Wednesday, February 20, 2019

2019 Reading Challenges

Since it's February 20, I figured it might be time to choose and sign up for my reading challenge for the "new year"!! Ah, well, best laid plans...

I might have gone a little overboard this year, signing up for more reading challenges than ever before, but most of them fit perfectly with my reading goals. So, I don't see them as adding any extra pressure - just some fun ways to track my progress!

Throughout the year, you can check on my progress in each of these on my 2019 Reading Challenges page.

Better late than never, here are my 2019 Reading Challenges:

Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2019 hosted by My Reader's Block

I am again signing up for the Mount Vancouver level this year and aiming to read at least 36 books from my own shelves. Last year I almost made it and read 33!

I have an entire TBR bookcase (that now has double rows on every shelf!), so I really need this challenge.

There are monthly summary link-ups (I will try to remember!)

2019 Monthly Motif Reading Challenge hosted by Girlxoxo.

I enjoy this challenge every year! I only missed one monthly motif last year, so I will try to hit them all in 2019!  This also has monthly review link-ups.

JANUARY – New to You Author
Read a book by an author whose writing you’ve never read before.
FEBRUARY – Cover Love
Yes. We’re giving you permission to judge a book by its cover and read a book with a cover that really caught your eye.
MARCH – Royalty, Kingdoms, Empires, Governments
Read a book in which the character is involved in a ruling or governing body in some way.
APRIL – Crack the Case
Read a mystery, detective story, true crime, cozy mystery, or book involving a puzzle to solve.
MAY – One Sitting Reads
Read something that is short enough you could get through it in one sitting- try a graphic novel, comic book, short story, essay, or short collection of poetry.
JUNE – Diversify Your Reading
Read a book with a character (or written by an author) of a race, religion, or sexual orientation other than your own or read about a culture you want to learn more about.
JULY – Through The Years
Read a book involving time travel, a book with a ‘time’ setting such as The Great Gatsby (20s), read a historical fiction/nonfiction, or choose a book published in your birth year.
AUGUST – Mode of Transportation
Read a book where the mode of transportation plays a role in the story (ex. Murder on the Orient Express or The Boys in the Boat)
SEPTEMBER – Animal, Number, Color, Name
One of those things needs to be in the title of the book you choose (ex. Water for Elephants, Red Queen, Fahrenheit 451, Rebecca, Harry Potter)
OCTOBER – Tricks and Trades
Read a book set in a theater, an amusement park, a circus, or a book involving magic, illusions, or characters with special powers.
NOVEMBER – Seasons, Elements, and Weather
Embrace a winter wonderland setting, pick a beach read, or read about a natural disaster. As long as a season, element, or the weather plays a key role in the story or is part of the title, it counts. (ex. Little Fires Everywhere, The Snow Child, On The Island)
DECEMBER – Last Chance
Finally read that one book that you’ve been meaning to get to all year long.

Back to the Classics hosted by Books and Chocolate.

Another one I am returning to this year. For the last two years, I aimed to read 6 classics and managed just 5, so I am once again setting my goal at 6 classics. Here are the categories:

1. 19th Century Classic. Any classic book originally published between 1800 and 1899.

2. 20th Century Classic. Any classic book originally published between 1900 and 1969. All books in this category must have been published at least 50 years ago. The only exceptions are books that were published posthumously but were written at least 50 years ago. 

3. Classic by a Woman Author.

4. Classic in Translation. Any classic originally written in a novel other than your native language. You may read the book in your native language, or its original language (or a third language for all you polyglots!) Modern translations are acceptable, as long as the book was originally published at least 50 years ago. Books in translation are acceptable in all other categories as well.

5. Classic Comic Novel. Any comedy, satire, or humorous work. Humor is very subjective, so if you think Crime and Punishment is hilarious, go ahead and use it, but if it's a work that's traditionally not considered humorous, please tell us why in your post. Some classic comic novels: Cold Comfort Farm; Three Men in a Boat; Lucky Jim; and the works of P. G. Wodehouse.

6. Classic Tragic Novel. Tragedies traditionally have a sad ending, but just like the comedies, this is up for the reader to interpret. Examples include The Grapes of Wrath, House of Mirth, and Madame Bovary.

7. Very Long Classic. Any classic single work 500 pages or longer, not including introductions or end notes. Omnibus editions of multiple works do not count. Since page counts can vary depending on the edition, average the page count of various editions to determine the length.

8. Classic Novella. Any work of narrative fiction shorter than 250 pages. 

9. Classic From the Americas (includes the Caribbean). Includes classic set in either North or South America or the Caribbean, or by an author originally from one of those countries. Examples include Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (United States); Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (Jamaica); or One Hundred Years of Solitude (Columbia/South America). 

10. Classic From Africa, Asia, or Oceania (includes Australia). Any classic set in one of those continentss or islands, or by an author from these regions. Examples include Palace Walk by Naguib Mahfouz (Egypt); The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki (Japan); On the Beach by Nevile Shute (Australia); Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (Nigeria). 

11. Classic From a Place You've Lived. Read locally! Any classic set in a city, county, state or country in which you've lived, or by a local author. Choices for me include Giant by Edna Ferber (Texas); Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser (Chicago); and Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann (Germany). 

12. Classic Play. Any play written or performed at least 50 years ago. Plays are eligible for this category only.

Monthly Keyword Challenge hosted by My Reader's Block

I was looking for something new and interesting for 2019, and this one caught my eye. Here's how it goes:

"Your task is to read at least one book for each month whose title includes one or more of the key words for that month. For instance, for January you might read Why Didn't They Ask Evans? by Agatha Christie. A full chart of all key words for the year - "

Sounds like fun!

2019 Diversity Reading Challenge hosted by Lukten Av Trykksverte

I usually count these up myself anyway at the end of the year, so I thought it would be fun to join a challenge and track it as I go. Last year, I read 22 books (25%) that counted as diverse books (though I might have had a few more, using this criteria - it's pretty broad). So, I will aim for 25 diverse books for 2019 (but hope for much more!). This one also has monthly review linkups.

Travel the World in Books Reading Challenge hosted by Mom's Small Victories, one of my favorite blogs. I signed up for this one back in 2014, so this is a continuation (it's a perpetual challenge) - I can't wait to see what places I visit in books in 2019! Last year I read 31 books set in other countries/cultures (30 different countries/regions - I read a trip-around-the-world memoir at the end of the year!), so I hope to do even better this year (though that will be hard to beat).

2019 Literary Escapes Challenge hosted by Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book.

I love tracking where I read! Last year, I read books set in 25 different states for this challenge last year, so I hope to do even better this year.
Bookish Bingo hosted by Chapter Break - not really a challenge per se, but a fun game that I play each month! Stop by to print out this month's Bingo card and play along!

Big Book Summer Challenge hosted by Book By Book (me!)

Starting at the end of May. I usually aim to read 6 Big Books (400+ pages) during the summer for the challenge. All are welcome to join the fun! I'll post the sign-up page at the end of May.


  1. This is a wonderful list of challenges. I am doing some of the same ones so it will be fun to keep track along with you. Good luck!

    1. I know you are, Helen - that's where I got some of my ideas!! In fact, I was all set to sign up for the Nonfiction Challenge you joined when I noticed sign-ups ended January 31 :(

      Thanks for the great ideas!

  2. Have you added up how many books this will end up being. I pretty much only do your challenge, The Printz, Pulitzer, National Book Award, and Classics Club Spin books. It always seems like I "have" to read a book for book club or one of my non-challenge books. Good luck on all of yours.

    1. ha ha I'm not worried about that, Anne! Most of my books count for multiple challenges, so signing up for more challenges doesn't increase the number of books I need to read. In fact, I approach challenges differently than some - I don't choose my books based on my challenges - I just read what I read - including review books and books for book groups - and then see which challenges they fit at the end of the month. It's all just a fun way of tracking for me!

  3. I know my link-up is closed, but feel free to join in anyway and share a link in the comments if you want. I kept the link-up open as long as I could with the free link-up service I use :) These all sound like fun challenges!

    1. Awesome!!! Thanks so much for letting me know! I will add it :)