Ann Patchett leaves for an insanely crazy book tour tomorrow during which she will essentially live in airports and survive exclusively on grilled cheese sandwiches, as she crisscrosses the entire country, tissues and vitamins in tow, attempting to avoid the inevitable book tour head cold before finally reaching the finish line in my home state of Michigan on October 22nd and declaring her freedom- or at least that is how I picture the situation at hand. It’s amazing what sort of hoops authors will jump through all in the name of selling books and yet, I am incredibly grateful because I will be there to meet her on October 21st in Petoskey. Finally, I will be able to tell people that not only do I adore Ann Patchett, but that I met her! At this point, my story is that I met her dog once… mic drop.
While signing 1,800 copies of her new book, Ann decided to keep herself entertained by attempting Book Riot’s 2016 Read Harder Challenge and later wrote about it on her store’s blog! I too was curious if I could complete the challenge using books I read this year and actually ended up getting pretty close!
Let’s do this thing:
A horror book: The Woman In Cabin 10, Ruth Ware (Although my favorite would be The Fate of Mercy Alban, Wendy Webb)
A nonfiction book about science: Lab Girl, Hope Jahren (My favorite is Dr. Mutter’s Marvels: A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine, Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz read in 2015)
A collection of essays: This Is a Story of a Happy Marriage, Ann Patchett (re-read in 2016 for the millionth time- well re-listened to. The audiobook is the best!)
A book you read aloud to someone else: The Book with No Pictures, B.J. Novak (Kids LOVE this and it’s fun to read! I use it to show the power of language and read it to my kindergarteners around Christmas when they start to view themselves as readers!)
A middle-grade novel: El Deafo, CeCe Bell
A biography (not memoir/autobiography): The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism, Doris Kearns Goodwin (signed copy!)
A dystopian or post-apocalyptic novel: Underground Airlines, Ben Winter
A book originally published in the decade you were born: Hollyhocks and Radishes: Mrs. Chard’s Almanac Cookbook, Bonnie Stewart Mickelson (Signed copy!)
An audiobook that has won an Audie award: State of Wonder, Ann Patchett (Signed copy and my favorite book of all time!)
A book over 500 pages long: Cutting for Stone, Abraham Verghese
A book under 100 pages: The Testament of Mary, Colm Toibin
A book by or about a person who identifies as transgender: suggestions?
A book set in the Middle East: Zeitoun, Dave Eggers (Okay, okay… the story takes place mostly in the US, but it’s about racism experienced by someone of Middle Eastern background and there are a few scenes from the Middle East!)
A book by an author from Southeast Asia: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, Marie Kondo
A book of historical fiction set before 1900: Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead (signed copy!)
The first book in a series by a person of color: March, John Lewis
A non-superhero comic that debuted in the last three years: Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir, Roz Chast
A book that was adapted into a movie: Brooklyn, Colm Toibin
A nonfiction book about feminism or dealing with feminist themes: Call the Midwife, Jennifer Worth
A book about religion: Gilead, Marilynne Robinson (met her this summer!)
A book about politics: The Residence, Kate Andersen Brower
A food memoir: Gorge: My Journey Up Kilimanjaro at 300 Pounds, Kara Richardson Whitely
A play: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne
A book with a main character who has a mental illness: Imagine Me Gone, Adam Haslett (signed copy and I met him this summer!)
I guess I did pretty well for not officially attempting this challenge in January; I’m only missing one book! What recommendations do you have to fill my gap?