Around the Year in 52 Books discussion

213 views
Outside Challenges > 2019 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge

Comments Showing 1-40 of 40 (40 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 1771 comments The list is up:
https://bookriot.com/2018/12/12/2019-...

A epistolary novel or collection of letters
An alternate history novel
A book by a woman and/or AOC that won a literary award in 2018
A humor book
A book by a journalist or about journalism
A book by an AOC set in or about space
An #ownvoices book set in Mexico or Central America
An #ownvoices book set in Oceania
A book published prior to January 1, 2019, with fewer than 100 reviews on Goodreads
A translated book written by and/or translated by a woman
A book of manga
A book in which an animal or inanimate object is a point-of-view character
A book by or about someone that identifies as neurodiverse
A cozy mystery
A book of mythology or folklore
An historical romance by an AOC
A business book
A novel by a trans or nonbinary author
A book of nonviolent true crime
A book written in prison
A comic by an LGBTQIA creator
A children’s or middle grade book (not YA) that has won a diversity award since 2009
A self-published book
A collection of poetry published since 2014


message 2: by Entropia (new)

Entropia | 280 comments what does AOC stand for?


message 3: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 1771 comments I'm assuming it's author of colour.


message 4: by Entropia (new)

Entropia | 280 comments thanks. I wish people used less abbreviations.


message 5: by Ed (last edited May 28, 2021 05:37PM) (new)

Ed Lehman | 1779 comments 1/1/19-12/31/19

18/24

✔A epistolary novel or collection of letters- These Is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901 by Nancy E. Turner 3/3/19
An alternate history novel
✔A book by a woman and/or AOC that won a literary award in 2018- There There by Tommy Orange 10/10/19
✔A humor book- Calypso by David Sedaris 1/10/19
✔A book by a journalist or about journalism- The Year of the Hare by Arto Paasilinna 3/22/19
A book by an AOC set in or about space
An #ownvoices book set in Mexico or Central America
✔An #ownvoices book set in Oceania- Gould's Book of Fish: A Novel in Twelve Fish by Richard Flanagan 3/26/19
✔A book published prior to January 1, 2019, with fewer than 100 reviews on Goodreads- The Curriculum Vitae of Aurora Ortiz by Almudena Solana 2/15/19
✔A translated book written by and/or translated by a woman- Woman at Point Zero by Nawal El-Saadawi 2/11/19
✔A book of manga- -My Brother's Husband, Volume 1 by Gengoroh Tagame-9/5/20
✔A book in which an animal or inanimate object is a point-of-view character- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming 7/15/19
✔A book by or about someone that identifies as neurodiverse- Lennie in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck 3/19/19
✔A cozy mystery- Agatha Christie- Murder at the Vicarage 6/4/19
✔A book of mythology or folklore- Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales by Jacob Grimm 5/27/19
An historical romance by an AOC
A business book
✔A novel by a trans or nonbinary author- Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote 1/20/19
✔A book of nonviolent true crime- The Map Thief by Michael Blanding 4/23/19
✔A book written in prison- Our Lady of the Flowers by Jean Genet 1/1/21
✔A comic by an LGBTQIA creator- Aya of Yop City by Marguerite Abouet-3/24/21
A children’s or middle grade book (not YA) that has won a diversity award since 2009
✔A self-published book- Toubab by Rob Coughlin 6/23/19
✔A collection of poetry published since 2014- pub. 2020-What Kind of Woman: Poems by Kate Baer-2/13/21-


message 6: by Johanne (new)

Johanne *the biblionaut* | 1644 comments Aaaargghh! Another challenge! Don´t tempt me!


message 7: by Emily, Conterminous Mod (new)

Emily Bourque (emilyardoin) | 7433 comments Mod
Fewer than 100 ratings?! Geez... talk about Read Harder.


message 8: by Karishma (new)

Karishma (karishmanewar) 100 reviews not ratings!


message 9: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 1771 comments I find a lot of non-fiction has low review rates. I won't be actively doing Read Harder next year, I might just check the list near the end of the year and see how close I got to finishing without trying...


message 10: by Jody (new)

Jody (jodybell) | 3489 comments Yeah ... don't think I'll be doing this one either this year.


message 11: by Katie (new)

Katie | 2369 comments I actually find this a lot less hard than I anticipated. I thought the one last year was extremely difficult. It does make me interested in looking into a nonviolent true crime book.


message 12: by Dana (new)

Dana | 128 comments I'm going to give it a try...I've never done this challenge.


message 13: by Serendipity (new)

Serendipity | 441 comments One advantage of coming from a country with small population is that many of the books published here don't get many reviews on Good reads. One I was looking at for another challenge I think only had 2 and one I read this year had 58. I'm not out off by this year's Read Harder - actually intrigued by several of the categories - but may wait until Iater in the year to actively pursue it.


message 14: by Serendipity (new)

Serendipity | 441 comments @ Seluxes. The Feather Thief by Kirk Wallace Johnson would be perfect for this. I read it this year and really enjoyed it. Sadly this means I'll need to find something else for next year.


message 15: by Katie (new)

Katie | 2369 comments The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century was the first book that came to mind for me as well. Very interesting. Way more interesting than I thought it would be.


message 16: by Rachel (new)

Rachel A. (abyssallibrarian) | 2725 comments I think I'm going to pass on this one for now. I can do most of the prompts without too much problem, but they don't fit very well with what I want to be reading right now, and I'd rather focus on the books that I'm more excited about.


message 17: by Lizzy (new)

Lizzy | 730 comments Would Born a Crime work for the nonviolent crime?


La Loves a Little Tea and Books (alittleteaandbooks) Lizzy wrote: "Would Born a Crime work for the nonviolent crime?"

Yes


message 19: by Marina H (new)

Marina H | 1315 comments Those prompts are just way too specific for my taste. A few of them would be easy enough, but several of them are very limiting and would take a lot of searching for me to even find a book that matches AND I could get hold off.
So it's a no thank you from me... Even though I like a challenge!


message 20: by Zaz (new)

Zaz | 3034 comments The list is interesting if you want to focus on more diverse reads. Some prompts seem a bit difficult, I'm not sure there are many books that can fit, so it's not really appealing. I never did the BR challenge, I won't start next year.

I've no idea how they ended with "a book of manga". As manga = comic book, the prompt is very weird and shows a lack of cultural knowledge... It's a shame when you try to encourage diversity and more or less slaughter other cultures...


message 21: by Bryony, Circumnavigation Mod (new)

Bryony (bryony46) | 1081 comments Mod
My initial reaction is that this is such a dull and repetitive list. It’s like they picked a bunch of prompts that have been done multiple times before and decided to make them “harder” by adding requirements about the author’s identity.

It’s probably mean, but I imagine them having a conversation like this...

“How about a book set in space?”
“I think that’s been done before....but a book set in space written by a person of colour, that’s new!"

“A book in translation?”
"Haven’t we done that before too? Yeah? Well let’s say a book in translation by a woman author, that’ll make it a bit different."

“An award winning book?”
“That’s on practically every challenge list. But wait, if it has to be by a woman or person of colour then it’s a whole new prompt!”

“A book set in Oceania?”
“Every challenge has some kind of setting based prompt. Oh, but let’s say an own voices book set there. And let’s add an own voices book in another region too!”

I’m all for encouraging people to read authors other than white, straight, non-disabled men from Europe or North America, but this seems like such a boring way to go about encouraging people to read more diversely.

So, at least that’s one challenge I can leave off my 2019 list!


message 22: by Jody (new)

Jody (jodybell) | 3489 comments Zaz wrote: "I've no idea how they ended with "a book of manga". As manga = comic book, the prompt is very weird and shows a lack of cultural knowledge... It's a shame when you try to encourage diversity and more or less slaughter other cultures... "

I'm not sure I understand the problem here. Can you explain in a bit more detail?


message 23: by Tracy, Constellation Mod (new)

Tracy (tracyisreading) | 2542 comments Mod
Bryony wrote: "My initial reaction is that this is such a dull and repetitive list. It’s like they picked a bunch of prompts that have been done multiple times before and decided to make them “harder” by adding requirements about the author’s identity.

It’s probably mean, but I imagine them having a conversation like this...
..."


Bryony, This made me laugh because it sounds so accurate. I'm all for reading diversely, but I'm starting to feel like it's the primary focus of the challenges? IDK. Seems that a lot of challengers are feeling that way, even the readers who come from diverse backgrounds. I saw one comment today from a reader who felt like it was turning into a ....I'm not sure how to word this without being offensive.....almost like an assumption that people participating in the challenge are literate educated white Americans who should read about the lesser classes of people so they can say they "identify" and I am starting to find that assumption a little controversial. I'm not sure if Im articulating that thought well??

@ Zaz, I understand what you're saying about Manga being a comic/grapic.... But I thought that the difference is that the books are read from back to front and from the right page to the left, and that is the cultural difference? Am I getting that all wrong?


message 24: by Jody (new)

Jody (jodybell) | 3489 comments The Wiki definition of Manga (and pretty much what I have always understood it as) is “Manga (漫画 Manga) are comics created in Japan or by creators in the Japanese language, conforming to a style developed in Japan in the late 19th century.”, which to me means it’s not just any comic, but a comic with specific parameters.

I’m honestly not understanding how that prompt is slaughtering a culture.


message 25: by Johanne (new)

Johanne *the biblionaut* | 1644 comments Yeah Tracy. I have thought of that too. Like 'read a book by a person of colour' sort of implies that you are not... And how is being a white caucasian not a colour? And all the 'read from this (American) list' and then 'list from a foreign country' like 'foreign' is understood to be other than the US. I understand where it's coming from, it's just not necessarily progressive or liberating.


message 26: by Zaz (new)

Zaz | 3034 comments Jody > I've a problem with the way the prompt is written. It's not "a book of manga", it's "a manga" or "a Japanese graphic novel". It's a little like saying "a book of graphic novel", it means nothing and shows a lack of knowledge/culture about the genre and how it's called (in this case in its country). I use the right words even if they aren't in my language (in mine, it's bande dessinée, but when it's from the US, I use graphic novel or comic book, when it's from Japan, I use manga, etc). BR isn't a website of people who never read, so I've no idea why there's this kind of mistake.


message 27: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (patchworkbunny) | 1771 comments I would like to think it's more beneficial to everyone to read diversely across books you think you're going to like. It's not helpful to a marginalised author if I rate their book lowly because it's really not my sort of thing but I had to read it for a challenge. So I like less specific prompts where I can plug in diverse books based on my own preferences.

Johanne, I find Book Riot are very American-orientated in general. Every "must read" book seems to be about a US issue, which I get is their audience, but it gets a bit repetitive when there's a whole world out there.


message 28: by Johanne (new)

Johanne *the biblionaut* | 1644 comments Ellie wrote: "I would like to think it's more beneficial to everyone to read diversely across books you think you're going to like. It's not helpful to a marginalised author if I rate their book lowly because it..."

I think you are right Ellie. At least it makes it easier to do one less challenge ;)


message 29: by Tracy, Constellation Mod (new)

Tracy (tracyisreading) | 2542 comments Mod
I tried to work out a list for this last night and it was just sooooooo ugly, LOL. I have yet to actually finish this challenge. Its definitely not my favorite. I think its time to swap it out for Reading Women. I just don't need to read that much harder 😐


message 30: by Jody (last edited Dec 14, 2018 12:24PM) (new)

Jody (jodybell) | 3489 comments Zaz wrote: "Jody > I've a problem with the way the prompt is written. It's not "a book of manga", it's "a manga" or "a Japanese graphic novel". It's a little like saying "a book of graphic novel", it means nothing and shows a lack of knowledge/culture about the genre and how it's called (in this case in its country). I use the right words even if they aren't in my language (in mine, it's bande dessinée, but when it's from the US, I use graphic novel or comic book, when it's from Japan, I use manga, etc). BR isn't a website of people who never read, so I've no idea why there's this kind of mistake."

I'm still curious as to why you can't say a book of manga. Does it not come in anything other than book form? From what I can see, Manga does have strips as well. In English, a comic doesn't necessarily mean a book, it could be a strip, or even a single frame. Couldn't it just be that they are trying to be specific as to what they want people to read?


message 31: by Rachelnyc (new)

Rachelnyc | 943 comments Bryony wrote: "My initial reaction is that this is such a dull and repetitive list. It’s like they picked a bunch of prompts that have been done multiple times before and decided to make them “harder” by adding r..."

I literally lol'd at this post! I think you're spot on and have little interest in this challenge for many of the reasons already mentioned in this thread.


message 32: by Chrissy (new)

Chrissy | 854 comments I for one am fairly happy with this list. I do wish it included more non-novel things, but I am definitely going to prioritize this above PopSugar next year.

I loved The Feather Thief last year, and came across Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art that looks kind of in the same ballpark.

I am frustrated that the Read Harder group hasn't posted threads for each prompt, so I can't get ideas for the ones I'm not sure about sourcing... like self-published, prison, and a few others.


message 33: by Martha (new)

Martha (marthag503) | 285 comments I agree, Chrissy. I'm surprised the threads for prompts aren't up yet, but in the last year or so I've felt BR posts the challenge and then doesn't show up the rest of the year. I think the challenge this year is mediocre. I don't love it but I don't hate it.


message 34: by Zaz (new)

Zaz | 3034 comments Ellie > I agree with you. It's nice once in a while to go outside your comfort zone but when the choices are very limited, ending with a book you know you won't enjoy isn't nice. I don't know who is the targer for the BR read harder, I often see big readers saying it's too restrictive and it doesn't seem really appealing for casual readers.

Jody > I don't think so. As I know, chapters are released as huge magazines (big collection of different stories by the same publisher) and then they do paperpacks when a full volume can be completed.


message 35: by Jackie, Solstitial Mod (new)

Jackie | 1358 comments Mod
Glad to see I'm not the only one knocking it off my list this year. It's not a bad list, it's just not appealing to me personally. I laughed so much when I saw your post Bryony! I thought the same thing! It's so odd to me that they're basically using underrepresented groups as a difficulty crutch for otherwise ordinary prompts.


message 36: by Sabrina (new)

Sabrina | 390 comments I think I can see what they were going for here. Like taking the "book about space written by an AOC" example. I think for challenges that ask just for an AOC or something like that, we all tend toward just a few of like THE diverse books of the year. Thats not to say that books like The Hate U Give are not incredible and important, but I think the idea they're getting at here is that there are genres like sci-fi where AOCs are not nearly as recognized as say, YA contemporaries revolving around social justice.

That being said, the approach leaves much to be desired. Maybe just "sci fi by an AOC" would've been better IDK. I'm not doing the list anyway I'm just putting in my 2 cents. I might take the approach of not actively doing it and seeing how far I get by the end of the year without trying, since overall I do want to read more diversely.


message 37: by Sabrina (new)

Sabrina | 390 comments also what the hell is a business book???


message 38: by Jackie, Solstitial Mod (new)

Jackie | 1358 comments Mod
Sabrina wrote: "also what the hell is a business book???"

Yeah that was the one where I was like, "I'm out."

Peruse the business books section on amazon or barnes and noble's website and you'll get the idea, but it mostly rich people offering you prosaic advice on how you too can succeed in a managerial career or else it's really technical stuff about marketing or whatever.


message 39: by Edie (last edited Dec 21, 2018 03:03PM) (new)

Edie | 849 comments Jackie wrote: "Sabrina wrote: "also what the hell is a business book???"

Yeah that was the one where I was like, "I'm out."

Peruse the business books section on amazon or barnes and noble's website and you'll g..."


I agree with the posters who find this year's Read Harder challenge pretty mediocre. I have completed this challenge the past few years and previous lists were much more challenging to my mind.

I do like the business book prompt. While there are lots of dreadful business books out there (the same can be said of novels), this is one prompt I am looking forward to. I have several books that will fit. I probably will read How Google Works which I have owned for a while. Several Malcolm Gladwell books would work this as well.


message 40: by Sabrina (new)

Sabrina | 390 comments Jackie wrote: "Sabrina wrote: "also what the hell is a business book???"

Yeah that was the one where I was like, "I'm out."

Peruse the business books section on amazon or barnes and noble's website and you'll g..."


Haha the only book I have that would fit I got when I almost got sucked into a pyramid scheme a couple years ago and there's like a 99% chance I'll never read it.


back to top