Do you want to read outside your comfort zone in 2020? Take Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge—a list of 24 categories of books that you may not have read before. To keep you motivated, we’ll feature one of the categories each week in the e-newsletter along with suggestions from our collection and beyond. We’re going to feature the categories in order of how they appear on the list, but feel free to tackle the them in any order you like! For the full list from Book Riot, click here.
The western wind by Samantha Harvey
The Western Wind is a riveting story of faith, guilt, and the freedom of confession. It’s 1491. In the small village of Oakham, its wealthiest and most industrious resident, Tom Newman, is swept away by the river during the early hours of Shrove Saturday. Was it murder, suicide, or an accident? Narrated from the perspective of local priest John Reve–patient shepherd to his wayward flock–a shadowy portrait of the community comes to light through its residents’ tortured revelations. As some of their darkest secrets are revealed, the intrigue of the unexplained deathripples through the congregation. But will Reve, a man with secrets of his own, discover what happened to Newman? And what will happen if he can’t?
Only to sleep: a Philip Marlowe novel by Lawrence Osborne
Commissioned by the Raymond Chandler estate. Private Investigator Philip Marlowe returns for one last adventure. The year is 1988. The place, Baja California. And Philip Marlowe – now in his seventy-second year – is living out his retirement in the terrace bar of the La Fonda hotel. Sipping margaritas, playing cards, his silver-tipped cane at the ready. When in saunter two men dressed like undertakers, with a case that has his name written all over it. For Marlowe, this is his last roll of the dice, his swan song. His mission is to investigate the death of Donald Zinn – supposedly drowned off his yacht, and leaving behind a much younger and now very rich wife. But is Zinn actually alive? Are the pair living off the spoils?
Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk
Finalist for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize. A deeply satisfying thriller cum fairy tale, Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead is a provocative exploration of the murky borderland between sanity and madness, justice and tradition, and autonomy and fate. In a remote Polish village, Janina devotes the dark winter days to studying astrology, translating the poetry of William Blake, and taking care of the summer homes of wealthy Warsaw residents. Her reputation as a crank and a recluse is amplified by her not-so-secret preference for the company of animals over humans. Then a neighbor, Big Foot, turns up dead. Soon other bodies are discovered, in increasingly strange circumstances. As suspicions mount, Janina inserts herself into the investigation, certain that she knows whodunit. If only anyone would pay her mind . . .
Fake I.D. by L.R. Giles
An African-American teen in the Witness Protection Program moves to a new town and finds himself trying to solve a murder mystery when his first friend is found dead.
The Other Americans by Laila Lalami
From the Pulitzer Prize finalist, author of The Moor’s Account–a timely and powerful new novel about the suspicious death of a Moroccan immigrant that is at once a family saga, a murder mystery, and a love story, all of it informed by the treacherous fault lines of American culture.