It's a Great Year to Read Harder: Book Riot's 2022 Challenge

By NYPL Staff
December 21, 2021

Have you embraced Book Riot's annual Read Harder Challenge? In its eighth iteration, the goal remains the same—to encourage you to broaden your reading horizons. Even the most prolific readers often tread the same literary stomping grounds. Branch out and try new genres and new authors, especially those who are sometimes pushed to the margins of the publishing world. Learn more about the challenge at Book Riot (they also have a printable version you can hang on your fridge). 

To help you get started, we've provided some suggestions for each challenge along with catalog links for easy borrowing.

1. Read a biography of an author you admire

3. Read any book from the Women’s Prize shortlist / longlist / winner list

4. Read a book in any genre by a POC that’s about joy and not trauma

5. Read an anthology featuring diverse voices

6. Read a nonfiction YA comic

7. Read a romance where at least one of the protagonists is over 40

8. Read a classic written by a POC

9. Read the book that’s been on your TBR the longest

Is there a book that's been on your TBR (To Be Read) list for far too long? Perhaps you own it and it just hasn't risen to the top of your pile, or perhaps you've checked it out from the library more than once and, for reasons you don't fully understand, you just haven't cracked it open yet. Carpe librum! Make this the year you at least start that TBR. If you're not into it, you can always stop and move onto the next book. Below are two blog posts to help:

10. Read a political thriller by a marginalized author (BIPOC, or LGBTQIA+)

11. Read a book with an asexual and/or aromantic main character

Find more suggestions: It's Ace Week! What Are You Reading?

12. Read an entire poetry collection

Looking for more ideas? Explore the Poetry section of NYPL's Best Books of 2021 and this blog post: Nine New Poetry Collections to Savor.

13. Read an adventure story by a BIPOC author

14. Read a book whose movie or TV adaptation you’ve seen (but haven’t read the book)

15. Read a new-to-you literary magazine (print or digital)

16. Read a book recommended by a friend with different reading tastes

For this one, you'll have to ask a friend! 

17. Read a memoir written by someone who is trans or nonbinary

18. Read a “Best _ Writing of the year” book for a topic and year of your choice

19. Read a horror novel by a BIPOC author

20. Read an award-winning book from the year you were born

You can find lists by year of award winners for these major literary prizes at their websites below:

21. Read a queer retelling of a classic of the canon, fairytale, folklore, or myth

22. Read a history about a period you know little about