2021 Reading Challenges

Another year, another set of reading goals!

As always I’m trying to keep it relatively simple to start but expect to add on a few as the year progresses. But since so much about the upcoming year is still uncertain, I really have no idea how much I’ll actually be able to read.

Graphics associated with each challenge were created by the host(s).

Updated January 2, 2022

Goodreads Reading Challenge

PROGRESS: 302 / 200
COMPLETED IN AUGUST

Yeah, I somehow surpassed 400 books in 2020 (!!!), but that’s not the kind of pressure I want to put on myself going into a new year; it’s psychologically much easier for me to increase than to decrease my goal later on. 

MAY UPDATE: Raised from 150 to 200.

Beat the Backlist Bingo

PROGRESS: 52 / 52
COMPLETED IN JULY

In the past few years, I’ve found that the majority of the books I read are backlist, so I don’t feel the need to set a number goal. But I’ll still be aiming to complete the bingo prompts, because I love reading bingos.

βœ“ more than one author – Dear Haiti, Love Alaine
βœ“ dragons OR lizards – The Last Hero
βœ“ it’s on a ship! – Peter and the Starcatchers
βœ“ purple cover – This Is the Circle
βœ“ set in a major city: NYC – Behold the Dreamers
βœ“ book you forgot you had – Year of Yes
βœ“ caused a major book hangover – Middlegame

βœ“ multiple points of view – Sourcery
βœ“ book you’re giving another chance – Palimpsest
βœ“ quest to find lost/hidden object – Gray Wolf Island
βœ“ chapter title page has art – The Secret Commonwealth
βœ“ kept you up late reading – An Accusation
βœ“ picked by a friend/trusted reviewer – Heartless
βœ“ non-human character – Fledgling

βœ“ first line is less than 10 words – The Wise Man’s Fear
βœ“ banned book – Go Ask Alice
βœ“ cover features your favorite color prominently: (navy) blue – The Midnight Library
βœ“ all about music – Absolutely on Music: Conversations with Seiji Ozawa
βœ“ character lets out a breath they didn’t realize they were holding – Invisible Ghosts
βœ“ genre you never/rarely read: romance – Truly, Madly, Royally
βœ“ standalone – If It Makes You Happy

βœ“ lost royalty – Ace of Shades
βœ“ cover with your country’s flag colors: red, white, blue – Get Your Sh*t Together
βœ“ written in letters or diary entries – Ella Minnow Pea
βœ“ book centered around politics – What Happened
βœ“ features a carnival or circus – We Walked the Sky
βœ“ snake on the cover – Girl, Serpent, Thorn

βœ“ on the Indie Bestseller list in 2020 or earlier – Kitchen Confidential
βœ“ historical with a twist – The Girl in the Tower
βœ“ character has a dream scene – Storm of Locusts
βœ“ set in autumn – Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie
βœ“ based on non-Greek/-Roman mythology: DinΓ©tah (Navajo) – Trail of Lightning
βœ“ non-binary protagonist – The Empress of Salt and Fortune
βœ“ a book with illustrations – Let’s Make Ramen!

βœ“ WTF plot twist – The Dragon Republic
βœ“ second book in a duology – Magic in the Mix
βœ“ non-fairytale retelling – The Weight of Feathers
βœ“ from your 2020 backlist TBR – Owls and Other Fantasies
βœ“ book where the woods/forest are important – The Queens of Innis Lear
βœ“ black and white – A Promised Land
βœ“ novella – The Slow Regard of Silent Things

βœ“ person on the cover – Hunted
βœ“ anthology – Devotions
βœ“ has a map – The Poppy War
βœ“ book about bones OR “bone” in the title – The Bone Shard Daughter
βœ“ good book, bad cover – How the GarcΓ­a Girls Lost Their Accents
βœ“ brings out the geek in you – Because Internet
βœ“ bought it for the cover – When You Ask Me Where I’m Going

βœ“ book written in verse – The Opposite of Innocent
βœ“ includes a 2nd person POV – Not for Nothing
βœ“ author has a book releasing in 2021 – Malinda Lo – Adaptation
βœ“ mentions a pineapple – The Last Continent

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

PROGRESS: 50 / 50
COMPLETED IN AUGUST

βœ“ A book that’s published in 2021 – Tales From the Hinterland
βœ“ An Afrofuturist book – The Deep
βœ“ A book that has a heart, diamond, club, or spade on the cover – Ace of Shades
βœ“ A book by an author who shares your zodiac sign – Year of Yes
βœ“ A dark academia book – How We Fall Apart
βœ“ A book with a gem, mineral, or rock in the title – The Map of Salt and Stars
βœ“ A book where the main character works at your current or dream job – Beach Read
βœ“ A book that has won the Women’s Prize For Fiction – An American Marriage
βœ“ A book with a family tree – Legendborn
βœ“ A bestseller from the 1990s – Hannibal
βœ“ A book about forgetting – The Bone Shard Daughter
βœ“ A book you have seen on someone’s bookshelf – Middlegame
βœ“ A locked-room mystery – And Then There Were None
βœ“ A genre hybrid – One Last Stop
βœ“ A book set mostly or entirely outdoors – Across the Green Grass Fields
βœ“ A book with something broken on the cover – The Library of the Unwritten
βœ“ A book by a Muslim American author – The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali
βœ“ A book that was published anonymously – Go Ask Alice
βœ“ A book with an oxymoron in the title – Big Little Lies
βœ“ A book about do-overs or fresh starts – Dear Haiti, Love Alaine
βœ“ A magical realism book – The Mirror Season
βœ“ A book set in multiple countries – The Midnight Library
βœ“ A book set somewhere you’d like to visit in 2021 – Convenience Store Woman
βœ“ A book by a blogger, vlogger, YouTuber, or other online personality – The Anthropocene Reviewed
βœ“ A book whose title starts with Q, X or Z – (The) Queens of Innis Lear
βœ“ A book featuring three generations – How the GarcΓ­a Girls Lost Their Accents
βœ“ A book about a social justice issue – The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
βœ“ A book set in a restaurant – Kitchen Confidential
βœ“ A book with a black-and-white cover – A Promised Land
βœ“ A book by an indigenous author – Trail of Lightning
βœ“ A book that has the same title as a song – Adaptation
βœ“ A book about a subject you are passionate about – Because Internet
βœ“ A book that discusses body positivity – If It Makes You Happy
βœ“ A book found on a Black Lives Matter reading list – I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness
βœ“ A book in a different format than what you normally read (audio + Kindle) – Know My Name
βœ“ A book that has fewer than 1k reviews on Amazon or Goodreads – Law School Confidential
βœ“ A book you think your best friend would like – Sourcery
βœ“ A book about art or an artist – Steal Like an Artist
βœ“ A book everyone seems to have read but you – The Poppy War
βœ“ Your fave prompt from a past PS challenge: story within a story – The Marrow Thieves

Advanced Prompts
βœ“ The longest book on your TBR – The Wise Man’s Fear
βœ“ The shortest book on your TBR – TED Talks Storytelling
βœ“ The book on your TBR with the prettiest cover – Invisible Ghosts
βœ“ The book on your TBR with the ugliest cover – Foolish Hearts
βœ“ The book that’s been on your TBR for the longest – Of Bees and Mist
βœ“ A book from your TBR you meant to read last year but didn’t – Owls and Other Fantasies
βœ“ A book from your TBR you associate with a fave person, place, or thing – The Ring of Solomon
βœ“ A book from your TBR chosen at random – Hunted
βœ“ A DNF book from your TBR – Palimpsest
βœ“ A free book from your TBR – The Secret Commonwealth

Books and Tea Reading Challenge

PROGRESS: 13 / 12
COMPLETED IN JUNE

βœ“ hexed with color: ask a friend for a color, read a book with a cover to match – red – Red Dragon
βœ“ hidden creations: an author’s lesser known book / a lesser known author – This Is the Circle
βœ“ stardust: a book you’ve owned since 2016 – The Invisible Man
βœ“ awesome, of course: book by author of color – Fledgling
βœ“ in Satan we stan: a book with 666 pages or more – The Wise Man’s Fear
βœ“ full of pride: LGBT+ books and authors – Adaptation
βœ“ highly recommended: a recommendation from a friend – The Summer of Jordi Perez
βœ“ a fresh look: a new to you diverse read – How the GarcΓ­a Girls Lost Their Accents
βœ“ star’s the limit: travel to another country or world – Dear Haiti, Love Alaine
βœ“ new kids on the pub(lisher): 2021 debut author – The Sword in the Street
βœ“ opposites attract: swap a TBR entry with someone – Heartless + The Travelling Cat Chronicles
βœ“ small stories: an anthology or book that’s shorter than most – Devotions

Cross-Country Reading Challenge

PROGRESS: 32 / 51
β†’ EXTENDED TO JULY 2022

(You can check out the full post, linked above, for the challenge details and titles that I’ve read!)

  • What reading goals do you have for 2021?
  • Which challenges and readathons, if any, are you participating in?
  • Do you have any titles picked out (whether for a prompt or monthly TBR or just to read soon), or do you prefer to leave your options open?

15 thoughts on “2021 Reading Challenges

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