I mentioned last week that I’ve decided to take part in a reading challenge. There were quite a few to choose from this year, but I settled on The Book Riot 2015 Read Harder Challenge, which includes twenty-four tasks. I finalized my list a few days ago, so I’d like to share my selection with you. In addition to reading the books, I will be reviewing them, or at least sharing my thoughts on the experience at regular intervals!
So, let’s break it down –
A book written by someone when they were under the age of 25 – I’ve chosen The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers. The story is about a deaf man, so you might be able to guess why I gravitated towards this book. It was written in the 1940’s so I’m expecting that terminology will be appropriate to the time. The book is about friendship and is said to give a voice to those who are rejected, forgotten, mistreated or oppressed.
A book written by someone when they were over the age of 65 – All That Is by James Salter. This is his first novel in 35 years and the controversy surrounding his work intrigued me. The story follows the life of a naval officer, who returns to America and finds a position as a book editor.
A collection of short stories (either by one person or an anthology by many people) – Angels of Darkness (The Guardians Series) by Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, and Meljean Brook. This one was already on my TBR list, so I didn’t have to look very far! I’m a fan of both Nalini Singh and Ilona Andrews, so I know I’m in for a treat. It will also be fun to explore Meljean Brook’s work.
A book published by an indie press – Melkorka (Thrice Nine Legends) Book 1 by Joshua Robertson (published by Crimson Edge Publishing). I’ve just finished the novel and thoroughly enjoyed the fantasy adventure. I agreed to review it for Dragon Knight Chronicles, so I’ll share that review with you when it is published. I will also provide a review on Amazon and Goodreads over the weekend. I recommend the book to everyone who enjoys a grand and magical adventure.
A book by or about someone that identifies as LGBTQ – Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden. I changed my mind on this selection a dozen times. In the end I was drawn to the romance of the story, and the post by Alison Peters (Book Riot). Nancy Garden’s book celebrates teenage love, and it endures through book burning, book banning, and all sorts of negative press.
A book by a person whose gender is different from your own – Personal by Lee Child. It’s been a while since I spent any time with Jack Reacher, so I’m looking forward to this one.
A book that takes place in Asia – A Newlywed’s Adventures in Married Land by Shweta Ganesh Kumar. During my research for this selection I found myself intrigued by Shweta Ganesh Kumar’s career, and was drawn to her experiences with communication.
A book by an author from Africa – The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. Although Alexander McCall Smith is a British author and lives in Scotland, he was born in Africa and these novels are set in Gaborone. I really enjoy a good detective novel, so it will be fun to delve into this series.
A book that is by or about someone from an indigenous culture (Native Americans, Aboriginals, etc.) How the Crows Became Black (The Bawoo Stories) May L. O’Brien. This is a children’s story I plan to share with my nephew. When I read about the book I was fascinated by the Aboriginal myth and knew we would derive hours of entertainment from this one.
A microhistory – The Code Book: The Secret History of Codes and Code-breaking by Simon Singh. This one might be a surprise, but I love research and I thought it might come in handy!
A YA novel – Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. This one stood out, probably because I’m not familiar with the series and when I mentioned it to my daughter she accused me of living under a rock!
A sci-fi novel – Skylights by Luther M. Siler. This was been on my TBR list for a while, so it’s about time I gave it my attention, considering science fiction is one of my favourite genres. I enjoy Luther’s writing, especially his humour, so if you don’t follow him already – check out his blog.
A romance novel – The Proposal by Mary Balogh. I’ve discovered many good romances thanks to my friend, Taylor Grace. I don’t normally read historical romance, unless I know the author, but I trust in this recommendation – Taylor has never failed me before!
A National Book Award, Man Booker Prize or Pulitzer Prize winner from the last decade – Redeployment by Phil Klay. This is a National Book Award winner and, again, it won’t come as a surprise. I’ve read a number of books on the realities of war, mainly in the name of research, but also because of my brother (who tries to protect me from many of those realities).
A book that is a retelling of a classic story (fairytale, Shakespearian play, classic novel, etc.) – Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles: Book 1) by Marissa Meyer. I think my daughter might be right, because I’m not familiar with Marissa Meyer’s work. This one sounds fascinating, so I might be adding another series to my list!
An audiobook – Naked in Death by J. D. Robb. This isn’t a difficult task – I listen to audiobooks all the time. I chose this book because I’m a fan of Nora Roberts and though I’ve read the series, it’s been a while since I went back to the very beginning.
A collection of poetry – I’m particularly excited about this one. The slot is reserved for Seeking Solace by Callum McLaughlin (which is set for release at the end of this month). I’ve been looking forward to it for a while, and am a huge fan of Callum’s work. Once I have more details, I will share them with you. In the meantime, you can visit his site here – you don’t want to miss this collection.
A book that someone else has recommended to you – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling. It seems the entire reading community has recommended this one and I’m finally going to read it this year!
A book that was originally published in another language – The Dumas Club by Arturo Pérez-Reverte. Robin (who also introduced me to the challenge) recommended The Dumas Club. She’s part of http://www.writeonsisters.com – a site which is full of useful advice and resources for writers.
A graphic novel, a graphic memoir or a collection of comics of any kind (Hi, have you met Panels?) The Walking Dead Volume 1: Days Gone Bye (I would have chosen it for the title alone!) by Robert Kirkman. Although I was late to the show I enjoy it, as well as Luther’s reviews over at Sourcerer, so this is another one that’s been sitting on my TBR.
A book that you would consider a guilty pleasure (Read, and then realize that good entertainment is nothing to feel guilty over) – Legacy of the Witch (Mills & Boon Nocturne) The Portal – Book 1 by Maggie Shayne. I haven’t read a Mills & Boon novel for years, but it’s where my mind went when I read guilty pleasure. I’m hoping it is good entertainment, and then I won’t have to feel guilty at all!
A book published before 1850 – Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. I can’t remember when I read this, but if I enjoy it as much as the first time, this one is a winner.
A book published this year – Another reserved slot. This one for To Hunt a Sub by Jacqui Murray. It hasn’t been released yet, but I’m looking forward to reading Jacqui’s techno thriller. You can find out more about it here. There are some great resources on the site – I really enjoy the blog.
A self-improvement book (can be traditionally or non-traditionally considered “self-improvement”) – A Survival Guide for Life by Bear Grylls. Okay, so this is probably the closest I’m going to get to ‘running wild’ with Bear Grylls. The book was actually a Christmas gift (I don’t know what my sister is trying to tell me), so I didn’t have to look very hard for this one!
And that completes the list, so thanks for bearing with me! How about you? Have you set yourself a reading challenge, or do any of the tasks stand out? What are you reading? I’d love to hear from you.
Thanks for stopping by.