NYPL's Suggestions for the 2016 Read Harder Challenge
Our friends at Book Riot came up with a doozy of a New Year's resolution: Spend a whole year reading consciously, thoughtfully, and outside your comfort zone.
Book Riot's latest Read Harder Challenge lays out 24 new reading tasks to complete in 2016. Here at The New York Public Library, our expert recommenders have come up with a few book suggestions to fit the criteria of each task.
We used a “something old; something new” theme: The books on this list were (mostly) published before 1950 or in 2015. Our picks range from 19th-century Gothic literature to new YA bestsellers. And, of course, all of them are available from the public library or downloadable for free online.
More than 4,000 (!!) people became members of the challenge's 2015 Goodreads group last year. This year's tasks are even more inspiring and challenging, and we—Gwen, Jessica Pigza of the Rare Book Division, Carolyn Broomhead of the Research Libraries, and maybe some other NYPL book experts if we can convince them too—have both accepted the challenge this year ourselves!
Read a horror book.
Read a nonfiction book about science.
Read a collection of essays.
Read a book out loud to someone else.
Read a middle grade novel.
Read a biography (not memoir or autobiography).
Read a dystopian or post-apocalyptic novel.
Read a book originally published in the decade you were born.
Listen to an audiobook that has won an Audie Award.
Read a book over 500 pages long.
Read a book under 100 pages.
Read a book by or about a person that identifies as transgender.
Read a book that is set in the Middle East.
Read a book that is by an author from Southeast Asia.
Read a book of historical fiction set before 1900.
Read the first book in a series by a person of color.
Read a non-superhero comic that debuted in the last three years.
Read a book that was adapted into a movie, then watch the movie. Debate which is better.
Read a nonfiction book about feminism or dealing with feminist themes.
Read a book about religion (fiction or nonfiction).
Read a book about politics, in your country or another (fiction or nonfiction).
Read a food memoir.
Read a play.
Read a book with a main character that has a mental illness.
Have trouble reading standard print? Many of these titles are available in formats for patrons with print disabilities.
Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your ideas too, so leave a comment and tell us what you’d recommend. And check out our Staff Picks browse tool for more recommendations!