My 2021 Reading Challenges

Reading challenges… not necessary but so much fun sometimes. I like the idea of having some of my monthly reads guided by a particular theme or idea. That said, I also don’t like having too much of my list dictated by schedules and other demands. The solution… signing up for a couple of challenges! I actually haven’t varied my challenges much over the last couple of years. I like these few that I’ve been doing and will continue with them for 2021.

Goodreads 2021 Reading Challenge

I’ve played it safe the last few years by setting the challenge at 70 or 80; and each year I’ve passed the 100 mark. I bit the bullet and signed myself up for the 100 right off. Although… I haven’t been too impressed when Goodreads has told me I’m “behind schedule” already. Hahaha. I’m more than halfway through my fourth book for the year, Goodreads. Leave me alone! Admittedly, I kinda like the egging on.

2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

This challenge is hosted by The Intrepid Reader and includes the option to add monthly links to reviews of the historical fiction novels read. This will be my third year doing the challenge. I have to say I do enjoy it and there are always a few great recommendations in the monthly links.

Any sub-genre of historical fiction is accepted (Historical Romance, Historical Mystery, Historical Fantasy, Young Adult, History/Non-Fiction, etc.) During the following 12 months readers can choose one of the different reading levels:

20th Century Reader – 2 books
Victorian Reader – 5 books
Renaissance Reader – 10 books
Medieval – 15 books
Ancient History – 25 books
Prehistoric – 50+ books

I got 16 in last year so I’m going to aim for Medieval Reader again this year. If things go well enough, I may even get to that Ancient History level!

My Classics Reading Challenge

This is one I’ve been doing for myself the last few years. Here’s an excerpt from the post I published when I first started:

List Challenges cited this list as the BBC’s top 100 books that everyone should read in their lifetime.  Goodreads Listopia explains that it’s not quite a BBC list but rather a list based on BBC’s Big Read which was a search for the UK’s best-loved novels. I took a look at both lists and was surprised that I’ve read less than one third, even factoring in those books I know I read but can’t remember and those that I only read an abridged version of.  I’m slightly horrified by this, especially as a former English Literature student!

So… last year I tried to choose between Les Mis and Don Quixote and decided on Don Quixote. That was a total flop as I never even bought a copy of the book! I did, however, spend quite a a bit of time researching which would be the best translation to read. I have no intention of trying to read the original ‘older’ Spanish. Do you have any idea how many translations exist? At least 13 that are considered ‘good enough’ and then many others… Then, each translated version lends itself to various uses. There are those that most closely mirror the original Spanish; those that most closely mirror the plot mechanics and those that most faithfully deliver on the humour and style intended for the novel. Anyway, after much consideration, I chose the Rutherford translation which is supposed to be a translation into more natural English and which supposedly renders the humour best. I even bought my copy already so I’m well ahead of last year’s attempt. Fingers crossed for 2021!


Those are my confirmed challenges for the year. I’m still debating if I’ll do the Romance Book Reading Challenge again. I’ll decide on that for sure later but I do have a January read that can work. I’m looking forward to these challenges and all the entertainment the 2021 books will bring.

What challenges are you doing this year?

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