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Lifetime of Reading Challenge: 2022 Reading Challenge

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It’s time for our third annual yearlong reading challenge! For 2022, we’re excited to announce that the theme for the new year is “Lifetime of Reading.”

Throughout the year-long challenge, we’ll be enjoying a wide range of books featuring main characters of different age ranges.

The challenge was inspired by YOU, the amazing people who have read with us over the past two years. While we’re both in the middle and enjoying our early 40s, we have readers ranging from their early 20s to 80s. No matter the age, we’re constantly impressed by a willingness to learn and stretch beyond your normal reading comfort zone.

Each decade of life brings different joys and challenges. It’s easy to dismiss those younger or older, but we believe that each generation is worth embracing and has plenty of things to teach us. We’re stronger working together and finding similarities instead of focusing on differences. While everyone’s individual story is unique, we hope the challenge will reinforce our appreciation for those in different phases of life.

As with our other challenges, the Decades Challenge and Book Voyage: Read Around the World, we’ll provide a researched list of titles for you to choose from each month. Whether you’re looking for historical fiction, contemporary novels, young adult, or a bit of mystery, we’ll have you covered with great books!

We also try to select a combination of new books and older books that are available without a wait from your local library. Any book lovers should be able to make it to the end of the year completing our challenge using only the library if they would like.

If you’re joining the challenge, we recommend joining our Read with the Book Girls Facebook group. It’s a friendly place where we discuss books, both for the challenges and anything else that we’re reading. In the group, you’ll also have an opportunity to log and rate your challenge books each month, ask questions, and provide input. Select books each month even have optional discussion groups!

We have a free printable book tracker for you to log your challenge reads through the year. We couldn’t think of a better representation of a lifetime than the rings of a tree. You’ll start with the youngest ages around the newest ring on the outside of the tree, and follow the rings inside as the age of our characters increases. The center of the tree will be our final month, which will be books featuring strong relationships between characters from different generations.

Lifetime of Reading Printable Book Tracker - white paper with drawing of tree stump of words Lifetime of Reading at the top
Art by Illustrator Corey D. George

To get the tracker, along with email notifications when each month’s book list is ready, just fill out the form in the blue box below. If you’re already on the email list, it’s okay to fill it out again for this year’s tracker using your same email address (you won’t end up getting double emails from us – we promise)!

Here’s how the Lifetime of Reading will be broken down into different categories:

January – Adult Fiction with a Child Protagonist (Under 12)
February – The Teenage Years (13-19)
March – Life in Your 20s
April – Life in Your 30s
May – Life in Your 40
June – Books Spanning a Character’s Lifetime
July – Life in Your 50s
August – Life in Your 60s
September – Life in Your 70s
October – Life in Your 80s
November – Life in Your 90s + 100s
December – Books that Feature Characters from Different Generations

If you’re not sure if this challenge is for you, be sure to review the book lists before deciding. We think you’ll be surprised by the variety!

After you’ve read the FAQ’s below, just scroll back and click on the link to review our picks and select your first book.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will the Lifetime of Reading challenge book lists be published each month?

Like last year, a new reading list will be published on the 20th of the prior month. For example, we’ll share the February list on January 20th. The January list is the exception because it’s ready NOW! Yay! We wanted to give you a head start so the list isn’t published in the middle of the holiday rush.

How do I find the book lists each month?

The BEST way is to join the email list. We also publish the link in our Facebook group, but sometimes Facebook doesn’t show every post to every group member promptly. The final option is to return to this post each month. When the list is ready, we’ll add a link to it here.

Why aren’t there as many international books on this list?

We have three different challenges available, and each had an underlying goal of reading that puts us in different people’s shoes. The Decades Challenge shares what it was like living in different time periods, the Book Voyage Challenge shares experiences from well over 100 countries around the world, and the Lifetime of Reading transports us to different ages of life.

While we’re absolutely not excluding international books, they aren’t our main goal for this challenge. Instead, we’re seeking books that highlight character age and phase of life in all different ways. Instead of all the book being set outside the US, you’ll see more immigrant experiences at different ages, characters of different physical and neurological abilities, different financial statuses, different regions & cultures within the US, different family structures, and so much more. We hope that by doing this, we’ll be able to understand, relate to, and maybe even form deeper relationships with others of different backgrounds right within our own communities.

You’ll also find books with characters of all ages, set all around the world, throughout our different Book Voyage lists, so those could be a good starting point. Many of the descriptions mention character age. You’re can also read outside of the list and still participate in the challenge or opt to go around the world with Book Voyage again. That’s what we’re doing ourselves, and look forward to the mix of books participating in the different challenges will add to our TBR lists.

Can I choose my own book?

Absolutely! You can choose any book from our list, or any other book that meets the challenge prompt for that month. In fact, if you really enjoy an off-list book you select, we’d love to hear about it on this form. Keep in mind that if you want to participate in our monthly book discussion groups, those are created for a sub-set of books from the list.

Can I recommend a book for a future month?

We always love book recommendations! If there’s a book you think we should know about for one of the upcoming age ranges, tell us about it using this form. Please only recommend books that you’ve already read.

Will there be an opportunity to discuss the books we read?

Definitely! Our Facebook group is where all the discussions take place – both informal chat about any and all books, as well as more structured monthly discussion groups about Challenge related reads. Each month, we’ll create a form where you can log the books that you’ve read for the Challenge that month (we’ll post the link to this log form in the Facebook group and send it out in our emails as well). We use the information we collect from the monthly form set up the Facebook discussion groups for books with enough interested readers. The discussions are typically open for approximately 5-10 days, so you can read comments and share your thoughts at your convenience.

Can I still do the Decades & Book Voyage Challenges?

Yes! In fact, you’ll be in great company. We’ll be doing the challenges again in 2022 ourselves and we’ve already heard from many in the Facebook group that plan to join them again as well. Depending on your reading goals, you can do just one of the challenges per year, or complete them in any combination.

Can I join the Challenges after January?

Absolutely! You can join our year-long reading challenge at any time. You’re welcome to simply pick up from the month where you join, or you can go back and start at the beginning. How you choose to participate is totally up to you, so there’s no such thing as being behind and any month can be a great time to start! If you’re a voracious reader, you can double up and complete multiple prompts in one month. Sometimes people jump in and start with the current month’s theme, while also picking a second book from earlier in the year. But really, no pressure from us, we’re happy for you to join in whenever and wherever!

Remind me again, how do I get the printable reading challenge log?

To get the printable reading log, along with email notifications when each month’s book list is ready, just fill out the form email form in the blue box above the breakdown of what we’re reading each month. If you’re already on the email list, it’s okay to fill it out again for this year’s tracker (you won’t end up getting double emails from us – we promise)

What if I signed up, but didn’t receive the email?

Sometimes our emails might get trapped in your spam filter. If you signed up, but haven’t received the email with the printable reading tracker, be sure to check your spam folder. To keep future emails out of the spam folder, be sure to add our email address to your address book, or drag our emails over to your Primary tab in Gmail. If you’ve checked your spam folder and still don’t see the email from us, then please send us a quick email to hello(at)bookgirlsguide(dot)com and we’ll get it sorted out for you as quickly as we can.

Can we use the challenge for our book club?

Absolutely! We’ve had several book clubs use our challenges and reading prompts to help guide their book selections throughout the year. Give each member a link to the list and let them vote on their top 3 options to help narrow down the book suggestions before making the final decision.

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.

We look forward to journeying through this reading year with you!

Sherrill Mulkearns

Sunday 24th of April 2022

Every month I come to the website to record the book I have read. And every month I struggle to find the right page! Help! Please make it easier to record your books!

Angela Rathbun

Thursday 28th of April 2022

Please bookmark this page: where you'll always find the links to log your reads from the current month. The book log links are also always pinned at the top of our Facebook group, along with being in the newsletter each Friday.

We don't include the book log links directly on the book lists, because not everyone reading this list is participating in the Lifetime of Reading Challenge discussions in our Facebook Group. We use the book logs primarily to determine which books have enough interest for discussion groups each month.

Books with Characters In Their 30s - Book Girls' Guide

Thursday 17th of March 2022

[…] moving right along with the Lifetime of Reading Challenge. For April, the prompt is to read a book with characters in their […]


Tuesday 22nd of February 2022

OMGosh I started reading again due to your Challenge. I mean I'm not reading 10 books a month. I'll get there slowly. BUT I'm reading and thank you for that. Is there a link to get a PDF list of the monthly list that can be printed?


Tuesday 1st of March 2022

@Angela Rathbun,

Thanks for the reply. We've had cold messy days here lately. I finished my long February book the last full week of the month. Not thinking I would find the time for another Feb book. Thought I get started on March and before I knew it.....I read both of my March books over the week end. Sooooo back to list I may throw in a few from Jan and Feb just for the heck of it.

Again Many Thanks

Angela Rathbun

Monday 28th of February 2022

We love hearing that this challenge has helped you get back to reading! We revise the book lists regularly based on the feedback we receive from our readers, and to include newly published titles. As a result, there is not a printable version, but you'll always find the most updated lists right here on our website if you want to bookmark this page.

Books with Characters in Their 20s - Book Girls' Guide

Friday 18th of February 2022

[…] time for another month of the Lifetime of Reading Challenge. In March, we’ll each read a book with a main character in their […]


Tuesday 1st of February 2022

Is this an active FB group? My request to join has been pending for over a week?

Melissa George

Wednesday 2nd of February 2022

Hi - The group is very active and we don't see any pending requests for a Gretchen. Do you have a different FB name? Feel free to email us at hello @ for help troubleshooting. Also, be sure you've filled in the favorite book question and agreed to the rules. Thanks!