2020 Thoughtful Reading Challenge

Need a new year’s resolution? Look no further! The 2020 Thoughtful Reading Challenge is designed to indulge your reading habit while also nudging you out of the box of your usual genres. I really enjoyed the 2019 challenge and found myself loving books I wouldn’t have typically read, like Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry and The Martian by Andy Weir.

Thanks to everyone who joined me for the 2019 challenge and I hope you like 2020 topics.

January – Read or Re-read the First Book of a Series

January is the first month of a brand new year, so it seems fitting to read the first book of a series. Or, if you have a favorite series, it would be interesting to re-read the book that hooked you.

February – Read a Biography of a US President

In the US, we celebrate Presidents Day in February. I thought this would be a good chance to learn more about the men who led our country.

March – Read a Mystery Novel

I’m dubbing March “Mystery Month” and I’ll be reviewing several mysteries this month.

April – Read a Pulitzer Prize Winner

This is a category from the previous challenge that I thought was worth repeating. I like to do this one in April because that’s when the newest winners are announced.

Link to previous fiction winners

Link to previous nonfiction winners

May – Read a Novel by a Mexican Writer

In the month of Cinco de Mayo, why not learn more about Mexican culture while you’re sipping on that margarita?

June – Read a Novel with a Strong Father Character

Why? Happy Fathers Day!

July – Read a Nonfiction Book About Sports

The summer Olympics begins in July and I absolutely love the Olympics. Get in the mood by reading about historical sporting events or noteworthy athletes. If you need a suggestion, here’s my favorite.

August – Read a Novel Set in a Cold Climate

Beat the August heat by immersing yourself in a cold, snowy setting. If the author does it right, you’ll temporarily forget it’s sweltering outside. Here’s a good one for this category.

September – Read a Book (Fiction or Nonfiction) Set in World War II

September, 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of V-J (Victory in Japan) Day. Recognize this historic event by reading about the war. Here’s one specifically about the war in the Pacific. There’s no shortage of good books in this genre!

October – Read a Novel Set at a College

October always reminds me of college football. There’s nothing like an October home game in South Bend! Cozy up to a book that’s set at a college, football optional.

November – Read a Political Thriller

Oh, good grief! It’s time for another Presidential election. Escape from reality by immersing yourself in a political thriller and see if fact is really stranger than fiction.

December – Read a Book with a Religious Theme

December is a great month to reflect on God and spiritual matters. End the year on a positive note!

Hope some of these categories catch your interest. Please join me for another year of thoughtful reading.

23 thoughts on “2020 Thoughtful Reading Challenge

    • Yes! Here’s what I read by month:

      January – The Secret of Santa Vittoria by Robert Crichton
      February – Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins
      March – Faithful Place by Tana French
      April – Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
      May – The Martian by Andy Weir
      June – Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick
      July – For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
      August – Mother Teresa: An Authorized Biography by Kathryn Spink
      September – Oop! Missed a month.
      October – Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz
      November – Travels with Charley in Search of America by John Steinbeck
      December – tbd


  1. Michelle–Truly appreciate all your insights to books I wouldn’t have discovered myself! I’m going to push harder to seek a few out and read them cover to cover. It’s funny (ironic)–I can tell that my attention span is now shorter with digital news and reading bits online–it takes concious effort to sit still and truly read an entire book–especially one that is not an “easy read”. It’s great exercise for the brain to focus and absorb all these interesting ideas–I have to get back to it!
    Example: Just watched the movie “The Theory of Everything” about Stephen Hawking with my oldest daughter. I bought his book A Brief History of Time years ago–fascinating science of the universe, gravity, black holes and the relativity of time. Not a skimmer, but very thought provoking and I think I need to pull that one out again as a mental challenge for myself 😉 You might like it too! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Robin! I totally know what you mean about shortened attention spans! I find myself reluctant to tackle really long books these days although there are so many good ones in that category.

      The Stephen Hawking book has been on my library list for a while and maybe it’s time to move it up.

      If you think you’ll do any the reading challenge, George and I usually read the same book and we’d be happy to let you know what those are so you can join us.

      Merry Christmas!


  2. I did well in 2019 through July. I’m aiming for better in 2020! I’m going to read A is for Alibi in January as I’ve always been curious about the series. Hopefully that will inspire more mystery reading for March’s challenge! Thank you, Michelle, for inspiring more reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you’ll be getting back into reading! At one time, Mom and I were reading that Sue Grafton series but then I stopped for some reason. Looking forward to hearing your opinion!


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