Reading challenges have become more popular than ever thanks to #bookstagram and #booktok allowing readers of every genre to connect. Many bookworms are already familiar with the simple Goodreads challenge, where you simply choose how many books you want to read and track your progress throughout the year. But there are myriad challenges available to fit all bookish shapes and sizes.
Many offer specific prompts that allow you to choose books that both fit your individual reading preference while also challenging you to broaden your literary horizons. BookRiot, PopSugar, The Literary Life, and The 52 Book Club are some of the more popular challenges. Their focus is to diversify and broaden your never-ending TBR.
We’ve rounded up eight reading challenges perfect for mystery, thriller, suspense, and crime lovers.
Read Christie 2022
This challenge features twelve prompts to help you explore Agatha Christie’s works. Their official book club chooses a specific book to read and posts live Q&A’s on both their Instagram and Facebook pages for readers to discuss and interact. You can choose any book that fits the prompt and engage in conversation with other readers using the hashtag #readchristie2022.
Related: 100 Years of Agatha Christie
Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge
The Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge is pretty straightforward. All books must be mystery, suspense, thriller, or crime novels. Short story collections aren’t included, but you can crossover with other challenges. There are five reading goal levels—starting with Amateur Sleuth (five to fifteen books) all the way up to Sherlock Holmes (56+ books).
To track your reading, you link your blog, Goodreads, or social media account to the challenge page, where everyone can watch your progress and cheer you on. They also have a private Facebook group to interact with other readers.
Related: 10 Thrilling Sherlock Holmes Books
Craving for Cozies
Craving for Cozies is perfect for the cozy mystery reader. The challenge is active all year and has eight levels of participation ranging from peckish (1-25 cozy mysteries) to pigged out (201+). Choose wisely, because you can always go up a level, but you can’t go down! Join their private Facebook group to interact with over 800 cozy mystery lovers as they all feed their need to read all year long. In addition, there are frequent cozy mystery novel giveaways on the main site.
The Literary Escapes challenge is easily adaptable to fit any genre you want to read. You simply have to read one book set in each state with bonus points for the District of Columbia and countries around the world. Because setting is the only parameter, this can easily work for any genre to reach your reading goal.
They have several ways to connect with other participants. You can join their private Facebook group to engage with the over 300 members, or you can post on social media using the #literaryescapes hashtag. Sign up to join in on the reading fun using this form.
Medical Examiner’s Mystery Reading Challenge
In this interactive challenge, you are the Medical Examiner, and your goal is to issue as many toe tags as you can. You issue a toe tag by completing a Death Certificate every time you finish a murder mystery and identify the cause of death in the victim in the story.
Each submission gets emailed to the Chief Medical Examiner, who updates your record on the Bureau of Vital Statistics page. You can search the page to find out who else examined your book and even compare autopsy notes.
Monthly Book Award Reading Challenge
Hosted by Girlxoxo, the Monthly Book Award Reading Challenge is designed to celebrate award-winning books. You simply choose a book that won an award in that particular month (but any year). For example, a book read in February would have won an award in February of any year. Use the hashtag #AwardChallengeGXO to post and participate in their monthly check-ins on social media. You can also join their GXO Goodreads Group for award-winning book ideas and to check out their other 2022 challenges.
Six Shooter Mystery Challenge
The Six Shooter Mystery Challenge isn’t focused on how many books you can read, but by completing six books by the same author. After you complete the six rounds, you submit your completed target for the Shooting Gallery. Each set of six gives you one notch on your gun. Complete your targets as efficiently as possible and you can reach sharpshooter status.
There’s a lot of freedom in being a gunslinger, as you get to decide what makes up a mystery and who is a mystery author. Notches and shooter status is updated daily so you can see where you rank and who else took a shot at your book.
Related: What Is Hard-Boiled Crime Fiction?
Storygraph Reading Challenges
Storygraph has dozens of reading challenges available within their community, but there are quite a few that have prompts you can easily apply to whatever genre(s) you want.
The Buzzword challenge uses a different key buzzword every month as their prompt. You can join over 1,400 participants and post your progress on social media using the #buzzwordathon tag.