Book Riot’s 2020 Read Harder Challenge

The 2020 Read Harder Challenge is sponsored by TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations.

TBR is Book Riot’s subscription service offering Tailored Book Recommendations for readers of all stripes. Been dreaming of a “Stitch Fix for books?” Now it’s here! Tell TBR about your reading preferences and what you’re looking for, and sit back while your Bibliologist handpicks recommendations just for you. TBR offers plans to receive hardcover books in the mail or recommendations by email, so there’s an option for every budget. Visit mytbr.co to sign up today.


The Read Harder Challenge is back for its sixth year! We’re excited to embark on this annual reading journey once more, and hope you find your way to some wonderful reads through Book Riot’s challenge. Once again, Read Harder has 24 tasks designed to help you break out of your reading bubble and expand your worldview through books. With new genres, new authors, and new points of view, the challenge will (hopefully) help you discover amazing books you wouldn’t have otherwise picked up.

We’ve rounded up another great mix of fun and serious tasks that ask you to consider some topics, forms, and parts of the world you might never have experienced in literature before. All will push your reading limits, and we hope you love them.

Just as in years past, there are 24 tasks, averaging two per month over the course of the next 12 months. You may count one book for multiple tasks or read one book per task. We’ll say it again: “We encourage you to push yourself, to take advantage of this challenge as a way to explore topics or formats or genres that you otherwise wouldn’t try. But this isn’t a test. No one is keeping score and there are no points to post. We like books because they allow us to see the world from a new perspective, and sometimes we all need help to even know which perspectives to try out. That’s what this is—a perspective shift—but one for which you’ll only be accountable to yourself.”

If you want to join a community of fellow challenge-goers, share your challenge progress, and get suggestions for tasks, check out the Read Harder Challenge Goodreads group. It’s a great place to hang out and discover books to fit your tasks and discuss the challenge. You can also use the #ReadHarder hashtag all over social media and join Book Riot  Insiders for access to an exclusive Read Harder podcast where Vanessa Diaz and Tirzah Price will offer suggestions, highlighting a new task each episode.

Click here for a downloadable and editable PDF of the 2020 Read Harder Challenge tasks.

We’ll be publishing recommendations for each of the tasks in the coming weeks to help you complete this year’s Read Harder (links will be added to this post as the recommendations are posted).

  1. Read a YA nonfiction book
  2. Read a retelling of a classic of the canon, fairytale, or myth by an author of color
  3. Read a mystery where the victim(s) is not a woman
  4. Read a graphic memoir
  5. Read a book about a natural disaster
  6. Read a play by an author of color and/or queer author
  7. Read a historical fiction novel not set in WWII
  8. Read an audiobook of poetry
  9. Read the LAST book in a series
  10. Read a book that takes place in a rural setting
  11. Read a debut novel by a queer author
  12. Read a memoir by someone from a religious tradition (or lack of religious tradition) that is not your own
  13. Read a food book about a cuisine you’ve never tried before
  14. Read a romance starring a single parent
  15. Read a book about climate change
  16. Read a doorstopper (over 500 pages) published after 1950, written by a woman
  17. Read a sci-fi/fantasy novella (under 120 pages)
  18. Read a picture book with a human main character from a marginalized community
  19. Read a book by or about a refugee
  20. Read a middle grade book that doesn’t take place in the U.S. or the UK
  21. Read a book with a main character or protagonist with a disability (fiction or non)
  22. Read a horror book published by an indie press
  23. Read an edition of a literary magazine (digital or physical)
  24. Read a book in any genre by a Native, First Nations, or Indigenous author

Finished your 2019 Challenge? Don’t forget to take a picture of your completed list, email it to readharder@bookriot.com by Dec. 31st, and get 30% off one order at Out of Print! We’ll be offering the same prize to readers who complete the 2020 challenge. If you’re struggling for your last task or two, don’t forget you can search Book Riot for “Read Harder” and find help from our contributors for some of the trickier tasks.

Don’t just read…Read Harder!

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