This is the first year I’ve done an official challenge (beyond the Goodreads book count). I was drawn to the Bookriot Read Harder Challenge because it had very diverse categories, several that wouldn’t be too hard, and a few that would be a really big stretch for me. Twenty four categories is exactly 2 a month and since my goal for the year was 100 books read that didn’t seem bad at all.
Well 2015 is over and I did not complete all 24 categories. I did complete 19 total and four out of the five categories I was most concerned about when the year started. Even though I didn’t finish, I’m so glad I participated and I would never call this a failure because I read so many books outside my comfort zone that I never would have otherwise. I read several books I’d never have heard of without the challenge.
Pre-challenge I’d never even heard of a microhistory, but I read When Books Went to War by Molly Guptill Manning in January and its one of my most recommended books of the year. Jane Eyre has been on my TBR for a long time, but I don’t gravitate towards books written a long time ago. On Elizabeth’s strong recommendation, I finally read it in August to complete the “Book written 150 years ago” and fell in love with Jane and Mr. Rochester.
Even categories I wasn’t concerned about resulted in some great reads. I’d always planned to read The DUFF, but just never felt compelled to pick it up. Since the author wrote it before she was 25 it fit in a category I was struggling with. I went in with average expectations and The DUFF was awesome. There was so much more to this book than I expected going in.
As for the unfinished categories, I attempted at least one book in each of them – I just have very little luck forcing myself to read things I’m not enjoying. I’m keeping those categories in the back of my head to try and complete someday. I’m definitely planning to participate in the 2016 Read Harder Challenge.