Friday, January 08, 2021

2020 Reading Challenges Wrap-Up

I participated in some great reading challenges last year, had a lot of fun, and read some outstanding books! You can see my final stats, including lists of the books I read for each challenge on the 2020 Challenges page.

Here is a summary of each reading challenge I signed up for in 2020 and how I did:

Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2020 hosted by My Reader's Block

My goal was Mt. Ararat, at 48 books from my TBR shelves. I almost made it! I read a total of 44 books from my own shelves last year (one less than in 2019). Forty-four sounds like a lot, yet somehow our TBR bookcase still has double rows! I will definitely join a TBR challenge again this year.


2020 Monthly Motif Reading Challenge hosted by Girlxoxo.

This is another challenge that I join every year, just for fun! There is a monthly theme, and you try to read a book that fits into the theme. I met that goal 11 out of 12 months last year, only missing August, Creature Features, because I spent most of that month reading David Copperfield by Charles Dickens! You can see all of the monthly themes and the books I read for them on my 2020 Challenge Page


Back to the Classics hosted by Books and Chocolate.

This is another reading challenge I join every year, to encourage myself to read some classics and not just the latest, shiny new books! Every year, I set my goal at six classics, and I usually come up short, but I did it in 2020!! I read six classics in six different categories (you can see the categories on the Challenge Page). The classics I read in 2020 were:

  1. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  2. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  3. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut (a longtime goal of mine to read Vonnegut)
  4. The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. DuBois
  5. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
  6. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

2020 PopSugar Reading Challenge hosted by POPSUGAR.

This is a quirky reading challenge, with a list of 50 different categories, ranging from A Book with a Pun in the Title to A Book by an Author with Flora or Fauna in Their Name (just got in Michael J. Fox at the end of the year!) to A Book with an Upside-Down Image on the Cover (that's one I missed). In all, I checked off 39 categories, leaving only 11. Check out the full list of fun categories I hit on the Challenge Page.


2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge hosted by Book'd Out.

I usually sign up for a nonfiction challenge each year, but this was a different one for me, and I enjoyed it. It included categories of different kinds of nonfiction books. My goal was to read 12 nonfiction books, and I read 15 in all! I hit 8 of the 12 categories, plus some category repeats, like History and Memoir. See all of my nonfiction reads and the categories on the Challenge Page. 


2020 Diversity Reading Challenge hosted by Celebrity Readers.

My goal was to read 40 diverse books in 2020. I almost managed that, with 38 in total, but that was one more than in 2019! There were optional monthly categories that I  hit six of the twelve months. See my full list of diverse books and the categories on the Challenge Page.


Travel the World in Books Reading Challenge hosted by Mom's Small Victories 

This is a continuing (rather than annual) challenge that I signed up for back in 2014. I love to travel to new and interesting places through my reading! In 2020, I read 33 books books set outside the United States, covering 18 different countries (lots of books set in UK and Ireland last year). This surpasses 2019, when I read 23 books set in 18 different countries. You can see my full list of 33 books and where they were set on the Challenge Page. I can't wait to see where my reading takes me in 2021!


2020 Literary Escapes Challenge hosted by Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book.

I love tracking where I read domestically, as well. In 2020, I traveled to 24 states in my books! That's a few less than in 2019 (28). So many books are set in New York!


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

My own annual challenge to read books of 400 or more pages attracted a record number of participants last summer (I think we were all looking for distraction and a bit of fun!). I read 10 Big Books (including both print and audio) from end of May to beginning of September, same as in 2019. I hope you'll join the Big Book Summer fun in 2021 (you only need to read one Big Book all summer to participate).

  1. Faithful Place by Tana French
  2. A Beginning at the End by Mike Chen
  3. Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty  
  4. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  5. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
  6. Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
  7. Doomsday Book by Connie Willis 
  8. American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
  9. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  10. A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena


Readers Imbibing Peril RIP XV Challenge

This seasonal challenge is all about reading darker books in the fall! I love to read with the seasons, and I read a total of 16 suspenseful, creepy, dark, gripping books in September and October (vs. 18 in 2019).

  1. The Feather Thief by Kirk Wallace Johnson
  2. Feed by M.T. Anderson
  3. The Dry by Jane Harper  
  4. The Door by Andy Marino
  5. Sycamore by Bryn Chancellor  
  6. The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton
  7. The Witch Elm by Tana French
  8. All Your Twisted Secrets by Diana Urban
  9. The Sense of Death by Matty Dalrymple
  10. August Snow by Stephen Mack Jones
  11. Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
  12. Trespassers by Breena Bard
  13. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
  14. One Year at Ellsmere by Faith Erin Hicks 
  15. Follow Me by K.R. Alexander 
  16. Back to Blackbrick by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald


Did you join any reading challenges in 2020? Which one(s) did you enjoy the most?



  1. Looks like you did great on your reading challenges! I participated in the Monthly Motif, Monthly Key Words and Books Awards and did pretty good as well - although there was a reading slump in the Spring!

    1. I tried the Key Words Challenge in 2019 and didn't get a single key word all year! ha ha Decided that one wasn't for me :) Will be by the blog soon to sign up for Monthly Motif 2021!

  2. Congratulations on a great year of reading achievements!

    1. Thanks! Hoping 2021 is even better!

  3. Hi Sue,
    Love this wrap up post - so many pointers to fun challenges.
    Last year, I joined yours and you can count me in this year too. Looking forward to it. Strikes me I could combine it with the TBR challenge 😉.
    Take care and have fun this year too.

    1. So glad to hear you're planning to join Big Book Summer again in 2021, Elinor! And, yes, I always use BBS to clear some hefty books from my shelves!

      Here's to a great reading year in 2021!

  4. I am so glad to see someone else who took on a lot of challenges. You did so well on them and I look forward to seeing your challenge reading in 2021.

    1. ha ha probably too many, Helen, but I can't resist!