The 2020 Reading Challenge

Devoted readers and aspiring readers: want to get more out of your reading life in 2020? We’ve got a challenge just for you, and a free reading challenge kit to help you see it through.

Here on Modern Mrs Darcy, we love reading, but don’t believe it’s a competitive sport. We care about quality way more than we care about quantity: reading well doesn’t necessarily mean reading more.

We’re entering our tenth (!!) year of helping readers get more out of their (reading) lives here on Modern Mrs Darcy, by sharing great books, seasonal reading guides, and tips and encouragement for the reading life. Maybe your reading life is amazing, and you want to keep a good thing going. Maybe your reading life needs some serious rehab. Either way, we can help. 

The 2020 Reading Challenge | Modern Mrs Darcy

Why a reading challenge?

Our reading challenge is not quite as old as this blog: this is our sixth annual reading challenge. Believe it or not, these challenges—now plentiful on the internet—were rare when we posted our first one in 2015. They’re so common these days that I debated even posting our own here on Modern Mrs Darcy. 

Here’s why we decided to post our own once again: we know how to help readers get more out of their reading lives, and our challenge is designed to help you do exactly that. We’ve carefully created a new category list for 2020, with ten categories that have a phenomenal success rate when it comes to delivering a fantastic reading experience.

On our list, we focus exclusively on categories that have delivered best-of-the-year reading experiences to thousands of readers over the years.

The 2020 Reading Challenge | Modern Mrs Darcy

We’ve chosen ten categories—for twelve books—because that’s far more than the average reader reads in a year, but few enough to let you choose those titles with care. Those categories are:

  1. A book published the decade you were born
  2. A debut novel
  3. A book recommended by a source you trust
  4. A book by a local author
  5. A book outside your (genre) comfort zone
  6. A book in translation
  7. A book nominated for an award in 2020
  8. A re-read
  9. A classic you didn’t read in school
  10. Three books by the same author

More is not necessarily better, although we’re providing tracking tools for those of you who want to read more in 2020. 

To create a vibrant reading life, you need good books, and time to read them. Let’s get to it. 

The 2020 Reading Challenge | Modern Mrs Darcy

Step 1: Choose good books

For many readers, the best motivation to read is an enticing stack of books calling your name. So let’s get you loaded up with promising titles!

Now, tastes differ widely: just because I loved a book doesn’t mean that you will, too. That’s why I aim to describe books in such a way that you will know if they sound like they might be right for you, and provide you abundant options.

Our supporting role here on MMD is to share great books in our plentiful book list posts and on my podcast, What Should I Read Next, so you have plenty of excellent titles to choose from, all year long.

The 2020 Reading Challenge | Modern Mrs Darcy

Step 2: Make time to read.

For a great reading year, you need good books and time to read them. For some of you, reading is already a habit. High five! For others, reading is a habit you would very much like to develop in 2020.

The best motivation to read more is to have great books waiting on your literal or metaphorical To Be Read pile. (See Step 1.) Next best? The reminders and tools we’ve created for you in our Reading Challenge Kit, which includes:

  1. A category checklist for you to check off and document your books as you read them, in both worksheet-size and journal-size. (Print as many copies as you’d like and go bananas with the dreaming and planning process!)
  2. Our printable bookmarks, including one to track your reading challenge progress, and one to be used as a habit tracking tool. Annie Dillard wrote, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” Mark off the days you read (it’s up to you to decide how many minutes it takes to “count” a day) so you can see at a glance how many days you make reading a part of your life in 2020. The goal is awareness, not perfection.

Over the next week, we’ll also send you more bookish tools and goodies, including our “I’d Rather Be Reading” phone wallpaper that you can use to remind yourself that perhaps you would rather read than scroll social media, plus our printable reading journal, ready for you to put to good use because step 3 is ….

The 2020 Reading Challenge | Modern Mrs Darcy

Step 3: Track your reading.

If you don’t track your books, now’s the time to start. I note mine in my journal, but other readers use dedicated reading journals, Goodreads, Instagram, Pinterest, or Excel to track their books. Choose whatever method you like—just choose one.

Tracking your reading gives you a way to examine your reading habits OVER TIME. When you have your reading history captured in one place you can see habits and patterns that are hard to perceive up close, day by day, or book by book. When you track your reading, you can zoom out and see the big picture—and that does good things for your reading life.

The 2020 Reading Challenge | Modern Mrs Darcy

Make 2020 your best reading year yet!

Sign up now to get started. We’ll send your Reading Challenge kit immediately, then over the next week you’ll get emails with my best reading tips and fun bookish tools. After that you’ll get regular reading news and inspiration to help you meet your reading goals.

What happens next? First, check your inbox. Then browse the book list archives for reading ideas, and start making your lists. Pin the challenge graphic for inspiration; share it with your fellow book lovers on Instagram and Facebook. I’ll be using the hashtags #MMDchallenge and #MMDreading. (You can find me on twitter @annebogel, on Instagram @annebogel and @whatshouldireadnext, and at But most of all, enjoy the challenge of reading with purpose this year.

It’s so good to be among people who are reading, and I’m looking forward to reading with you all in 2020. This year’s gonna be great.

Happy reading!



Leave A Comment
  1. Katherine says:

    I’m really glad you didn’t decide to skip it this year. I was introduced to it last year and it was more helpful than any of the others I looked at. They were all either too vague, too specific, or had too many categories.

  2. Dawn Jones says:

    Thanks Anne! I have three books to go to finish 2019 – I have copies of all three and plenty of time over Christmas break to read. I’m happy you decided to do the challenge again! Between this and the summer reading guide – I’ve gotten to read a lot of wonderful books this year!

  3. Nancy says:

    So…question…do audiobooks count? I tend to be constantly listening to audiobooks as I go through my day. My reading is more at night when I go to bed. I think I feel too guilty taking time to sit down and read during the day but I love books and have become quite addicted to audiobooks.

  4. Angie says:

    Thank you for doing this again! I’ve done your challenge every year you’ve done it (and completed it every time) and I love how it challenges me to think about what I’m going to read. Looking forward to the new one!

  5. Lindsey says:

    Thanks for doing the challenge again this year! I’m in the middle of the final 2019 challenge book right now, and have really been looking forward to 2020’s. I’ve had a great reading year this year and hope to keep it going.

  6. Jennifer says:

    Thank you! I have shared this before but you have changed my reading life. It started when I took last years survey and answered the question how many books do you read in a year. I was happy to say I read 6-12. The next question I believe was “Are you happy with that amount?” It got me thinking well sure, but then days went by and I kept pondering maybe I can do better and I shouldn’t just be happy with 6-12. I just finished my 28th book yesterday since taking the survey and I’m on to the Christmas Carol now. Time to read and not just watch on tv ( although we are a fan of the muppet version here-classic) I’m certain I will finish at 30 or more books by Dec 31st. Not a race at all, just enjoying so much what I am taking in. I have even surprised myself when I branched out and liked something I would never have read that I found on the PBS list of top 100. I know that if I start my year off with the challenge I will read and enjoy so many more great titles which in turn adds so much wisdom and joy to my life. Thank you and Merry Christmas Anne, to you, your staff and your family.

    • Anne says:

      Jennifer, what an amazing story! I’m so glad to hear your reading life is going so well. I’m honored to be a part of it and reading together with you.

    • Susan V says:

      Laura, I read The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain in September. Then I went on to read 6 more of her books! The Dream Daughter and Necessary Lies are my favorites, but they’re all good. I’m also reading Kristin Hannah’s backlist after reading The Nightingale and The Great Alone around the time they each came out.

    • Raquel EVANS says:

      I have two Anne Bronte books on my TBR, and I don’t think she has a third novel, but I might read her book of poems just to use her for this category. Other good options for me are Terry Brooks, Melanie Cellier, G. K. Chesterton, Elizabeth Gaskell, Ellen MacGregor (great classic middle grade series I discovered this year), AA Milne, Vera Nazarian, Emmuska Orczy, Andrew Peterson, ND Wilson, Suzannah Rowntree, Doug Wilson and (if including some re-reads) Louisa Mae Alcott, Louis L’amour or Margaret Sidney.

      So… Yeah, this one isn’t going to be too hard for me. 🙂

    • Jet says:

      Earlier this year, I read Everything We Keep, by Kerry Lonsdale, which was a page turner. It’s the first of three books in her “Everything Series.” I’m working on reading the other two. She also has some standalones that are on my TBR list.

    • Tetcha says:

      Laura, I have been trying to increase the amount of Non-Fiction I read (virtually none prior to this year) so I am using the 3 books challenge to tackle some amazing sounding stories by David Grann. There is Killers of the Flower Moon, The Lost City of Z, The White Darkness plus a few others to choose from if that peaks your interest.

    • Laurel says:

      Louise Penny, Ann Cleeves, Jacqueline Windspeare, Deborah Crombie, Charles Todd, Iona Wishaw are some of my favorite mystery authors and they have written great series.

    • Maria Ontiveros says:

      I’ll probably do three Louise Penney mysteries, but am also considering three Margaret Atwood books, specifically Alias Grace, The Testaments and The Handmaids Tale.
      For 2019, I read three mysteries by Margaret Mizushima

  7. Jen Lehmann says:

    I’m always working on so many of my own lists, I haven’t joined up with a reading challenge in the past, but I think this will pair nicely with my own goals in 2020! Primary of which is to read more of the books I actually own. Thanks for helping me pick!

    • Sky says:

      Jen, This is me exactly too! I have bookcases of TBR’s and I think this challenge will be a huge guiding hand to where to begin. I’m excited!

    • Glen says:

      Thanks Jen, that’s a Good Goal for me too, but I don’t think I would have set it if you hadn’t prompted me.
      Off to the bookshelves and cupboards to see what I can find…

    • Mindi says:

      My main goal for 2019 was to read mostly from the books I already own. For the MMD challenge I wanted to fill that specifically with titles that were on my TBR list because of Anne. I’ve listened to the podcast for years and my list was getting out of control! I have learned that Anne can make any book sound like THE BOOK I must read next, and filling the challenge like this has helped me to really hone in on what I should actually be reading next for my personal taste and what I can probably pass on in the future. I also made myself a bingo style reading challenge in my reading journal filled with books I own with the “rule” that as soon as I got a bingo, I could read something that wasn’t on my TBR prior to 1/1/19. Broke that “rule” in January – cause ya know, book serendipity, but for the most part it has served me well this year in helping me to knock out my TBR (well, make a dent) and discover the gems that have been waiting for me on my shelves.

  8. Rita says:

    Anne, it’s so true that the first step should be about choosing good books! For the 2019 challenge I loaded my list with titles that I thought I SHOULD be reading, and I ended up being drawn to other books on my TBR that were more enticing. This year I’m going to approach the challenge differently and set myself up for success. Excited about this – I love planning!

  9. Pam says:

    Also happy to see this post! I’m ditching most reading challenges in 2020 – tired of the regimentation to what is supposed to be an enjoyable activity – but yours was one of the few I’d decided to keep. Love that the categories are flexible, allowing one to meet them with a variety of authors and genres. Happy reading!

  10. Sarah says:

    I’m glad you do this, because I really love how your list helps me think about ways to move out of my reading ruts. The categories allow me to fit in many of the books that I added to my TBR, but maybe need a nudge to pick up or had forgotten about. This year I supplemented the categories with a couple of my own that I wanted to be mindful of: A book recommended on audiobook, a book added to my Goodreads TBR in the first year, a book recommended by Drew (my husband often complains I don’t read the books he gets me), and a book published this year.
    I have 3 categories to go (translation, audiobook, and meaning to read) and even though I will probably not finish, it’s been a great addition to my reading life.

  11. Carol says:

    So excited! You made my day! This is my first year participating. Thanks to you, I have read 74 books so far this year. I used to read about 4. Love challenging myself to read a variety of genres. This challenge will help with that. Thanks!!!!

  12. Alison says:

    Thank you for doing another challenge. I hope you keep it up! I think the categories you do are thoughtful and I really enjoyed completing the ‘19 challenge.

  13. Carol Jewell says:

    I was so excited about this journal that I printed out 7 copies of it as I plan to have them made into 3 ring journals like you suggested and make quilted covered for them to give as gifts. Imagine my disappointment when I realized that the right side of each page won’t accommodate the 3 hole punch since there isn’t enough margin space to the left of the text. Can this be fixed so that we can make it into a journal as you suggested?

    • Ginger says:

      You can always adjust your size in the paper settings in your print setup so that it works with your journal. Happy reading (and journaling)!

  14. Krystal Caracol says:

    I’m excited to have this challenge alongside the books I’m already planning to read, it’ll help when I don’t know where to go next 🙂

  15. Dora says:

    I have opened this in two different browsers and maybe I am blind, but I can’t see where to sign up for the challenge. I have entered my email in two different boxes and its only for the newsletter, which I have subscribed to 3 times now. Please help!

  16. Raquel Evans says:

    I think this might be my main challenge this year! I usually do the Popsugar challenge, but both between trying to cut back on my social media use (including Goodreads groups, which is the main way I always interacted about that challenge), and making a temporary move to a small town with a small library system, and only bringing one box of books with me, I’ve been thinking it might be a bad idea to try to commit to it this year.

    Your reading challenge is so lovely and flexible that I think it just might fit the bill. (Plus, I love how you worded the prompts to include everyone. I can find plenty of classics I *didn’t* read in school, but some challenges ask for one I was *supposed* to read in school and didn’t, which is nigh impossible for a home schooler who had few official reading assignments and was responsible with the ones I got. Thanks for the careful wording in yours!)

  17. Stephanie Sheffield says:

    yay!! I was getting worried that you weren’t doing one this year. So glad you decided to even though they are “so common these days.” Happy reading everyone!

  18. Pat Schneider says:

    Are you a W & M grad? I seem to remember you saying something about living in Williamsburg. I ask because I am (Class of ‘71) and last night the Fairfax branch of the Northern Virginia Alumni Book Club met. I wish I could have shared this with everyone but I’ll do it in an email. Pat Schneider

  19. Kim says:

    Looking forward to this!! Anyone have ideas for the 2020 award category?? Or should we wait till maybe early-mid year before choosing? I only found one list that includes 2020 award nominees and they’re YA books, which I may choose (one being Bear Town.) Thanks!

  20. Sheryl says:

    Well I didn’t get the 3 books by the same author finished in 2019. We’ll see how I do in 2020! I had so many ideas, but kept finding other books. I do love the challenges, but I’ll also have to find a REALLY short book to re-read. I’m one of those anti re-readers. There’s just too many books! But it’s all fun.

  21. booker talk says:

    Just when I was thinking that 2020 would be a challenge free year, I see your post and it was too tempting to ignore. I’ve tried challenges in the past where you have to write a list that you plan to read – I fail miserably every time because I hate reading from a list.
    Your category approach makes it much easier – it gives me the feeling of freedom to choose but still helps me get through my TBR

  22. Heather Norris says:

    Hi, love the challenge and that I can fit this into my reading easily. However on the habit tracking bookmark I noticed a slight mistake – February has 28 boxes, but in 2020 February has 29 days. I’ll have no issue drawing my own extra box but just wanted others to have the heads up.

  23. Kara says:

    I’ve been patiently waiting for the MMD challenge, and I’m so glad you decided to do one! There are indeed many challenges out there, but yours is the one I always, without hesitation,do. Thank you, Anne!

  24. Party Boten says:

    At my daughter’s suggestion, the two of us are going to participate in the challenge. She Introduced me to you Anne, your podcasts, blogs, etc earlier in the year and I have been thoroughly enjoying everything! Look forward to this challenge, will inspire me to make time to read more than my book club monthly book and an extra title or two squeezed in periodically. My list of books I want to read is long!

  25. Shannon says:

    Thank you for doing the challenge again for 2020! I have been doing more complicated and strenuous reading challenges for the past few years, but just end up reading a bunch of books that I don’t enjoy. I’m hoping to focus more on quality, and I love that your challenge is designed with that in mind.

    • Anne says:

      Shannon, this is exactly why we do what we do. I hope you find plenty of books you enjoy in 2020. And I hope you were able to learn about your reading taste from all those books you didn’t enjoy!

  26. Tanya says:

    Anne, I have a problem. This is my fourth year of the challenge and I love doing it. But I live on a US Navy base in Japan. A book by a local author is difficult as I don’t speak Japanese and there are few local books that have been translated. Suggestions?

  27. Courtney Whittaker says:

    As an educator, do reading challenges with my students but never do them for myself. Thank you for inspiring me! I soooooo appreciate you!

  28. Peggy Coffey says:

    This challenge sounds so good, but my TBR is mountainous and I am going to work on that in 2020. My problem is every time I listen to your podcast, I add more. So I’m not doing any challenges this year, just focusing on my TBR.

  29. Pattie says:

    I have been doing reading challenges online since at least 2007. They were passed along on blogs and on a message board community I was part of, before social media was what it is today.

  30. Sue says:

    I look forward to the reading challenge every year and I complete it. I have read some amazing books that I don’t think I would have read it not for your challenge. Thanks for enriching my reading life.

  31. Laura says:

    I realize each person can make their own rules, but I am wondering how local a “local author” is supposed to be? From your city? state?

    Also, what about books that could cover multiple categories? Do you just choose one category?

    • Anne says:

      Laura, we designed this challenge to be flexible, and you can choose to define local in whatever way makes sense to you. I’ve gotten some interesting messages from readers who are living abroad for now, they don’t speak the language and it’s difficult to find translated works. It makes sense for them to define “local” as their current region, or continent.

      I live in Louisville, which doesn’t have countless options, but enough for me to choose a book by a Louisville author. Please do whatever makes sense for you.

      And yes, I recommend choosing one category for each book. It’s fun to see that some books could fulfill multiple categories, but you should include 12 books total.

  32. Christine says:

    I am so excited for the Reading Challenge. Has anyone else felt that some books fit in multiple categories? For me its Pat Conroy – local author, re-read and three books! Classic not read in school, book in translation and recommended by a trusted source = War and Peace (this will be my 3rd attempt). It would be wonderful to get some recommendations for outside my comfort zone – I have chosen poetry for this category – eagerly waiting for poetry recommendations.

    • Katherine says:

      Last year I had several ideas that I could fit into multiple categories, but I made the decision to count them for only one. It helped me to branch out a bit more with books I was interested in buy might not have been my first impulse to reach for otherwise.

  33. Maria Ontiveros says:

    I love this so much! Just finished my last 2019 challenge book today and have started brainstorming ideas for 2020:
    Birth decade- autobiography of Malcolm x
    Debut – what we were promised
    Recommended- Lola Quartet or The Time In Between
    Local – the night tiger
    Outside comfort zones- Anne of greeen gables
    Translation- murmur of bees or Still Water
    Award? – have to wait but maybe The Testaments
    Re-read – prayer for Owen meaner or Handmaid’s Tale
    Classic – Passing or Count of Monte Cristo
    Author trio – Louise Penney or Atwood (alias grace; handmaiden; testaments); Jocelyn Jackson?

  34. Katherine says:

    I really, really hope you have plans for some lists of books published in each decade. I don’t even know where to begin for one published the decade I was born. I only found 2 that could work on my TBR, but I’m not particularly eager to pick up either of them.

    Oh, I was born in the 80s, in case anyone wants to chime in with a great recommendation or two.

  35. Cate says:

    I’ve never actually finished all the challenge categories, but the process of thinking about the books I’m reading, and researching what books fit each category (or sometimes bending the genre to fit 😂) is all part of the fun for me. I’m sad to see the planning pages and reading snapshot not in this year’s package, but I’ll use last years for inspiration in my journal. Thanks for another challenge that pushes me to be more intentional with my reading.

  36. Parnassus says:

    Hello Anne, I live in Taiwan and have just carried back my year’s supply of books. I try to arrange for a nice variety (although I tend to load up heavily on essays), and I noticed that all of your challenge categories are included in this year’s haul, except for the prize nomination. However, I have several books that were recommended by a number of different sources, and a nomination after all is really a recommendation.

  37. Lucy says:

    I’m excited to join the challenge! Is there anywhere to discuss among each other which books we’re going to read? I’m used to doing challenges on Goodreads and discussing them there, but this challenge looks too good to miss out on!

  38. Michelle Webb says:

    Oh how I love the thoughts you put down for us all to pick up and absorb. The reading challenge and summer reading guide have been fabulous ways for me to branch out as a voracious reader and for me to bring new books into our book club. Thanks for all you do!

  39. Erica says:

    I’ve skipped out on the reading challenge for a few years, so I think it’s time to jump back into it. I’m already getting ideas, so you could say I’m kind of pumped for it!

  40. Tanya says:

    My yoga instructor always guides us to honor where we are at, and more is just more, more is not always better. I can fully embrace this with reading too. I prefer quality over quantity most of the time, though sometimes I’m so busy that I have a reading rut in progress and need a spark, so it’s a matter of just read something (and that might even mean a picture book or a hot new book for middle schoolers). But most often at that point, I turn to a young adult book because the reading level is sometimes a little lower than what I’ve been trying to tackle and the print size a little larger to help me when I’m fatigued – and the topics are often covered in more thoughtful detail than some of the popular books that I see listed on various sites. Point here is to just embrace books and reading because of all the benefits they offer and because we can return to them again and again to fill us up in so many valuable ways. Thank you for posting another challenge – it is inspiring even though I never actually complete the whole list.

  41. Cheryl says:

    I used to read constantly. Books were my friend. My parents were way ahead of their time and barely let us watch TV. In fact I ran away at age 7 because my parents would not let us watch Saturday morning cartoons. However, my parents probably should have monitored my reading material a little more. Falconhurst Fancy was one title I still remember, um set in the South…..So I have decided (yesterday I turned 62) to try to read 20 books in 2020. I am using your challenge as motivation. During the fall semester I picked up my 11 year old granddaughter and took her to the library every Tuesday (the same day her 5 year old sister had ballet). It became such a ritual for us. I hope we still do it this coming year. She is just like me, always reading a book!

  42. lauredhel says:

    Hi! Just a request to please update the post with an accessible version of the challenge prompts? Images of text are not accesible to everyone, and I decline to do inaccessible challenges. Thanks.

  43. Lori says:

    I’m excited to finally participate in the MMD Reading Challenge 2020~ I’m starting with the Yellow House to prep me for a visit to NOLA in February. Next up Flights.

  44. Beth says:

    Love the MMD reading challenge! Question – what binder do you use for your printouts? I would like to purchase something to keep up with it all but they all seem too big.

    • Anne says:

      We’re sending the wallpaper in a subsequent email. Depending on when you signed up, you may even have gotten it already. (If we put too many files in one email, the service automatically compresses them into zip files which makes everyone miserable.)

  45. Dominique says:

    Does Jane Eyre count as a debut novel. I understand that the Bronte sisters self published some poetry before Jayne Eyre, but since it’s Charlotte Bronte’s first novel, I’m thinking that yes, it counts?

  46. Cate Nunan says:

    Happy New Year to everyone from a new Reading Challenge participant from hot and dry Australia! 🥂🌺 I woke up this morning to an email from Read Aloud Revival with a link to your blog. An awesome start to the year! Thanks for all your effort Anne in setting us up for success.

  47. lauredhel says:

    Hi Anne, I see you’re replying to other comments so I think you may have missed mine – a simple request for a text version of the challenge prompts for accessibility. Cheers

    “Hi! Just a request to please update the post with an accessible version of the challenge prompts? Images of text are not accessible to everyone, and I decline to do inaccessible challenges. Thanks.”

  48. Anita Hohl says:

    Of all the things on this challenge, I have at last picked ONE book to fit ONE of the categories, lol… my “Book in Translation” will be the first one I read- The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa, translated by Stephen Snyder. I can’t wait to see what I come up with for the rest of this fun list!

  49. Jane says:

    Dear Anne
    Thank you so much for your reading challenge ideas – I just completed my first book for 2020 – a book published in the decade I was born. My initial research for this showed up lots of books that I had already read and mostly enjoyed – but I didn’t want this category to be a reread – so I decided to hunt by genre and decade instead. And I’m so glad I did because I discovered “the laughing policeman” by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo and it was fantastic! Apparently the start of Nordic noir- and even better there are another 9 for me to enjoy!

    So thanks again for challenging me to stretch out of my comfort zone and search our books that go beyond best seller lists, favourite authors and best seller lists.

    Here’s hoping that this sets the tone for the rest of my reading year!

    Thanks again, happy reading, may it be the best reading year yet!

    Warmest regards


  50. Diane says:

    This is my first time to do a reading challenge, and I’m looking forward to it! I’m having such fun in the category selection process – it’s more challenging than I thought it would be, but in a good way. So many choices! I have these four selected so far: Monday: Slouching Toward Bethlehem by Joan Didion; The Dutch House by Ann Patchett (I have never read her books!); Track 9 by Sue Rovens; and Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf.

  51. Mimi says:

    Do you have lists to support the challenge, such as “debut novels”, “books in translation”…I can’t search these terms on Amazon. Thanks!

  52. I can’t believe I am only just now finally checking out The Modern Mrs Darcy, after hearing you mentioned by Sarah Bessey for years (yet here we are). I’m so glad I finally did! I signed up for this challenge, and I’m looking forward to getting to know you and your delightful corner of the internet.

  53. Amy says:

    Somewhere I remember seeing a post(s) where you gave links to suggestions to each of these categories – books in translation, books by the same author, classics, etc. I can’t find them now! Can you help direct me? Thank you!

  54. Wendi Henderson says:

    First time challenger here! I’m very excited about this but am curious where you find the books that fit the categories. The “classic you didnt read in school”, where would be a good place to find a list with school books. My husband has always tried to get me to read Call of the Wild, is that a school book.

    • Anne says:

      Hi Wendi, I’ll be blogging through the categories all year long, so as to provide plenty of bookish inspiration. And I would absolutely consider Call of the Wild a good choice for that category. 🙂

  55. I love your book challenge. I was looking up books in the year I was born and was surprised at some of the books I came across. Excited to give it a try.

    I was wondering if I could feature you book challenge on my website,

    Thanks for all the great content.

  56. Tamara Gandt says:

    Honestly I never posted my Reading challenge books however I haven’t read one book yet from my reading challenge list. I have been reading random books from my pile but I’m having a hard time focusing. My time to read is at night since I have a hard time falling asleep. My Reading Challenge List:
    A book published the decade you were born: Slaughter House Five by Kirk Vonnegut
    A Debut Novel: Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn
    A Book Recommended by a Source You Trust: I don’t know yet but my sister in Seattle sent me a box of her books so it will be one of those
    A Book by a Local Author: Having a hard time finding a North Texas author so either I’ll read a book by Cormac McCarthy or Larry McMurtry or Rachel Caine “Still House Lake”
    A Book Outside your (genre) Comfort Zone: Handmaids Tale
    A Book in Translation: A Man Called Ove
    A Book Nominated for an award in 2020: The Giver of Stars or Watershed by Mark Barr
    A Reread: This is hard for me I have never re-read a book! I think I will choose though “Up A Road Slowly” it was one of my favorite when I was pre-teen and I have given copies to many “youngsters”
    A Classic you Didn’t Read in School: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
    Three Books by the Same Author: Peter Heller my new favorite author- Celine, The River and one more I don’t know which one yet.
    Books that are part of my overall reading goal for this year that I have read so far are:
    The Bookwoman of Troublesome Creek (This book was not what I expected but in a very good way)
    Valentine (debut novel) I received this book in a giveaway. It was a gritty honest take of West Texas. I had to write a review for it so you can read it on my Goodreads. I guess I could use this as my debut novel! Just realized that duh.
    A Lost Lady by Willa Cather: I really like Willa Cather but this one was different.
    Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty: This book drew me into the story quickly and I couldn’t put it down.
    The Hidden Life of Trees: Was on my list last year and I didn’t get to it so I delved in this year. It was thorough and easy to read and I learned so much about trees. Don’t think me weird but I went outside and apologized to our Oak trees and vowed I would do better by them! It should be a must read for all people in the Dept. of Forestry/ Interior we have to stop cutting down old growth forests!
    Celine by Peter Heller: My new favorite author!
    The Master Quilter by Jennifer Chiaverini: Just finished this book last night. She has wrote several in this series, Elm Creek Quilts. It was ok. To me it was more of a tell story and not show not sure if I’m describing this thought correctly.
    What am I reading next: Don’t Overthink It by Anne Bogel, I overthink everything especially conflict.

  57. Kathleen Mulligan says:

    Good afternoon,
    I’m so glad I ran into this reading challenge. I’m early (or late), but I’d love to get started. Could you send the email to my email directly?
    Thank you so much! I’m very excited to get started!!

  58. JJ says:

    Read E.L. Doctorow’s Ragtime for my birth year – 1975 – challenge. Didn’t love it, so maybe I’ll read my runner-up choice as well (James Clavell’s Shogun).

    When are the year’s major book awards announced? Curious if Covid-19 will affect that timing…

  59. Carol says:

    I have been working on another challenge along with this one, but have made some progress. So far I have finished two prompts:
    A book in the decade your were born-I chose East of Eden since it was written in the year I was born. My first John Steinbeck book.
    A re-read-Bossypants by Tina Fey. I decided on something humorous to offset some of the heavier books I have been reading.
    I am trying to decide on the author for the three books and keep changing my mind. I just finished listening to When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris, which was very funny. I have Calypso on my shelf so I may read that and listen to another one of his audiobooks. I also have a few other options and will decide depending upon my mood.c

  60. Officers in KY can shoot and kill a Black woman in her home…and only get charged for shooting a wall. Hankison fired 10 rounds blindly into Breonna Taylor’s apartment which went through a wall – putting three neighboring residents at risk. He could face up to 15 years in prison. But Det. Myles Cosgrove – who authorities say fired the fatal shot that killed Breonna Taylor – and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly are walking free.

  61. Jamie says:

    I finished the challenge last week. Here is what I read:
    Published the Decade You Were Born: Go Ask Alice–Anonymous
    Debut Novel: I’m a Gay Wizard–V.S. Santoni
    Recommended by a Source You Trust: The Friend Zone–Abby Jimenez
    By a Local Author: Imaginary Animal–Rachelle Linda Escamilla
    Outside Your (Genre) Comfort Zone: Girl, Stop Apologizing–Rachel Hollis
    In Translation: The House of the Spirits–Isabel Allende
    Nominated for an Award in 2020 (Carnegie): Normal People–Sally Rooney
    Re-Read: More, Now, Again–Elizabeth Wurtzel
    Classic You Didn’t Read in School: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings–Maya Angelou
    Three Books By the Same Author: 1) Sand Castle Bay–Sherryl Woods
    2) Wind Chime Point–Sherryl Woods
    3) Sea Glass Island–Sherryl Woods

  62. Kat says:


    I would like to ask something about the reading challenge contents since I did not quite get the ‘book in translation’ paragraph. I have read a book in foreign language, then I saw that the same book is also translated in our language. Which book should I read to complete the demand – the one in foreign language or the one translated in our language?

    Thank you for your answers and have a good day!

  63. Sarah says:

    I finished this Challenge back on 12th October. I started out doing 2 different challenges and then did another part way through the year!
    Here are the books I read:
    Published the Decade You Were Born: The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
    Debut Novel: When God was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman
    Recommended by a Source You Trust: The Lost Man by Jane Harper
    By a Local Author: Rose Cottage – History of an Era by Shirley Smith
    Outside Your (Genre) Comfort Zone: For Crying Out Loud by Jeremy Clarkson
    In Translation: The Savage Alter by Asa Larsson
    Nominated for an Award in 2020(Miles Franklin): Room for a Stranger by Melaine Chong
    Re-Read: Rhubarb by Craig Slivey
    Classic You Didn’t Read in School: Animal Farm by George Orwell
    Three Books By the Same Author:
    1)Top secret Twenty One by Janet Evanovich
    2)Tricky Twenty Two by Janet Evanovich
    3)Turbo Twenty Three by Janet Evanovich
    Plus I read Hardcore 24, Look Alive 25 and Twisted 26 all Janet Evanovich!!!
    I really enjoyed the challenge and look forward to the 2021 Challenge!

  64. Cat says:

    I completed my challenge! Four of these were read alouds with my kids and I really enjoyed all of them.

    1. A book published the decade you were born The Queen’s Gambit
    2. A debut novel Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
    3. A book recommended by a source you trust Where the Crawdads Sing
    4. A book by a local author The Atomic City Girls
    5. A book outside your (genre) comfort zone An Unkindness of Ghosts
    6. A book in translation The Reader on the 6.27
    7. A book nominated for an award in 2020 The Ten Thousand Doors of January
    8. A re-read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
    9. A classic you didn’t read in school The House of the Spirits
    10. Three books by the same author (1) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
    11. Three books by the same author (2) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
    12. Three books by the same author (3) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

  65. Heather Hadley says:

    1. A book published the decade you were born: Helter Skelter
    2. A debut novel: Freshwater
    3. A book recommended by a source you trust: Stay with Me: A Novel
    4. A book by a local author: Finding Beauty in a Broken World
    5. A book outside your (genre) comfort zone: The Wife Test
    6. A book in translation: Out
    7. A book nominated for an award in 2020: Girl, Woman, Other
    8. A re-read: Raising Steam
    9. A classic you didn’t read in school: Ceremony
    10. Three books by the same author (1) The Queen of Blood
    11. Three books by the same author (2) The Reluctant Queen
    12. Three books by the same author (3) The Queen of Sorrow

  66. I was going back over the reading challenges I had printed out to help guide my year and realized that a book I read last week completed the MMD 2020 Challenge. Hooray! I’m looking forward to the 2021 Challenge and exploring new titles, authors, and genres. 🙂

  67. Carol G Barnett says:

    I completed the challenge and was anxious to see if there was anyplace to post my choices.
    A book published the decade you were born = Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Capote [1950’s])
    A debut novel – My Dark Vanessa (Russell)
    A book recommended by a source you trust – This Tender Land (Krueger)
    A book by a local author – Where Secrets Sleep (Perry [Columbia County, PA])
    A book outside your comfort area – The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (Adams)
    A book in translation – The 100 year old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared (Jonasson)
    A book nominated for an award in 2020 – The Promised Land (Obama)
    A re-read – Winter Garden (Hannah)
    A classic you didn’t read in school – The Old Man and the Sea (Hemingway)
    Three books by the same author – The Bertie Project, Portuguese Irregular Verbs and A Time of Love and Tartan (Alexander McCall Smith)

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