If you’re looking to challenge yourself to read differently in the new year, this post is for you. I’ve compiled a few interesting reading challenges circulating on bookstagram that focus on reading from authors of all identities. If one of your reading goals is making sure to read books from authors, genres, or topics that you feel you need to learn more about, a well-rounded list of prompts is a great place to start. Reading challenges are also a great way to connect with other readers.
It is tempting to pick some prompts from each of the challenges to take on personally (something I’m seriously considering). This might be a good idea if you don’t want to commit to one particular challenge.
Books in Translation Reading Challenge
For this challenge, readers can choose books translated into any language of their choosing. It is based on levels ranging from Beginner (1-3 books) to Linguist (10+ books).
Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enriquez was originally published in Spanish and translated to English by Megan McDowell in 2017. I’m hoping to read this spooky short story collection in January.
PopSugar Reading Challenge
This challenge includes 40 standard prompts, and 10 advanced prompts that include books centered around pairs, doubles, and twins, in honor of 2022.
For the prompt ‘a book about a secret,’ I’d definitely read Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé. Multiple secrets are revealed throughout the entirety of the book and drive the narrative forward.
Reading Women Challenge
I’m so sad to hear that the Reading Women podcast just wrapped up its final season, and will not be putting out a 2022 reading challenge, but all their past challenges are available for perusal. This challenge grew out of two friends who wanted to focus on reading books by and about women, and expanded to reading and learning from people around the world. There are 24 prompts and a couple of bonus prompts. So many great ideas here!
A prompt from the 2021 challenge was a Memoir by an Indigenous Woman, for which I would recommend Dog Flowers by Danielle Geller.
Read Harder Challenge
In its eighth year of hosting a reading challenge, Book Riot is putting out a new set of 24 tasks to complete over 2022. The goal is to encourage readers to expand their worldview through books, and include tasks like ‘Read a book by a disabled author,’ and ‘Read a horror novel by a BIPOC author.’
For the latter task, White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson would be an excellent choice. Readers have said it is a great take on the classic haunted house story. I recently purchased this one and can hardly wait to get to it.
The Storygraph Reads the World Challenge
It turns out the Storygraph actually has multiple challenges going at the same time, but the one that caught my eye is the one that focuses on reading outside of the U.S. and U.K. The goal is to read a book set in a particular country, written by an author from that country. They have 10 countries listed, and include reading recommendations for each.
One of the books listed under South Korea is The Vegetarian by Han Kang, one that has been on my TBR for a long time. (Editor’s Note: Can I also suggest Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel for the 97th time for Mexico? No? How about Julia Alvarez’s Before We Were Free for Dominican Republic?)
Unabridged 2022 Reading Challenge
This bookish podcast recently released the 10 prompts for their 2022 reading challenge. For “Read a novel in verse,” I suggest When We Make It by Elisabet Velasquez, a 2021 YA debut that readers are loving.