A Reading Challenge for Travel Lovers

I have been aware of book-reading challenges for some time but I never thought I would join one.  My own bookshelves offer enough of a challenge. I am a book buying addict and my shelves overflow with books waiting to be read.

I love used book stores, Friends of the Library shops, and most of all, the shelves of college bookstores in the English literature section.  I have a weakness for YA fiction because of its edginess and always check out those shelves in bookstores. Even the neighborhood Little Free Library across the street from my home occasionally offers up treasures.  My Kindle library is almost as full as my actual book shelves. During the “stay at home days” of 2020, I, like many, read more than ever and made inroads into my stacks of unread books. And I have to admit I bought a few new books too.

The question of what 2021 will bring still lies behind a question mark. For me, keeping busy and reading are the best stress reducers. The work of publishing my memoir, Wherever the Road Leads, is done, but there is still publicity and marketing to occupy me. I spend hours perusing the internet, checking out sites that deal with van-life, travel, memoir, and reading.  That’s how I stumbled onto The Book Girls’ Guide, 2021 Reading Challenge, Book Voyage: Read Around the World.  Led by two women friends, Angela and Melissa, Book Girls’ Guide –,  brings an obvious love of reading to its followers.

Of course, the title of this particular reading challenge is what caught my eye.  Perhaps it would offer a place to share information about my book.  When I checked the details, I was thrilled. This challenge was perfect for me and for my book.

The Book Voyage challenge divides the world into segments, based on geography and cultural differences. I’m sure it was a tricky job, with no perfect way to do it. Continents are divided sensibly and the inclusion of “Islands” and “Multiple Continents” brought the options to the twelve needed to have one per month. January is dedicated to books about the Arctic and the Antarctic. In February participants will read books that feature western Europe, and so on.

Best of all, the suggested book list is high quality and varied.  The list of 20 books includes a classic (Call of the Wild, by Jack London) and the highly acclaimed new novel, Migrations, by Charlotte McConaghy.  Fiction and non-fiction, memoir and mystery, comedy and romance, historical and contemporary – there is a book that will appeal to almost any reader.  Challenge participants can also read books not on the list (perhaps one from their own stacks of waiting books) and they are encouraged to suggest other titles that fit the designated category.

To add to the fun, Angela and Melissa, supply a free printable tracker where readers can chart their choices on a colorful world map. There is also a Facebook group and an Instagram account associated with the Book Voyage challenge.

Totally impressed with The Book Girls’ Book Voyage, I signed up for my first official reading challenge. I started with Migrations a few days ago and I am already half-way through it. I’m looking forward to sharing the titles of some of my favorite books in the months ahead.   And, without a doubt, I will be suggesting Wherever the Road Leads for next December when books that span multiple continents will be featured.

If all this sounds like fun, check it out.  I’d love to have some of my readers join me. After a year of travel restrictions and with months yet to go before we can safely travel the world, this book challenge should help appease our unsatisfied wanderlust.


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