Challenge Yourself to Read 100 Books THIS Year!

Yep, 100 books!  That’s what I read in 2020 and I hope to duplicate in 2021. I have a few secrets and methods I’ll share.  One of the best helps I can suggest if you want to give it a try, is to join a Reading Challenge on Facebook. There are many out there, and I’ve joined three for this year. They keep you inspired, and they help you with choices.

Reading in the Dryer. a51880cb8ed871ed003cd9eab01b33ff The 52 Book Club (formerly, The 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge)

I found this one last year in February, and had fun reading in the 52 prompts that founder Liz Mannegren listed, and then posting the titles (and covers, if you wish) on the Facebook page .  For instance, which books would YOU read in such categories as; #3 – By an Indigenous Author? or #6 – Written in the 1970’s?  or #40 – Used on the Mensa reading list for grades 9-12?  or #48 – A Character who wears glasses?

For those prompts, I chose Whitefly, by Abdelilah Hamdouchi, Kindred, by Octavia Butler (recently deceased), Nine Taylors by Dorothy Sayers, and Andi Unexpected by Amanda Flower, respectively.  All excellent books, the first two I wouldn’t have read if not for the challenge. So glad I did.

Two very difficult ones for me to find and read were: #50 An Author You Previously Disliked, and #51 A Genre You don’t care for.  I chose a 30-page children’s book by James Patterson (the shortest I could find), and a sports book that turned out to be excellent, The Boys in A Boat by Daniel James Brown. (Think  Chariots of Fire.)


Among this year’s 52 prompts are:  #3 – A dual timeline, #17 – A character on the run, #19 – Book with a Deckled edge (Huh??), #24 – A book you think they should read in schools, #27 – First chapter ends on an “odd” page (harder to find than you think!), #35 – Set in a Country that starts with the Letter “S,” and #48 – A cover with a woman facing away.

Fun, huh? I bet you thought of books YOU would choose just like that!

A few difficult prompts for me to settle on this year are; #14 – Written by an author over 65 when first published (I hope to get the guy I chose as a WinR Guest later in the year!), #15 – A book mentioned in another book, #18 – An author with a 9-letter last name, #31 – Shares a similar title to another book, and #49 – A flavor in the title. (I chose Naomi Hirahara’s Strawberry Yellow.)  By the way, I chose another of Naomi’s books, Clark and Davidson (to be released in August) for the #26 prompt – An author of color.

One more prompt that everyone on the Facebook group found difficult was #8 – A book in the 900’s of the Dewey Decimal System.  Yikes!  After several librarians commented about geography, history, and biography, I eventually chose the biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.


Liz Mannegren announced this year’s new prompts (categories) on November 30, 2020, and wow, did the group go crazy!  Suggestions and questions flew back and forth. By mid-December, most everyone had settled on the books they wanted to read.  BUT… now was the hard part. Reading was not supposed to commence until January 1st.


Liz solved the “terrible itch to read” problem with giving the group a Mini-Challenge just for December. Three books with the Prompts: books about or with these words in the title – Light, Holiday, and Snow.  Pretty easy to find. I used a couple short stories (Jacqueline Vick’s The Christmas-s-s Party for one, and two beautiful Children’s books, which I then gave as Christmas presents.)

The Mini-Challenge prompts for February (she does this every other month for speed readers) are: A book with a red spine, a book related to the word “magical” and a book with a great platonic relationship (can be with a favorite pet). I’ve gotten three books picked out, whether I’ll get to reading them this month, I’m not sure. (They can be extra reading, or books in the current 52-book challenge.)


Okay, I’ve hinted at a “method” or “secret” I use to read 100 books.  I simply read some of the prompts in Children’s or Middle-grade books (which I enjoy anyway, and which usually end up as gifts or put into my Little Free Library).  They are usually shorter and take less time to read.  Also, in this “secret” is that I occasionally read short stories. (Confession: the challenge likes the books to be 100+ pages, but I don’t always do that. See bottom of next paragraph.)

Here’s something else I did. I found a book for last year’s #18 prompt – A book written by Stephen King (not going to read!) by Googling other authors by that name and finding a delightful Children’s book by “Stephen Michael King.”  Cheating? Nope. Over and over, you hear “It’s YOUR challenge, so YOUR choice” when people ask if they can use a certain book for a category.

And… another cool thing that’s done is that parents and children are doing the challenge as well. Older kids read in their age books while a parent reads in theirs. Or, busy moms of little ones do the challenge by reading children’s books in each prompt ALOUD to their kids.

One note: The 52 Book Club is a private group (to keep out spammers and such) but anyone can join at any time.  Here’s the link to join.  You can find the list of prompts, and even suggestions for each one.


  1. The 2021 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge.

This one is easy, and you can use books you read in other Challenges.  Simply read a book with the first main word of the BOOK TITLE (OR do it with the Author’s LAST NAME) for every letter in the alphabet. They discount the prefixes “A” or The” etc.  The letters “Q  X and Z can be found anywhere in the title (or name).  It’s a public group, anyone can join at any time. There are three moderators who keep a lookout for off color posts.

Founder, Lori Boness Casswell also suggests a one-book Mini-Challenge each month. For January it was, a book about or in the title: COLD. In February it is: LOVE.


  1.  The Literary Escapes Reading Challenge.

Another easy one founded by Lori Casswell. You read books that are set in each of the 50 states. You can also do countries as well. And again, they can overlap with other challenges.


So you see, by reading in these challenges (with my secrets & methods, and, okay, “cheats”), plus the ARCs I get for review, AND my books for pleasure, it is easy to read ONE HUNDRED books.  Don’t worry about “the time” just pick up a book and read.   And, if you review the books on Goodreads or Amazon, the authors will love you.


Reading. memes-about-being-a-parent-and-bookworm-cook-or-clean

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Author: Jackie Houchin

First, I am a believer in Jesus Christ, so my views and opinions are filtered through what God's Word says and I believe. I'm a wife, a mom, a grandma and now a great grandma. I write articles and reviews, and I dabble in short fiction. I enjoy living near the ocean, doing gardening (for beauty and food) and traveling - in other countries, if possible. My heart is for Christian missions, and I'm compiling a collections of Missionary Kids' stories to publish. (I also like kittens and cats and reading mysteries.)

12 thoughts on “Challenge Yourself to Read 100 Books THIS Year!”

    1. Stuart, Reading 12 books in a year is wonderful, especially if you are stretching yourself to do it. Maybe, towards the end of the year, you can add, just one more short one. Whatever you do, enjoy the reading. That’s what it’s all about! Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Thanks for the preview!

    Maggie KingAuthor of mysteries set in VirginiaWebsite & Blog: Twitter: @MaggieKingAuthr Facebook: MaggieKingAuthor

    Liked by 1 person

  2. WOW, Jackie! I’m amazed and impressed not only by the number of books you’ve read, but by the breadth of topics, authors, and different writing styles. So glad I saw Nine Tailors in your list, Dorothy L. Sayers is one of my all time favorites! Reading all those books has to be great for your mind (expansion and acuity). We need(smile) a “Writers in Residence” Prompt for our books!
    To repeat, I’m in awe, and you should should be proud to have completed what I think is such a worthwhile goal. Think of all the places, people, and character and author minds you’ve visited….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed. Madeline, I have visited many places and met many people that I wouldn’t have except by reading – such as a police detective in Morocco, a man from Mexico who survived 438 days in the Pacific Ocean on a small fishing boat with no motor or sail, and a nurse in a pregnancy ward of a hospital during the 1819 Spanish Flu epidemic. I’ve only read 15 this year, so I’m a bit behind, but there will be days I can devote to reading, and nothing else. Looking forward to it. Thanks for your kind words.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t think I will be reading 100 books or even 52 books this year, but I do read on a daily basis. And I am spending more time writing now. That’s what I need to do. But I thought the reading challenges and solutions you provided were interesting. I might use some of them when my stake to To Be Read books diminishes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know, Gayle, that I didn’t think I’d read that many books last year until I began tallying them up. I surprised myself. You might be too, if you went back to count up what you read. Quite a few of the books I’ve tagged for this year’s prompts came from my own bookshelves. That’s always fun. But you are a wonderful writer, so I’m glad to hear you’re doing more of that.

      One of the books I’ve read this year has a dual timeline (prompt #3) and I loved it. I contacted the author, and she will be our guest blogger in March, talking about how she thought up, and then wrote that dual timeline in her mystery books.


  4. Delightful challenge, and I’m impressed with how many books you read! It’s a challenge I can’t meet, though, unfortunately. I spend more time writing than reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Linda, if writers like you spent all their time reading… we’d have nothing to read. It’s fun for me, and many of the books I listened to as audiobooks, so I can be walking, cooking, gardening, driving, etc., while I “read.” I’d say maybe half of them were audiobooks. Right now, I’m listening to “Mr. Monk Goes to Paris.” (funny) It’s for the #20 prompt = Made into or from a TV Series. Another audiobook I just finished was “Who Is Alex Trebek” for the #40 prompt = Found via #bookstagram. Anyway…. keep writing!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Yikes! Can’t even imagine reading that many books as I’m the slowest reader in the universe, which means if I’m not into the story by page five I close the cover and move on. I envy your ability to read that many books. Like others, I’m spending more time writing than reading, but I’m grateful to have the patience to write again.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m not a speed reader also, Miko, but I do choose kid’s books for some of the challenges. They are short, fast, and sometimes VERY well written and to the Prompt. Keep writing! We readers need books to read.

    Liked by 1 person

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