Book Riot’s Read Harder 2018 Challenge – January Reads & Challenge Wrap Up

New year, new challenge! I LOVE doing the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge, and January… man I am off to a good start. Of the twenty challenges, I’ve knocked out seven. Here’s what I read, what challenge it completed and some quick thoughts.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Completes Challenge #1: Read a book published posthumously.

Thoughts: This book was such an emotional and difficult read for me. Part of it is being I could relate to a lot of what the author’s wife was describing in the Afterword of the book. Read about someone’s life as they are dying is an eye-open and uncomfortable experience, and this one definitely stuck with me even long after I completed it.


Tam Lin by Pamela Dean

Completes Challenge #3: Read a classic of genre fiction.

Thoughts: This was a book I borrowed from my bestie forever ago, and I told myself that this would be the month I tackled it (it was even on my monthly goal list). This was all right, though at times for a fantasy novel I felt like it dragged on a bit too long. I wasn’t entirely fond of the characters either. One point though in it’s favour is I really found the abortion discussion really interesting, especially given this book was written in the early 90’s. Good, but definitely something I wouldn’t have picked up without a bit of a push.

Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani

Completes Challenge #4: Read a comic written and illustrated by the same person.

Thoughts: This was such a magically little book that explores a family’s immigration story through a magic pashmina. This graphic novel was so heartwarming and comfortable, and while I am not Indian and have not had what happen to Priyanka’s family, the author does an amazing job of getting the read to empathize with the experiences in the story. The art was adorable and vibrant as well. Definitely worth checking out if you love graphic novels.

Crash Override by Zoe Quinn

Completes Challenge #14: Read a book of social science.

Thoughts: This was such a valuable read regarding internet safety and combating online abuse. I learned so much from Quinn’s personal story, but also loved that she provided a variety of tools and resources regarding how to keep yourself safe, especially given how toxic social media has become in the last few years. She’s done some amazing work with her organization Crash Override and I am happy to hear she’s making video games again. If you’ve never played Depression Quest, please do — the message is so important

The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill

Completes Challenge #15: Read a book in one sitting.

Thoughts: I loved the crap out of Katie O’Neill’s Princess Princess Ever After. Color me excited when I saw she had a new graphic novel out. This such a sweet, calming graphic novel that takes place during different seasons. It’s a book about friendship, and written for loves of dragons and tea. I loved learning about tea and tea varieties at the end of the book as well! Plus the illustrations are gorgeous!


Voltron: Legendary Defender Vol 1. by Tim Hedrick

Completes Challenge #18: Read a comic that isn’t published by DC/Marvel/Image.

Thoughts: My darling friend and fellow Voltron fanatic Nick gifted me this comic for Christmas in 2017 and OMG SO FUN. This is such a fun follow-up to the television series with little vignettes for stories. Seriously if you aren’t watching the new Netflix Voltron series, YOU NEED TO. I SHIP EVERYONE.



The Closest I’ve Come by Fred Aceves

Completes Challenge #20: Read a book with a cover you hate.

Thoughts: I have made it clear I am not fond of the cover for this book, but OMG READ THIS BOOK. I want more people to check this one out because I feel like it completely went under a lot of people’s radars and it’s an amazing contemporary YA novel packed with some wonderful characters and a great story. Don’t believe me? Check out my review and then get the book.

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