Book Riot recently announced their 2019 Read Harder Challenge, Gentle Reader.
I thought I would throw some suggestions at you in case you were doing this but wanted to do it with a Miss Gail sort of twist. (AKA lighter hearted and fun.)
2019 Read Harder Challenge
1. An epistolary novel or collection of letters
Sorcery & Cecelia by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer (read Gail’s review) if you are a fan of my books and haven’t read this wonderful gaslight double shot regency romance, honestly I have no idea what you’re doing with your life.
2. An alternate history novel
3. A book by a woman and/or AOC (Author of Color) that won a literary award in 2018
I tend not to read lit award winners. I just find they lean too dark for me. So I’m going to blind pick
The Broken Earth Trilogy: The Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate, The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin all of which won the Hugo Awards (including 2018).
Now these are pretty epic so I have been waiting for a big vacay to tackle them but they are supposed to be awesomesauce. But they are dark. So yeah.
Another option is Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone, YA and reputed to be not quite so grim and winner of many accolades.
But honestly the kind of fluffy fun books I love never win awards so if you have AOC books to rec that are funny, please pop them below.
4. A humor book
5. A book by a journalist or about journalism
I could not be less interested. Sorry.
Feel free to leave a comment if you know a fun, light hearted sci-fi or fantasy featuring a journalist… I mean, huh? This may be an untapped niche.
6. A book by an AOC set in or about space
OK, another one where I fall short (I don’t read much sci fi and when I do it’s either light hearted capers and romps or space opera) but I found this great list for you.
7. An #ownvoices book set in Mexico or Central America
The closest I came to this is Black Dog by Rachel Neumeier (not sure if this is own voices since she is a very private person) but you can read my review if you’re interested.
Another situation where I would love some recommendations that also fill my criteria of light hearted, romantic, and funny.
8. An #ownvoices book set in Oceania (Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia, Polynesia)
The Sea Is Ours: Tales from Steampunk Southeast Asia edited by Jaymee Goh & Joyce Chung since this one comes out of Singapore I think it *kinda* counts.
9. A book published prior to January 1, 2019, with fewer than 100 reviews on Goodreads
Down From Ten by J. Daniel Sawyer had only 6 reviews on Goodreads as of this blog post. I have immense affection for this book and the full cast audio is good too. I’m biased, I’m the voice of the computer, Dan is one of my BFFs, and one of the characters is based on me. Nope, I won’t tell you which one. But you can read it and guess.
10. A translated book written by and/or translated by a woman
Tell me! Tell me. But make it fun, romantic, and silly. Remember, nothing depressing.
11. A book of manga
12. A book in which an animal or inanimate object is a point-of-view character.
Oh this is a fun one, and I am going seriously old school. I pick To the Haunted Mountain by Ru Emerson (and the two follow up novels) high fantasy chronicled by a magic cat.
13. A book by or about someone that identifies as neurodiverse
I love this one! I have so many to choose from but I’m going to go with…
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang, I will likely pick this one up and read it in 2019 but I hear it’s good and fun and funny.
14. A cozy mystery
Nearly constantly mentioned in conjunction with Soulless is Crocodile on the Sandbank (Amelia Peabody Book 1) by Elizabeth Peters. If you like Alexia and Conall, rumor is you will love this book. We use the same source material for our heroine, Amelia B. Edwards, so that explains a great deal of the similarities.
15. A book of mythology or folklore
This is your opportunity to pick up D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths for yourself and any kid in your life. I grew up reading and rereading this book. I love it so much. Maybe next year, if I do this again, I’ll be able to list my non-fiction book into this category.
16. An historical romance by an AOC
I dithered for a lot over this one and I couldn’t find anything I also really loved in the M/M world. Finally I settled on The Duchess War by Courtney Milan.
17. A business book
I’m going to the author creative side for this one. Pretty much the only craft book I find myself consistently recommending is 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love by Rachel Aaron. Not only is it great advice, it’s short, reasonably priced, and from an author who’s books I genuinely admire and therefor I respect her advice.
18. A novel by a trans or nonbinary author
Pretty much ANYTHING by Jordan L. Hawk. But my particular favorite happens to be their Hex series. You can start with Hexbreaker and just go from there. Thank me later (in about 2 months when you emerge from the haze).
19. A book of nonviolent true crime
Nope. Not even slightly intrigued. Don’t even bother leaving a rec. I couldn’t possibly be less interested in true crime of any kind.
20. A book written in prison
I got nothing.
21. A comic by an LGBTQIA creator
Ooo, options option. How about Crossplay: An Erotic Graphic Novel by IronSpike? It is so VERY sexy, and so bizarrely indicative of my former life as a fan girl and cosplyaer. Oh yes, yours truly had a wild youth. Just saying. OK this book is HELLA SEXY. So yeah, be warned, but have fun…
22. A children’s or middle grade book (not YA) that has won a diversity award since 2009
I’ve not got chillins so I poked about a bit and came up with this one: Two Friends: Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass by Dean Robbins, Sean Qualls & Selina Alko (winner of the Amelia Bloomer Award).
23. A self-published book
Goodness, this is mostly what I read these days. So I guess I’ll just pick some of my favorites that I read in 2017.
For something interesting and sci fi, Dangerous Times by Isobelle Winter (read Gail’s review). For something fantasy and romantic, Truth in the Dark by Amy Lane (one of my favorite queer retellings of beauty and the beast, read Gail’s review).
24. A collection of poetry published since 2014
Yeah, nope. Not my thing.
There is a reason for my general poking fun at poetry all the time from Dimity to Ivy and beyond.
The mum recently sent me this picture, I ‘m showing it as proof that I get my twee tendencies and tea obsession from my maternal line…
Yours, nose in a book,
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- Coop de Book for December is Girl Squads: 20 Female Friendships That Changed History by Sam Maggs. (Discussion here.)
“She creates this whole cult world that is seeped in werewolves and typical werewolf behavior, but yet the characters are so human and real that you almost forget that they are werewolves. I love this setting, and don’t even get me started on how much I love her humor—and of course I love the supernatural characters. I also love how fun it is seeing other favorites from previous books or series make cameos.”
- The 5th Gender (a Tinkered Stars sci-fi as G. L. Carriger). No links as yet…
- Reticence, The 4th and final Custard Protocol book. August 6, 2019
- Secret Project Ommm, October 2019 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Soulless.
- Need to know what Gail is writing right now? That’s in the Chirrup.
GAIL’S DAILY DOSE
Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
“When the idea comes, I often can’t remember where it came from. I remember very little about writing the first series of Hitchhiker’s. It’s almost as if someone else wrote it.”
~ Douglas Adams
- 5 Fantastic Books for Teen Book Clubs – Hermione’s Secret Library (EE on this list)
- 20 YA Books for Middle Grade Readers – E&E on this list
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