Tag Archives: book riot 2018 read harder challenge

Book Riot’s Read Harder 2018 Challenge – May and June Wrap Up

You may have noticed that I skipped a month for this feature. If I am being realistic, given how much crap has been going on in my life, it was an easy thing to forget. However, since then, I have read a few more books for my challenge. Lemme share what the last two months have brought me.

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

Completes Challenge #10: Romance Novel by or About a Person of Colour

Thoughts: While this book is getting a lot of mixed reviews, I personally loved the crap out of it. I loved the meet cute between Penny and Sam, and I loved how organic their friendship was from the start and how it blossomed into quite the dramatic romance. This book has great friendships, and while Penny and Sam are challenging characters to enjoy, I think Choi does an amazing job of getting the reader to understand where they are both coming from. Check out my review here.

The Emissary by Yōko Tawada

Completes the Challenge #19: Book of genre fiction in translation

Thoughts: I found this on our New & Popular shelf at work and decided to give it a whirl.  I don’t mind a very abstract read, but something about this book left me feeling very lost and confused a lot of the time. Maybe it’s me being out of practice reading Japanese Literature, or maybe it’s the fact that this novel jumps around with too many ideas but nothing feeling concrete at all. Yeah, not sure what happened here.


And there you have it! It’s another two reads, one for each month. I didn’t do so hot, but let’s be honest: I’m trying to do a bit too much on top of getting ready to move and go on vacation. Here’s hoping for a better month in July! (Though I doubt it.)

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

April has been a hot mess of a month. Prepping a house for sale is a daunting and dreadful task, but we are so close to the finish line when it comes to decluttering, painting and being ready for market. Somewhere in the month of April, I managed to knock out two challenges from the Book Riot Read Harder 2018 Challenge. Here’s what I read!

Birds Art Life by Kyo Maclear

Completes Challenge #6: Read a book about nature.

Thoughts:  I really enjoyed this book, so much so I read it in the span of two sittings. I found I really connected with a lot of Maclear’s thoughts, especially her discussions on grief and how it effected her emotionally and creatively. I also thought her observations on the idea of inactivity was intriguing as well, especially when we live in a society that shames people for inactivity, even though it can be a form of self-care or a means to recharge, refocus and figure out next steps. I also loved learning about birds as well, and how each has such unique characteristics. Birds have a sense of simplicity that humans don’t. Overall, I thought this was such a great non-fiction read that left me thinking even after I had closed the book.

False Hearts by Laura Lam

Completes Challenge #17A sci fi novel with a female protagonist by a female author.

Thoughts: This speculative crime novel hit all my personal buttons: cybernetics! cults! bio-hacking! organized crime! TWINS! This was a stellar science fiction story that looks at two sisters torn apart and their journey to reconnect given the mechanical changes happening through San Francisco. I was so invested in Taema and Tila’s story! If you like sci-fi that also functions as a thriller, then you need to check out False Hearts!

Here’s hoping May is a stronger month for knocking out more of these titles!

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

As you may have noticed, I missed February for my Book Riot Read Harder Challenge Wrap Up! Honestly though? It was due to exhaustion both physically and emotionally. I I am still in the midst of trying to get my mother’s house up and ready for sale, and when I am not working on stuff for that, I basically feel a lot of guilty. At least, that’s how I mainly felt throughout February and the beginning of March. However, life goes on and guilt isn’t worth feeling when you aren’t taking care of yourself. Here’s some of the challenges I have completed since the last update.

Missoula by John Krakauer

Completes Challenge #2: Read a book of true crime.

Thoughts: Missoula was a disturbing read. It looks at the justice system regarding victims of sexual assault and how this particular college town managed to get many male predictors out of being in prison by using tactics that degraded the victims.  This book made me weep, it made me angry, and I felt sorry for all the women who were victims and who had been let down by the American justice system. Sadly this book rings even truer now compared to when it released. That’s a real shame more than anything else.

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

Completes Challenge #8: Read a comic written by a person of colour.

Thoughts: I want everyone to read this graphic novel. EVERYONE. Read my review! 




The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

Completes Challenge #16: A 1st book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series.

Thoughts: I bought the hardcover of this forever ago, and it was starting to take up space on my shelves. I remember I bought it on a whim, though I didn’t know much about it other than it had won so many awards when it released by in 2002. I decided recently to grab the audiobook from my work to finally get to this one.  I wanted to love this classic so much, and I just struggled with it. I kept hearing the ending was worth getting to, but everything started to feel too similar in the story? I don’t know. What I do know is, I felt pretty bored and I wanted more intrigue than I got. In the end, I definitely won’t be continuing on in this series, which is hilarious because I remember getting the sequel on Kindle for $1.99. Such is life.

There you have it! I haven’t done too well with this challenge in the last month or so, but I am trying.

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.