Reading Challenges 2016


I have to admit that I have a sort of off-again- on -again relationship with reading challenges. On the one hand, I hate assigned reading and feel immediately restricted in my reading choices, on the other hand I love the community effort in challenges and that they help me stick to reading resolutions, if I make them.

After finally getting back to blogging regularly halfway through 2015, I feel a bit more confident that I’m here to stay and I missed the book blogging community, so I want to participate in a few more events and challenges. So, for 2016 I want to commit to 2 all-year challenges and then see what smaller events happen during the year.

girl with the dragon tattoo readalong

I decided to start 2016 with a bang and catch up with one of the hyped books I still haven’t read. So for January wonderful Deepika of Worn Corners and I will be doing a readalong of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Everyone’s welcome to join in!

book riot

The 2016 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge sounds fantastic. I’ve been following the 2015 challenge and it looked like a blast plus this one challenges you to read more diversely and outside your comfort zone and since I had a wonderful time exploring new genres this year, I want to continue in 2016. Here’s a list with the 24 tasks, which challenge you to read a collection of essays, a book from the Middle East and a book by/about a transgender person among others.


Diversity on the Shelf Challenge, hosted by Akilah of The Englishist

I read a good amount of literature by and about People of Color already, but I’m going for 3/4 of all books I’ll read in 2016, so I thought I’d join in this important challenge. There’s 5 different levels, so everyone can take part really, and I’ve decided to go for the 5th Shelf: Read 25+ books.

Here’s 5 books on my tbr that would count for the challenge, but I know I’ll have lots of fun looking for all the works that would count for this challenge, so be prepared for more list posts.


dirty river



Ashala wolf

What’s important to me is to read books by authors of color and non-white non-Western authors and not just books where white authors include characters of color. Hopefully I’ll read mostly books that are intersectional in their approach and include other axes of oppression, such as gender, sexuality, disability and empire. And I’m sure there’ll be lots of fun books, I know now that I’ll definitely find such diverse books in fantasy and YA literature.

I think 2016 will be a great reading year. Have a wonderful start to the new year!!! And let me know about your reading plans in the comments!

25 thoughts on “Reading Challenges 2016

    1. Awesome, we can cheer each other on for the Book Riot challenge (and others, too, of course)! Have a great start to the new year 🙂

  1. I’m not good with reading challenges. I wanted to try and join The Book Riot challenge last year, because it sounded really interesting, but I was in the middle of my thesis last December and with graduation coming up…I didn’t feel up to reading outside my comfort zone or even setting a defined, fixed tbr list.

    Now I’m basically un-employed, so a few challenges might be good. I’ll look them up. 🙂

    Hope you have a great reading year!

    1. Yay for finishing your thesis and graduating, that’s awesome! I will probably graduate mid-year and I thought hey, I’ll have the second half of the year to catch up and I guess I’ll be jo hunting like you and it’ll be good to have something to look forward to 🙂 Good luck with the job hunt and hope you’ll join us in a few challenges!

      1. Thanks. 🙂 Good luck with your thesis and graduation!

        I’ve decided to join in on the Diversity on the Shelf challenge (I’m signing up tonight). That’s the perfect 2016 challenge for me because “Binti” was so good that I want to read more by Okorafor and I’d already decided to read the books by Arundhati Roy I haven’t read yet.

        Oh, I also got “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” from the library today, I’m ready to begin reading.

        1. Oh yay that’s fantastic! Isn’t Okorafor amazing? I want to read her Book of Phoenix soon. Have to check what you’ll be reading for the challenge through the year, for recommendations 🙂
          I’m starting with the first part of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo today, too, very curious after all the hype.
          Thanks, Lu!

  2. Good luck with your reading challenges in 2016. I hope you enjoy The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I have read the whole series which I thought was an interesting and gritty thriller, with a unlikely heroine.

  3. Bina, you don’t ever cease to inspire me. 🙂 I really needed to read this post. And, I am going to read about all the other challenges, and let you know soon about my participation in other events too.

    And, have a happy, peaceful 2016. ❤ Happy reading! Happy writing! 🙂

  4. I love your intentionality about reading works by authors of color, non-Western authors, and other “axes of oppression” (great phrase!) The Book Riot challenge looks fantastic. I’m only doing one challenge for 2016 so far – the TBR Triple Dog Dare Challenge, here:
    But perhaps I will attempt another challenge before the year is out! Happy New Year!

    1. Happy new year! 🙂
      Haha, yes that’s my grad studies showing, with these phrases 😀
      Good luck with the TBR challenge!! I’ve read most of the books I own, so I’m doing okay on that front. Hope you get lots of your books read 🙂

  5. Wonderful reading plans, Bina! I wish I could join you and Deepika on the Steig Larsson challenge. But the books look so big and intimidating! I will definitely follow your reading adventures during this readalong. I was expecting a Nnedi Okorafor book on your list and it was there 🙂 The Read Harder and Diversity on the Shelf challenges sound so wonderful! I have still not finalized my reading plans for the year yet. Hoping to do it this week. Have a wonderful reading year in 2016!

  6. Hi Bina – Thanks for commenting on my blog.

    I have been reading some of your posts. I love the choice and content of your entries.

    I seem to face similar dilemmas in regards to reading events. Time for reading seems so tight and I have such a long list of books that I want to read as it is that joining events seems constricting. I participated in events more frequently a couple of years ago but none in 2015. I would like to join in on at least one in the upcoming year.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and your kind words, Brian! I can so relate so feeling restricted by too many events. I think the key is to choose challenges that fit your reading tastes or goals and only try a few that sound exciting! 🙂

  7. Sounds like you have an awesome reading year ahead of you! I’m not making any specific plans apart from sticking to my percentages (35% nonwhite authors, 40% non-American authors), but I have a LOT of really exciting-looking books checked out of the library right now and can’t wait to tear into them.

    1. That’s a great percentage, Jenny! I will also have to try harder to read non-Western authors, thankfully lots of books are translated into German. Yay for your library! 🙂

  8. I’m taking a similar approach to reading challenges this year because I also hate assigned reading, but I do enjoy the community aspect AND pushing myself a little more.

    Welcome to Diversity on the Shelf!

  9. A good plan! I’m thinking about the Book Riot Read Harder and will most likely take the plunge. Some of the categories are so far out of my reading zone. Nnedi’s Lagoon is on my list of 2016 books to read. Enjoy reading for your challenges.

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