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 a mystery by a POC/LGBT author.

Goldenboy; Michael Nava.

The protagonist is both a POC and a gay man.

Lawyer Henry Rios defends a gay young man accused of killing a coworker who threatened to out him. The evidence is against the defendant, but he swears he didn’t do it, and refuses to try to plea out.

It’s a fairly slender 208 pages, which means there’s not as much to the mystery as I’d like, and the reveal and wrap up felt rushed. This is due to two relationship-based subplots, one old and one new. Everything is tied up, but perhaps a little shortchanged in developing, with some things happening very fast. Still, the mystery is well constructed, there’s some clever twists, and it’s overall enjoyable.

  • Read a children’s classic from before 1980.

The Westing Game; Ian Raskin.

Labeled as children’s book on Goodreads. Published in 1978.

A group of people obliquely connected to a wealthy old man, gathered to find his killer and become his heir. But it soon becomes clear that most of them can’t be trusted. They jockey for clues, and make and break alliances, and commit a few petty crimes as they play the game.

A quirky mystery, with rather a lot of concealment and lies (some attempts more successful than others.) The characters are pretty strange, but a few are quite fun–even though many are caricatures. I  had a few chuckles now and then, either way. In the end, the mystery resolves, though as oddly as it unwinds throughout the story. The Westing game is difficult to win, after all.

  • Read a comic not from Marvel/DC/Image.

Misfit City; Kirsten Smith, Kurt Lustgarten, Naomi Franquiz.

Published by BOOM! Box.

Great adventures start with a treasure map. When a group of friends stumble on one, at first they think it’s a prank. But then people start hunting them down, and it’s clear the map must have some significance. The art is lovely, with lots of atmospheric frames. The plot is full of fast paced action, and wild chases, though the story is just started, so not very much happens.

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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