Reading Challenges 2021


The 2021 European Reading Challenge! 

January 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021

Please join us for the Grand Tour or Europe through books! 2021 is the 9th year of the European Reading Challenge, which has been going steadily along since 2012. Participants choose their own level of commitment to complete the challenge and there is a prize for the person who visits the most countries between the covers. 

Thank you to those loyal readers who have joined in since the beginning! A warm welcome to those joining us for the first time or those who are coming back after some time off.

THE GIST: The idea is to read books by European authors or books set in European countries (no matter where the author comes from). The books can be anything – fiction, nonfiction, novels, short stories, memoirs, travel guides, cookbooks, biography, poetry, whatever. You can participate at different levels, but each book must be by a different author and set in a different country – it's supposed to be a tour. (See note about the UK, below.)

WHAT COUNTS AS "EUROPE"?: We stick with the standard list of 50 sovereign states that fall (at least partially) within the geographic territory of the continent of Europe and/or enjoy membership in international European organizations such as the Council of Europe. This list includes the obvious (the UK, France, Germany, and Italy), the really huge Russia, the tiny Vatican City, and the mixed bag of Baltic, Balkan, and former Soviet states.
Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Vatican City.
NOTE: Even with Brexit, the United Kingdom is still one country, part of Europe, that includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. One book from any one of these four counts as your one book for the United Kingdom. I'm not going to bust your chops about it because challenges should be about fun not about rules. However, when it comes to winning the Jet Setter prize, only one book from one of the UK countries counts.


Participants can read as many books as they want and are encouraged to visit as many European countries as possible. The Jet Setter Prize will go to the person who reads (and reviews) books from the greatest number of different countries (see below).

Not everyone wants to compete for a prize, review books, or read a lot of books. You can complete the challenge by reading one to five books from different countries.

To participate in the challenge, sign up at the levels below. If you want to go on to compete for the Prize, keep reading!

  • FIVE STAR (DELUXE ENTOURAGE): Read at least five books by different European authors or books set in different European countries.
1. A Distant Grave by Sarah Stewart Taylor (Ireland)
2. The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Family's Century of Art and Loss by Edmund de Waal (Austria)

2/5 as of 1/31/2021

Grab your earbuds and join hosts Caffeinated Reviewer and That’s What I’m Talking About for the 2021 Audiobook Challenge! Choose your level and rock your ears off!

We have a new co-host and a new category to achieve! Please welcome Jen from That’ s What I am Talking About.

Use hashtag #2021AudiobookChallenge on social media to alert others of your listens and progress!

Challenge Details

  • Runs January 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021. You can join at any time.
  • The goal is to find a new love for audios or to outdo yourself by listening to more audios in 2020 than you did in 2018.
  • Books must be in audio format (CD, MP3, etc.)
  • ANY genres count.
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
  • You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you can track your progress on Goodreads, Facebook, LibraryThing, etc.
  • If you’re a blogger grab the button and do a quick post about the challenge to help spread the word. If you’re not a blogger you can help by posting on Facebook or Tweet about the challenge.
  • Updates plus a giveaway will be posted twice during the year. The first update will be July 2, 2021, and the last update will take place on December 30, 2021.

Achievement Levels

  • Binge Listener (Why read when someone can do it for you) 20-30
1. A Walk Around the Block: Stoplight Secrets, Mischievous Squirrels, Manhole Mysteries & Other Stuff You See Every Day (And Know Nothing About) by Spike Carlsen
2. I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are by Rachel Bloom
3. The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Family's Century of Art and Loss by Edmund de Waal

3/20 as of 1/31/2021


We’re back for another year!  This challenge is focused on intentionally reading more diverse books, whether it be diverse characters or diverse authors.  We’ve been hosting it since 2019, when we merged some concepts from the Platypire Diversity Challenge and the 2017 Diverse Reads Book Challenge hosted by Chasing Faerytales and Read.Sleep.Repeat.  There’s the basic challenge of reading as many diverse books as you can, with the added monthly theme mini-challenge, where you can get bonus points for reading towards a theme each month (and by bonus points, we really just mean bragging rights).  It’s a way to challenge yourself, but still reward yourself for just reading diversely altogether.

how do we classify a book as diverse?

The author or the main character – or one of the leads, who preferably has a POV – has to belong to a diverse group. According to the definition of We Need Diverse Books:
“We recognize all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, Native, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities*, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.
*We subscribe to a broad definition of disability, which includes but is not limited to physical, sensory, cognitive, intellectual, or developmental disabilities, chronic conditions, and mental illnesses (this may also include addiction). Furthermore, we subscribe to a social model of disability, which presents disability as created by barriers in the social environment, due to lack of equal access, stereotyping, and other forms of marginalization.”


While we’re pretty lax about how you wish to set up this challenge for yourself, we do have a few guidelines to follow.

  • The challenge will run from January 1st, 2021 to December 31st, 2021.  Books must be read during this time frame to count.  Sign up is open from now until December 1st, 2021, so you may join even just for the last month of the year.
  • Any format and length of book counts – print, ebook, audio, ARC, etc.
  • Crossovers from other challenges are totally acceptable!
  • Reviews are not required, but highly encouraged.

how to play:

  • Declare your intentions to participate in this challenge somewhere on the internet!!  You do not need to be a blogger to participate, there are many ways to declare.  You could write a blog post, create a reading challenge page, create a Goodreads shelf containing diverse books you hope to read, post about it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
  • Some things you could include (but that aren’t required):
    • A link to this page so that others may find us and join the fun as well (feel free to download the button at the bottom to use in your posts).
    • The goals you are setting for yourself (number of diverse books you want to read over the year, number of different kinds of diversity you want to explore, and if participating in the mini-challenge, the level you are aiming for).
    • A list of potential diverse books you hope to read for this challenge.
  • Sign up for the challenge using the link up below, and link directly to where you’ve declared your intentions (ie to the specific blog post, the goodreads shelf, the facebook post, etc).
  • We will be posting quarterly link ups for you to add links to your reviews or any wrap-up/overview posts you wish to share.
  • Go forth and READ!!  And have fun!!
  • Use the hashtag #DiversityRC2021 on any social media to keep up with other participants!

mini-challenge (optional):

For those who want to challenge themselves even more, each month has a theme to read towards.  These themes will help you tackle the different kinds of diversity.  On occasion we’ve given multiple themes in a month to give readers options (ie I had a lot of great choices, and I couldn’t decide).

JANUARY – diverse folktales/culture/mythology; or diverse retelling; or non-western setting
FEBRUARY – poc: Black/African American
MARCH – #ownvoices; or gender: female authors in male-dominated genres/non-fiction
APRIL – poc: Middle Eastern/South Asian
MAY – poc: East Asian/Southeast Asian/Pacific Islander
JUNE – LGBT+ pride summer: sexuality and gender identity
JULY – LGBT+ pride summer: sexuality and gender identity
AUGUST – mental health/addiction
SEPTEMBER – poc: hispanic/latinx
OCTOBER – physical/sensory/cognitive/intellectual/developmental disabilities
NOVEMBER – poc: Native American
DECEMBER – religious minorities

There’s sort of an extra level to the LGBT+ pride summer in June and July — aim to check off as many letters in LGBTQQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual) as possible!

1. Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean (Japanese-American and Japanese characters) MRCH
2. Thief of Souls by Brian Klingborg (Chinese characters) APRIL
3. The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Family's Century of Art and Loss by Edmund de Waal (about a Jewish family before and after WWII) DECEMBER

3/40 overall as of 1/31/2021
3/12 mini challenges as of 1/31/2021

Su's 2021 Facebook Reading Challenge

1 Who, What, Where, Why, or How in the Title--Digital Body Language: How to Build Trust and Connection, No Matter the Distance by Erica Dhawan
2 the word "book" in the title
3 elements of magic
4 one of the lyrics from "My Favorite Things" in the title
5 a Muslim character
6 an upside down image on the cover
7 multiple characters point of view
8 a pun in the title
9 a map
10 a dual time line--The Arctic Fury by Greer Macallister
11 a female villain
12 Gold, Silver or Bronze in the title
13 by an author whose name doesn’t contain the letters AT or Y
14 set in a state or country you have never visited--A Distant Grave by Sarah Stewart Taylor
15 about race relations
16 in the non-fiction section of the bookstore not a bio or memoir
17 by one of your favorite new to you authors from 2020.
18 that was banned
19 that is a classic childrens book
20 about a book club or bookstore
21 by an author with a flower or animal in their name
22 that is a western
23 about a woman in a science field
24 you wanted to read but never made the time
25 about a pandemic (too soon?)
26 that is short (under 200 pages)--A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers
27 Jan - Inauguration (any presidential or white house book)
28 Feb - Black History
29 Mar - Womens History
30 Apr - Autism
31 May - ALS, MS, Cancer - improve your awareness
32 June - LGBTQ
33 July - American History
34 Aug - Romance
35 Sept - Hispanic Latinx History
36 Oct - Scare your paints off
37 Nov - Indigenous Peoples
38 Dec - Holiday Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali (yes I know this is in November) , Kwanzaa
39 a predominately pink cover
40 a monochromatic cover
41 with a woman on the cover--I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are by Rachel Bloom
42 a knife or fork on the cover
43 a dragon or a snake on the cover--Somebody's Daughter by Ashley C. Ford
44 an abstract cover
45 a cover that reminded you of another book you enjoyed
46 an award sticker on the cover
47 the authors name is more prominent than the title
48 a cartoon or illustration on the cover (graphic novel?)--Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen
49 a small animal on the cover--A Walk Around the Block: Stoplight Secrets, Mischievous Squirrels, Manhole Mysteries & Other Stuff You See Every Day (And Know Nothing About) by Spike Carlsen
50 a boat on the cover
51 a movie cover
52 a cover that inspires you--Thief of Souls by Brian Klingborg
53 a blue cover--Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean

10/40 as of 2/1/2021

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