I’m doing the 2016 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge, and you should, too! (Click the link to see the challenge, and to download a PDF of the challenge list.)

book riot

To quote the article: “We encourage you to push yourself, to take advantage of this challenge as a way to explore topics or formats or genres that you otherwise wouldn’t try. But this isn’t a test. […] We like books because they allow us to see the world from a new perspective, and sometimes we all need help to even know which perspectives to try out.”

  • Read a book out loud to someone else.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!; Mo Willems.

dont let the pigeon

I read this to my patient mom, in return for all the books she read to me. She laughed a few times, I call it a win.

This is for 2- to 6-year-olds, but you could probably read it with slightly older children, too. It’s a very short read, with an amusing amount of breaking the fourth wall. It is, as you’d guess, about a bus driver leaving his bus for a time, and the pigeon wants to drive it. But you’re not to let the pigeon drive the bus. Impressive amount of emotion for a small, simply drawn bird, too.

  • Read a non-fiction book about science.

Black Man in a White Coat; Damon Tweedy.

black man white coat

A memoir about race in medicine, as it affects doctors and patients, often resulting in a higher death rate for people of color.

Though in part about Dr. Tweedy’s experience, this book is largely about medicine–ranging from what people are taught (many diseases affect African Americans more than other races), to healthcare (many POCs have no insurance, etc.), to what it’s like to be a black doctor (someone one assumed he was a janitor). It’s a rough story in many ways, with terrible statistics and some heart-wrenching stories, but there’s hope in there, too. Things have changed, and can continue to do so, especially if inequities are addressed. And it’s quite interesting, worth the read–not so much medical detail that someone without a science background can’t follow it, but it doesn’t feel watered down, either. Full of stories accumulated from a lifetime of medicine, it’s a book about people, not just facts.

About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

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