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New Year, New Challenge: Read Harder at the Festival!

Festival Staff / January 2, 2017

Happy New Year from the Tucson Festival of Books!

With every year comes a new reading challenge. Do you do them? I am a fan of the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge. I like how it always encourages you to read in subjects you might not consider on your own, or discover new authors who write in topics and genres you already read. Have you seen the categories for 2017?

You can get a lot of your reading done with authors who will be at the Tucson Festival of Books! Here are a few authors whose books you might find interesting for the challenge, and a suggested title for each.

(Note, these are not all of the challenge points, but you can definitely cover most of them!)

Read a book about sports

Ila Jane Borders: Making My Pitch

Joe Drape: Amercan Pharoah

Jonathan Eig: The Luckiest Man

William Finnegan: Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life

Lydia Reeder: Dust Bowl Girls

Molly Schiot: Game Changers

Kimball Taylor: Return by Water: Surf Stories and Adventures

Rich Wallace and Sandra Neil Wallace:Babe Conquers the World: The Legendary Life of Babe Didrikson Zaharias

Read a debut novel

Adrienne Celt: The Daughters

Elizabeth J. Church: The Atomic Weight of Love

Nathan Hill: The Nix

Erika Lewis: Game of Shadows

Bob Proehl: A Hundred Thousand Worlds

Adelia Saunders: Indelible

Nisi Shawl: Everfair

Read a book about books

Reginald Dwayne Betts: A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison

Read a book by an immigrant or with a central immigration narrative

Julissa Arce: My (Underground) American Dream

Peter Ho Davies: The Fortunes

Celestino Fernandez (et al):Migrant Deaths in the Arizona Desert

Julie Iromuanya: Mr. and Mrs. Doctor

Read an all-ages comic

Shannon and Dean Hale: Rapunzel’s Revenge

Matt Phelan: Snow White: A Graphic Novel

Read a travel memoir

Philip Caputo: The Longest Road

Richard Shelton: Going Back to Bisbee

Dan White: Under the Stars

Mark Woods: Lassoing the Sun: A Year in America’s National Parks

Molly Yeh: Molly on the Range: Recipes and Stories from An Unlikely Life on a Farm

Read a book that is set within 100 miles of your location

J. A. Jance: Desert Heat

Gini Koch: Touched By an Alien

Melissa Sevigny: Under Desert Skies: How Tucson Mapped the Way to the Moon and Planets

Read a book that is set more than 5000 miles from your location

Cara Black: Murder in the Marais

Lisa See: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony in Love

Nisi Shawl: Everfair

Read a fantasy novel

Marie Brennan: A Natural History of Dragons

Lisa McMann: The Unwanteds

Nisi Shawl: Everfair

V. E. Schwab: A Darker Shade of Magic

Maggie Stiefvater: The Scorpio Races

Read a nonfiction book about technology

Nancy Atkinson: Incredible Stories from Space

Andrea Gonzales and Sophie Houser: Girl Code

Julian Guthrie: How to Make a Spaceship

Nathalia Holt: Rise of the Rocket Girls

John Nichols: People Get Ready

Dava Sobel: The Glass Universe

Read a book about war

Victoria Bynum: The Free State of Jones: Mississippi’s Longest Civil War

Peter Cozzens: The Earth is Weeping

Deborah Hopkinson: Dive! World War II Stories of Sailors & Submarines in the Pacific

Paul Andrew Hutton: The Apache Wars

Martha Hall Kelly: Lilac Girls

Affinity Konar: Mischling

Craig Nelson: Pearl Harbor: From Infamy to Greatness

Richard Reeves: Infamy: The Shocking Story of the Japanese American Internment in World War II

Marc Wortman: 1941: Fighting the Shadow War

Read a YA or Middle Grade novel by an author who identifies as LGBTQ+

Bill Konigsburg:Openly Straight, Honestly Ben

Read a classic by an author of color

Modern Classic Alert: Nikki Grimes: Bronx Masquerade

Read a book in which a character of color goes on a spiritual journey

Luis Alberto Urrea:The Hummingbird’s Daughter

Read a collection of stories by a woman

Karen Brennan: Monsters

Tara Ison: Ball

Read a book wherein all point-of-view characters are people of color

Colson Whitehead: John Henry Days

As you see, there are more options in some categories than others. But this is just a jumping off point! See what other authors are visiting and dig through their backlists; and of course, you don’t have to limit your reading to the authors coming in March—there’s a whole three quarters of the year left after that! But you never know what signed copies you’ll end up coming home with.

--Jessica Pryde

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