Unraveled; or, my 2018 year in books.


I suck at externally prescribed activities. KALs, swaps, mutual letter-writing; it sounds like such a good idea, such a fun and rewarding activity… and then life steps in and I get distracted and pffft! I’m no masochist, so after signing up and dropping the ball enough times, I figured out that it was better not to sign up in the first place. And life went on.

But the Read Harder Challenge kept niggling at me. Don’t remember which blog led me to it — Chris? Carole? — but I downloaded the pdf form to my desktop. Every so often I would look at the categories and think Naahhh, that one’s dumb or Yuk, I hate that kind of book or But how in the world do I find a book published posthumously? I’d keep looking at it, though. I love to read, I have access through my library system to nearly any book I could possible want to read, plus my Audible.com subscription allows me to ingest books that I might not otherwise read.

Yesterday, in the midst of making phone calls to recruit volunteers (special election is only 14 days away!), reserving venues for volunteer events, cleaning up Dropbox files, checking in with other coordinators, and putting together a draft budget, I pulled up that list of challenge categories and realized, as I have told countless others in the past, Google is my friend.

I typed book published posthumously into Google and, lo and behold, there appeared on my screen multiple lists of books that fit that criteria. Amazeballs! I consulted Goodreads to see synopses and ratings, I consulted my ever-growing Want-to-Read shelf there, I thought about which books might be suitable for my book group — if my book group read a book that would satisfy a category, so much the better, and if something was already on my W-t-R list, that’s two birds with one stone. Score!

After much pleasurable browsing, here is what I came up with.

Read Harder Challenge.jpg

A couple of those books were already by my bedside (Killers of the Flower Moon and The Snowflake), a friend had recently read one and mentioned it (Janesville), Elder Son had given me one that I needed an additional incentive to finish (Consider the Lobster), one I had listened to and was pretty sure I needed to read to actually understand its value (Cry, the Beloved Country), and several were ones that I kinda sorta had wanted to read for a while but never made the effort to obtain (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, The Master and Margarita, Not my Father’s Son, Daughter of Fortune). And A Wrinkle in Time is one of the all-time favorite books from my youth, plus I think my book group would go for it (there is a movie coming out; even more incentive).

You will notice that the three categories requiring a graphic novel are rejected. I have read a few graphic novels, and I recognize that they are a legitimate genre of literature, but I do not enjoy reading them. At all. So, no graphic novels in my Challenge. My Challenge, my rules.

* * * * *

Knitting: yes, I knitted this past week; yes, there was a little bit of unraveling; no, I am not going to write about it. I finished the cashmere and angora fingerless mitts and have been wearing them, I knit on a sock, I mended Ser Percival The Energetic’s sweater where his lethal toenails had ripped it, I worked on the Stitch hat. But I have no photographic evidence of any of this, so it shall remain unrecorded for now.

Find more Unraveled posts over at Kat’s.

This entry was posted in Books, Unraveled Wednesdays. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Unraveled; or, my 2018 year in books.

  1. Sparrowgrass says:

    I don’t like graphic novels either. All those pictures get in the way of the words.

  2. Kat with a K says:

    LOVE!!!! OMG, I am so happy you are joining me! I am reading Killers of the Flower Moon right now for that SAME CATEGORY!! Here is to a very good read harder year!

  3. =Tamar says:

    For good books with bad covers, probably most any novel by Diana Wynne Jones would fill the bill.

  4. k says:

    You can ignore this, beginning in 3, 2, 1.
    Graphic novels. “Maus” – very good. First one I read. The illustrations set a lot of the mood. “Fun Home” – dark and weird; good, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Oooh, “Gonzo,” a graphic biography of Hunter S. Thompson – haven’t read it but it should be good. “Blankets” is a good one. “Persepolis” – haven’t gotten through it but good reviews. “Stitches: a memoir” by David Small is good. And I see “A Wrinkle in Time” is out as a graphic novel, too – two birds, one stone.
    I seem to be an advocate for graphic novels; they are a different kind of submersion. PFPL had a good selection when I lived down there. And! we have a store in town that carries a selection of “comic books.” Not your mother’s Marvel/DC comics any more.

  5. AJ says:

    I’ve learned not to sign up for those things too- they just stress me out!

  6. =Tamar says:

    k – Interesting. My taste is entirely different. I would have recommended “Digger” by Ursula Vernon (won a Hugo award) and “A Redtail’s Dream” by Minna Sundberg, both of which have decent artwork, good non-superhero stories, and not least, are still available free online.

  7. I have no book list. But My Allison does! I do want to try and audio book this year. I’ll get one from the library and try that option first.

  8. Ann in NJ says:

    I love Anne McCaffrey, so I hope you enjoy Dragonflight (also a strong female protagonist). I first tried to read The Master & Margarita in high school and couldn’t get into – then I read it as part of a Russian literature class in college and loved it. And I agree with K that Maus is an excellent graphic novel – I found it hard to read only because of the story of Nazi Germany.

  9. Pingback: Unraveled Wednesday. | kmkat & her kneedles

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