Reading Projects | 2020

Hi, folks!

It’s that time of the year again, when we reflect on what has been accomplished in the past months & start to plan ahead. Here are my reading projects for 2020. As usual, there is a lot going on, but I want to twist the way I take part in reading projects next year. While I am making sure to take into account our beloved blogging events, I am also leaving myself some space to choose my readings more randomly: instead of a fixed TBR for each event, I am going to limit myself to one or two books for each. And I will be updating this post as I go along.

Let’s go to the projects, shall we?

Victorian Reading Challenge

One can never read enough Victorian books! This challenge is hosted by Becky at Becky`s Book Reviews, to promote Victorian literature. Full details about the challenge & sign-up post here.

The categories:

  1. January/ February – Journeys and Travels: A Thousand Miles Up the Nile, by Amelia B. Edwards (1877)
  2. February/ March: Love and Marriage
  3. March/ April: Second Chances
  4. April/ May: Names as Titles
  5. May/ June: Long Title or Subtitles
  6. June/ July: Adaptations
  7. July/ August: Favourite Authors, New-To-Me Books
  8. August/ September: Back to School
  9. September/ Ocotober: Crime
  10. October/ November: Home and Family
  11. November/ December: Comfort Reads
  12. December/ January: Bearded Victorians

European Reading Challenge

This challenge is hosted by Gilion over at Rose City Reader, and the idea is to tour Europe through books. Full details about the challenge & sign-up post here.

My level of participation: 5 star (deluxe entourage) – “Read at least five books by different European authors or books set in different European countries”. My pile of possibilities:

  1. Russia: A Double Life, by Karolina Pavlova, tr. Barbara Heldt
  2. Denmark: A Change of Time, by Ida Jessen, tr. Martin Aitken
  3. Poland: Drive Your Plough Over the Bones of the Dead, by Olga Tokarczuk, tr. Antonia Lloyd-Jones
  4. Austria:
  5. UK:
  6. Germany:
  7. Italy:

Curious Adventure

This challenge is hosted by Natalie at Curious Reader, and the idea is to read more nonfiction books throughout the year. Full details about the challenge & sign-up post here. The categories:

  1. Read about a local celebrity/speciality: Erika Mann und ihr politisches Kabarett die “Pfeffermühle” 1933-1937, by Helga Keiser-Hayne (1995)
  2. Read about an experience different from your own
  3. Celebrate something you love by learning more about it: The Book of Forgotten Authors by Christopher Fowler (2017)
  4. Read a collection of short writings that have (in part) previously been published elsewhere OR read a book & an article the author has written for a media outlet around the same topic.
  5. Read a book about an activity/craft and then go try that thing out: Monsters under Glass: A Cultural History of Hothouse Flowers from 1850 to the Present, by Jane Desmarais (2018)
  6. Browse in a nonfiction shelf of your choice (bookstore, library, online, a friends, etc.) and choose a book you’ve either never heard of or something that grabs your attention.
  7. Time travel: if you could live in any era, which would it be? Read a book about some aspect of it: Weimar Culture: The Outsider as Insider, by Peter Gay (1968) & Fin-de-Siècle Vienna: Politics and Culture, by Carl E. Schorske (1980)
  8. Pick up a nonfiction & fiction pair on any topic/theme to read together: Passionate Spirit: The Life of Alma Mahler (2019) & Ecstasy, by Mary Sharratt (2018)
  9. Dig deeper into your past: pick up a book somehow related to your childhood/growing up
  10. Read a graphic nonfiction
  11. Explore a new-to-you press/publisher of nonfiction
  12. Adventures help us learn about the world but equally about ourselves: pick up a book that reminds you of yourself/allows you to self-reflect

Argentinean Literature of Doom

This project is hosted by Richard at Caravana de Recuerdos, and the idea is to read and review at least one piece of fiction written by an Argentinean author, read and review at least one nonfiction work on Argentina, or watch and review one film that falls under the same general criteria. Full details & sign-up post here.

My pile of possibilities:

  1. Sylvia Molloy: Vivir entre lenguas (2016)
  2. César Aira
  3. Norah Lange
  4. Maria Felicitas Jaime
  5. Silvina Bullrich
  6. Angela Pradelli
  7. Mariana Enriquez
  8. Vera Giaconi
  9. Pola Oloixarac
  10. Silvina Ocampo
  11. Olga Orozco
  12. Ana María Shua
  13. Alfonsina Storni
  14. Hebe Uhart
  15. Luisa Valenzuela
  16. Ricardo Piglia
  17. Ernesto Sabato
  18. Tamara Kamenszein
  19. Ana Becciu
  20. Sara Gallardo
  21. Ariana Harwicz
  22. María Gainza

Japanese Literature Challenge 13

This challenge is hosted by Meredith over at Dolce Bellezza, and the idea is to read and review Japanese literature from January through March 2020. Full details & sign-up post here. And here you can find a suggested reading list.

My pile of possibilities:

  1. The Goddess Chronicle, by Natsuo Kirino, tr. Rebecca Copeland (2013. Original: 2008)
  2. A True Novel, by Minae Mizumura, tr. Juliet Winters Carpenter (2013. Original: 2002)
  3. Revenge, by Yoko Ogawa, tr. Stephen Snyder (2013. Original: 1998)
  4. Toddler-hunting & Other Stories, by Taeko Kōno, tr. Lucy North, Lucy Lower (2018. Original: 1996)
  5. The Izumi Shikibu Diary, tr. Edwin Cranston (1969. Original: 1004)
  6. The Gossamer Years: The Diary of a Noblewoman of Heian Japan, by Michitsuna no Haha, tr. Edward G. Seidensticker (1989. Original: 974)
  7. Floating Clouds, by Fumiko Hayashi, tr. Lane Dunlop (2006. Original: 1951)

Classics Without Class Bingo

This is a personal project I created for my podcast. The idea is simply to read lesser known classics by women or by queer authors, and to use the categories in the bingo card as a guide. Here you can find more about it (in Portuguese).

The categories:

  1. Forgotten Brazilian female author: Lésbia, by Maria Benedita Bormann (1890)
  2. 20th century classic
  3. African classic
  4. Portuguese classic
  5. Author mentioned in the podcast
  6. Letters and diaries
  7. Gothic novel
  8. Travel writing
  9. Poetry collection
  10. Very long classic (more than 500 p.)
  11. Movie adaptation
  12. 18th century classic
  13. Queer novel
  14. Coming-of-age novel
  15. Classic fantasy
  16. Latin-American female author

And here you can find the original bingo card:

Back to the Classics

This challenge is hosted by Karen to encourage readers to tackle the classic books. Full details of the challenge are here. Below are the categories for 2020 (I will update my TBR as I go along):

  1. 19th Century Classic
  2. 20th Century Classic
  3. Classic by a Woman Author
  4. Classic in Translation
  5. Classic by a Person of Color
  6. A Genre Classic
  7. Classic with a Person’s Name in the Title
  8. Classic with a Place in the Title: The Mysteries of Udolpho, by Ann Radcliffe (1794)
  9. Classic with Nature in the Title
  10. Classic About a Family
  11. Abandoned Classic
  12. Classic Adaptation: The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton (1920)

Russian Literature Challenge

This challenge is hosted by Keely to share her passion for Russian literature. Full details here. And here you can find a recommended reading list.

My pile of possibilities:

  • Collected Works / The Inexperienced Muse, by Anna Bunina
  • A Double Life / The Crone / Life Calls Us / At the Tea Table, by Karolina Pavlova
  • The Dream: A Letter / Papers, by Zinaida Volkonskaya
  • Sonechka: A Novella and Stories, by Lyudmila Ulitskaya

Reading Classic Books

This challenge is hosted by Erica to encourage readers to read more classics. Full details here.

Here are the prompts for 2020 (I will update my reads as I go along):

  1. Read a classic over 500 pages: The Mysteries of Udolpho, by Ann Radcliffe (1794)
  2. Read a classic by a POC and/or with a POC as the main character
  3. Read a classic that takes place in a country other than where you live: The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton (1920)
  4. Read a classic in translation
  5. Read a classic by a new to you author
  6. Read a book of poetry
  7. Read a classic written between 1800-1860
  8. Read a classic written by an LGBT author and/or with an LGBT main character
  9. Read a classic written by a woman
  10. Read a classic novella
  11. Read a classic nonfiction
  12. Read a classic that has been banned or censored

Australian Women Writers Challenge

This challenge is hosted by Elizabeth to help overcome gender bias in the reviewing of books by Australian women. Full details here.

My pile of possibilities:

  • The Persimmon Tree, and Other Stories, by Marjorie Faith Barnard (1943)
  • Letty Fox: Her Luck, by Christina Stead (1946)
  • My Brilliant Career, by Miles Franklin (1901)
  • Picnic at Hanging Rock, by Joan Lindsay (1967)
  • The Three Miss Kings, by Ada Cambridge (1891)

Deal me In Challenge

This challenge is hosted by Jay to encourage readers to read 52 short stories in 2020. Before you start reading, choose fifty-two stories and assign each one to a playing card in a standard deck of cards. Each week, you draw a card at random from your deck and that is the story you will read. Full details here.

I will update my list as I go along:

  • Diamonds♦: Infinite Riches, a Virago Modern Classics short story collection, edited by Lynne Knight (1993)
    • Ace: Sylvia Townsend Warner, “An Act of Reparation”
    • King: Penelope Gilliatt, “Living on the Box”
    • Queen: Jane Bowles, “Plain Pleasures”
    • Jack: Tillie Olsen, “I Stand Here Ironing”
    • Ten: Elizabeth Taylor, “Flesh”
    • Nine: Willa Cather, “The Sentimentality of William Tavener” / Rosamond Lehmann’s, “A Dream of Winter”
    • Eight: Djuna Barnes, “The Jest of Jests” / Rebecca West, “The Salt of the Earth”
    • Seven: Antonia White, “The House of Clouds” / Nell Dunn, “Out With the Girls”
    • Six: Edith Wharton, “Souls Belated”
    • Five: Jessie Kesson, “Until Such Times”
    • Four: Leonora Carrington, “As They Rode Along the Edge”
    • Three: Attia Hosain, “Time is Unredeemable”
    • Two: Grace Paley, “Distance” / Dorothy Richardson, “Seen from Paradise”



Seasonal reading events

As usual, I will also take part in the various Clubs hosted by Karen and Simon (the next one will be the #1920 Club, in April); in Reading Ireland Month, hosted by Cathy and Niall; in the Wales Readathon, hosted by Paula; the Persephone Readathons, hosted by Jessie; 20 Books of Summer, hosted by Cathy; Spanish and Portuguese Lit Month, hosted by Stu; the Virago All August, hosted by the Virago Modern Classics Group at LibraryThing; Women in Translation Month, hosted by Meytal; RIP Challenge, hosted by Andi and Heather; Victober, hosted by KateKatieAnge, and LucyGerman Lit Month, hosted by Lizzy and Caroline; AusReadingMonth, hosted by Brona in November; Novellas in November, hosted by Laura; and Nonfiction November, hosted by KatieJulzRennieSarah, and Leann (and, on Booktube, by Olive).

Personal projects

As for personal reading projects, I will continue with my Classics Club list; my Speak its name challenge; my Century of Books, my My Year of Pilgrimage, the #100BestWIT project, my Virago Modern Classics, Persephone Books & Fitzcarraldo Editions lists. I will also try to read through my Winter TBR | 2019/ 2020.

As usual, I made a list of New-to-me Authors to read in 2020:

  1. Ouida
  2. Susan Ferrier
  3. Ann Radcliffe
  4. Charlotte Lennox
  5. Elizabeth Inchbold
  6. Edith Somerville
  7. Olivia Manning
  8. Marjorie Barnard
  9. Storm Jameson
  10. Eudora Welty
  11. Dodie Smith
  12. Gamel Woolsey

And I have a list of books to read for my local bookclub:

  1. Orlando, by Virginia Woolf
  2. The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead
  3. Drive your Plow over the Bones of the Dead, by Olga Tokarczuk
  4. Dreams of My Russian Summers, by Andrei Makine:

Book journal

In case you are curious, this is the way I organised all the 2019 projects on my book journal:

That’s all for now, folks! What are your reading plans for 2020? Tell me all about them.

Yours truly,


Harold Harvey, ‘The New Book’, 1920

10 thoughts on “Reading Projects | 2020

  1. Lots of challenges I wasn’t even aware of. I shall join in with Karen and Simon’s club weeks and I am hoping to do a Daphne Du Maurier reading week again as it proved so popular this year.


  2. Wow – what a plan! I’ll be doing my own Paul Magrs-athon in 2020, reading or re-reading a book by this favourite author (and friend!) every month. I will try to do Kaggsy and Simon’s Years and I am committed to doing Rebecca for DDM reading week as I won it from Ali last time and that was the agreement! Apart from that I will definitely be doing 20 Books of Summer and All August / All Virago and will be doing my own read more / reduce the TBR work apart from that! Good luck and happy reading!


  3. Wow! What an exciting plan you have laid out for yourself for this year! I have toned down my reading endeavors quite a lot, because while on one hand they opened new doors for me (to books and bloggers!), on the other, they became somewhat of an obligation. That said, the Russian challenge you spoke of here is definitely calling to me in a voice far louder than a whisper. And, you know I am thrilled to have you join the Japanese Literature Challenge 13! I didn’t know that Kirino has a “new” book, I will really look forward to that one. ❤


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