Reading and Book Challenges for 2020

Have you ever participated in a reading challenge? If you feel like you need some direction in your reading life or perhaps want some accountability to read certain books you’ve been meaning to get to, you might want to check out a reading challenge.

I’ve poked around and come up with some that might interest you for 2020. There are read-alongs, and then ones you need to sign up for (a few have deadlines and prizes) to be “official” and then there are ones with printables and other things to keep you going. These ones are on blogs, but many of them also have Instagram hashtags so you can follow the community there.

You can totally combine challenges. Many books will fill a category on multiple lists, and if you get satisfaction from lists, by all means, join several challenges!

Modern Mrs Darcy 2020 Reading Challenge

Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs Darcy is hosting her sixth annual Reading Challenge. She has a fun kit you can download that includes a physical checklist and a bookmark to keep your reading goals in front of you. 

Anne’s categories are:

  1. A book published the decade you were born
  2. A debut novel
  3. A book recommended by a source you trust
  4. A book by a local author
  5. A book outside your (genre) comfort zone
  6. A book in translation
  7. A book nominated for an award in 2020
  8. A re-read
  9. A classic you didn’t read in school
  10. Three books by the same author

Back to the Classics Challenge

Karen of Books and Chocolate is hosting her seventh annual Back to the Classics Challenge. There are 12 categories to choose your classics from. She also has a few rules, like books need to be written over 50 years ago and no more than three children’s books.

Karen’s categories are:

  1. 19th Century Classic. 
  2. 20th Century Classic.  
  3. Classic by a Woman Author.
  4. Classic in Translation. 
  5. Classic by a Person of Color. 
  6. A Genre Classic. 
  7. Classic with a Person’s Name in the Title.
  8. Classic with a Place in the Title. 
  9. Classic with Nature in the Title. 
  10. Classic About a Family. 
  11. Abandoned Classic. 
  12. Classic Adaptation. 

Middle Grade Reading Challenge

If you’re looking for more middle-grade fiction, Becky at Becky’s Book Reviews is hosting a Middle Grade Reading Challenge. She has a whole list of inspiration for your choices and not a lot of rules. 

Here are Becky’s suggested themes:

  • Newbery Winners
  • Newbery Honors
  • Coming of age novels
  • Problem novels
  • Death/Dying/Grief
  • Friendship
  • Family/Dysfunctional Family
  • Series books
  • Fantasy
  • Animal Fantasy
  • Pets
  • Orphans
  • Action/Adventure
  • Science Fiction/Dystopias
  • Ghost Stories
  • Sports
  • Mysteries
  • Young Love/First Romance
  • First Job(s)
  • Historical Fiction
  • War
  • Rural setting
  • Urban setting
  • School setting
  • Summer
  • Characters from TV, movies, games, etc.
  • New Experiences
  • Nonfiction
  • British Authors
  • American Authors
  • Australian Authors
  • Canadian Authors

Beat the Backlist Challenge (TBR)

Austine and Katie at NovelKnight have a Beat the Backlist Challenge for those of you who really want to tackle that To-Be-Read pile (your TBR). Austine has been hosting this for four years now and has included lots of resources and extra challenges for more fun. There’s a Goodreads group, teams, photo challenges, and even Bingo cards (all optional).

There are two prompts lists for books (they are on Bingo cards as well). Here is the shorter one (the other has 80! prompts):

  • genre mash-up
    • a book that features at least 2 different genres
  • own voices author
    • an author who’s writing about their own background in some form
  • book rec from a friend
  • book with less than 200 pages
  • author you want to meet
  • bought/borrowed it for the cover
  • one word title
  • wish it had a sequel
  • genre you never/rarely read
  • cover redesign is better
  • wish you had read it sooner
  • released in the 2010s
    • a book released sometime in the years 2010-2019
  • book with 600+ pages
  • the 4th+ book in a series
    • a book that is the 4th book or more in a series
  • author who writes multiple genre
  • shocking plot twist
    • a book with a shocking plot twist
  • owned for over 2 years
  • a top 10 read of the year
    • a book that you read in 2020 that you believe is one of your top 10 reads of the year (note: you will not be able to pick a book for this prompt until you start reading in 2020)
  • indie book
    • a book that is either self-published or published by a small/independent press
  • new to you author
  • book that shares your zodiac sign
    • a book that was published in the same date range as your zodiac sign (determined by your birthday)
  • book by an INTL (to you) author
    • a book from an author who is from a different country than you
  • written before 2010
  • book you never finished before

The Newbery Reading Challenge

The Newbury (and Caldecott) Reading Challenge hosted by Julie of Smiling Shelves. Julie uses a point system for her challenge, and you get to pick the level you want to achieve. 

Here are Julie’s rules:

Each book you read is worth points. You get:

  • 3 points for a Newbery Medal Winner
  • 2 points for a Newbery Honor Book
  • 1 point for a Caldecott Book (Both Medal winners and Honor books are worth a point.)

In addition to that, you pick a level to aim for:

  • L’Engle: 15 – 29 points
  • Spinelli: 30 – 44 points
  • Avi: 45 – 59 points
  • Lowry: 60 – 74 points
  • Konigsburg: 75+ points

If none of these reading challenges float your boat, or you just want MORE check out the list published by Girlxoxo or this one at Reading Challenge Addict.

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