I finished the 2015 Book Riot Read Harder challenge in July, and had a great time choosing books, then switching midstream with several categories when I actually began. I didn’t necessarily enjoy every book read, but I suppose that’s part of the experience (here’s what I did read). One may read more than breathe, so you try something new. I’m happy that Book Riot set up a new challenge list for 2016. I’m there.

Book Riot announced the categories today. I haven’t gone back to look, but I think I deviated from my original TBR list last year by about 50%. Different circumstances for certain books (availability, DNF factor, etc.), but I have set a few personal goals with this challenge. One: I’ll be more active in the Goodreads group. I kind of dropped off after a while, then altogether when I finished. Two: I’d like to see if I read every book listed here regardless of whether or not I read it for the challenge.

Okay, and the nominees are…

Horror Novel: Typically I’d see this and default to Stephen King, but since I’ll read the third in the Hodges trilogy regardless (and that’s more mystery than horror) I’d like to try a new horror author for this.

Tentative Pick: Dark Avenging Angel by Catherine Cavendish

Nonfiction Book About Science: I still have not read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. It’s more about medicine, but that’s a science, yes?

Collection of Essays: I had planned to read Jes Baker’s Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls, and I see it is technically a collection with guest essayists, so that’s on the list.

Read a Book Out Loud to Someone Else: Where was Book Riot five years ago? I did this every day. I suppose I could read the next Narnia book we hadn’t gotten to yet. That would be The Silver Chair.

Middle Grade Novel: I planned to get kidlet Moving Target: a Princess Leia Adventurewhich I wanted to read anyway. 🙂

Biography: I have on my 2016 wishlist Groucho Marx: The Comedy of Existence by Lee Siegel. It’s from a British publisher, so availability will be a challenge. I still want to read it.

Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic Novel: I had planned to read Winter by Marissa Meyer, part of the Luna Chronicles, so I think that counts here.

Book Published in the Decade I Was Born: Ah, the 70s. There might be a biography of the Fonz out there, but I need to knock off some books on my Pulitzer TBR, so one of those goes here.

Tentative Pick: The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford by Jean Stafford

Audie Award-Winning Audiobook: What luck. I bought Amy Poehler’s Yes Please earlier this year and haven’t listened to it yet.

Book Over 500 Pages: Dragonfly in Ambertake two.

Book Under 100 Pages: I proofread novellas for a small digital publisher, so I’ll come across a qualifying book soon enough. For now, I need a book to mark here.

Tentative Pick: Common Sense by Thomas Paine

Book By or About Person Who Identifies as Transgender: There is a series by Natasha Troop called The Lakebridge Cycle, called SpringSummer, and Winter. This may qualify for the horror category, too.

Book Set in the Middle East: Murder in Mesopotamia by Agatha Christie is one of the few Poirot books I haven’t read yet. Get in mah Kindle.

Historical Fiction Set Before 1900: The Virgin’s War by Laura Andersen is due in ’16, and that’s on my list. Of course, I’m sure to run into another Tudor novel before then. They’re my crack.

First Book in Series by Person of Color: Brenda Jackson’s Westmoreland romances are popular (there are almost 50!), so I’ll start with Delaney’s Desert Sheikh.

Non-Superhero Comic That Debuted in Last Three Years: Princess LeiaNext!

Book Adapted Into a Movie, Then Watch Movie: I’ve narrowed this down to The Martian, Room, and 12 Years a Slave.

Nonfiction Book About Feminism/Feminist Themes: Looking at The Secret History of Wonder Womanbecause Wonder Woman.

Book About Religion: There’s a group at my church reading Pope Francis’s Encountering Truth, which looks interesting.

Book About Politics: Bleh. Not a favorite topic, but I bought The Bully Pulpit years ago so maybe that counts?

Food Memoir:  Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan. I imagine everybody else has picked this, too.

Play: I’d like to read something besides Shakespeare. Many years ago I saw a clip of Maggie Smith in a work called Lettice and Lovage that I’ve wanted to see.

Book With Main Character Who Has a Mental Illness: I don’t know if Girl, Interrupted would count because it’s a memoir. I suppose this could work under the film/book category, too.


So come back next July (heh) and see how far off the mark I read. 🙂 While you’re here, if you’re a book list ho you might be interested to see what I’ve knocked off the Pulitzer fiction list so far. Every year I say I’m going to finish the damn list, and I think it’s time I did something about it.

Pulitzer Fiction TBR List (Read in Bold)

1918: His Family by Ernest Poole
1919: The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington
1921: The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
1922: Alice Adams by Booth Tarkington
1923: One of Ours by Willa Cather
1924: The Able McLaughlins by Margaret Wilson
1925: So Big by Edna Ferber
1926: Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis (declined prize)
1927: Early Autumn by Louis Bromfield
1928: The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder
1929: Scarlet Sister Mary by Julia Peterkin
1930: Laughing Boy by Oliver La Farge
1931: Years of Grace by Margaret Ayer Barnes
1932: The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
1933: The Store by Thomas Sigismund Stribling
1934: Lamb in His Bosom by Caroline Miller
1935: Now in November by Josephine Winslow Johnson
1936: Honey in the Horn by Harold L. Davis
1937: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
1938: The Late George Apley by John Phillips Marquand
1939: The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
1940: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
1942: In This Our Life by Ellen Glasgow
1943: Dragon’s Teeth by Upton Sinclair
1944: Journey in the Dark by Martin Flavin
1945: A Bell for Adano by John Hersey
1947: All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
1948: Tales of the South Pacific by James A. Michener
1949: Guard of Honor by James Gould Cozzens
1950: The Way West by A. B. Guthrie, Jr.
1951: The Town by Conrad Richter
1952: The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk
1953: The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
1955: A Fable by William Faulkner
1956: Andersonville by MacKinlay Kantor
1958: A Death in the Family by James Agee
1959: The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters by Robert Lewis Taylor
1960: Advise and Consent by Allen Drury
1961: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
1962: The Edge of Sadness by Edwin O’Connor
1963: The Reivers by William Faulkner
1965: The Keepers of the House by Shirley Ann Grau
1966: The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter by Katherine Anne Porter
1967: The Fixer by Bernard Malamud
1968: The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron
1969: House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday
1970: The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford by Jean Stafford
1972: Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
1973: The Optimist’s Daughter by Eudora Welty
1975: The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
1976: Humboldt’s Gift by Saul Bellow
1978: Elbow Room by James Alan McPherson
1979: The Stories of John Cheever by John Cheever
1980: The Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer
1981: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (posthumous win)
1982: Rabbit Is Rich by John Updike
1983: The Color Purple by Alice Walker
1984: Ironweed by William Kennedy
1985: Foreign Affairs by Alison Lurie
1986: Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
1987: A Summons to Memphis by Peter Taylor
1988: Beloved by Toni Morrison
1989: Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
1990: The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos
1991: Rabbit at Rest by John Updike
1992: A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
1993: A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain by Robert Olen Butler
1994: The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx
1995: The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields
1996: Independence Day by Richard Ford
1997: Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer by Steven Millhauser
1998: American Pastoral by Philip Roth
1999: The Hours by Michael Cunningham
2000: Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
2001: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
2002: Empire Falls by Richard Russo
2003: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
2004: The Known World by Edward P. Jones
2005: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
2006: March by Geraldine Brooks
2007: The Road by Cormac McCarthy
2008: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
2009: Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
2010: Tinkers by Paul Harding
2011: A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
2013: The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson
2014: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
2015: All Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr