From Goobe’s Books, one of my favorite local bookstores in Bangalore
Recently, a FaceBook friend posted a link for the 2015 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge. This is a scavenger hunt for readers. There are 24 categories for which one should read at least one book each. For many categories there are also links to posts that will provide some recommendations.
While I’m not particularly good at planning out my reading, I thought it would be fun to give it a try.
What follows are my choices in each category.
1.) Author was under 25 years old: The Icarus Girl by Helen Oyeyemi
or possibly Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
2.) The author was over 65 years old: All That Is by James Salter
3.) A short story collection or anthology: 999: New Stories of Horror and Suspense ed. Al Sarrantonia
4.) Indie press published book: I Have Blinded Myself Writing This by Jess Stoner (and, incidentally, SF/LD [Short Flight / Long Drive] Press)
or, alternatively: Go the Fuck to Sleep by Adam Mansbach (published by Akashic Books)
5.) By or about someone who identifies as LGBTQ: Confessions of a Mask by Yukio Mishima
6.) A book by someone of the opposite gender: House of Bathory by Linda Lafferty, or The Tale of the Genji by Murasaki Shikibu
7.) Book takes place in Asia: My Boyhood Days by Rabindranath Tagore
or, possibly, Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, or Underground by Haruki Murakami. I’ll likely read several books in this category.
8.) Author is from Africa: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
9.) Book by or about someone from an aboriginal culture: Lightfinder by Aaron Paquette
10.) A microhistory: Banana: The Fate of the Fruit that Changed the World by Dan Koeppel
or The Emperor of Maladies by Siddartha Mukherjee, or The Pirate Coast by Richard Zacks,
but–most likely– Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice by Mark Singleton (Which I just realized qualified and I already have queued up to read soon.)
11.) A YA novel: Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
12.) A Sci-fi novel: The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut, or Wild Seed by Octavia Butler, or Tears in Rain by Rosa Montero, or Under the Empyrian Sky by Chuck Wendig. I’ll likely read several books in this category.
13.) A romance novel: Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
14.) A recent winner of the National Book Award, the Man Booker Prize, or a Pulitzer: Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo (2012 National Book Award) or The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (2014 Pulitzer)
15.) A retelling of a classic tale: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski (of Hamlet), or Going Bovine by Libba Bray (of Don Quixote.)
16.) An audiobook: (Truth be told, I probably won’t listen to any books this year. I used to get audiobooks all the time when I had a commute, but it’s not so convenient anymore. However, to play the game to its fullest): All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
17.) A collection of poetry: Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
18.) A book someone has recommended for you: It may be cheating because I already have it down, but so far the only book I’ve had recommended for me recently (that I haven’t yet read) is Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
If you want to keep me from being a dirty cheat, feel free to make me a recommendation.
19.) A book originally published in another language: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, or Thirukkural by Thiruvalluvar
20.) A graphic novel or comic collection: Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh, or Serenity: Leaves on Wind by Zach Whedon
21.) A guilty pleasure read: Never Go Back by Lee Child, or Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann, or Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
22.) A book published before 1850: The Aeneid by Virgil (19 B.C.), or Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes (1605)
23.) A book published in 2014: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, or The Martian by Andy Weir
24.) A self-improvement / self-help book: A Conversation with Fear by Mermer Blakeslee, or Golden Cloud, Silver Lining by Ashok Chopra
Well, there’s my list. Now I’ve got to go get cracking on doing the reading.