New Year, New Books: A Book Challenge For Adults In 2019

New Year, New Books: A Book Challenge For Adults In 2019

This past year, I have been using  bookriot’s read harder challenge, to challenge myself. It has turned out to be a great way to find new and interesting titles. With this idea in mind, a few colleges and I have come up with a list of our own to help you get out of your reading bubble and get a hold of some new titles. I wanted to post our list here, along with some book recommendations for each challenge.

1) Read a one sitting book

The Origin of Others by Toni Morrison
Signs Preceding The End Of The World by Yuri Herrera
Make Good Art by Neil Gaiman
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Where’d you go, Bernadette by Semple, Maria







2) Read a notable book from Michigan.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne


For more titles Go to




3) Read a book with a cover you hate.

This one is of course up to you a bit more, but here are some examples we found of great books with art WE hated:

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice

If these covers are just not ugly enough for you, goodreads users have compiled a comprehensive list here.

4) Read a book that has been banned or frequently challenged.

Harry Potter (Series) by J.K Rowling
Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger
Looking For Alaska by John Green
A Light In The Attic by Shel Silverstein


5) Read a book published the year you were born.

This one is different for everyone, so we can’t make recommendations, but here are some of the titles from years we were born:

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (1958)
Love Story by Erich Segal (1970)
The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough (1977)
Patriot Games by Tom Clancy (1987)
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien (1991)

For a title of a popular book from your birth year, check out this list


6) Read a book written from the point of view of animals.

Maus: A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman
Pax by Sara Pennypacker
Watership Down by Richard Adams
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
Animal Farm by George Orwell






7) Try a book that won an award.

Evicted by Matthew Desmond (2017 Pulitzer)
Less by Andrew Greer (2018 Pulitzer)
Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell (2018 Caldecott)
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (2009 Newbery)







8) Read a book that one of your friends is currently reading.

For this one, you’ll have to check with your friends so see what they are up to, but here is a list of what some of your friends working at the library have been reading recently:

The Great Influenza by John M. Barry
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Mass
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls





9) Read a book published posthumously.

Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston
The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs
Pioneer Girl by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bugakov








10) Try a Manga/Comic/Graphic Novel or book with sequential art.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
American Born Chinese by Gene Yang
Big Mushy Happy Lump by Sarah Andersen
Through The Woods by Emily Carroll
The Arrival by Shaun Tan 






11) Read a book set in or about a BRICS country (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa).

Out by Natsuo Kirino (Brazil)
A Woman Is A Woman Until She Is A Mother by Anna Prushinskaya (Russia)
Family Life by Akhil Sharma (India)
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (China)
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah (South Africa)







12) Try a book written as letters.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller
Between The World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobosky








13) Read a book written in prison.

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes 
Orange Is The New Black by Piper Kerman
Commissary Kitchen by Albert “Prodigy” Johnson







14) Try reading a children’s book.

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak






15) Read a book of poetry

Life on Mars by Tracy K Smith
Love That Dog by Sharon Creech


16) Read a book with a movie adaptation you have seen, but not read the book.

17) Read a book written about or by a politician you would never vote for.

  • The Vanishing American Adult- Ben Sasse 
  • Fascism: A Warning by Madeline Albright
  • The Restless Wave by John McCain
  • The President Is Missing by Bill Clinton and James
  • The Brefing by Sean Spicer

18) Read a book by a Native American author.

  • Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko (Lagauna Pueblo)
  • House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday (Kiowa)
  • Pushing the Bear by Diane Glancy (Cherokee)
  • The Round House by Louise Erdrich (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians)
  • Rethinking Michigan Indian History by Patric Russel Lebeau (Cheyenne River Sioux of South Dakota)
  • Shell Shaker by LeAnne Howe (Choctaw)
  • The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen by Sean Sherman (Oglala Lakota)

19) Try a book published in the 1940s.

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