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Reading Challenge Results – 40 Next Books

Here are my 2019 reading challenge results! Did you follow along with the 40 next books to read categories? It definitely helped me make some uncustomary selections. Check them out and find a new book for yourself!

To start, let’s review the original booklist:

40 Next Books Reading Challenge Booklist. What will you read next? #2019booklist

Welcome, 2020!

This post includes Amazon links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Last year was my first year to follow a list of categories of books to read. I admit, it definitely stretched me. The categories motivated me to read things I wouldn’t have necessarily chosen on my own. And that was a good thing.

I hope you read through my list and are motivated to pick up a new book, or start your own 40 next books reading challenge!

Read the original 40 Next Books Reading Challenge post.

Why 40 next books reading challenge?

It’s been fun looking back at the books I read this past year. While I read more than 40 books, I haven’t yet made all forty categories. And do you know what? That’s okay! That’s why I made the challenge 40 NEXT books. You see, as a reader I tend to get distracted and read other things that catch my eye.

Yes, originally it was set as the 40 next books because it was the year of my 40th birthday (how is that possible)!?

How did you choose your books?

So I’m going to share with you the 40 categories and the books I’ve read in each. I chose the books to read mostly on friends’ recommendations or reviews on Goodreads or Amazon. Like I said, I did read other books that either didn’t fit the categories or weren’t ones I’d recommend.

The thing is, when I read a book, I will only share it or review it if I actually liked it. I rated all of the books read in this list 4 or 5 stars out of 5.

If I can’t make it through it, or can’t stand the writing style of a book, I’m not going to write negatively about it.

Why? Well, I know how much work goes into writing a book, and just because it wasn’t my thing doesn’t mean it won’t resonate with someone else.

When you take a look at this list you’ll notice four categories toward the end in italics. Those are the four I haven’t yet read, but the books I plan to read. Don’t worry, I’ll get to it!

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My 40 Next Books Reading Challenge Booklist

First off you’ll notice I didn’t include a summary or highlights of each book. However, if you click on the book title the link will take you to it on Amazon and you can read more about it there. Enjoy!

1. Published in 1979

The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

2. Set in Colorado

Centennial by James A. Michener

3. Animal book

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot

4. Book about an artist

The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis

5. Family

The Storyteller’s Secret by Sejal Badani

6. Historical fiction

(Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres so I’ve included three.)

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Hazel Gaynor

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

7. Alaskan author

To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey

8. Anne of Green Gables Series

Series Book #2: Anne of Avonlea by Lucy Maud Montgomery

9. Space

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

10. Olympics

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

11. Set in East Germany

Forty Autumns by Nina Willner

12. Adventure

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

13. Women in science

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

14. Set in another world

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

15. Grandparents

The Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick

16. High school age

Read one, and you’ll need to read all three! (I may have read them all twice this year actually).

I was behind on reading these and absolutely loved them. Have you heard there’s another coming? I can’t wait to read the prequel to be released this year, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire


17. Friendship

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

18. Set in France

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff

19. Written before 1850

I read this at least once a year. 😉

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

20. A political biography

The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin

21. Native American author

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

22. Hiking / camping

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

23. Set in Oxford, England

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan

The Inklings by Humphrey Carpenter

24. Coming of age

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

25. Set in the Caucasus

The Orientalist by Tom Reiss

26. Peace Corps

Monique and the Mango Rains: Two Years with a Midwife in Mali by Kris Holloway

27. Australian author

The Watchmaker’s Daughter by C.J. Archer

28. Romance

With This Pledge by Tamera Alexander

29. Set in India

The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey

30. Parenting

Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster Cline, Jim Fay

31. YA fiction

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

32. Finances

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

33. Iraqi author

The Beekeeper: Rescuing the Stolen Women of Iraq by Dunya Mikhail

34. Mental health

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

35. International travel

The Paris Spy by Susan Elia Macneal

36. Mystery

To Die But Once by Jacqueline Winspear

37. Fantasy

Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

38. A refugee story

The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya

39. Published in 2019

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

40. Birthdays

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

2020 Reading Challenge Goals

So there you go! That’s my list for the book challenge and what I’ve been reading this year.

Do you know what? While I enjoyed following the list I’m actually looking forward to reading whatever I want for a while. Whatever grabs my interest or other books from my past to-read lists, I’m ready!

After those last four are read, of course.

My goals for this year are more general. I set a goal on Goodreads in 2020 for 41 books. Evidently, I thought it was necessary to continue the pattern – turning 41 so 41 books. Ha!

What are your reading goals? Do you have any must-reads you’d like to share? I’d love to see them in the comments below as I’m always on the lookout for a good recommendation.

Here’s to the New Year 2020, and HAPPY READING!

Post your books for the reading challenge at #40NEXTBOOKS!

Happy reading!

More book suggestions for your reading challenge:

  1. Best Middle Grade Books to Inspire Wanderlust
  2. What to Read Next For History Fans
  3. Women’s What to Read Next: A Cold Weather Booklist
  4. My Cozy Christmas Books: A List

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