Read Harder Done!

It is always exciting to get the Read Harder Challenge done! It seems to get harder every year but I know that’s only my own life interfering. I used to plan out my reading to make sure I had a book in mind for each challenge during this time of the year when the new challenge comes out. The 2021 Challenge is out, find it here. Towards the end of every year, it turns into a frantic race to the finish, discarding books that don’t quite fit the challenge and finding new ones. Every year I find myself think that I won’t do it next year because of all the hassle and then I read something that slaps me across the face and I’m reminded why this is such an essential challenge. This year that book was for colored girls who have considered suicide when the raindow is enuf. It’s a play but you get the point. I try to make my reading as diverse as possible and it often includes stories from all inhabited continents, but not always the marginalized groups of those countries, even in my own. They do appear in other places on this list, though.

Anyway, Read Harder 2020 is done and it’s time to do some planning for Read Harder 2021! Here were my 2020 reads in task order, all are recommended, though some were better than others. Star ratings are next to them.

  1. Read a YA nonfiction book – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah 
  2. Read a retelling of a classic of the canon, fairytale, or myth by an author of color – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ The Deep by Rivers Solomon
  3. Read a mystery where the victim(s) is not a woman – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ The Other Americans by Laila Lalami  
  4. Read a graphic memoir – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ An Almost American Girl by Robin Ha 
  5. Read a book about a natural disaster –  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala
  6. Read a play by an author of color and/or queer author – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf by Ntozake Shange
  7. Read a historical fiction novel not set in WWII – ⭐️⭐️⭐️ A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray 
  8. Read an audiobook of poetry – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Please Don’t leave Before I Get Better Madisen Kuhn
  9. Read the LAST book in a series – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Imagine Me by Tahereh Mafi
  10. Read a book that takes place in a rural setting – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Our Wayward Fate by Gloria Chao 
  11. Read a debut novel by a queer author – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi 
  12. Read a memoir by someone from a religious tradition (or lack of religious tradition) that is not your own – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Unbecoming by Anuradha Bhagwati
  13. Read a food book about a cuisine you’ve never tried before – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking by Anya von Bremzen 
  14. Read a romance starring a single parent – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
  15. Read a book about climate change – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ The Story of More by Hope Jahren
  16. Read a doorstopper (over 500 pages) published after 1950, written by a woman – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy by Karen Abbott
  17. Read a sci-fi/fantasy novella (under 120 pages) – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Anthem by Ayn Rand
  18. Read a picture book with a human main character from a marginalized community – ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Sofia Valdez, Future Prez by Andrea Beaty
  19. Read a book by or about a refugee – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️The Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzalez
  20. Read a middle grade book that doesn’t take place in the U.S. or the UK – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Listen Slowly by Thanhha Lai
  21. Read a book with a main character or protagonist with a disability (fiction or non) – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ The Center Cannot Hold by Elyn Saks
  22. Read a horror book published by an indie press – ⭐️⭐️⭐️ The Rust Maidens by Gwendolyn Kiste
  23. Read an edition of a literary magazine (digital or physical) – Literary Mama
  24. Read a book in any genre by a Native, First Nations, or Indigenous author – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

As always, these are all women writers. I have read trans authors for these tasks as well before, I just didn’t see any this year that fit better or were more accessible than these. The point is too show that the world of women writers is as expansive as the world of writing. I’m sure this also true for trans writers. If anyone knows another blogger that uses only or primarily trans writers for these challenges please tell me about them. As well, of course, as others who do this challenge with primarily women writers.

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