Myra here.

Every Saturday we hope to share with you our thoughts on reading and books. We thought that it would be good practice to reflect on our reading lives and our thoughts about reading in general. While on occasion, we would feature a few books in keeping with this, there would be a few posts where we will just write about our thoughts on read-alouds, libraries, reading journals, upcoming literary conferences, books that we are excited about, and just book love miscellany in general.

It is my first time to join the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge, and I must say that I am really enjoying it thoroughly. Here are the books I managed to read and review so far:

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(1/24) Read a Dystopian or Post-Apocalyptic Novel.


Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Click on the image or the title to be taken to my review of the novel. Quite interesting. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the novels in the series.

(2/24) Read a book under 100 pages.

Not a problem for me – especially since I read a lot of picturebooks. These are the finalists for the CYBILS Fiction Picture Book Award in 2015.


(3/24) Read a book that was adapted into a movie, then watch the movie. Debate which is better.


This is where I really struggled a great deal. I was taught by my mother that if I had nothing good to say, I better not say anything at all. But I did watch the movie. Here’s my proof:

There is simply something about John Green’s novels (I’ve read two: Looking for Alaska and this one) that I find distasteful. I thought that since this is a reading challenge, it would be good for me to get out of my comfort zone and give one of his novels another try. Wrong move. Perhaps I should have read The Fault in Our Stars instead. If I were to debate which is better (book or film adaptation of Paper Towns), I would say neither.

(4/24) Read a biography (not memoir or autobiography).

 I originally intended to read Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman, but this book found me instead: Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall by Anita Silvey with a Foreword written by Jane Goodall herself.

(5/24) Read a book of historical fiction set before 1900.

I wanted to read Sorcery & Cecilia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer – but this one found me at the right moment, at the right time: The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge. I like it when books find me. I read this while I was in Maldives.

(6/24) Read a non-superhero comic that debuted in the last three years.


I am glad to share that I finally read this book and reviewed it alongside other fearless females in graphic novels: El Deafo by Cece Bell.

(7/24) Read a nonfiction book about feminism or dealing with feminist themes.


Black Milk: On Motherhood and Writing by Elif Shafak – another book that I read while I was in Maldives. Truly an illuminating read about the harem that lives within each woman.

(8/24) Read a food memoir.


Aphrodite by Isabel Allende. This was an excitingly-amorous read. What a celebration of food and womanity. I had so much joy going through each of the delectable pages – the art inside also contributed a great deal to my sensuous enjoyment of the entire food memoir.

(9/24) Read a book with a main character that has a mental illness.


Initially, I was supposed to read Unspeakable by Abbie Rushton, but found this book too riveting for me to not finish reading it: Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman.

(10/24) Read a book over 500 pages long.


I did not just read and review All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – I also discussed it with my book club at my institution.


(11/24) Read a nonfiction book about science.

I absolutely loved Neurocomic by Dr. Hana Roš and Dr. Matteo Farinella. If I was still teaching psychology undergraduate subjects, I would have used this as a supplementary reading material. It’s that good.

(12/24) Read a play.


Since my daughter was reading this for her class (An Inspector Calls by JB Priestley), I thought I might as well read it. Since then, we have analyzed the characters and the setting to oblivion and back. While I do appreciate the close reading asked of secondary students, sometimes I wonder if it also serves to kill whatever natural curiosity or inclination they may have about the reading material as they are wrapped up in writing model responses to difficult questions.

(13/24) Read a book about politics, in your country or another (fiction or nonfiction).


I will review Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates for our upcoming reading theme. A difficult but illuminating read.


(14/24) Read a middle grade novel

I have actually read TWO middle grade novels: We Are All Made Of Molecules by Susin Nielsen and Pax by Sara Pennypacker – both books I will be reviewing very soon!

(15/24) Read a book about religion (fiction or nonfiction)


My precious. I received this for my birthday. Isn’t it gorgeous? While this is technically a book of poetry, it contains nuggets of wisdom about Sufism and spirituality and finding divinity within.

That isn’t bad – 13 15 out of 24 target books by 30 April 2016. I hope I do get to finish most everything by the next time I give a progress update.

How about you? Have you joined any reading challenges? How is that going for you, so far?

2 comments on “[Saturday Reads] Book Riot Read Harder Challenge Progress

  1. This looks like a great challenge. You’re doing great so early in the year! I will consider doing it too. It’s very realistic by the looks of it. I’m sure I have read plenty of books this year that fit the criteria.

    Thanks for reminding me of this challenge. I had forgotten about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: [Saturday Reads] Book Riot Read Harder Challenge Update: Horror, 70s novels, Middle Eastern Fantasy, and Transgender Book – Gathering Books

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