Reading Challenges 2021

I love joining reading challenges, but I’m usually not very good about finishing them. However, I’ve discovered that keeping track of them on Storygraph makes it easier. So I’m joining a few and let’s see how I do over the year. I’ve picked a few challenges that will help me diversify my reading. 

Books in Translation Reading Challenge

  • Conversationalist level (4-6 books)

The Stranger by Albert Camus (translated from the French)

The Gun by Fuminori Nakamura (translated from the Japanese)

Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi (translated from the Japanese)

Schoolgirl by Osamu Dazai (translated from the Japanese)

Earthlings by Sayaka Murata (translated from the Japanese)

Back to the Classics Challenge

1. A 19th century classic: any book first published from 1800 to 18992.

A 20th century classic: any book first published from 1900 to 1971 – The Stranger by Albert Camus

3. A classic by a woman author.

4. A classic in translation – Quicksand by Junichiro Tanizaki

5. A classic by BIPOC author; that is, a non-white author.

6. A classic by a new-to-you author.

7. New-to-you classic by a favorite author. Judith by Noel Streatfeild

8. A classic about an animal, or with an animal in the title. The animal can be real or metaphorical. (i.e., To Kill a Mockingbird). One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey 

9. A children’s classic. Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

10. A humorous or satirical classic.

11. A travel or adventure classic (fiction or non-fiction).

12. A classic play.  

Read Harder Challenge 2021

  1. Read a book you’ve been intimidated to read (The Stranger by Albert Camus)
  2. Read a nonfiction book about anti-racism
  3. Read a non-European novel in translation (Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi)
  4. Read an LGBTQ+ history book
  5. Read a genre novel by an Indigenous, First Nations, or Native American author
  6. Read a fanfic
  7. Read a fat-positive romance (One to Watch – Kate Stayman-London)
  8. Read a romance by a trans or nonbinary author 
  9. Read a middle grade mystery
  10. Read an SFF anthology edited by a person of color
  11. Read a food memoir by an author of color
  12. Read a work of investigative nonfiction by an author of color
  13. Read a book with a cover you don’t like
  14. Read a realistic YA book not set in the U.S., UK, or Canada
  15. Read a memoir by a Latinx author
  16. Read an own voices book about disability
  17. Read an own voices YA book with a Black main character that isn’t about Black pain (Felix Ever After – Kacen Callender)
  18. Read a book by/about a non-Western world leader
  19. Read a historical fiction with a POC or LGBTQ+ protagonist
  20. Read a book of nature poems
  21. Read a children’s book that centers a disabled character but not their disability
  22. Read a book set in the Midwest
  23. Read a book that demystifies a common mental illness
  24. Read a book featuring a beloved pet where the pet doesn’t die

Reading Women Challenge 2021

A Book Longlisted for the JCB Prize (Latitudes of Longing by Shubhangi Swarup)

An Author from Eastern Europe

A Book About Incarceration (Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam)

A Cookbook by a Woman of Color

A Book with a Protagonist Older than 50 (Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton)

A Book by a South American Author in Translation

Reread a Favorite Book

A Memoir by an Indigenous, First Nations, Native, or Aboriginal Woman

A Book by a Neurodivergent Author

A Crime Novel or Thriller in Translation

A Book About the Natural World

A Young Adult Novel by a Latinx Author

A Poetry Collection by a Black Woman

A Book with a Biracial Protagonist

A Muslim Middle Grade Novel

A Book Featuring a Queer Love Story

About a Woman in Politics

A Book with a Rural Setting (Earthlings by Sayaka Murata)

A Book with a Cover Designed by a Woman (Gimme Everything You Got – Iva-Marie Palmer)

A Book by an Arab Author in Translation

A Book by a Trans Author (Felix Ever After – Kacen Callender)

A Fantasy Novel by an Asian Author

A Nonfiction Book Focused on Social Justice

A Short Story Collection by a Caribbean Author


  • A Book by Alexis Wright
  • A Book by Tsitsi Dangarembga
  • A Book by Leila Aboulela
  • A Book by Yoko Ogawa


  1. This looks like a good combination of challenges, a variety of styles. Of course half the fun (or more?) is in the imagining of how one can read for each category–enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

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