The 2021 Master List of Reading Challenges

The Master List of Reading Challenges is a compilation of YEAR-LONG challenges designed to level up your reading year. We’ve just finished our last updates (with challenges from the comments) – so have fun participating with a group of people and expand your reading!

rip xv reading list

The Master List of 2021 Reading Challenges


+ 52 Books in 52 Weeks. The goal is to read 52 books from the 52 different categories provided – find a book that meets the criteria and check it off!

+ Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks. The goal is to read 52 books this year. How you get there is up to you, but there are a variety of challenges including a 52 Books Bingo with 20 bonus squares that will take us deep underground to the outer edges of space, the Daughters of Mnemosyne and the Fictional Librarians Bookology.


+ A to Z Reading Challenge. A year-long reading challenges that encourages readers to choose a book starting with each letter of the alphabet. Along the way, we’ll have quarterly read-a-thons and mini challenges that you can use to replace any of the more difficult letters. If that isn’t enough, try out our Monopoly-style game for book lovers!

+ Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge. Fill your bowls with one book for each letter of the Alphabet

+ Alphabet Soup – Author Edition Reading Challenge. The challenge is to read one book that has an author whose first name or last name starts with every letter of the alphabet.

+ The Audiobook Challenge. The goal is to find a new love for audios or to outdo yourself by listening to more audios this year.

+ Aussie Author Challenge. Your challenge is to read and review books written by Australian authors. Choose from three different levels: Wallaby, Wallaroo, or Kangaroo.

+ Aussies Rule Challenge. The theme for this challenge is “Hell no anglo” with a specific focus on First Nations Aussies authors and Aussie authors of Colour. Read at least one book for each prompt.


+ Back to the Classics. A year-long challenge in which participants are encouraged to finally read the classics they’ve always meant to read — or just recently discovered – in the categories provided.

+ Backlist Reader Challenge. Read books that have been published before 2018 AND are already on your TBR list or pile.

+ Backpacking Bookworm’s 2021 Reading Challenge. Read a book each month for the theme.

+ Beachcomber Mystery Reading Challenge. Become a Beachcomber by filling up four beach bags as you read mysteries!

+ Beat the Backlist Challenge. The Beat the Backlist reading challenge is designed to help you tackle all the books you keep meaning to read and still haven’t.

+ Beyond the Bookends 2021 Reading Challenge. This challenge features 12 categories – 1 for each month – that will inspire your reading journey for the road ahead.

+ Blogger’s Bookshelf 2021 Book Club Reading Challenge. Read books for the 24 prompts – try and tick off all 24, mix and match your favorite 12 for a monthly prompt, use them to create your own bingo sheets, or just dip in and out whenever you wish; there are no rules here!

+ Bob on Books 2021 Reading Challenge. Stretch your reading and get out of your usual reading with this reading challenge as you complete books for each of the 12 prompts.

+ Book Award Reading Challenge. Read one award winning book each month. This challenge is hosted here at GXO!

+ Book to Movie Challenge. Read books being made into movies or tv series. Choose from the list on the site or add you’re own if it’s not there yet.

+ Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge. Read Harder has 24 fun and serious tasks designed to help you break out of your reading bubble and expand your worldview through books.

+ Book Voyage: Read Around the World. Get ready to read for a certain region of the World each month from the provided book list.

+ Books and Tea 2021 Reading Challenge. There are 12 prompts, meaning if you want to just try and tick off one prompt each month, you can – or you can complete them all faster and in a different order if you prefer.

+ Books Are Our Superpower Reading Challenge. The challenge is to read 1 book a week, every week, in 2021. To keep it exciting, each month has a theme, and the list covers fiction and non-fiction books so there is something for everyone. Everything has been planned out for you so the only thing you need to do is get the books.

+ Books in Translation. Read a book that’s been translated from any language into the language of your choosing. The challenge is not limited to translations to or from English.

+ Booklist Queen’s 2020 Reading Challenge. Read a book a week in 2021 with these 52 different categories to expand your reading selection.

+ British Crime Classics Challenge. Read Mystery Classics written in or before 1965 and written by British Author(s). You can choose any book(s) or follow along with the themes provided.

+ Build Your Library Reading Challenge. This year, there are 40 reading prompts, and the focus is on “hygge” – We all could use a little comfort right now, and what more comfort is there than a really great book?!


+ Calendar of Crime. Read 12 mystery books, each from of the categories in the month on the Calendar of Crime. Link up at the blog, or on social media using #CalendarOfCrime2021.

+ Children’s Books Reading Challenge…for Adults. Anything you think could be found in the children’s section of a library or bookstore is applicable, as well as timeless classics that the whole family would enjoy.

+ Chunkster Reading Challenge. The books read must be 450 pages or more to be considered chunkster books.

+ Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge. Read any book that is from the mystery, suspense, thriller, or crime genre.

+ The Clock Reading Challenge. The goal is to read 12 books, each with a number from 1 to 12 in the title.

+ Color Coded. Choose books where the color may either be named in the title or it may appear as the dominant color for the cover.

+ Cozy Mystery Reading Challenges. There are 20 prompts plus four bonus prompts all about reading cozy mysteries. Check in on Facebook (Cozy Mystery Reading Challenges).

+ COYER Reading Challenges. Clean Out Your E-Reader! There are seasonal challenges and a community with 3 semester long challenges. It’s not all about reading free eBooks anymore either!

+ Craving For Cozies. Read cozy mystery books.

+ Creativity Reading Challenge. This challenge is about reading books on creativity, art, crafts, writing, film making, photography and any other topic that helps you live a more creative life.

+ Cruisin’ Thru The Cozies. Read only cozy mysteries of your choice or read through the different sub-genres of cozy mysteries.


+ Debut Author. Read at least 3 books by debut authors this year.

+ Decades Reading Challenge. Challenge yourself to reading books set in each decade from the 1910s through today!

+ Diversify Your Reading Challenge. This challenge features 16 prompts: 12 genre prompts, and 4 bonus categories. You’ll be reading from the prescribed genre each month, with an additional bonus read for each quarter.

+ Diversity Reading Challenge. Read as many diverse books as you can, and also complete a read for the monthly theme.

+ Dystopia Reading Challenge. Read and review dystopian books.


+ Elif the Reader 2021 Reading Challenge. Download the printable and read books for the 20 reading prompts.

+ Epistolary Reading Challenge. The challenge is to read books written in the form of letters, diaries, blogs, e-mails and such, either completely or partially written this way.

+ European Reading Challenge. Tour Europe through books. The idea is to read books by European authors or books set in European countries (no matter where the author comes from).


+ Fairytale Reading Challenge. Each month has a fairytale assigned to it, and you can choose any retelling of that fairytale to read for that month, or read the original fairytale. If you are feeling ambitious, you can read both.

+ Fantasy Reading Challenge. This reading challenge consists of 12 prompts, one for each month of the year. You can choose your own book for each prompt, or check out the recommendations in each category.

+ Finishing the Series. This challenge is focused on finally finishing those series that you’ve started but not yet completed.

+ The Free Black Women’s Library Reading Challenge/2021. The goal is to read 25 books by Black women or Black non-binary authors this year. There are reading challenge prompts, and recommendations for each month so you can read with the book club.


+ Gaia/ Nature Reading Challenge. Read a nature themed book and you can choose the categories from the Bingo card provided as well.

+ Georgian Reading Challenge. Read a minimum of 4 books set in the Georgian Era.


+ Historical Fiction Reading Challenge. Read historical fiction books from sub-genres like Historical Romance, Historical Mystery, Historical Fantasy, Young Adult, History/Non-Fiction using the BINGO provided.

+ Historical Romance Book Bingo. Have fun reading historical romance novels and reach a bingo.

+ Humor Reading Challenge. Read books that you consider funny or humorous.


+ Kindle Unlimited. Read any book that you read using your KindleUnlimited subscription.


+ Library Love. The goal is to read at least 12 books from the library.

+ Linz The Bookworm 2021 Reading Challenge. There are different levels, and different categories in each level. There are a lot of options but this reading challenge will also help challenge you to come out of your comfort zone. Get reading!

+ Literary Escapes Challenge. Try to read 1 book set in each of the 50 states + the District of Columbia.

+ The Literary Life 19 in 21 Reading Challenge. Join the Literary Life Podcast community reading 19 books for the prompts on the printable. And there’s a kids challenge as well.


+ The (Unofficial) Magnus Archives Reading Challenge. As an ode to The Magnus Archives Horror Podcast, this reading challenge has 52 reading prompts. Read books from any genre as long as they fit the themes.

+ Medical Examiner’s Mystery Reading Challenge. You are the Medical Examiner, and your goal is to issue as many Toe Tags as you can by reading murder mysteries and determining the cause of death of the unfortunate victim(s).

+ Memoir Reading Challenge. Read a minimum of five memoirs from any of the categories listed. One book can only count for one category.

+ Mental Health Reading Challenge. Read any book related to mental health – fiction or non-fiction.

+ Modern Gypsy 2021 Book Bingo. Choose your bingo journey + commit to a monthly check-in.

+ Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge. Choose between different checklists: Reading for Growth and Reading for Fun.

+ Monthly Keyword Reading Challenge. Your task is to read at least one book each month whose title includes one or more of the keywords for that month. This challenge is hosted here at Girlxoxo!

+ Monthly Motif. Read a book that corresponds to one of the themes or motif provided each month. This challenge is hosted here at Girlxoxo!

+ Mount TBR. Knock out some of those books you OWN that have been waiting in the wings for weeks … months … even years.

+ Mythical, Mystical, Magical Reading Challenge. This reading challenge consists of 35 prompts, some with several parts, but all prompts can be mixed and matched as one pleases


+ The New Release Reading Challenge. Challenge yourself to read new books!

+ The Nerd Daily Reading Challenge. Consisting of 52 challenges, you could potentially read a book a week from the printable prompts, or read any time throughout the year.

+ Netgalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge. Are you feeling overwhelmed by the number of NetGalley/Edelweiss books sitting on your shelf to be read? Have you lost your 80% rating and would love to get it back? Then challenge yourself to read more NetGalley and/or Edelweiss books.

+ Newbery Reading Challenge. Challenge yourself to read more Newbery and Caldecott Award Winning books.

+ New (to You) Narrator Reading Challenge. Listen to audiobooks read by narrators who are new to you. They do not have to be narrators who are new to the industry, they just have to be readers you personally haven’t checked out before.

+ NJM Reading Challenge. There are 25 items to tick off by year’s end, and with some books likely to satisfy more than one category, it shouldn’t be too difficult for most readers to accomplish.

+ Nonfiction Reader Challenge. Select, read and review a book from the 12 categories during the year for a total of up to 12 books.


+ Out of Your Comfort Zone Challenge. The aim of this challenge is to read books that you consider to be outside of your comfort zone. Use the cute badges and buttons to proudly display your reading stats – favorites, genre fan, series champ, etc.


+ Pick Your Poison. Check out the printable – 13 topics with 4 categories in each – so “Pick Your Poison”! It could be anywhere from a Baker’s Dozen – 1 category from any of the 13 topics … all the way up to a Freaky Reader – complete all the topics.

+ Poetry Reading Challenge. There are 3 ways to tackle this challenge – all of which involve reading … poetry!

+ Popsugar Reading Challenge. Read books that meet 40 random fun and interesting prompts. For an extra challenge read books that meet the 10 advanced prompts.

+ Pretty Mess Reading Challenge. There are 26 different categories to expand your reading selection. Whether you read 6 books a year or 52, I want to encourage you to step outside of your normal genre and try something new.

+ The Purrfect Reading Challenge. Read mysteries that have cats as main characters.


+ #QueerBookFun2021. Read books that feature and focus on LGBTQ+ characters and stories, and share these with others.


+ A RAD Reading Challenge. Choose to read from any or all of the nine categories in the printable.

+ Read Around the World. Read your way around each of the 7 continents. Pick the same coutnries as the challenge host, or do it all on your own – it’s up to you.

+ Read Native 2021. Read about Native Americans using the themes provided on the printable.

+ Read the Alphabet Challenge. A monthly challenge where you read books that start with specific letters.


+ Series Enders. Let’s knock out those pesky last books in a series.

+ The 2021 SFF Badge Collection. Earn badges by reading the speculative fiction books represented by each badge.

+ Southern Literature Reading Challenge. Read books by Southern authors set largely in the South (US). #2021southernlit

+ Spacetime Reading Challenge. Read fiction books set in space or time.

+ Stacked Reviews 2021 Reading Challenge. Choose a book for each of the 20 reading challenge prompts.


+ Tackle My TBR Reading Challenge. The goal is to read at least ONE book from your TBR every month. It can be an ARC, ebook, audiobook or print – your choice. Any reading is good reading!

+ The TBR 21 IN ’21. The goal to read 21 books from your TBR shelves in 2021.

+ TBR (To Be Read) Challenge. Pull out long neglected books from your “to be read” list, following the theme of the month – and read. Share with #TBRChallenge

+ Turtle Recall – A Journey Through Discworld // 2020. Read books set in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld.

+ Tyger Gal Reads 2021 Reading Challenge. Read books for the 16 prompts.


+ The Uncorked Reading Challenge. There are 12 categories, one for each month, with books to inspire travel and diverse, international reads. Check in on the Facebook Group, Uncorked Readers and on social media using the hashtag #UncorkedReading2021

+ The Unread Shelf Project. Read the books you own and have fun doing it by reading for a monthly theme.

+ Unruly Read Book Bingo. The most beutifully deigned book bingo I’ve seen this year.


+ Victorian Reading Challenge. Read a minimum of four books form the Victorian era.

+ Vintage Scategories: Vintage Mystery Challenge. Your mission will be to fulfill at least eight of the categories in a single vintage era and, as always, you are welcome to complete all categories and both eras if you would like.

+ Virtual Mount TBR Reading Challenge. This challenge is for all those folks with mile-long “wish-list” of TBRs who would like a chance to climb as well – similar to the Mount TBR Challenge.


+ What An Animal Reading Challenge. Read books where animals play a major role in the book or if a main character is (or turns into) an animal.

+ What’s in a Name Reading Challenge. Read a book for each of the 6 categories listed.

+ World Reading Challenge. Read the books on this year’s list which covers 45 titles to round out our mission of reading the world.

+ World War II Challenge. Read, Watch, Listen and Share WWII related stuff.

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117 Replies to “The 2021 Master List of Reading Challenges”

  1. Ally says:

    Hi, I’m hosting a Historical Romance Book Bingo over at my site

  2. Bev Baird says:

    I clicked the Modern Mrs Darcy – it took me to the 2020 challenge.
    here is the link for 2021:

    Thanks so much for compiling these challenges. I refer to it often throughout the year.

  3. […] The 2021 Master List of Reading Challenges […]

  4. Deborah says:

    I saw this challenge on one of my FB book groups. It is my understanding from looking at it that the challenge will begin again in 2021, but I think the FB group will remain Shakespeare 2020. The group looks very friendly, supportive and helpful!

  5. Susan Kelley says:

    Hi! Thanks for the list! I found some fun challenges to add to my personal reading goals! I co-host a monthly reading challenge/game on Facebook – Fiction Feud Society! Each month our game is loosely based on a board/card game. We’ve had themes based on Clue, Name that Tune (Name that Carol), Escape Room & more!

  6. Hello ladies,
    We are still hosting the New Release Challenge on our blog, where the idea is to read and review 2021 releases during 2021.
    Thanks in advance for adding it 🙂

  7. Great list, and thank you so much for adding The Backlist Reader Challenge! One minor problem: The link you have is for 2020’s challenge. For the 2021 challenge, the link is .

  8. […] XOXO has compiled a huge database of 2021 reading lists, so if you’re already done with the challenges here, head over to find even more reading lists to […]

  9. […] XOXO has compiled a huge database of 2021 reading lists, so if you’re already done with the challenges here, head over to find even more reading lists to […]

  10. Vee says:

    Great list! I don’t host it but one of my favorites in 2020 that isn’t listed here is the unread shelf project.

  11. Donna Smith says:

    Also – please add my 2021 Audiobook reading challenge with 10 prompts and 3 bonus prompts

  12. […] XOXO has compiled a huge database of 2021 reading lists, so when you’re already performed with the challenges right here, head over to seek out much more […]

  13. […] XOXO has compiled a huge database of 2021 reading lists, so if you happen to’re already carried out with the challenges right here, head over to seek out […]

  14. This is an amazing list! Thank you for mentioning COYER. We really appreciate it. Now I need to go back and figure out what I might want to join! 🙂 Thanks for the awesome work on the list!

  15. […] XOXO has compiled a huge database of 2021 reading lists, so if you’re already done with the challenges here, head over to find even more reading […]

  16. Thank you for doing this again — it’s invaluable!

    I’m hosting the European Reading Challenge again on Rose City Reader. This is the 9th year for the challenge. It makes a good crossover with other “read the globe” and “read in translation” challenges. Here’s the link to the sign up page with more information:

    Thanks for sharing!

  17. […] By Savannah Tanbusch, Beyond Bylines: Blog Profiles: Christmas Blogs         By Kim & Tanya, girloxox: The Master List of 2021 Reading Challenges         MessyNessy 13 Things I Found on the Internet Today (Vol. DXXXIV): The […]

  18. Melissa says:

    What an awesome resource you put together. Thanks so much for including our Book Girls’ Guide challenges!

  19. Austine says:

    Thanks for compiling this list again this year!! We’re hosting our annual Beat the Backlist challenge again if you’d like to include it! All the information can be found at the link below 🙂

  20. I don’t host this challenge but there is the Build Your Library Reading Challenge. This year it is 40 prompts centered around the idea of Hygge. This is the third year they’ve had a challenge, it is hosted by Emily Cook and it has a Goodreads group as well. More information:

  21. Thank you for hosting another year of reading challenges. Would please add
    “Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks” Join us for our 13th year of Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks. The goal is simple – read 52 books. How you get there is up to you. We have a variety of challenges including a new 52 Books Bingo, this year’s spelling challenge, Fictional Librarian, and Daughters of Mnemosyne to aid in our reading adventures.
    Thanks – Robin

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