Children's & Middle Grade · Nonfiction

April/May/June Reading Challenge Updates

Hi all, it’s been a solid three months since I did a #readmyowndamnbooks post because I wasn’t real worried about it while I was thesis-ing, but I do have an update. These are a bit weird, firstly because they’re mostly childhood re-reads and I usually don’t re-read at all, and secondly because I read library copies since mine are in storage, but I figure they count. (If you’re new, this is a no-frills set-your-own-goal challenge to read books you own and clean out your TBR.)

Paper books:

  • Commander Toad in Space by Jane Yolen. This series is like Frog and Toad crossed with Star Trek, the whole thing is delightful.
  • My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett. A colorful outlandish-reality classic.
  • Lizard Music by D. Manus Pinkwater. A trippy 1970s sci-fi for kids, which I found transcendentally awesome in my youth and still adore.
  • Dead Water Zone by Kenneth Oppel. This one is more YA, a kind of scary sci-fi. The writing isn’t great but the imagery is gripping.
  • Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare. Way funnier than I remembered.


  • Porn Archives edited by Tim Dean. This one wasn’t a childhood favorite, obviously. It’s a substantial collection for professionals — historians, public historians, archivists, librarians. Really important stuff in here, but not casual reading.

2017 total: 11 paper books, 7 ebooks

Also, I have another quarterly update on the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge! I had gotten pretty far ahead of schedule in the first quarter and am still ahead, so I didn’t push this hard, but new additions are underlined.

  1. Read a book about sports: Mara by Brian Wood. This is a graphic novel I can only describe as “Dr. Manhattan is a lady sports star.” 
  2. Read a debut novel: A Chosen World by Carl Corley, a pulp writer on whom I am basing my capstone project.
  3. Read a book about books:
  4. Read a book set in Central or South America, written by a Central or South American author:
  5. Read a book by an immigrant or with a central immigration narrative: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah, host of The Daily Show and immigrant from South Africa.
  6. Read an all-ages comic: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 1 by Ryan North, would recommend.
  7. Read a book published between 1900 and 1950: At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft, discussed here.
  8. Read a travel memoir: Plane Insanity by Elliott Hester. Unremarkable.
  9. Read a book you’ve read before: The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog by John R. Erickson on audio. If you haven’t heard it, get it!
  10. Read a book that is set within 100 miles of your location: Foster’s Store by Wayne Lankford, a book of 1960s memories from alumni of my school.
  11. Read a book that is set more than 5000 miles from your location:
  12. Read a fantasy novelWicked Gentlemen by Ginn Hale, reviewed here.
  13. Read a nonfiction book about technology:
  14. Read a book about war:
  15. Read a YA or middle grade novel by an author who identifies as LGBTQ+: The Manny Files by Christian Burch, reviewed here.
  16. Read a book that has been banned or frequently challenged in your country: Fun Home by Alison Bechdel. She’s a very good writer and artist but it wasn’t really my thing.
  17. Read a classic by an author of color:
  18. Read a superhero comic with a female lead: Wonder Woman Earth One by Grant Morrison, discussed here.
  19. Read a book in which a character of color goes on a spiritual journey:
  20. Read an LGBTQ+ romance novel: Brute by Kim Fielding, reviewed here.
  21. Read a book published by a micropress:
  22. Read a collection of stories by a woman: The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter.
  23. Read a collection of poetry in translation on a theme other than love:
  24. Read a book wherein all point-of-view characters are people of color: Moonshot: The Indigenous Comics Collection, a high-quality anthology of comics by Native creators in a variety of genres.


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