Another year, another set of Read Harder challenges from the good folks at Book Riot! If you’re new to the blog or the Read Harder challenge in general, you can check out our post from last year that explains the ins and outs of how the challenge works. But long story short, the Read Harder challenge is designed to get you outside of your comfort zone and reading about new perspectives and experiences.
You can view the 2018 challenge in its entirety here, but we will also be featuring book suggestions for each Read Harder challenge every 2 weeks, right here on the blog. This week, we’re looking at books that were published posthumously. As always, click on a cover or a title to place a hold.
Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton
“The year is 1876. Warring Indian tribes still populate America’s western territories even as lawless gold-rush towns begin to mark the landscape. In much of the country it is still illegal to espouse evolution. Against this backdrop two monomaniacal paleontologists pillage the Wild West, hunting for dinosaur fossils, while surveilling, deceiving and sabotaging each other in a rivalry that will come to be known as the Bone Wars.”
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
“At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naive medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.”
“An affecting and hope-filled posthumous collection of essays and stories from the talented young Yale graduate whose title essay captured the world’s attention in 2012 and turned her into an icon for her generation. Marina Keegan’s star was on the rise when she graduated magna cum laude from Yale in May 2012. She had a play that was to be produced at the New York Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at The New Yorker. Tragically, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash. As her family, friends, and classmates, deep in grief, joined to create a memorial service for Marina, her deeply affecting last essay for The Yale Daily News, “The Opposite of Loneliness,” went viral, receiving more than 1.4 million hits. Even though she was just twenty-two years old when she died, Marina left behind a rich, deeply expansive trove of prose that, like her title essay, capture the hope, uncertainty, and possibility of her generation.”
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
“The disappearance forty years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden, gnaws at her octogenarian uncle, Henrik Vanger. He is determined to know the truth about what he believes was her murder. He hires crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist, recently at the wrong end of a libel case, to get to the bottom of Harriet’s disappearance. Lisbeth Salander, a twenty-four-year-old, pierced, tattooed genius hacker, possessed of the hard-earned wisdom of someone twice her age–and a terrifying capacity for ruthlessness–assists Blomkvist with the investigation. This unlikely team discovers a vein of nearly unfathomable iniquity running through the Vanger family, an astonishing corruption at the highest echelon of Swedish industrialism–and a surprising connection between themselves.”
“Built on her wildly popular Modern Love column, ‘When a Couch is More Than a Couch’ (9/23/2016), a breathtaking memoir of living meaningfully with ‘death in the room’ by the 38 year old great-great-great granddaughter of Ralph Waldo Emerson, mother to two young boys, wife of 16 years, after her terminal cancer diagnosis.”
“Follows the Ingalls family’s journey through Kansas, Missouri, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, back to Minnesota, and on to Dakota Territory, [examining] sixteen years of travels, unforgettable experiences, and the everyday people who became immortal through Wilder’s fiction.”
—Katie, Adult Reference