Here’s the new Book Riot Read Harder Challenge for 2018! There’s 24 prompts to encourage you to read harder, and I urge you to check it out if you want to get outside your comfort zone. It’s always great to see the new suggestions, and I’m still working on finding the perfect titles.

(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.

  • Read an assigned book you hated or never finished.

The Scarlet Letter; Nathaniel Hawthorne.

I have never left an assigned book unfinished, but I did quite dislike this one. (But not so badly a reread felt too onerous.)

The story of a woman charged with adultery, who refuses to reveal the man who got her pregnant, and raises her child in a town that judges her quite harshly for her sin.

Though this book has a lot to say about society’s attempt to control the individual, the nature of sin, and the importance of living the truest version of your life… I can’t like it. It’s so full of hypocrisy, drama, and unlikable characters. It’s gloomy and dull, and not at all enjoyable. Most importantly, the moralizing, for me, falls short.

Once was enough, twice was more than enough.

  • Read a book in one sitting

The Uncommon Reader; Alan Bennett.

At 120 pages, it was easy enough to read this in one sitting.

A delightful little “what if” story. What if the Queen discovered a traveling library, and then, just to be polite, checked out a book? And then she read it, and decided to get one more… igniting a love of reading with sweeping consequences. Soon enough, others are trying to cope with her reading habits, and it grows into quite an issue. This story explores the possible results of a book obsessed monarch, the ripples spreading outwards to great effect.

It’s a short read, of course, and funny and heartwarming and a bit snarky in places. A great read for a book lover.

  • Read an Oprah book club book.

The Invention of Wings; Sue Monk Kidd.

Oprah book club book for September 2017.

This is about slavery, so you know it will be dark. But it’s also the fictionalized story of two abolitionists, and the people they might have befriended, in some other version of history. (The author’s note talks about them, and how much of the story is based on history.) Told from the pov of slave and slave owner, it offers up the hope that gives you wings in times of suffering. Both women are struggling for freedom, even if only one is in bondage, as white women had very few rights at the time period.

The determination in these characters, and the beautiful writing really made this book.

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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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