3 Reading Challenges I’m Doing in 2019

Happy 2019! We might be three weeks in, but I’m still getting my head wrapped around the new year. I’m also dusting away some of the cobwebs from this blog–it’s strange to think that I’ve been away from it for just under a year, but 2018 was a weird year for pretty much everything in my life. I didn’t even complete my Goodreads reading challenge last year, which was a very strange feeling.

But as I find my way back into writing and books and writing about books, I’m also taking on some challenges to help diversify my reading. Here are three that I’m focusing on in 2019–feel free to try them out yourself!

Reading Women

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Screencap mine

This is a very new challenge to me, and it’s one I wouldn’t have learned about if not for Book Riot. If I’m being honest, I do read mostly women but this year, I’m interested in expanding the spectrum of women writers that make their way onto my reading log. Some of the tasks on this list are actually things I’ve been meaning to read for years–this challenge sounds like a great way to keep them in mind as I select books.

  • A mystery or thriller written by a woman of color
  • A book about a woman with a mental illness
  • A book by an author from Nigeria or New Zealand
  • A book about or set in Appalachia
  • A children’s book
  • A multigenerational family saga
  • A book featuring a woman in science
  • A play
  • A novella
  • A book about a woman athlete
  • A book featuring a religion other than your own
  • A Lambda Literary Award winner
  • A myth retelling
  • A translated book published before 1945
  • A book written by a South Asian author
  • A book by an Indigenous woman
  • A book from the 2018 Reading Women Award shortlist
  • A romance or love story
  • A book about nature
  • A historical fiction book
  • A book you bought or borrowed in 2019
  • A book you picked up because of the cover
  • Any book from a series
  • A young adult book by a woman of colour
  • BONUS: A book by Jesmyn Ward
  • BONUS: A book by Jhumpa Lahiri

Read Harder

This one’s also a Book Riot challenge, and it’s been going on for several years now. Every year, my colleague Rachel Manwill lists 24 tasks to help readers find new books and genres and authors. I’ve highlighted a couple of the tasks that I’m particularly interested in finding books for, either because I haven’t really read much in that genre or it’s a topic that’s near and dear to my heart.

  • An epistolary novel or collection of letters
  • An alternate history novel
  • A book by a woman and/or AOC (Author of Color) that won a literary award in 2018
  • A humor book
  • A book by a journalist or about journalism
  • A book by an AOC set in or about space
  • An #ownvoices book set in Mexico or Central America
  • An #ownvoices book set in Oceania
  • A book published prior to January 1, 2019, with fewer than 100 reviews on Goodreads
  • A translated book written by and/or translated by a woman
  • A book of manga
  • A book in which an animal or inanimate object is a point-of-view character
  • A book by or about someone that identifies as neurodiverse
  • A cozy mystery
  • A book of mythology or folklore
  • An historical romance by an AOC
  • A business book
  • A novel by a trans or nonbinary author
  • A book of nonviolent true crime
  • A book written in prison
  • A comic by an LGBTQIA creator
  • A children’s or middle grade book (not YA) that has won a diversity award since 2009
  • A self-published book
  • A collection of poetry published since 2014

**Want to do the Reading Women and/or Read Harder challenges but not sure how to track your progress? Both challenges have been built into this amazing reading log also created by Rachel Manwill!**

Sirens 2019

The Sirens annual reading challenge is fairly new to me, as I only tried it for the first time last year. It’s been going on since the inception of the conference, I believe, and reflects the focus of the conference as well, filled with inclusive feminist SFF. The challenge highlights books by the Guests of Honour, as well as the chosen theme of that year’s conference. 2019 is all about Heroes, and the Guests of Honour are Mishell Baker (Borderline), Roshani Chokshi (Aru Shah and the End of Time), Ausma Zehanat Khan (The Bloodprint), Rebecca Roanhorse (Trail of Lightning), Suzanne Scott (Fake Geek Girls: Fandom, Gender, and the Convergence Culture Industry).

I failed horribly at completing last year’s challenge, but I’m starting off strong with 2019, as I’ve already read quite a lot of the listed books. There’s also a Sirens Goodreads group, where you can follow along as Communications Director Faye Bi reads her way through the list.

Are you taking on any reading challenges this year? Which ones, and how have you done challenges before?


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