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Read Harder isn’t the only reading challenge happening in 2024, of course! That’s why I’m highlighting some of the other challenges you might want to add to your reading goals this year. Fellow Book Rioter Laura Sackton is hosting Queer Your Year 2024: a yearlong reading challenge that celebrates queer list. There are 48 challenges in total, but there are also seasonal bingo boards organizing the challenges into smaller chunks: you can go for a line or try to blackout the board. As a bonus, every bingo you complete enters you in a raffle to win a queer book from an indie bookstore of your choice!
Like I did with POPSUGAR’s reading challenge, I’m giving a recommendation for each of the first six prompts to get you started. I’m sure you can find plenty of overlap between the prompts for Read Harder 2024, too! If you’d like more recommendations for Queer Your Year 2024, let me know in the comments, and I can continue with the next prompts. I’d also like to hear from you: are you doing any other reading challenges this year? Let’s chat in the comments section!
#1: Read a queer book published by a new-to-you indie press
A History of My Brief Body by Billy-Ray Belcourt
I already wrote a list of seven recommendations for this prompt for Our Queerest Shelves, Book Riot’s queer books newsletter, so I’m going to reuse one of the recommendations I shared there!
This memoir explores life as a queer Indigenous person, including discussions of colonialism, grief, love, sex, art, and much more. Billy-Ray Belcourt is also a poet, and a poet’s memoir is always worth picking up. Two Dollar Radio is a family-run publisher in Columbus, Ohio.
#2: Read a queer anti-colonial book
Everfair by Nisi Shawl
This is a steampunk reimagining of the history of Congo. Belgium’s brutal colonization of Congo is facing opposition from the technological advancements of the people of Congo. African Americans buy a plot of land there to establish a utopia named Everfair. This project is examined from many different points of view, from the Chinese laborers brought in by King Leopold II to work on the railroad, to the formerly enslaved people building a new home there, to the former rulers of Congo trying to regain their power, to the white funders of Everfair. This is such a multi-faceted look at the situation, and woven throughout is a complicated romantic relationship between two women as it transforms over years.
Don’t forget to check out the Book Riot Bonfire shop for some fun Read Harder and Book Riot merch!
Let’s chat in the comments: are you doing any other reading challenges in 2024, besides Read Harder?
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