The 20 in 20 Challenge! #Read20in2020

In the immortal words of Doctor Seuss,

“The more that you read, the more things you will know;
The more that you learn, the more places you will go.”

Some of us are readers who pick up a book at random and start reading. And some of us like to challenge ourselves by finding a book that fits a criterion. I used to be the former, but now am part of the latter. I have found lovely books that adhere to a certain category or prompt, that I might otherwise have left unread. If you are one such reader, I hope this challenge, the “20 in 20 challenge” helps your reading be a bit more diverse than it might have been. This challenge asks you to read 20 books in 2020 (10 fiction and 10 non-fiction).

How does this work?

The challenge starts at 12am IST on January 1st 2020, and ends at 12pm IST on December 31st 2020.

Below are twenty categories (or prompts, if you want to call them that). The challenge is to read 10 fiction and 10 non fiction books that fit a category. Thus reading 20 books in 2020!

  • You can choose to read a fiction and a non fiction for the same category if you want, but not more than one fiction and one non-fiction for any category.
  • You can read one book each prompt and do all the twenty categories too. Up to you! I only ask that the books be over 100 pages.
  • You can read 2 each month and finish at the end of the year, or read 1 each week and finish by May. That’s totally your call. (Even 1 per day is okay, but that’ll be some feat!)
  • You can track your progress in any way you feel comfortable. I’m not likely to be behind you saying “You’ve not read! You’ve not read!” (It might happen though! No promises)
  • If you review a book you’ve read for this challenge on your blog, Goodreads or Instagram, feel free to come to this page and comment. I’ll come read it for sure. And maybe, just maybe, others might too.

The categories are:

1. Crime fiction or True crime book
Some popular Crime Fiction books | Popular True Crime books
These are just some choices to give you a start in your research for the category. Others out of this list will be there for sure. Especially for fiction!

2. A book set in the country where you are currently residing
Would depend on where you are staying. So you can research accordingly!

3. A book with a (mostly) white color cover
Would depend on the editions I think. Two books that come to mind immediately are Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harrari, and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. There are plenty of options for this, so you won’t find yourself short of reading choices!

4. A book with day/night in the title
Night | Day

5. LGBTQ related book
Fiction | Non Fiction

6. Book originally published in the 1990s
Best Books of the Decade

7. Book about mental health/dealing with mental illness

8. A humor book

9. A book from an author you chose for another category in this challenge
For e.g, if you picked Sapiens for the white cover category, you can choose Homo Deus for this category. or if you chose The ABC Murders for the crime category, you can choose Appointment with Death for this category.

10. Book with 11 letters/characters in the title (excluding spaces and punctuation)
For e.g. Being Reshma, Night School, Black Coffee, Heads You Win, etc.

11. An epistolary book
Some popular epistolary books

12. A book with a calendar month in the the title
Some options for you

13. A book you read in your childhood days
Would totally depend on you. What I read in my childhood won’t necessarily be what you read in yours, will it?

14. Book translated into English from another language
Some options for you

15. A book with more than 500 pages
Some options for you

16. A book that has something to do with sports
Some fiction options for you

17. An illustrated book

18. A wartime book
Fiction | Non Fiction

19. A book that has won the Sahitya Akademi Award for English

20. A book earlier reviewed by me
A list of books sorted by title can be found under the Books menu, sorted by Authors under the Authors menu, and by popular genres under the Genres menu.

That’s it! Happy reading. Thanks for taking part in the “20 in 20 Challenge”! Even if you attempt the challenge and read only a few books, I’d be happy that you took part!

Feel free to leave a comment if you have any doubts to clarify too.

77 thoughts on “The 20 in 20 Challenge! #Read20in2020

  1. Not only was it fun to force myself to choose some non-fiction books I’ve been intending to read (because I read much less NF, but I still enjoy it) but it was a challenge to make 10 fiction and non-fiction fit categories. It’s an interesting twist to the challenge to be able to skip one category of prompt, as long as I’m reading a F and NF for another one of the prompts. I have a preliminary list already to go!

  2. I love this challenge! It’s great that I can double up on one prompt and skip another and anything that actively encourages nonfiction is terrific!

  3. Hi Vinay! Here (I think) is my list for your challenge:

    1. True Crime: The Murder of Allison Baden Clay by David Murray (NF)
    2. Set in country in which I reside: The Shepherd’s Hut by Tim Winton (F)
      and Thirty Days in Sydney: A Wildly Distorted Account by Peter Carey (NF)
    3. Mostly white cover: The Fry Chronicles by Stephen Fry (NF)
    4. Day/ night in title: Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie (F)
    5. LGBTQ related: Growing Up Queer in Australia by Benjamin Law (NF)
    6. Originally published in 1990s: The Secret History by Donna Tartt (F)
    7. Mental health/ illness: Exit Wounds by John Cantwell (NF)
    8. Humour:The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson (NF)
    9. Author in another category: Eyrie by Tim Winton (F)
    10. 11 characters in the title: The Restorer by Michael Sala (F)
    11. An epistolary book: Women of Letters by Marieke Hardy and Michaela McGuire (NF)
    12. Calendar month . . .
    13. Book from childhood: Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome (F)
    14. Translated from another language: Beartown by Fredrick Backman (F)
    15. 500+ pages: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (F)
    16. Sport related: Open by Andre Agassi (NF)
    17. Illustrated . .
    18. Wartime: Priscilla: The Hidden Life of an Englishwoman in Wartime France by Nicholas Shakespeare (NF)
      and Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky (F)
    19. Sahitya Akademi award: Em and the Big Hoom by Jerry Pinto (F)
    20. Reviewed by Vinay: The End of Your Life Bookclub by Will Schwalbe (NF)

    20 in all with 10 F and 10 NF. Woohoo! Thanks Vinay!

  4. The right kind of challenge for people like me who haven’t read books of different genres. I am already excited and would love to note the progress. Challenges like these are my kind of celebration of New Year. Happy New Year 2020 in advance 🙂 😉

  5. I’m in! 💪 I like the genre diversity. I tend to focus on crimen stories. Attaching to this challenge will mean giving a try to new sensations and authors. Thanks!

  6. Yes! This is the book challenge for me. Love the fiction/nonfiction balance. Also appreciate that I can choose which prompts to do and not do. Count me in please. I’ll use the hashtag on Insta, Twitter and Goodreads

  7. I’m so glad I found this challenge for 2020! After reading a few suspense/mystery books in 2019 that I really enjoyed I found myself wondering why I don’t read more like it…and other types of books that I’ll likely enjoy too. This will help push me out of the reading comfort zone (rut?) I’ve been in the past few years.I’ll be keeping up with my progress on my new blog that I’ve just started to keep up with my reading. Can’t wait to get started with some new books!

    1. Nothing much Ish. Read books matching the prompts 🙂 10 fiction, 10 non fiction, no more than 1 fiction and 1 non fiction per prompt. If you want to check-in on this page each time, most welcome to! 😀 If not, that’s also fine.

  8. I’m almost done my first book, Ninth House. Because the main character lives with PTSD and deals with addiction issues, I am using it as my fiction book under mental illness.
    My review can be found at!

    1. I’m reading this book as well. Like your thoughts on using the ptsd and addiction piece as mental illness. I had picked that book based on people’s recommendations and was going to use it for another challenge’s prompt for magic/ contains a map/ genre you generally don’t read. I like taking a look at it from a different perspective Thanks for the idea Calametia

  9. My list: fiction
    1. Crime: The Devil’s Star by Jo Nesbo
    3. Mostly white cover: The Apartment by Greg Baxter
    4. Day/night: Night School by Lee Child
    9. Already chosen: The Redeemer by Jo Nesbo
    10. 11 letters: Swamplandia by Karen Russell
    13. Childhood read: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
    14. Translation: Blackout by Ragnar Jonasson
    15. 500 pages: The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
    16. Sports: The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
    18. Wartime: The 7th Cross by Anna Seghers

    1. Non fiction
      1. Crime: The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule
      2. Set in your country: Jacksonland by Steve Inskeep
      3. Mostly white cover: The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells
      6. Published in the 90s: Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson
      8. Humor: Calypso by David Sedaris
      10. 11 letters: Let Me Finish by Chris Christie
      15. 500 pages: The Three Lives of James Madison by Noah Feldman
      16. Sports: Commander in Cleat by Rick Reilly
      18. Wartime: In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson
      19. Sahiya Akademi award: An Era of Darkness by Shashi Tharoor

  10. FINISHED both of my white books. The Apartment is an American’s attempt to find a permanent home in an unnamed central European country. It takes place over the course of a day just before Christmas. Nothing amazing but a pleasant read.
    The Uninhabitable Earth is an eye opening examination of what will be the result of just a few degrees rise in temperature. Answer, everything bad. My biggest take away was that Global Warming is weaponizing weather. Mega storms are in our future. Sobering.

  11. FINISHED my one book in translation (F), Blackout translated from Icelandic . This is the third book in the Dark Icelandic Series where murders are committed in a small northern town in Iceland. I must say I was a little bored in the beginning as we wandered around picking up threads from so many different people that seemed to have nothing to do with the murder. Naturally it ties up nicely in the end. However, I realized I don’t care about these characters and now actively dislike the main detective. While this is a perfectly acceptable book, I encourage you to start with #1 and form your own opinion, I will not continue with the series.

  12. The Secret History by Donna Tartt read as part of Vinay R’s 20/20 Book Challenge in the category of a book originally published in the 1990s . . . this one in 1992.
    This was one of those books that I couldn’t put down and couldn’t stop reading but was absolutely devastated to finish. It has left me so moved and shattered that I don’t know what to write and feel like anything I do write will just be trite and not do it justice.
    I don’t know what it is about Donna Tartt’s incredible writing that engages me so completely. I normally prefer characters and scenarios to which I can relate and really these characters (and those in The Goldfinch) are very far removed from my reality as are the scenarios . . . but I am completely sucked in and find every word believable. I want to say something about having the courage to live your life the way you want to without reference to expectations or others . . . I want to say something about how living like that actually seems not to work . . . about friendship and loyalty . . . forgiveness (or lack thereof) . . . love (on every level) . . . guilt, cruelty, intolerance and tolerance. This book really makes you think . . . I want to read it again immediately, but it will never be the same as it was the first time. *****

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