This year the M&Q crew is going all-in on the Read Harder Challenge from BookRiot. The challenge focuses less on the sheer number of books read and more on widening the scope of your reading. This year’s checklist includes tasks like reading a book on sports, a YA or middle grade novel by an LGBTQ+ author, a collection of short stories by a woman, a travel memoir, and more!
The downloadable checklist is available here, and we’re going to make it easy for our followers and newsletter subscribers to play along with us! Recommendations for specific challenges will be in the newsletter, on social media, and here on the blog. (What? You don’t subscribe to our newsletter yet? Let us help you with that.) You can also follow along with our staff’s progress on the blog throughout the year.
We hope you’ll join us for a year of exciting, outside-the-box reading. Now, let’s meet the first staff challenger: Sarah!
Why are you doing this challenge?
I’m doing this challenge because I’ve never done a reading challenge before. Last year I read dozens more books than I expected I would, but I’m still a whim reader and missed some genres I would have liked to explore. Then of course there are the genres I rarely venture into–sports, technology, war–so I wanted to try to only read books I already own (like many, I have tons of unread books) while also exploring new territory in books that are coming out this year. I’ve already got my eye on so many!
Which of the tasks will be easiest for you?
Probably fantasy, a travel memoir, or a book published by a micropress! I have lots of those, and I know of several great ones soon to be released.
Which assignment will take you the furthest from your usual reading list?
A book about sports! Unless it’s reading as a sport… 😉 Sorry! Old joke. I’ll probably read Swimming Studies by Leanne Shapton or Unsportsmanlike Conduct by Jessica Luther since they recently caught my eye.
Have you already decided which book to read for one (or more) tasks?
Yep! I moved all my unread books to a single shelf (double stacked!) and then tried to fill out the list with those books I had. There were only a few I couldn’t fill, so I’ll be gathering more books for those. The list is subject to change when new releases come out though.
Which task are you most excited about?
Definitely the most diverse tasks, such as a book where all POV characters are people or color or a classic by a person of color.
If you could add one task to the list, what would it be?
I’m all about layering the tasks, so I’d add something like “combine reading a book by a person of color with a genre you don’t normally read,” or I’d add a task for a nonfiction book about psychology, health, or women’s/LGBTQ+ studies.