Last month, one of my favorite local indie bookstores launched a Virtual Bookseller tool that allows you to receive book recommendations from the staff of Porter Square Books in your email. It seemed like a pretty cool idea, so I filled out the form and (im)patiently awaited my results.
For one Christmas, I can’t remember which, I received my first Harry Potter books. It was the first boxset, the one that contained Sorcerer’s Stone through Goblet of Fire. Before then, I hadn’t known or cared what Harry Potter was. I was unimpressed by the intricate Golden Snitch presented to me by a classmate on stark white computer paper. Looking back, I’m not sure how or why I avoided the topic for so long.
But one does not spurn a gift of books, and my mother knew my tastes well enough. Before long I had devoured them, tore through them like Dudley through his birthday presents.
Last month, sister sites Book Riot and Panels released their 2016 Read Harder reading challenges. If you’re not familiar, these challenges are a list of tasks that encourage readers to branch out from the kinds of books we typically read. This means trying new genres, reading more globally, or picking up books on topics we usually avoid.
Below are Book Riot’s challenges and the books I’m planning to read to complete each task. This year, reviews of these titles or any other books I read over the course of the year will be posted on the Cannonball Read blog. You can read my list of challenge books for Panels’ Read Harder here.
I bought my tickets for BAH Fest, the festival of “bad, ad hoc hypotheses,” on a whim. As a long time fan of Zach Weinersmith and his comic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, I was aware that BAH Fest was something that happened. I knew it involved science, to a certain extent, and humor to another extent. But really, I had no idea what to expect.
When I moved into my dorm at MTSU a little over two years ago, I packed a box of about 50 books, thinking that I’d have all the time in the world to read them. I had been a voracious reader for the majority of my academic career up to that while, while also maintaining friendships, good grades, and club memberships. To my dismay, at the end of my first semester I still hadn’t touched a single one of the books I brought with me, and hardly read anything outside my required class reading. Now, having recently completed my degree, I find I have much more time on my hands to indulge in my favorite pastime. So, in order to get myself back into my reading flow and increase the variety of books I read, I’ll be taking on two new reading challenges this year: The Cannonball Read and Book Riot’s Read Harder challenge.