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Just as in years past, there are 24 tasks, averaging two per month over the course of the next 12 months. You may count one book for multiple tasks or read one book per task. The point of the challenge is to push yourself to expand your horizons and break out of set reading habits; the hope is that you’ll discover voices, settings, characters, formats, and more you may not have encountered without that nudge. Be accountable to yourself, share what you learned along the way, and enjoy the experience!
If you want to join a community of fellow challenge-goers, share your challenge progress, and get suggestions for tasks, check out the Read Harder Challenge Goodreads group. It’s a great place to hang out and discover books to fit your tasks and discuss the challenge. You can also use the #ReadHarder hashtag all over social media and join Book Riot Insiders for access to an exclusive Read Harder podcast where the hosts will offer suggestions and discuss a new task each episode.
Read each of the suggested categories and write the title of your choice on the line next to the entry.
Read challenge entries in any order you choose.
Take a picture of your completed book list and send it along with your contact information to email it to email@example.com for a change to win prizes.
Louis and Alexis at PCC are also available in case you have a question!
Be sure to send a photo of your tracker to Louis and Alexis for library prizes as well!
The Only Good Indians
A USA TODAY BESTSELLER "One of 2020's buzziest horror novels." --Entertainment Weekly A "Most Anticipated Books of Summer" selection in Esquire, Elle, Vulture, Time, AV Club, Bustle, and Literary Hub "Gritty and gorgeous" --The New York Times "Jones is one of the best writers working today regardless of genre, and this gritty, heartbreaking novel might just be his best yet." --NPR "Jones's latest horror novel sprints from start to finish." --The Washington Post "[A] stark page-turner." --Los Angeles Times "More than I could have asked for in a novel." --Tommy Orange, Pulitzer Prize finalist author of There There "A masterpiece." --Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and Survivor Song A tale of revenge, cultural identity, and the cost of breaking from tradition in this latest novel from the Jordan Peele of horror literature, Stephen Graham Jones. Seamlessly blending classic horror and a dramatic narrative with sharp social commentary, The Only Good Indians follows four American Indian men after a disturbing event from their youth puts them in a desperate struggle for their lives. Tracked by an entity bent on revenge, these childhood friends are helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way.
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! A magnificent novel about four orphans on a life-changing odyssey during the Great Depression, from the bestselling author of Ordinary Grace. 1932, Minnesota--the Lincoln School is a pitiless place where hundreds of Native American children, forcibly separated from their parents, are sent to be educated. It is also home to an orphan named Odie O'Banion, a lively boy whose exploits earn him the superintendent's wrath. Forced to flee, he and his brother Albert, their best friend Mose, and a brokenhearted little girl named Emmy steal away in a canoe, heading for the mighty Mississippi and a place to call their own. Over the course of one unforgettable summer, these four orphans will journey into the unknown and cross paths with others who are adrift, from struggling farmers and traveling faith healers to displaced families and lost souls of all kinds. With the feel of a modern classic, This Tender Land is an enthralling, big-hearted epic that shows how the magnificent American landscape connects us all, haunts our dreams, and makes us whole.
The epic Chinese classic and phenomenon published in the US for the first time! Featured in iO9's2019 Fall Preview. Set in ancient China, in a world where kung fu is magic, kingdoms vie for power and the battle to become the ultimate kung fu master unfolds, an unlikely hero is born... in the first book in the epicLegends of the Condor Heroesseries by the critically acclaimed master of the genre, Jin Yong. After his father--a devoted Song patriot--is murdered by the Jin empire, Guo Jing and his mother flee to the plains of Ghengis Khan and his people for refuge. For one day he must face his mortal enemy in battle in the Garden of the Drunken Immortals. Under the tutelage of Genghis Khan and The Seven Heroes of the South, Guo Jing hones his kung fu skills. Humble, loyal and perhaps not always wise, Guo Jing faces a destiny both great and terrible. However, in a land divided--and a future largely unknown--Guo Jing must navigate love and war, honor and betrayal before he can face his own fate and become the hero he's meant to be. Legends of the Condor Heroes A Hero Born A Bond Undone A Snake Lies Waiting A Heart Divided
Peeling apples for tartes tatin, an Ohio mother wonders how to exist in a world of distraction and fake facts, besieged by a tweet-happy president and trigger-happy neighbors, all of them oblivious to what Dupont has dumped into the rivers and what's happening at the factory farm down the interstate--not to mention what was done to the land's first inhabitants. A torrent of consciousness, narrated in a single sentence by a woman whose wandering thoughts are as comfortably familiar as they are heartrendingly honest, Ducks, Newburyport is a fearless indictment of our contemporary moment.
This winner of the 2019 Man Booker International Prize and national bestseller is "an innovative reimagining of the family saga . . . Celestial Bodies is itself a treasure house: an intricately calibrated chaos of familial orbits and conjunctions, of the gravitational pull of secrets" (The New York Times Book Review). In the village of al-Awafi in Oman, we encounter three sisters: Mayya, who marries after a heartbreak; Asma, who marries from a sense of duty; and Khawla, who chooses to refuse all offers and await a reunion with the man she loves, who has emigrated to Canada. These three women and their families, their losses and loves, unspool beautifully against a backdrop of a rapidly changing Oman, a country evolving from a traditional, slave-owning society into its complex present. Through the sisters, we glimpse a society in all its degrees, from the very poorest of the local slave families to those making money through the advent of new wealth. The first novel originally written in Arabic to ever win the Man Booker International Prize, and the first book by a female Omani author to be translated into English, Celestial Bodies marks the arrival in the United States of a major international writer.
On the occasion of its fiftieth anniversary, the most important moment in LGBTQ history--depicted by the people who influenced, recorded, and reacted to it. June 28, 1969, Greenwich Village: The New York City Police Department, fueled by bigoted liquor licensing practices and an omnipresent backdrop of homophobia and transphobia, raided the Stonewall Inn, a neighborhood gay bar, in the middle of the night. The raid was met with a series of responses that would go down in history as the most galvanizing period in this country's fight for sexual and gender liberation: a riotous reaction from the bar's patrons and surrounding community, followed by six days of protests. In The Stonewall Riots, Stein does not construct a neatly quilted, streamlined narrative of Greenwich Village, its people, and its protests; instead, he allows multiple truths to find their voices and speak to one another, much like the conversations you'd expect to overhear in your neighborhood bar.
Winner of the 1973 National Book Award, "Gravity's Rainbow" is a postmodern epic, a work as exhaustively significant to the second half of the 20th century as Joyce's "Ulysses" was to the first.
One of the most revered novelists of our time--a brilliant chronicler of Native-American life--Louise Erdrich returns to the territory of her bestselling, Pulitzer Prize finalist The Plague of Doves with The Round House, transporting readers to the Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota. It is an exquisitely told story of a boy on the cusp of manhood who seeks justice and understanding in the wake of a terrible crime that upends and forever transforms his family.
Crooked Hallelujah tells the stories of Justine--a mixed-blood Cherokee woman-- and her daughter, Reney, as they move from Eastern Oklahoma's Indian Country in the hopes of starting a new, more stable life in Texas amid the oil bust of the 1980s. However, life in Texas isn't easy, and Reney feels unmoored from her family in Indian Country.