Read Harder 2018, Feminist-Style

readharderchallenge2018-768x994Yesterday, Book Riot released the list for their 2018 Read Harder Challenge. In 2016, I began giving feminist recommendations for each task, and I’ve been doing it ever since.

As usual, some of the tasks were trickier to figure out than others. And like last year, you’ll find that a lot of the titles overlap with multiple tasks, but I listed different titles and authors for all tasks. Happy reading!

Task 1: A book published posthumously

  1. Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  2. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  3. The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan
  4. Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky
  5. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston

Task 2: A book of true crime

  1. American Fire by Monica Hesse
  2. The Fact of a Body by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich
  3. Mrs. Sherlock Holmes by Brad Ricca
  4. Murder in Matera by Helene Stapinski
  5. The Hot One by Carolyn Murnick

Task 3: A classic of genre fiction (i.e. mystery, sci fi/fantasy, romance)

See my suggestions for horror and dystopia from 2016, fantasy from 2017, and the westerns on this list.

Task 4: A comic written and illustrated by the same person

  1. Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol
  2. Earthling by Aisha Franz
  3. Ghost World by Daniel Clowes
  4. I Love This Part by Tillie Walden
  5. Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley

Task 5: A book set in or about one of the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, or South Africa)

  1. Brazil: Poncia Vicencio by Conceição Evaristo
  2. Russia: The Time of Women by Elena Chizhova
  3. India: The Breast Stories by Mahasweta Devi
  4. China: I Am China by Xiaolu Guo
  5. South Africa: Burger’s Daughter by Nadine Gordimer

Task 6: A book about nature

  1. H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald
  2. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
  3. Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place by Terry Tempest Williams
  4. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
  5. The Solace of Open Spaces by Gretel Ehrlich

Task 7: A western

  1. Little House on the Prairie By Laura Ingalls Wilder
  2. My Antonia by Willa Cather
  3. News of the World by Paulette Jiles
  4. Slogum House by Mari Sandoz
  5. True Grit by Charles Portis

Task 8: A comic written or illustrated by a person of color

  1. Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang
  2. I Thought You Hated Me by MariNaomi
  3. Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani
  4. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
  5. Skim by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki

Task 9: A book of colonial or postcolonial literature

  1. Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide by Andrea Lee Smith
  2. Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga
  3. Other Side of Silence: Voices from the Partition of India by Urvashi Butalia
  4. Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen
  5. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

Task 10: A romance novel by or about a person of color

  1. 32 Candles by Ernessa T. Carter
  2. A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev
  3. Breathless by Beverly Jenkins
  4. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
  5. Hate to Want You: Forbidden Hearts by Alisha Rai

Task 11: A children’s classic published before 1980

  1. Blubber by Judy Blume
  2. The Cat Ate My Gymsuit by Paula Danziger
  3. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
  4. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
  5. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Task 12: A celebrity memoir

  1. Born with Teeth by Kate Mulgrew
  2. Dear Mr. You by Mary-Louise Parker
  3. We’re Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union
  4. Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson
  5. Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

Task 13: An Oprah Book Club selection

  1. Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat
  2. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
  3. Sula by Toni Morrison
  4. We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates
  5. Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Task 14: A book of social science

  1. All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation by Rebecca Traister
  2. Asking for It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture and What We Can Do about It by Kate Harding
  3. Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference by Cordelia Fine
  4. Enlightened Sexism: The Seductive Message That Feminism’s Work Is Done by Susan J. Douglas
  5. The Meaning of Wife: A Provocative Look at Women and Marriage in the Twenty-First Century by Anne Kingston

Task 15: A one-sitting book

I realize this can be interpreted as “books so good you read them in one sitting,” but that’s pretty subjective. Like, I read Sherman Alexie’s 457-page last book in one sitting, but I know if I told some people to do that much depression and/or that many pages in one go, they’d never trust me again? So…I’m sticking with short books for this one.

  1. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
  2. The Lover by Marguerite Duras
  3. The Vegetarian by Han Kang
  4. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
  5. Woman at Point Zero by Nawal El-Saadawi

Task 16: The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series

  1. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  2. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
  3. Legend by Marie Lu
  4. The Selection by Kiera Cass
  5. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Task 17: A sci fi novel with a female protagonist by a female author

  1. Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
  2. Infomocracy by Malka Older
  3. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
  4. Mirror in the Sky by Aditi Khorana
  5. The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley

Task 18: A comic that isn’t published by Marvel, DC, or Image

FYI, the books listed in tasks 4 and 8 will work for this one, too.

  1. Aya: Life in Yop City by Marguerite Abouet and‎ Clément Oubrerie
  2. Giant Days series by John Allison and Whitney Cogar
  3. Locas by Jaime Hernández
  4. Lost At Sea by Bryan Lee O’Malley
  5. Syllabus by Lynda Barry

Task 19: A book of genre fiction in translation

  1. Kaytek the Wizard by Janusz Korczak (SF/F)
  2. Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist (Horror)
  3. Now You’re One of Us by Asa Nonami (Horror)
  4. Out by Natsuo Kirino (Crime)
  5. Paprika by Yasutaka Tsutsui (SF/F)

Task 20: A book with a cover you hate

For your consideration (click the links to see covers):

  1. Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
  2. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  3. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
  4. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
  5. Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy

Task 21: A mystery by a person of color or LGBTQ+ author

  1. Aunty Lee’s Delights by Ovidia Yu
  2. The Cutting Season by Attica Locke
  3. Desert Blood: The Juarez Murders by Alicia Gaspar De Alba
  4. Harlem Redux by Persia Walker
  5. The Interpreter by Suki Kim

Task 22: An essay anthology

*ahem* I have an essay in #4. Just sayin’.

  1. Arab & Arab American Feminisms: Gender, Violence, & Belonging edited by Rabab Abdulhadi, Evelyn Alsultany, and Nadine Naber
  2. BITCHfest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism from the Pages of Bitch Magazine edited by Lisa Jervis and Andi Zeisler
  3. Colonize This!: Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism edited by Daisy Hernandez and Bushra Rehma
  4. Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump’s America edited by Samhita Mukhopadhyay and Kate Harding
  5. Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on The Decision Not To Have Kids edited by Meghan Daum

Task 23: A book with a female protagonist over the age of 60

  1. The Distinguished Guest by Sue Miller
  2. Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper
  3. Mrs. Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn
  4. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
  5. What Was She Thinking? [Notes on a Scandal] by Zoë Heller

Task 24: An assigned book you hated (or never finished)

Sorry, only you know the answer to this one!

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3 comments

  1. Marlys

    What a list! I big time didn’t complete the 2017 list and don’t know 2018 will go, but definitely found some suggestions here that I am adding to my personal book list!

  2. Pingback: 2018 Read Harder Challenge Plan | The Thousand Book Project

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