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Below is the descriptive list of what to read in order to complete the challenge. If you need assistance finding a book that meets the individual criteria, scroll further down this page to see a variety of suggested reads.

  • A novella (a short novel within the realm of about 30,000 words)

  • A retelling of a classic fairytale

  • A book that is recommended by a favorite author of yours

  • A collection of short stories (single authors and anthologies both count)

  • A book of the horror genre

  • A children's book (ages 5 and under) celebrating a holiday of a culture other than your own

  • An independently published book

  • A collection of poetry containing at least 8 poems

  • A romance book outside of your relationship preferences (i.e. you are straight, read about a gay couple; you like girls, read about a male romantic interest)

  • A book that you never finished reading before

  • A middle grade book (ages 10-13) where the main character has a disability that can be visible, invisible, or some combination of

  • A book by an author that was over the age of 65 when it was written


These suggestions will be added to as the year progresses. Click on a cover to be directed to where you can purchase the book.

A novella


A retelling of a classic fairytale

A collection of short stories

A horror book

A children's holiday book


An independently published book


A collection of poetry


A romance book


A middle grade book

A book with the author over 65 years old


the 2023 list

A Read Harder Challenge is for readers who strive to diversify their reading list over the course of one year. By taking on the challenge, you are attempting to read 12 different books throughout the year that qualify for the challenge. Below is our list of 12 categories and you must find books that meet each criteria. Some of these will require prior research while other books could be on your bookshelf right now. There are no restrictions on how you get the books whether you purchase or borrow in new condition or used. You can even reread books just as long as you can explain why they meet the topic that you match it with. Happy reading!

Download and print the hard copy below for your own use:

Katiedyd's 2023 Read Harder Challenge

Also, feel free to download and post this image to your social media accounts to share your attempt at the Read Harder Challenge with others:

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