The Read Harder Challenge, task #9 is for a book published prior to January 1, 2019, with fewer than 100 reviews on Goodreads. What makes this task hard is that it’s a moving target. But I promise you, it’s easier than you might think to find a book that fits the task. Whether or not you have a Goodreads account, you can find qualifying books that you probably already have on a shelf or a to-read list somewhere and I will show you how to find them.
If you have a Goodreads account, you’ve got it made. Just log in to your account and click the tab along the top that says “My Books.” Make sure you select “All” from the menu along the left because there might actually be a book that you’ve already read or are currently reading that could fill this task. Then, along the top is a selection for “Settings” that will open a set of check-boxes. Select the box for “num ratings” (NOT the box for “reviews” as that will just show any reviews that you have submitted) and then close the settings box with the “close” in the lower right corner. A field will now be populated in the table showing the number of ratings a book as gotten. Bear with me — I know the task is not based on ratings, but a book usually has fewer reviews than ratings so this gives you a way to begin searching. From here, you need to select “num ratings” in the table to be your filtering criteria. You will have to select it twice to get the ratings arranged from smaller to larger. Now you can browse your books to find one published before January 2019 (“date pub” is another very helpful check-box) that has fewer than 100 reviews.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a Goodreads account — you can still use it for the purposes of this task. From the Goodreads home page, just scroll about halfway down the page to find a search window. You can run a search on any book to find out how many reviews it might have. Obviously, really popular books like “Harry Potter” are going to have WAY MORE than 100 reviews but some really great books that were popular before Goodreads began still have a shot. I suggest just going to your bookshelf and grabbing a handful of books that you haven’t read yet and typing them in to see what you’ve got.
If you’re still having trouble finding books with fewer than 100 reviews, you might try some local authors, small press releases or nonfiction titles, which all tend to garner fewer reviews than the hot, new fiction titles. And if that STILL doesn’t help, you are welcome to peruse through the DBRL list that was made earlier this year or this list of titles that I made from my own Goodreads list. I tried to keep it to books with just 50 or fewer reviews so that they will have a longer shelf life through this challenge. This may be the most diverse list I have ever made and covers everything from fiction to biography, science, history and poetry. It also has both older and newer books. The books pictured in this post are among my favorites on the list.
Happy reading and I hope to see you at the Read Harder Challenge Meetup on October 22!