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Penn Valley - Read Harder Challenge: Home

This guide contains information about Penn Valley Library's Read Harder Challenge

2022 Read Harder Challenge

Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge is back to excite you with new ways to read outside the lines, read differently, and read more. We're excited to bring this challenge to the Penn Valley campus again in 2022. There are 4 reading tasks designed to get you out of your reading comfort zone and expand your worldview. Read as much or as little as you'd like, and don't forget books can overlap on reading tasks!

This year we're asking participants to sign up using this form. This will help us stay connected to you! 

 

How to Participate

 

Download a List- Register here, then keep track of your reading using this PDF.

Read Amazing Books- We've created a list of books we have available at Penn Valley Library. There is a bit of everything- E-Books, E-Audio Books, PV Books, and PV Books on CD!

Win Prizes- Read as much or as little as you'd like. Once you're finished, email your list to amy.fortner@mcckc.edu and you'll receive a prize! (Prizes are for Penn Valley participants only.)

Book Picks

Richard Wright: The Life and Times

Task 1: Read a biography of an author you admire

 

"Writing," Richard Wright once said, "is my way of being a free man." In this engaging biography, Hazel Rowley chronicles Wright's extraordinary journey from a sharecropper's shack in Mississippi to international renown as a writer, fiercely independent thinker, and outspoken critic of racism.

Skillfully interweaving quotations from Wright's writings, Rowley portrays a man who transcended the times in which he lived and sought to reconcile opposing cultures in his work. She draws on recently discovered material to shed new light on Wright's relationships with Langston Hughes, Ralph Ellison, and others, and on his self-imposed exile in France (widely blamed for his so-called decline as a writer). In this lively, finely crafted narrative, Wright -- passionate, complex, courageous, and flawed -- comes vibrantly to life.
 

The Sentence

Task 2: Read a book set in a bookstore

Louise Erdrich's latest novel, The Sentence, asks what we owe to the living, the dead, to the reader and to the book. A small independent bookstore in Minneapolis is haunted from November 2019 to November 2020 by the store's most annoying customer. Flora dies on All Souls' Day, but she simply won't leave the store. Tookie, who has landed a job selling books after years of incarceration that she survived by reading with murderous attention, must solve the mystery of this haunting while at the same time trying to understand all that occurs in Minneapolis during a year of grief, astonishment, isolation, and furious reckoning.

The Song of Achilles

Task 3: Read any book from the Women's Prize shortlist/longlist/winner list

Achilles, "the best of all the Greeks," son of the cruel sea goddess Thetis and the legendary king Peleus, is strong, swift, and beautiful, irresistible to all who meet him. Patroclus is an awkward young prince, exiled from his homeland after an act of shocking violence. Brought together by chance, they forge an inseparable bond, despite risking the gods' wrath.

The Girl With the Louding Voice

Task 4: Read a book in any genre by a POC that's about joy and not trauma

The unforgettable, inspiring story of a teenage girl growing up in a rural Nigerian village who longs to get an education so that she can find her "louding voice" and speak up for herself, The Girl with the Louding Voice is a simultaneously heartbreaking and triumphant tale about the power of fighting for your dreams. Despite being sold first as a child bride and then as an unpaid maid to a wealthy family in Lagos, Adunni never loses sight of her goal of escaping the life of poverty she was born into so that she can build the future she chooses for herself - and help other girls like her do the same. Her spirited determination to find joy and hope in even the most difficult circumstances imaginable will "break your heart and then put it back together again" (Jenna Bush Hager on The Today Show) even as Adunni shows us how one courageous young girl can inspire us all to reach for our dreams...and maybe even change the world. 

Disability Visibility

Task 5: Read an anthology featuring diverse voices

One in five people in the United States lives with a disability. Some disabilities are visible, others less apparent—but all are underrepresented in media and popular culture. Now, just in time for the thirtieth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, activist Alice Wong brings together this urgent, galvanizing collection of contemporary essays by disabled people.

From Harriet McBryde Johnson’s account of her debate with Peter Singer over her own personhood to original pieces by authors like Keah Brown and Haben Girma; from blog posts, manifestos, and eulogies to Congressional testimonies, and beyond: this anthology gives a glimpse into the rich complexity of the disabled experience, highlighting the passions, talents, and everyday lives of this community. It invites readers to question their own understandings. It celebrates and documents disability culture in the now. It looks to the future and the past with hope and love.

Librarian

Newsletter

Newsletters are released the first Thursday of every month. To receive a newsletter directly to your email every month, sign up for the challenge here and say "yes" to receiving periodic updates and recommendations.