Didn’t make your 52 books in 52 weeks goal last year? Don’t feel bad, I didn’t, either. That’s okay, though, a fresh start is right around the corner. Check out my brand-spankin-new list of reading challenges to help you meet that book-a-week goal.
52-Week Reading Challenge Book Prompts
Like last year’s reading challenge list, this one is just vague enough to give you wiggle room for choosing a fitting book yet specific enough to give you a little direction.
Here are the rules:
- Interpret the prompts however you want.
- Feel free to shuffle the weeks around!
- There are no rules! It’s a reading challenge for your own enjoyment. No one will be monitoring you or testing you on it at the end, I promise. 😀
I’ll give you my pick for each challenge, although it’s totally subject to change throughout the year. Obviously, you don’t have to read that particular book, it’s just there for some inspiration.
Last note, then we’ll get started: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I earn a small commission at no extra charge to you. Thanks a bunch!
Click here for the single page no-frills printer-friendly version (because ink is freaking expensive!)
Week 1: A book by or about someone who achieved your greatest goal
Since this week is all about setting goals and resolutions, why not read a book by or about someone who achieved your greatest one? For example, if your goal is to start your own business, read a book by an entrepreneur. Want to write a novel? Choose a memoir about a best-selling author.
Week 2: A book about a technology that changed the world
Can be real or imaginary tech. For example, a book about how, say, the steam engine changed America OR a novel about AI taking over the world. Totally up to you.
Week 3: A book that takes place in a country you always wanted to visit.
Too broke to take a real vacation? Take a literary vacation by choosing a book that takes place somewhere that you’ve always dreamed of visiting.
Need some inspiration? Check out my Around the World in 80 Books post for tons of ideas! My pick takes place in Alaska, just one of the many places on my travel bucket list.
Week 4: A “snowy” book
World Snow Day is Jan 19th! Choose a book that either has “snow” in the title or takes place someplace snowy! Check the Winter Book Covers list on GoodReads for inspiration.
My pick: A Week in Winter
Week 5: A book that takes place in a library
February is Library Lover’s Month! If you need help finding one, check out this GoodReads list (although some take place in a bookstore rather than a library).
Week 6: A book where love conquers all
Doesn’t have to be a romance! It can even be a story about a dog who loved his humans so much, he traveled thousands of miles to reach them. As long as love is a central theme, anything goes.
My pick: Pax
Week 7: A book about a young person who changed the world
February is Youth Leadership Month. Can be fictional or biographic. Your choice!
Week 8: A book that focuses on kindness
Random Acts of Kindness Week is the 16-22.
Can be anything from a kind act that drives the plot to a biography about a true philanthropist to a self-help book that teaches us how to be kinder, gentler people.
Week 9: A book by an Irish writer
If none appeal to you, a book that takes place in Ireland is fine, too.
My pick: The Green Road
Week 10: A funny book
In honor of Humorists Are Artists Month in March. Plus, we all need a good laugh!
My pick: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened
Week 11: A book in a genre you never really liked
You’d be surprised how our reading tastes change over the years! I never really got into high fantasy until I gave it another chance a couple of years ago. This year, I think I’ll try an alien invasion book. I liked the movie version of my pick below, so let’s see how the book is.
My pick: The 5th Wave
Week 12: A book about a woman who changed history
March is Women in History month. My pick may surprise many who know me. I’m not even remotely religious (I range between agnostic and atheist these days, unable to make up my mind). My choice has nothing to do with her from a religious standpoint, though. She was an extraordinary woman in so many ways. My grandparents (who were devout Catholics) spent time with her in India helping her mission and became good friends with her. Learning more about her life is a way to honor them as well.
My pick: Mother Teresa: A Life Inspired
Week 13: A book by an autistic author
April is Autism Awareness Month. GoodReads has a great list. If none appeal to you, can also be about an autistic main character.
Week 14: A book that takes place in the 20s
Fiction or non-fiction, your choice! Heck, you can even choose the century! 1920, 1820, even just plain 20! 😀
My pick: A Sky Painted Gold
Week 15: A book where dreams play a major role
Literally or figuratively, fiction or non-fiction. Again, up to you! Check out this list for some inspiration. I read my pick years ago but would like to read it again this year.
My pick: Dreamside
Week 16: A book that won an award the year you were born
Just search YEAR award winning books (Example, 1975 award winning books)
My pick: Slaughterhouse-Five
Week 17: A book published independently
Indie authors are just as talented (many more so) than big names by big publishers.
My pick: Incarnate (The Marked Saga Book 5)
Week 18: A book about a beloved pet
Cat, dog, guinea pig…your choice! April is National Pet Month! Based on the reviews, I’m sure I’ll be bawling after reading my pick.
My pick: The Art of Racing in the Rain
Week 19: A book by or about an immigrant
Can be from any country to your home country (I know not all of my readers are in the US), or an author from your country that immigrated to another.
Week 20: A book published the year your mom was born
In honor of Mother’s Day, which is right around this week.
Week 21: A book you loved as a teenager
If you’re still a teenager, re-read one from your childhood.
My pick: I Never Promised You a Rose Garden
Week 22: A book with a title consisting of a single word
No explanation needed here!
My pick: Speak
Week 23: A book that takes place in the outdoors
June is Great Outdoors Month
My pick: Into the Wild (I can’t get into the movie, but I’ll try the book)
Week 24: A book that takes place on the water
It’s National Oceans Month, but you can pick any body of water.
My pick: The Perfect Storm
Week 25: A book that you can read in the bathroom
June is National Bathroom Reading Month. Choose something with short and snappy sections (like a trivia book, joke book, or encyclopedia with short entries).
Week 26: An anthology
Can be a book of short stories by many authors or a single writer. It can even be an ebook anthology filled with books by indie authors.
Week 27: A book that takes place in a beach town
Think of it as a literal beach read!
My pick: Summer Sisters
Week 28: Give a book a 2nd chance
Pick a book that you read years ago that you didn’t love and give it a second chance.
I’m going to give A Discovery of Witches another shot. I was expecting something completely different when I read it, so I ended up hating it. Honestly, I thought it was going to be a deeper and more intellectual story versus yet another instalove “I just met you but we’re soulmates and I’ll die without you” Twilight-like tale. However, I did like the TV series, so I’ll give it another shot now that I know what to expect.
Plus, the whole trilogy is only $1.99 on Amazon (as of 12/29/19, that could change), so if I still hate it, I’m only out a couple of bucks.
My pick: All Souls Trilogy
Week 35: Read a book written by a teenager
Let’s support the next generation of writers!
My pick: Break
Week 36: A book featuring strong friendships between women
September is International Women’s Friendship Month.
My pick: Where the Heart Is
Week 37: A book about a disease
September is also National Disease Literacy Month Examples include a medical thriller, a non-fiction account of a major epidemic, or a book where the main character has a disease that has touched your own life.
My pick: Doomsday Book
Week 38: A banned book
This is a repeat from last year’s list, but it’s something we should do every year. Banned Books Week is September 23-29. Celebrate your freedom to read by choosing a commonly banned book.
My pick: His Dark Materials (I read it but want to read it again since I just watched the HBO show)
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Pullman, Philip (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 946 Pages - 01/25/2012 (Publication Date) - Knopf Books for Young Readers (Publisher)
Week 39: A book turned into a movie in 2020
Preferably BEFORE the movie comes out!
My Pick: Artemis Fowl
Week 40: A book with leaves on the cover
Can be actual leaves or just a word in the title. Leaves on a flower count, too! Here’s a relatively short GoodReads list to help you out.
My pick: A Year Without Autumn
Week 41: A book where someone stands up to a bully
It’s Bullying Prevention Month. Pretty much any book where the ‘underdog” wins against a tyrant counts.
My pick: Hello, Universe
Week 42: A book written by an LGBTQ+ author
Self-explanatory. It doesn’t have to actually be about an LGBTQ+ character if that makes you uncomfortable. I don’t necessarily understand why it would, but I’m not getting into that with you here. This is a reading challenge list, not my soap box.
My pick: Lost Souls
Week 43: A book that promotes mental health awareness
Could be a book where the main character has depression or anxiety, a non-fiction book about mental health, or however else you want to interpret it.
My pick: Looking for Alaska
Week 44: A scary book
Can be a horror novel, a book that features one of your phobias, or even a non-fiction book about a scary event.
My pick: The House Next Door: A Ghost Story
Week 45: A book written by someone over the age of 40
Just because we’re over the proverbial hill doesn’t mean we don’t have some good stories in us!
My pick: Postwar Survivor
Week 46: A book that takes place in the sky
What part of the sky is totally up to you! Could be on a plane, a space ship, or another planet entirely!
My pick: Starflight
Week 47: A book that you can read with your kids
November is National Family Literacy Month. If you don’t have kids, just choose something kid-friendly.
My pick: Keeper of the Lost Cities
Week 48: A book set in a totally made-up world
Or a made-up version of our own world, if you prefer.
My pick: The Princess Bride
Week 49: A book read or mentioned on Gilmore Girls
Rory’s reading challenge is one of the most popular on Pinterest, but most of the lists are missing a few books. I spent hours putting together a complete Gilmore Girls book list of all 408 books read, mentioned, quoted, or prominently displayed on the show from Season 1 through the revival. By “prominently,” I mean on a nightstand or in a full frame shot. It doesn’t include every single book on every single shelf. That would require months of research, not just hours! 😀
My Pick: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Week 50: A book on a subject you always wanted to learn more about
Pretty self-explanatory, right?
Week 51: A book that takes place during your favorite winter holiday
For me, that would be Christmas, but there are dozen of other major winter holidays to choose from!
My pick: Little Women
Week 52: A book from last year’s list that you didn’t get around to reading
Can be something from my 2019 reading challenge or from another list.
My pick: A Thousand Pieces of You
Remember, you don’t have to do this 52-week reading challenge in the order above. Shuffle it however you like, interpret however you want! There are no rules! Just read and enjoy!
Last update on 2020-01-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API