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Ann Patchett Digs the Read Harder Challenge and We Are Tickled Pink

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Amanda Nelson

Staff Writer

Amanda Nelson is an Executive Director of Book Riot. She lives in Richmond, VA.

In news that made most of us here go “Whaaatttt that’s amazing,” we’ve learned that Ann Patchett, amazing author of Bel Canto, State of Wonder, Commonwealth, etc., and kick-ass indie bookstore owner of Parnassus in Tennessee, has discovered the Read Harder Challenge!

For those new to it, the Read Harder Challenge is an annual reading challenge created by Rioter Rachel Manwill and designed to help you read outside your comfort zone. About this year’s challenge, Ann says:


“But I followed the rules and listed something different in every category. The hardest to pick was the book over 500 pages. There are so many long books I adore. I wasn’t going to spend that one on something I’d read recently when I had Anna Karenina and Independent People and The Goldfinch and The Magic Mountain to contend with. And in case you were wondering, I really do read Our Town every year, sometimes every month. The book by an author from southeast Asia and the first book in a series by an author of color reminded me that I needed to up my game in some categories, while at the same time thrilling me that I got to recommend books by Walter Mosley and Loung Ung. I will not be reading more horror in the future, but I did read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde a few years back while on a Robert Louis Stevenson kick. I liked Kidnapped better.”

Hear more about how she discovered it, and more importantly, see what she picked for each task of the challenge over on the Parnassus site. Happy reading!