2021 Reading Women Challenge

Hosted by thereadingwomen

990 participants, 6498 books added

Starts: Friday, 01 January 2021

Ends: Friday, 31 December 2021

It’s time for the 2021 Reading Women Challenge! Reading challenges are a great way to read outside your comfort zone—and you get to do it with other bookish friends! The 2021 challenge officially begins January 1, 2021 and ends December 31, 2021.

Here’s the rundown: complete as many challenges as you can from the list below. If you have one book that covers two categories (or more!), feel free to count it for both. It's not a contest. Our goal is to encourage you to read widely (and fight the patriarchy, but that was probably a given), so just have fun with it!

This year, we’re focusing on reading international authors (authors from countries other than your own). We’re also encouraging participants to read books by trans women and people of other marginalized genders who are comfortable being included in feminine-coded initiatives.

Be sure to share your progress by using the hashtag #ReadingWomenChallenge.

Need some recommendations? Scroll to the bottom of this page for a list of resources and a link to our Goodreads group.

Happy Reading!

[Note: Please be aware the Reading Women cannot moderate the books that are added for each challenge.]

Challenge prompts

1. A Book Longlisted for the JCB Prize (57 books added)


  • The JCB Prize for Literature is an award presented each year to a distinguished work of fiction by an Indian author.
  • The prize aims to celebrate Indian writing and to help readers across the world discover the very best of contemporary Indian literature. It also makes significant awards also to translators, without whose work no reader can appreciate the scale and diversity of a literature written in over twenty languages.
  • Find out more over on the prize’s website.

2. An Author from Eastern Europe (191 books added)


  • Eastern Europe is, as the name says, the eastern part of Europe. According to the United Nations Statistics Division, countries within Eastern Europe are Belarus, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Serbia, and Slovenia Croatia.

3. A Book About Incarceration (251 books added)


  • Read a fiction or nonfiction book about any kind of incarceration set anywhere around the world.

4. A Cookbook by a Woman of Color (168 books added)


  • You do not have to read every word of the cookbook.
  • Making a recipe from the cookbook is encouraged!

5. A Book with a Protagonist Older than 50 (415 books added)


  • Bonus points if the author is also over 50!

6. A Book by a South American Author in Translation (188 books added)


  • As with all of our translation prompts, you can read in any language you like as long as the book has been translated from one language to another.


7. Reread a Favorite Book (447 books added)

8. A Memoir by an Indigenous, First Nations, Native, or Aboriginal Woman (127 books added)


9. A Book by a Neurodivergent Author (208 books added)


  • While “neurodivergent” often refers to people on the Autism Spectrum, it also includes people with ADD, ADHD, learning disabilities, and any other type of condition that causes cognitive difference.

10. A Crime Novel or Thriller in Translation (205 books added)


  • As with all of our translation prompts, you can read in any language you like as long as the book has been translated from one language to another.