Read Harder 2019: Epistolary Novel

Another year, another set of Read Harder challenges from Book Riot! If you’re new to the blog or the Read Harder challenge in general, you can check out our post from 2017 that explains the ins and outs of how the challenge works. But the main goal of the challenge is to get you trying new books and reading outside your comfort zone, and hopefully discovering a new favorite book along the way!

You can view the 2019 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 epistolary novels, which is just a fancy way of saying a story that’s told through letters, emails, news articles, and other documents. Click on a cover or a title to place a hold, and visit our online book lists for even more suggestions for each of the Read Harder challenges! Just look for the Read Harder 2019 on the left side of the page.

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

“Balram Halwai is a complicated man. Servant. Philosopher. Entrepreneur. Murderer. Over the course of seven nights, by the scattered light of a preposterous chandelier, Balram tells the terrible and transfixing story of how he came to be a success in life–having nothing but his own wits to help him along.”





World War Z by Max Brooks

“An account of the decade-long conflict between humankind and hordes of the predatory undead is told from the perspective of dozens of survivors who describe in their own words the epic human battle for survival.”






Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple

“Through a series of emails, letters, and FBI files, Bee follows the trail of her missing mother to the ends of the earth in this quirky, laugh-out-loud tale.”






We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

“The mother of an incarcerated teenager who murdered seven of his fellow high school students tells of his upbringing and her own shortcomings in a series of letters to her estranged husband.”






Happy reading!

—Katie, Adult Reference