Read Harder 2017: PCPL Picks!

read-harder-2017-imageHelp us crowdsource a challenging reading list!

Last year, Jessica and I put together a local-centric recommended reads list for people taking on the 2016 Read Harder challenge put on by Book Riot. Well, it's time for the 2017 edition (here's the printable PDF), and this time, we'd like to invite YOU to share your favorite books that fit any of their categories, whether it's...

    • Something great you read a while ago
    • Something you enjoyed reading for the challenge
    • Something on your TBR that you're excited to tackle

Just like last year, we'll have several staff who are doing the challenging and sharing their experiences (good, bad, and Did Not Finish) on our website in lists and blog posts. I'm also planning on making a list featuring their guest authors (who chose some of the challenges this year), so if you're not already familiar with those awesome authors, including Celeste Ng and Roxane Gay, you'll soon have a place to start there as well.

Just comment with your picks, and we'll add them to the list, so we can keep referring back to it throughout the year!

Read a book about sports.

Fever Pitch

This Is your Brain on Sports

Field of Pleasure

I Got This

Losing Isn't Everything

Want more options? Check out these football romances. Or find something for everyone, fiction and true stories alike, on this list by Karen!

Read a debut novel.

Under A Painted Sky

Wolf in White Van

The Hate U Give

Or try any of the books on another great list by Karen!

Read a book about books.

Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore

More Book Lust

Read a book set in Central or South America, written by a Central or South American author.

Death in the Andes

Collected Fictions

La tregua

The FSG Book of Twentieth-century Latin American Poetry

Read a book by an immigrant or with a central immigration narrative.

The Book of Unknown Americans, which the Main Library Book Club will be discussing on February 2nd!

In the Country We Love


At Ellis Island

And find more great titles on Karen's list!

Read an all-ages comic.

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur


And try Jessica's list of All-Ages Comics for Every Reader, or Karen's list tailored just for this challenge!

Read a book published between 1900 and 1950.


The Jungle


Animal Farm

Try Karen's list for more great ideas!

Read a travel memoir.

Inside A Pearl


The Sex Lives of Cannibals

And here's another excellent list by Karen to take your armchair adventure to the next level!

Read a book you’ve read before.

Only you can choose this one...perhaps a classic? We have a ton of always-available digital downloads in our E-Library for your convenience!

Read a book that is set within 100 miles of your location.

Allow us to introduce you to...The Southwest Books of the Year!

Read a book that is set more than 5000 miles from your location.

A Very English Scandal

His Bloody Project

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The Terror


My Brilliant Friend

Read a fantasy novel.

Abarat: the First Book of Hours

The Magicians

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

Read a nonfiction book about technology.

Geek Sublime

The Singularity Is Near

Read a book about war.

The Things They Carried

Briar Rose

Anne Frank (also works for the published between 1900-1950 category!)

Or, try any of the books on this list.

Read a YA or middle grade novel by an author who identifies as LGBTQ+.

Brown Girl Dreaming

The Girl From Everywhere


Abarat: the First Book of Hours

Read a book that has been banned or frequently challenged in your country.

Tropic of Cancer

And Tango Makes Three

The Holy Bible

Read a classic by an author of color.

Invisible Man


Reflections on Exile and Other Essays

The Autobiography of Malcolm X

And here's another great list of recommended reads by Tenecia to give you more ideas!

Read a superhero comic with a female lead.

Ms. Marvel

Jessica Jones


Read a book in which a character of color goes on a spiritual journey

The God of Small Things


House Made of Dawn

Try more picks on Tenecia's list!

Read an LGBTQ+ romance novel


Rubyfruit Jungle

And check out this list of LGBTQ+ romances for more suggestions!

Read a book published by a micropress.

Tender Points

I Hotel

Read a collection of stories by a woman.

Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It

Whatever Happened to Interracial Love?

Let Me Tell You

And find more titles in this list by Sam!

Read a collection of poetry in translation on a theme other than love.

The Essential Rumi

Martial's Epigrams

Read a book wherein all point-of-view characters are people of color.

A Bollywood Affair

The Blackbirds

The Street

Their Eyes Were Watching God (this book is also good for a book published between 1900 and 1950, A classic by an author of color, and a character of color goes on a spiritual journey)

One Crazy Summer, or a few other books by Rita Williams-Garcia – Sam writes: Rita Williams-Garcia has written 3 children's books which are engaging and historical (set during the 1960's) wherein all-point-of-view characters are people of color : One Crazy Summer, P.S. Be Eleven, and Gone Crazy in Alabama.)

Just leave a comment below and let us know which category you'd recommend others to try it in!

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