Reading Challenges 2020

We’ve reached the end of the first month of the year already. I say ‘already’, but January always feels like a billion years long. No exaggeration, naturally. Last year, I shared my reading challenges a few times as we went through the months, looking at which challenges I had left to cover, and which I’d managed to tick off. Obviously, it being the beginning of the year, I’m closer to the former currently, but with new challenges to cover over the course of this year, I thought I’d share with you again. I was given some fabulous recommendations last time, too, so I’d love to hear from you all again.

For 2020, I’m taking part in four reading challenges. Yes, four. Because apparently, two wasn’t enough pressure last year (Note: before anyone wants to tell me I don’t HAVE to do the challenges, I know, it’s for fun.). This year, we have: The Alphabet Challenge, The 2020 Reading Challenge, Lost In A Good Book 2020, and The Decades Challenge. The first is self explanatory, the second is a group I’m in, the third is a group I help admin, and the last is from the second group, set as an extra. You with me still? Excellent.

The Alphabet Challenge is just that, reading a book that begins with each letter of the alphabet. Words like “the” can be excluded from titles or it would be near impossible. So for example, for the letter H, I have read, “The Hunger Games”, for O “Other Minds”, etc. The Decades Challenge is reading a book from every decade, starting at 1920, and finishing in 2020. That will be fun. As a side note, I allow myself to cross post books, so if I read a book that begins with L that was published in 1960, I write it for both. I’M NOT A ROBOT.

Now we come to the Challenges with different criteria. First, here’s the Lost In A Good Book selection. Feel free to join in yourself and let me know how you’re getting along, or even join us on our Facebook group.

  • A translated book
  • A book written before you were born
  • A book with a feminist theme
  • A debut novel or book
  • A book from the 2019 best sellers list
  • A book recommended online
  • A title with the letter of your first name
  • A book of poetry or short stories
  • A book with a number in the title
  • A book from your TBR pile
  • A book you pick because of the cover
  • A book you are given as a gift

I was part of setting this challenge and really did have fun picking some of the categories. We tried to keep it reasonably cheap, easily accessible for all people, and quite open, so that everyone who wished to could join in. We wanted to ensure that it was challenging, but not taxing; finding the balance between being pushed outside of your comfort zone, and having choices enforced on you.

The second list challenge – 2020 Reading Challenge – I had nothing to do with picking choices, but they all join up quite nicely to balance out the other list, along with working nicely for Alphabet and Decades. Some really are outside of my comfort zone; I wonder if you can guess which ones?

  • An unread book from your bookshelf
  • A book from the BBC’s “100 books that shaped our world” list
  • A children’s book published since you reached adulthood
  • A book you spot a stranger reading
  • A Penguin classic
  • A prequal or sequal
  • A book with an emotion in the title
  • A World War Two tale
  • A story set in or about ancient history
  • A supernatural book
  • A book about space, fiction or non-fiction
  • A book connected with music

Now, I have a few ideas for this list, and have even ticked two off already, but I’m at a bit of a loss for a book set in space, and a book with an emotion in the title. Is ‘hunger’ an emotion? Can I just write “The Hunger Games” for everything? Who knows! May the odds be ever in my favour, I suppose.

So there you are, the four (FOUR) reading challenges I’m tackling this year. It’s great fun, and makes you think almost logistically about your reading, which is hilarious in its own way. On top of that, scheduling in the blog tour and prior to release reading, well, who needs to sleep anyway!

If you have any suggestions for books for any of the categories, do let me know, I’m always open to books that I haven’t heard of!


  1. Those are nice challenges and I hope you enjoy them!

    My challenge this year (I did it last year, too) is to only do challenges I can fulfil from my TBR. So I’m doing JapaneseLit13, Reading Ireland and Australia Reading Month because I have a Japanese, an Irish and an Australian book on the TBR. All Virago/All August I could do three times over with the Viragoes and Persephones on my shelf. 20BooksOfSummer I always do from my TBR and it includes the AV/AA books because like you, I’m not a machine! I am doing my Paul Magrs challenge half off my TBR and book collection and half new but that’s OK, and I have an over-arching challenge to read all books acquired up to Christmas 2019 by the end of the year, as I have been drifting backwards with the TBR all year.

    Happy reading!


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