Reading Challenges

Read Harder 2020


  1. Read a YA nonfiction book This Strange Wilderness by Nancy Plain
  2. Read a retelling of a classic of the canon, fairytale, or myth by an author of color Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  3. Read a mystery where the victim(s) is not a woman
  4. Read a graphic memoir In Waves by A.J. Dungo
  5. Read a book about a natural disaster Haiti After the Earthquake by Paul Farmer
  6. Read a play by an author of color and/or queer author Fefu and her Friends by María Irene Fornés
  7. Read a historical fiction novel not set in WWII The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis
  8. Read an audiobook of poetry Wild Embers by Nikita Gill
  9. Read the LAST book in a series
  10. Read a book that takes place in a rural setting
  11. Read a debut novel by a queer author Ash by Malinda Lo
  12. Read a memoir by someone from a religious tradition (or lack of religious tradition) that is not your own
  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
  15. Read a book about climate change
  16. Read a doorstopper (over 500 pages) published after 1950, written by a woman
  17. Read a sci-fi/fantasy novella (under 120 pages)
  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
  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)
  22. Read a horror book published by an indie press Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Ben Winters
  23. Read an edition of a literary magazine (digital or physical)
  24. Read a book in any genre by a Native, First Nations, or Indigenous author


Professional Book Nerds 2020


  1. Book translated from a language other than your own If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino
  2. Book written by an LGBTQ+ author A Slight Trick of the Mind by Mitch Cullin
  3. A collection of short stories or an anthology How to Fracture a Fairy Tale by Jane Yolen
  4. A graphic novel
  5. Read two books on the same subject, one fiction, one nonfiction The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle and From Holmes to Sherlock by Mattias Boström
  6. A microhistory At Home by Bill Bryson
  7. A book you haven’t read since high school The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  8. A self-published book
  9. A book with nontraditional formatting (epistolary, oral histories, etc.) Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  10. Book featuring a cat or dog Bunnicula by Deborah and James Howe
  11. First book in a series
  12. A book published between 2000 and 2010 Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks

Read Harder Challenge 2019

  1. An epistolary novel or collection of letters Letters to a Young Scientist by Edward O. Wilson
  2. An alternate history novel American Hippo by Sarah Gailey
  3. A book by a woman and/or AOC (Author of Color) that won a literary award in 2018 The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
  4. A humor book Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
  5. A book by a journalist or about journalism Taking on the Trust by Steve Weinberg
  6. A book by an AOC set in or about space Toxic by Lydia Kang
  7. An #ownvoices book set in Mexico or Central America The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea
  8. An #ownvoices book set in Oceania The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera
  9. A book published prior to January 1, 2019, with fewer than 100 reviews on Goodreads Guidebook to Relative Strangers by Camille Dungy
  10. A tr­­­anslated book written by and/or translated by a woman An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten
  11. A book of manga Millennium Snow, Vol. 1 by Bisco Hatori
  12. A book in which an animal or inanimate object is a point-of-view character Three Bags Full by Leonie Swann
  13. A book by or about someone that identifies as neurodiverse NeuroTribes by Steve Silberman
  14. A cozy mystery The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
  15. A book of mythology or folklore Celtic Tales collected and illustrated by Kate Forrester
  16. An historical romance by an AOC An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole
  17. A business book Console Wars by Blake Harris
  18. A novel by a trans or nonbinary author All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
  19. A book of nonviolent true crime The Feather Thief by Kirk Johnson
  20. A book written in prison Astragal by Albertine Sarrazin
  21. A comic by an LGBTQIA creator Spell on Wheels by Kate Leth
  22. A children’s or middle grade book (not YA) that has won a diversity award since 2009 Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan
  23. A self-published book  The Lady in the Pink Underwear by J.R. Wheeless
  24. A collection of poetry published since 2014 When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities by Chen Chen

Professional Book Nerds Challenge 2019

  1. Book set on a continent other than your own The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
  2. Book written by two or more authors Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar
  3. Book with a cover you hate The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
  4. Listen to an audiobook Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
  5. Retelling of a classic book, fairy tale, or play The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine
  6. Classic book you’ve been meaning to read but haven’t yet This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  7. Children’s book you’ve never read A Little Princess by Frances Hodges Burnett
  8. Book by an author of a different race, ethnicity, or religion than your own Rabbit-Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington
  9. Book whose movie or television adaptation comes out in 2019 Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
  10. Book that has appeared on ALA’s Frequently Challenged Book List Saga, Vol.1 by Brian K. Vaugh and Fiona Staples
  11. Book published the year you were born Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
  12. Audiobook of a memoir or autobiography read by the author Creative Quest by Ahmir Questlove Thompson

Read Harder Challenge 2018

  1. A book published posthumously The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan
  2. A book of true crime Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
  3. A classic of genre fiction (i.e. mystery, sci fi/fantasy, romance) The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
  4. A comic written and drawn by the same person Relish by Lucy Knisley
  5. A book set in or about one of the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, or South Africa) The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso
  6. A book about nature The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan
  7. A western The Iron Marshall by Louis L’Amour
  8. A comic written or drawn by a person of color Monstress, Vol. 1 by Marjorie Liu
  9. A book of colonial or postcolonial literature Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
  10. A romance novel by or about a person of color When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
  11. A children’s classic published before 1980 The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
  12. A celebrity memoir Let’s Just Say it Wasn’t Pretty by Diane Keaton
  13. An Oprah Book Club selection A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  14. A book of social science Originals by Adam Grant
  15. A one-sitting book Six-Gun Snow White by Catherynne Valente
  16. The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  17. A sci fi novel with a female protagonist by a female author Warcross by Marie Lu
  18. A comic that isn’t published by Marvel, DC, or Image Valerian and Laureline, Vol. 1 by Pierre Christin
  19. A book of genre fiction in translation The Snowman by Jo Nesbø
  20. A book with a cover you hate Bossypants by Tina Fey
  21. A mystery by a person of color or LGBTQ+ author The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead
  22. An essay anthology Scratch Edited by Manjula Martin
  23. A book with a female protagonist over the age of 60 Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney
  24. An assigned book you hated (or never finished) The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne


Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: