We’re very excited to invite you to participate in our year-long DECADES READING CHALLENGE by reading some of the best books set in each decade from the 1910s through today!
Each month, you’ll read a book SET in a different decade, in chronological order. The book doesn’t have to be written during the decade, just take place during it.
We’re really excited to experience the dramatic changes of day to day life over the last 120 years!
We’ve compiled twenty+ book recommendations for each decade, including a good mix of fiction, non-fiction, and memoirs, and you’ll find links to each decade book list further down in this post.
The post for each decade also includes a timeline of major events from that period in history to help provide some context for the book recommendations. Throughout the book lists, you’ll notice that we’ve also used bold text in the synopses to highlight which events from the timeline are featured in each book.
If you just found this challenge mid-year, you can decide if you want to start with 1910 or just jump into the current month now! There’s no wrong way to participate.
To keep track of your DECADES READING CHALLENGE progress, we’ve made a cute printable that you’ll get for free when you join our email newsletter in the box below.
Here’s our recommended book options for each month of the challenge. Below that, you’ll find an FAQ section about the challenge.
Over in the Book Girls’ Guide free Facebook group, we invite you to share the book you choose to read for each decade and to discuss your thoughts with others participating in the challenge.
It’s also a great place to ask for recommendations if you can’t decide on a book. It’s easy to join using the button below. We’ll see you there!
Frequently Asked Questions
What year is this challenge for?
This is a repeating, yearly challenge. We created it for 2020, but many readers, including us, are doing it again for 2021 and plan to continue in the future.
Do audiobooks count?
Absolutely! We’re equal-opportunity readers. Whether you use a paper book, ebook, or audiobook, if you’re left knowing the story the author set out to tell, you “read” the book!
Do I have to go in order?
Yes and no. Our idea for the challenge was based on reading in order through the decades to get a better view of how daily life changed throughout the years. But, we’ll never know if you opt to go out of order. 🙂
Do I need to submit the list of books I read?
It’s not at all required, but members of the email list and Facebook group have an option to log the books they read and share their rating and feedback to help guide our book lists in the future. The logs are open during the relevant month and you can always find the link in the announcement section.
Do you have other reading challenges?
Yes! For 2021, we have a brand new around the world reading challenge called Book Voyage. You’re welcome to join in at any point throughout the year. Each year, we’ll add one brand new challenge along with the option to join prior challenges.
Is this group only for girls?
Not at all! We welcome all to read with us. The “Book Girls” refers to us – two friends who love books and wanted to help guide and inspire other readers. You can read more about how this site started and who we are at the beginning of our books about friendship post.
Love reading as much as we do?
Join us for more free content, reading challenges, and discussion over in the Book Girls’ Guide Facebook Group!