Challenge Accepted: Read Harder 2017
A new year means new year resolutions and challenges. One reading challenge that I love to do is Book Riot’s 2017 Read Harder challenge. Instead of having people focus on a specific number of books, Read Harder challenges people to read different genres or authors that they may overlook. This year, there are 24 prompts for readers, and a complete list may be found here on the Book Riot Goodreads page. This read feed will address the twenty-fourth (and final!) challenge, to read a book wherein all point-of-view characters are people of color.
Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan
"It was a small bomb. " That’s what the residents of Delhi are relieved to hear when they hear about the explosion. But for the Khurana family, it is the biggest event of their lives. Brothers Tushar and Nakul are killed, but their friend Mansoor survives. Told through multiple perspectives of victims and those that perpetrate violence, Mahajan is able to portray how acts of violence can ripple out and affect a community.
When Essun comes home, she experiences her worst nightmare. She realized that her husband has killed their youngest child in a fit of rage and has kidnapped their daughter. As Essun tries to deal with her grief and rage, the world cracks open, spewing ash and heat into the world. As an Orogene - or one with the power to physically manipulate the Earth - Essun must tap into her power in order to find her daughter. Told in flashbacks and in the present, N.K. Jemisin’s Hugo Award winning novel is equal parts dystopian thriller, family drama, and superhero story.
Midnight Robber by Nalo Hopkinson
Told as a bedtime story, the Midnight Robber follows Tan-Tan, a young girl living on the colonized planet, Touissant. During Carnival, her father commits a crime that gets him banished and Tan-Tan decides to follow him, even though it means she can never return. Once on New Half-Way Tree, Tan-Tan assumes the Carnival persona of the Robber Queen to get justice for herself and others trying to survive. Told from the perspectives of the storyteller, Tan-Tan, and brief interludes from her father and other villagers makes the world of Touissant feel fully fleshed out and vibrant.
Daniel and Natasha are about to have a day that will change both of their lives forever. Natasha is taking the train into the city to try and change her imminent deportation and Daniel is on the same train to go to his interview and is struggling with the weight of his parents expectations. When they keep running into each other, Daniel takes a chance and starts a connection that will make them confront themselves, their families, and fate.
Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan
Savannah, Bernadine, Gloria, and Robin are four friends living in Phoenix just trying to make it in life and love. All of them are going through a rough patch, love-wise: Bernadine is dealing with the fact that her husband is not only cheating on her, but leaving her for a white woman; Gloria is struggling with her teenage son; Robin has a deadbeat partner; and Savannah needs something different. But what makes this book so memorable isn’t their problems, but how they can laugh together. Adapted into a movie in 1995 and is the source of one of my favorite gifs, McMillan also released a sequel to this beloved classic last year.
Did you read something else for this challenge? Share it with us on twitter by using #readharderdcpl!