Like many, I find myself falling into book ruts. I’m not talking about while I’m researching a novel—that’s unavoidable—but in my pleasure reading. On the Debutante Ball, we listed our favorite books of 2015. Not surprisingly, my list had seven historical novels, one dystopian, and two more general novels.

I love historical novels. It’s why I wrote Modern Girls and why the next one I’m working on is also an historical (also New York, but spanning 1919 to 1933). But sometimes it’s good to branch out. Which is why I’m all fired up about the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2016. The challenge is meant as a way to get people reading completely new things.

First thing I did when seeing this list was to go to my local bookstore (the wonderful Porter Square Books) and ask for a recommendation on a horror book. I went through a massive horror phase in high school and haven’t been able to stomach the stuff since. I wanted to get the horror book over with. The salesperson recommended The Shadow of the Wind, which he assured me is more atmospheric scary than monster scary.

While I meant to get the most difficult one done first, I ended up cheating and doing the easiest, by reading Dr. Seuss to my son. To keep myself accountable, I plan on reporting back here on the books I’ve read. Don’t have much to say about that first except, hey! It rhymed!

Read Harder Challenge 2016 checklist

If anyone has any suggestions for titles that fit these categories, please let me know. I’m using the Goodreads forum for ideas, but always prefer ones from people who I know (in real life or virtually). And feel free to join along. I’d love to have a partner in this!