Read Harder and 2019

Read Harder 2019 Goodreads Shelf

I was looking for options for the 2020 Read Harder challenge and realized that I never did mention that I finished the 2019 challenge. I didn’t get a chance to review all the books that I read for it because of the hiatus. I thought about maybe extending some over into this year, I do normally get a little ahead of myself in scheduling posts. When I decided on the new no-schedule schedule, I figured best to put it to bed. Still, I was on Goodreads looking for the 2020 books and realized that not only did not mention on the blog that I had finished, but I also hadn’t added all the books to my shelf.

It just reminded me that 2019 had been a real mess. I am glad that I took the hiatus, but it did kill me a little to do. This is my outlet for those things in my life that I can talk about for far longer than people who I know are willing to listen. I don’t know how I never end up in circles with other readers these days but that seems to be something I left behind in high school or something. As it is, I love some stories more than others and I do have to shamefully admit that not only did I not finish my 2019 Goodreads goal of 75 books which is lower than normal (I usually go for 100), but I had plenty of time! Why did I not finish?

I was obsessively rereading the whole of the Shatter Me series. This prompted me to go back and take a look at the book on Litsy, where I found some entertaining comments from people who didn’t like the first book in the series. Yes, Juliette can be annoying in the first book, even in the second, but I had personally been compelled by the writing. It seems bad at first, until you realize that what you’re feeling, is just how well Juliette is not. She’s been isolated and shamed her whole life and lives in this shell of herself. It’s beautiful because it’s obvious in the first person narration of the story, even in the audiobook, which was what most people seemed to have an issue with. I’m not normally one to tell people to stick with a series they aren’t enjoying, but I would give that as a reason to stick with it. I loved listening to her thoughts become more sane. I pretty much just reread that series, digesting every little nuance from the first to the fifth book for most of November and December. Had I not done that, I could have read the 7 books I was missing to make my goal.

It’s funny how things like that happen sometimes. I even knew I was missing it but couldn’t pry myself away from that world, especially with the additional POVs in the fourth and fifth book. I can’t wait for the final installment in March.

Prior to my obsession but after finishing Read Harder 2019, I also spent some time with some yoga books that proved helpful with information that has since graced my note cards. I’m trying to remember the benefits of every pose and what injuries not to do them with. Thus far, the books I read for this endeavor are:

These are the books I ended up reading for the 2019 Read Harder Challenge:

  1. A epistolary novel or collection of letters –  Letters of a Woman Homesteader by Elinore Pruitt Stewart (review)
  2. An alternate history novel – Dread Nation by Justina Ireland (review)
  3. A book by a woman and/or AOC that won a literary award in 2018 – I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez  (review)
  4. A humor book –  Agorafabulous: Dispatches from my Bedroom by Sara Benincasa (review)
  5. A book by a journalist or about journalism – The Crossing: My Journey to the Shattered Heart of Syria by Samar Yazbek (review)
  6. A book by an AOC set in or about space – Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
  7. An #ownvoices book set in Mexico or Central America – Xtabentum: A Novel of the Yucatan by Rosy Hugener
  8. An #ownvoices book set in Oceania – The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina (review)
  9. A book published prior to Jan. 1, 2019 with fewer than 100 reviews on Goodreads – God by Debora Greger (review)
  10.  A translated book written by and/or translated by a woman –  Nakano Thrift Shop by Hiromi Kawakami (review)
  11. A book of manga  RWBY Official Manga Anthology Vol. 1: Red Like by Monty Oum
  12. A book in which an animal or inanimate object is a point-of-view character – The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
  13. A book by or about someone that identifies as neurodiverse – The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (review)
  14. A cozy mystery – Nursery Crimes by Ayelet Waldman (review)
  15. A book of mythology or folklore – A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir (review)
  16. An historical romance by an AOC – The Court Dancer by Shin Kyung-sook
  17. A business book –  In My Shoes: A Memoir by Tamara Mellon (review)
  18. A novel by a trans or nonbinary author – The Map of Salt and Stars by Zeyn Joukhadar (review)
  19. A book of nonviolent true crime –  Can You Ever Forgive Me?: Memoirs of a Literary Forger by Lee Israel (review)
  20. A book written in prison – Orange Is The New Black by Piper Kerman (review)
  21. A comic by an LGBTQIA creator – Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel (review)
  22. A  children’s or middle grade book (not YA) that has won a diversity award since 2009 – How I Discovered Poetry  by Marilyn Nelson (review)
  23. A self-published book – The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers  (review)
  24. A collection of poetry published since 2014 –  the mermaid’s voice returns in this one by amanda lovelace (review)

So far I have these picked out for 2020 (by task):

2. The Deep by Rivers Solomon

3. The Other Americans by Laila Lalami

4. Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir by Liz Prince

7. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

9. Imagine Me by Tahereh Mafi

14. The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

And last, but not least, if you haven’t read the following books yet, they’re good for some of the 2020 tasks:

  1. I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai
  2. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer or An Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir
  3. The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey
  4. Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley or Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel or Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

6. Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

9. Winter by Marissa Meyer

12. Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhode Jansen or Unorthodox by Deborah Feldman or I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai or Looking for Palestine by Najla Said.

15. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

17. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

24. I, Rigoberta by Rigoberta Menchu or An Indigenous People’s History of the United States by Roxane Dunbar Ortiz or Crazy Brave by Joy Harjo or Strong Medicine Speaks by Amy Hill Hearth

I wish I had more to recommend, at least one per task, but I don’t. Good luck on your Reading Challenges for the year!

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