top of page

Booklist Queen 2021

After last year's mammoth effort of joining five (!) challenges, I definitely feel the need to cut back. At first I wasn't going to commit to any, but then I found these two and thought "why not?" Remember, first and foremost, I look at challenges as a gateway to new reading paths, a fun way to nudge me in a new direction with my reading. It's not a competition and if I don't finish, I don't care; but, I'm going to give it a shot! Are you inspired to join me?  If this one doesn't appeal to you, here's a comprehensive list of reading challenges.


This is my second year of joining Rachael at The Booklist Queen in her reading challenge. Her reading challenge list is LONG (52 categories for a book a week) and full of ideas.....I did pretty well last year (you can see my results on the 2020 challenges tab) so we'll see how I do this year. As she reminds us, her goal is to inspire people to read more, just one more book - but whether you read 12 books or all 52, the goal is to enjoy reading.

Here's where I'll track my efforts to complete the challenge in 2021. I'll be double dipping some of the books that will also fit categories in my other challenge. I started by taking the lists and perusing my own bookshelves to see what I already own that will fit the challenge. Then, as I search the forums for ideas, I watch for books I know are already on my TBR list. Finally, I fill in with books totally new-to-me. Completed books will be in bold with a cover image and links to the reviews will be bold and purple. 

creative habit

1 - a productivity book

will change this to: educational book

The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp; published 2003, 247 pages

Full of her experiences to keep creativity alive as well as some tips, lists, and encouragement.

2 - book becoming a movie in 2021

Dune by Frank Herbert

3 - Goodreads winner 2020

Mexican Gothic by Sylvia Garcia-Moreno; published 2020, 302 pages

4 - biography

Diamond Doris by Doris Payne; published 2019, 288 pages

nickel boys

5 - about a pressing social issue

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead; published 2019, 224 pages

The based-on-true story of a Florida reformatory and the abuses suffered by black boys sent there. Pulitzer winner.

sorcery of thorns

6 - book about books

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson; published 2019, 453 pages

Fantasy about librarian of a magical library where books are precious and can talk and cause mischief.

7 - set in 1920s

Snow Child (The) by Eowyn Ivey

8 - author who uses initials

Invisible Life of Addie Larue (The) by V.E. Schwab

9 - poetry

change to: magical realism

Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn; published 2020, 376 pages

10 - 2020 best seller

Vanishing Half (The) by Brit Bennett

11 - recommended by a colleague

Devil in the White City by Erik Larson; published 2003, 447 pages

12 - a number in the title


13 - bottom of your TBR list

An Equal Justice #1 by Chad Zunker

14 - reread a favorite book


15 - own voices story

Paddling with Spirits by Irene Skyriver; published 2017, 240 pages

16 - published in 1800s

War of the Worlds (The) by HG Wells; published 1898, 192 pages

17 - local author

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

black water rising

18 - over 400 pages

Black Water Rising #1 by Attica Locke; published 2009, 430 pages

A legal drama about a struggling black lawyer and the challenges he faces as a black man and trying to keep his family safe.

19 - book turned into TV series

Fatal Voyage #4 by Kathy Reichs (Temperance Brennan), published 2001, 448 pages

20 - book that makes you think



21 - WWII story

The Huntress by Kate Quinn; published 2019, 530 pages

Told in two timelines, it's the story of a tiny Nazi hunter group and their search for a woman, The Huntress, and 1950 when their hunt brings them to America.

gilded ones

22 - a highly anticipated book

The Gilded Ones #1 by Namina Forna; published February 2021, 442 pages

YA Fantasy about a young woman whose blood color determines her worth, which is nothing, so she accepts an invitation to join the King's new army - of females only.

firekeepers daughter

23 - eye-catching cover

Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley; published 3/2021; 320 pages

#own voices story of young Ojibwe / white teenager's desire to fit in and her involvement with a crime investigation.

24 - summer read

Dear Emmie Blue by Lia Louis

25 - coming of age story


26 - best selling memoir

The Color of Water by James McBride; published 1996, 328 pages

27 - book club favorite


28 - book about friendship

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle, published 2020, 272 pages

everything i never told you

29 - audiobook

Everything I Never Told You, Celeste Ng; published 2014, 292 pages

At the death of a young, favored daughter, each family looks back and we see how the dynamics led to this tragic result.

30 - set in Australia

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

31 - by a Nobel prize winner

Less by Andrew Sean Greer; published 2017, 272 pages

32 - about an immigrant

Salt Houses by Hala Alyan

33 - time travel novel

The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain; published 2018, 371 pages

law of innocence

34 - by a favorite author

Law of Innocence (The) #6 Haller by Michael Connelly; published 2020, 432 pages

Mickey Haller is framed for a murder and must work from jail to save himself.

35 - childhood favorite

Heidi by Johanna Spyri

36 - classic read in high school


a history of loneliness

37 - borrowed from library

A History of Loneliness by John Boyne; published 2014, 384 pages

A February Buddy Read about an Irish Catholic priest as he is forced to confront his church's response to priests' actions against young boys.

38 - nonfiction New York Times best seller


39 - from an indie publisher

Angelfall #1 by Susan Ee; published 2011, 326 pages

stone sky

40 - fantasy

The Stone Sky #3 Broken Earth by N.K. Jemisin; published 2017, 416 pages

The final installment of this award winning fantasy series is complex and intriguing and a satisfying conclusion to this wonderful series.

41 - a sequel

Assassin's Quest #3 Farseer by Robin Hobb; published 1997, 757 pages

42 - recommended by a librarian


43 - psychological thriller

Who is Maud Dixon? by Alexandra Andrews; published 3/2021, 336 pages

44 - Oprah book club pick

Deacon King Kong by James McBride

45 - about technology


frozen in time

46 - title with three words

Frozen in Time by Mitchell Zuckoff; published 2013, 391 pages

Nonfiction  about several military planes crashing in Greenland in 1942. Told in two timelines - 1942 and the efforts to rescue the pilots, and a 2012 expedition to recover planes and bodies.

47 - debut novel of famous author

Still Life #1 Gamache by Louise Penny; published 2005, 293 pages

Award winning

48 - genre you don't usually read


49 - book everyone is talking about


50 - own but haven't read


royal assassin

51 - borrowed from a friend

Royal Assassin #2 Farseer by Robin Hobb; published 1996, 675 pages

The middle installment of this trilogy finds Fitz embroiled in palace politics, falling in love, bonding with a wolf, and still trying to serve his King faithfully.

a callers game

52 - 2021 new release

A Caller's Game by J.D. Barker; published Feb 2021, 424 pages

A lone cop is trying to save a woman and her daughter in a deadly game set up by a radio listener.

bottom of page