Do you want to read outside your comfort zone in 2021? 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.
Adnan’s Story by Rabia Chaudry
In early 2000, Adnan Syed was convicted and sentenced to life plus thirty years for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee, a high school senior in Baltimore, Maryland. Syed has maintained his innocence, and Rabia Chaudry, a family friend, has always believed him. By 2013, after almost all appeals had been exhausted, Rabia contacted Sarah Koenig, a producer at This American life, in hopes of finding a journalist who could shed light on Adnan’s story. In 2014, Koenig’s investigation turned into Serial, a Peabody Award-winning podcast with more than 500 million international listeners. But Serial did not tell the whole story. In this narrative, Rabia Chaudry presents new key evidence that she maintains dismantles the State’s case: a potential new suspect, forensics indicating that after Hae was killed her body was kept somewhere for almost half a day, and documentation withheld by the State that refutes the cell phone evidence–among many other points. Adnan’s story also gives a sense of Adnan’s life in prison and weaves in his personal reflections, including never-before-seen letters. Chaudry, who is committed to exonerating Adnan, makes it clear that justice has yet to be achieved in this much-examined case.
The Spy Who Couldn’t Spell by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee
True-life account of the FBI’s hunt for the traitor Brian Regan, who came to be known as The Spy Who Couldn’t Spell. Before Edward Snowden’s infamous data breach, the largest theft of government secrets was committed by an ingenious traitor whose intricate espionage scheme and complex system of coded messages were made even more baffling by his dyslexia.
How Does It Feel To Be a Problem by Moustafa Bayoumi
The story of how young Arab and Muslim Americans are forging lives for themselves in a country that often mistakes them for the enemy.
The Daughters of Juarez by Teresa Rodriguez
For more than twelve years the Mexican border city of Juárez has been the center of an epidemic of horrific crimes against women and girls: kidnappings, rape, mutilation, and murder, with most of the victims conforming to a specific profile–young, slender, and poor. Speculation that the killer or killers are American citizens has led the U.S. government to send in criminal profilers from the FBI, but little real information about this international atrocity has emerged. As of 2006 more than 400 bodies have been recovered, with hundreds still missing. — From publisher description.
Seven Fallen Feathers by Tanya Talaga
Over the span of ten years, seven high school students died in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The seven were hundreds of miles away from their families, forced to leave their reserve because there was no high school there for them to attend. Award-winning journalist Tanya Talaga delves into the history of this northern city that has come to manifest, and struggle with, human rights violations past and present against aboriginal communities.