Casual Reading Challenge Update

It’s been two months so let’s how I’ve done.

Book Riot Read Harder Challenge

  • LGBT+ romance novel – Fresh Romance Vol. 1
  • Travel memoir – No Baggage
  • Fantasy novel – Split the Party
  • Written by an immigrant – Springtime: A Ghost Story
  • 5,000 miles from me – Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea

Fresh Romance was a fun anthology with unique takes on what goes into love. In the first story, two teenage girls are using a ruse where they’re competing over the same guy to hide their relationship. While it’s not a stand alone novel, I think it should count. Springtime was written by a Sri Lankan immigrant to Australia.

Pyongyang is the graphic memoir of Guy DeLisle’s time spent working in North Korea. A Canadian by way of France, DeLisle was there for his animation work. Pyongyang is approximately 6,700 miles from my location so I think that counts.

PopSugar 2017 Reading Challenge

  • Espionage thriller – The Chemist
  • Book with a Subtitle – No Baggage: A Minimalist Tale of Love and Wandering
  • About an interesting woman – The Big Tiny
  • Nonhuman perspective – Split the Party
  • Season in the title – Springtime: A Ghost Story
  • Recommended by a librarian – Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea

I did a full review of the underwhelming tome The Chemist here. I greatly enjoyed No Baggage and wish I could be that minimal in my travels. Bensen is not as direct about how her anxiety impacted the narrative which is my only complaint. Dee Williams had heart failure and then built a tiny house to live in her friend’s backyard. I’d say that’s pretty interesting.

Picking up where NPCs left off, Split has gnomes, half-orcs, and elves as POV characters as well as humanizing some zombies. Even a kobold deity gets some airtime. As for the librarian, there’s a few spots in my local library where the staff can show off what they think is cool. Among them was Pyongyang.

Diversity Bingo

  • Author is a POC – The Underground Railroad
  • LGBT+ MC of Color – Fresh Romance Vol. 1
  • Neuro-diverse MC – On the Edge of Gone
  • POC on the cover – Back to the Grind
  • Free Choice – Hyperbole and a Half

Colson Whitehead is the only person who managed to write a zombie novel that bored me so I was surprised by how much I liked The Underground Railroad. I may have to give his other stuff a try. Did I mention the closeted couple in Fresh Romance was a redhead and a black girl? Edge is by and about an autistic (young) woman.

The main character from Back to the Grind is Asian and since it’s a comic, the main character is on the cover. Lauded for it’s accurate portrayl of depression, I’m giving my free space to Hyperbole. We don’t talk enough about mental illness or how ordinary people have it. In addition to dealing with depression, Brosh has ridiculous dogs and a family.

52 Books

  • Mystery – The Chemist
  • GoodReads Choice Award 2016 winner – The Underground Railroad
  • Famous Historical Figure – Bad Girls throughout History
  • An adventure book – No Baggage
  • Sub-genre of favorite genre – On the Edge of Gone
  • Middle of my TBR – The Big Tiny
  • Continuation – Split the Party
  • Animal on the cover – Springtime: A Ghost Story
  • Long title – The Girl with All the Gifts
  • Owned for a while and haven’t read – Back to the Grind
  • Strong female character – The Girl with All the Gifts

I’m retroactively adding BGTH since it fits but I missed it last time. I think the sci-fi/fantasy genre would qualify as my favorite so sci-fi teen apocalypse definitely falls in that category with EdgeSpringtime has a dog on the cover. As for the long title, I needed 5 words and that technically has 6.


Since this is fairly close to half way through the year, let’s take a look at how I’m doing overall

  • Pop Sugar: 16 out of 52
  • Book Riot: 10 out of 24
  • Bingo: 7 out of 36 (no bingo either)
  • GoodReads: 20 out of 52

Not great but it’s a casual challenge for a reason.


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