Book Challenges For 2022

After completing My 2022 Reading Goals, I told myself I wouldn’t do any challenges this year. Then, Adam at Roofbeam Reader announced he’s bringing back the TBR Pile Challenge. How could I say no when I have so many books to read?

Then, Karen at Books and Chocolate announced that Back to the Classics is returning this year too. Again, I can’t say no.

At this point, I’m in too deep so I thought I would create a third challenge for myself. Don’t judge me.

Here are my official challenges for 2022:

Here’s how it works: If you join the challenge, then you will commit to read 12 books (you are allowed two alternates) from your TBR list. Each of these books must have been on your TBR list for AT LEAST one year. None of the books may have a publication date of 1/1/21 or later. Once you submit the list, you are committed to to reading those 12 books, with the option of your alternates if you don’t like two of your choices. For the full run-down of the challenge details, go over to Adam’s blog (click on link above), read the rules, and make a commitment to reduce the pile. Those that complete all 12 of their picks will be entered into a drawing for a $50 gift card to either or The Book Depository!

I’ll update this page as I complete each review. Here are my selections:

  1. The Unconsoled (1995) by Kazuo Ishiguro
  2. Cathedral (1981) by Raymond Carver
  3. Sing, Unburied, Sing (2017) by Jesmyn Ward
  4. Kindred (1979) by Octavia E. Butler
  5. The Book of Strange New Things (2014) by Michel Faber
  6. The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) by Margaret Atwood
  7. The Pull of the Stars (2020) by Emma Donoghue
  8. The Dinner (2009) by Herman Koch
  9. Possession (1990) by A.S. Byatt
  10. Sula (1973) by Toni Morrison
  11. On the Beach (1957) by Nevil Shute
  12. Love in the Time of Cholera (1985) Gabriel García Márquez


  1. A Murder in the Vicarage (1930) by Agatha Christie
  2. The Outsider (2018) by Stephen King

This is another wonderful challenge as the theme is classic books published prior to the past 50 years. At the end, one lucky winner will receive a prize $30 (US) in books from the bookstore of their choice.

If you’re new to the challenge, here’s how it works:

  • Complete six categories, and you’ll get one entry in the drawing; 
  • Complete nine categories, and you’ll get two entries in the drawing; 
  • Complete all twelve categories, and you’ll get three entries in the drawing

Here are the categories and my “possible” picks for each one:

  1. 19th Century classic:  Oliver Twist (1838) or Bleak House (1852) by Charles Dickens
  2. 20th Century classic: A Farewell to Arms (1929) or The Man in the High Castle (1962) by Philip K. Dick
  3. Classic by a woman author: Orlando: A Biography (1928) by Virginia Woolf or Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier
  4. Classic in translation: The Baron in the Trees (1957) by Italo Calvino
  5. Classic by a BIPOC author: Quicksand (1928) by Nella Larsen
  6. Mystery/Detective/Crime Classic: Lots of options here. A Study in Scarlet (1887) or The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I may read both of these since they aren’t long. I also wanted to read Nine Tailors (1934) by Dorothy L. Sayers and Murder in the Vicarage (1930) by Agatha Christie.
  7. A Classic Short Story Collection: The Martian Chronicles (1950) by Ray Bradbury
  8. Pre-1800 Classic: Gulliver’s Travels (1726) by Jonathan Swift
  9. A Nonfiction Classic: Man’s Search for Meaning (1946) by Victor Frankl
  10. Classic That’s Been on Your TBR List the Longest: Moby-Dick (1851) by Herman Melville or The Woman in White (1860) by Wilkie Collins
  11. Classic Set in a Place You’d Like to Visit: The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1831) by Victor Hugo (Paris)
  12. Wild Card Classic: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (1966) by Robert A. Heinlein (went with something fun by a favorite sci-fi author)
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Joel Reads Around the World

One of my goals is to read more translated works, so I’m making that into a fun third challenge where I read 10 translated works from 10 different countries. While I have some ideas, no commitments on selections at this time.

Participating in any reading challenges? Ideas for me? Feel free to let me know with a comment below!

21 thoughts on “Book Challenges For 2022

  1. I’m going to post my TBR challenge on Monday, I’m so glad it’s back! I’ve read a few on your lists but the one that made me smile (the most) was Orlando and/or Frenchman’s Creek. Both of these are brilliant (although Orlando is also the most creative and original book) but they made me smile because of the visuals – there’s a lot of big flouncy pirate sleeves and boots going on between them – I think you should read them both!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. J.E. Fountain

    Some great choices here. I’m reading Oliver Twist for 19th Century (reread), but I’d recommend Bleak House over it…if you want a rec. I’ve also got Calvino (love him) for translation, but Invisible Cities instead. And LOVED The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. mikilectureaventure

    i’m participating in the tbr reading challenge as well , after putting some order on my shelves my tbr pile exploded.
    Good luck with all your challenges!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Book Review: The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue – I Would Rather Be Reading

  5. Wow! What a great list. I love Kazuo Ishiguro, but have not read that one yet (though I do own it). Sing, Unburied, Sing, The Handmaid’s Tale, and The Dinner are really good, and I hope you actually read your alternate, The Outsider. SO good. One of SK’s best, in my opinion.

    Good luck! You’re well on your way with finishing one book already. Keep it up. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words! I finished The Pull of the Stars so off to a good start. I haven’t decided on my second one yet from the list but thinking Sing, Unburied, Sing. I plan to read the alternates so Outsider for sure! I’m really excited for The Unconsoled as that one is supposed to be so different for Ishiguro. Best wishes on your challenges too!


  6. Pingback: Book Review: The Dinner by Herman Koch – I Would Rather Be Reading

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  8. Pingback: Book Review: The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick – I Would Rather Be Reading

  9. R. E. Chrysta

    I highly recommend Oliver Twist! However, I’ve heard great things of Bleak House too. I enjoyed both of your Doyle’s choices, but I think I enjoyed The Hound of the Baskervilles the most out of the two. Have a great year with the challenges!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Book Review: The Murder in the Vicarage by Agatha Christie – I Would Rather Be Reading

  11. Pingback: Book Review: Cathedral by Raymond Carver – I Would Rather Be Reading

  12. Pingback: Book Review: Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward – I Would Rather Be Reading

  13. Pingback: Book Review: Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez – I Would Rather Be Reading

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