seem like we have to read high brow literary stuff although looking at the topics makes me realize that's not the case. I'm definitely in for Summer Book Bingo again, though! I'm always available for recommendations, hit me up if you need help!

  4. Although I plan to participate in Book Bingo again (probably stretching the boundaries again, though. . . ), I don't think the challenges like read harder are good for me. I don't like to plan ahead like that, and just enjoy floating from book to book – as the wind carries me. It'll be great fun to watch you with your own read harder challenge! You've picked out some really fabulous books. I think you'll enjoy the experience. XO

  5. I may jump in with some of the books you and Sara have chosen. Right now my goal is to read the books that people have loaned to me so that I don't have to pack and move them this summer. So far I've finished one, decided not to finish another, and have started on 2 more. This really only accounts for about 12 or so books.

  6. There are tidbits from everything all (and you, too) have shared that could/do apply to me, my thinking and reading habit/s …top o' my list tho' is to read at least one fiction title a month…and that'll be a real stretch for me…but I am determined to "taste fiction again, for the first time," to paraphrase an old Kellogg's Corn Flakes commercial/tag line. TBC…Cheers~

  7. First of all, I think it is wonderful that you and Sara are doing the challenge together. I'm surrounded by non-readers despite reading to my children before they were even born. 🙂 I kind of like the idea of the Read Harder Challenge. While I might not want to do the whole challenge I think I might like to dip into it here and there. I may even go back and check out the one from 2015. Oh, and of course, now you have me interested in Book Bingo. 🙂 You've chosen some interesting books! Happy reading!

  8. As you know, I am "new" at this reading thing. Part of me wonders how people who read so many books actually absorb all that stuff!! After awhile, don't all the books sort of merge into each other?? Anyway, it's totally impressive to me! Although my goal for 2016 is lame, comparatively speaking, it is excellent for me! I will feel EXTREMELY accomplished once I get Anna Karenina finished!! And yes, at this point, being 1/3 of the way into it, I would recommend it if you're looking for a bit of a challenging read.

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