Well, it’s mid-March and that’s a good enough reason for me to check in on the 2018 Read Harder Challenge! How are y’all doing with your individual challenges? I had planned the challenge around a lot of books I already owned and wanted to read already, which helped with accessibility; others were readily available from the library. At ~25% into the year, I’m at 11/24 of my RHC list. (Full list: Part 1, Part 2)
I’ve changed a few of my book choices as well. (Bolded books are ones I’ve read; Italicized are changed prompts.)
#1. A book published posthumously | The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs
Nina Riggs, a mother of two, learned she had a spot of breast cancer at 37. Though she underwent chemotherapy for it, the cancer was aggressive and spread, leaving her with a terminal diagnosis before her 40th birthday. This book was published after her death.
Her poet background really shone in this book, and though her writing was beautiful, it didn’t tear me up like When Breath Becomes Air did. Maybe it’s because I am not a mother, and the author’s worries about leaving her children behind are not something that I have ever considered. As a human with human emotions, I read her story and thought, Fuck, this isn’t fair, but life isn’t fair. She describes the unfairness of life so well, but it’s already something I feel familiarity with, so it doesn’t hit as hard. It’s more like an agreement: Yeah, shit sucks.
Many of my friends said they were leaking tears throughout their entire read, but I found myself quiet and introspective. I am curious how others felt about this book.
#2. A book of true crime | Death in the Air by Kate Winkler Dawson
#3. A classic of genre fiction | Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
HOLY MOLY. It took a week for me to read the first 30 pages and I was worried I wouldn’t love this book as much as some of my very vocal friends, but once I got over the initial hump, I couldn’t get enough of the story. This is some masterful storytelling; I keep thinking over parts that led me one way while the subtle groundwork for the impending swerve was being laid out behind it… the story that I thought I was going to get was nothing like the story I wound up getting, and I loved it. I devoured the last half in one sitting, up late into the night, and wanted to know the end but also didn’t want to reach the end. I will probably have to write a real review about this and the Hitchcock movie that I watched right after I finished the book. Continue reading “Read Harder Challenge Update: How’s It Going?”