Read Around the USA – 2024 States Reading Challenge

For 2024, our popular Read Around the USA Challenge has two fun options to help you armchair travel through the United States as you read. This year, the challenge will be flexible and self-paced, so you can read books in any order you like on your own timeline.

Two Ways to Participate in the Read Around the USA Challenge

The first option is designed regionally as a one-book-per-month reading challenge. The other is a more comprehensive approach and doesn’t have to be completed in a single year.

Option 1: Regional Read Around the USA

We broke the states & inhabited territories into 11 regions, and you can opt to read ONE book from each region throughout the year. Additionally, we suggest reading one book about characters traveling through multiple states. By December, you’ll have read 12 books set throughout the country.

Option 2: 50+ States Read Around the USA

Throughout the last year, we heard from many readers that they had a goal of reading a book from every state. You can aim to tackle all 50 states in one year or spread them out over several years. Either way, we also recommend including Washington DC and the 5 inhabited US Territories as part of your goal.

If you participated in the regional Read Around the USA Challenge last year and want to continue toward the goal of reading a book from every state, then you’ve got a great head start!

Join the Read Around the USA Challenge

The most important thing to do in order to keep up with the challenge is to sign up for our Friday email newsletter.

When you sign up using the box below, you’ll get a welcome email that also includes links to the printables to track your progress throughout the year. There is one printable if you would like to complete the regional option and a second for those taking on the 50+ state challenge.

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.

What Kind of Books Are Included?

Each book list includes a wide variety of genres, from contemporary and literary fiction to mystery, romance, and non-fiction. Additionally, we always try to include diverse characters and authors. For this challenge, we include many books by authors with strong ties to the region to add authenticity to your state reading.

Within our book lists, each recommendation includes a synopsis of the book and often includes additional details to help you select your perfect read. We select a combination of newer and older books, so you should be able to make it to the end of our challenge using only the library if you prefer not to purchase books.

While the book recommendation lists for each state are available now, we will occasionally update the lists with new titles that we discover throughout the year. Be sure to check back each time you’re ready to select a new book. Additionally, when a booklist receives a substantial update, we’ll let you know via our Friday newsletter, so be sure to sign up for our email list in the blue box above!

Self-Paced vs. Fully Guided Challenges

The Book Girls’ Guide hosts two different styles of reading challenges. For 2024, two will be self-paced (including Read Around the USA), and three will be guided. Here’s an overview of the differences between the two different challenge formats:

Visual graphic showing how a self-paced challenge works as described throughout this post.

Additional Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to participate?

All our reading challenges, as well as our other book lists and resources, are free for everyone! It takes an extraordinary amount of time to put together and administer the challenges, but we never want finances to be a barrier to participation. At the request of some of our readers, we established a totally optional Buy Me a Coffee membership for anyone willing to help support our work.

How do I find the recommendation lists each time I’m ready for a new book?

The book recommendations for every state are also available for you and indexed by state/territory or by region.

Another easy way to find the book recommendations is right from our homepage at Just scroll to the “Find You Perfect Book Recommendation” section and select “Individual US States” from the “By Location Setting” dropdown (as shown in below).

Screenshot of the Find Your Perfect Booklist feature from the Book Girls' Guide homepage

Additionally, you’ll also find a link to the Read Around the USA book lists in the Reading Challenge section of our newsletter each Friday morning.

Do you host any other reading challenges?

Yes! We have five reading challenges – three of which are “guided challenges” and two that are self-paced (including the Read Around the USA Challenge). You can find more details about all of our challenge options here.

Reading Challenges from Book Girls Guide - 5 Options Showing Printables

You are welcome to join in as many challenges as you would like each year. Many of our readers participate in more than one.

If I’m doing more than one challenge, can a single book count twice?

Yes, absolutely! For example, if you are doing both the Read Around the USA Challenge and the Lifetime of Reading Challenge, a book about a thirty-something living in Minnesota would count for both Life In Your 30s and Minnesota reading prompts.

Do audiobooks count?

Yes! We’re equal-opportunity readers. Whether you choose a paper book, ebook, or audiobook, if you finish knowing the story the author set out to tell, then you’ve “read” the book!

Can I choose my own book?

Absolutely! You can choose any book from our list, or any other book that meets the challenge theme of the challenge prompt. In fact, if you really enjoy an off-list book you select, we’d love to hear about it on this form.

Can I recommend a book for one of the state book lists?

Yes, we’d love to hear your recommendation, and you can submit it using this form. Please only recommend books that you’ve already read.

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

While we won’t have formal discussions set up since everyone will read in a different order, there is an ongoing opportunity to start a thread to discuss your challenge read in our Together forum. Additionally, you can join our Facebook group to chat with other challenge participants.

Can I join a reading challenge after January?

Absolutely! 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! Because the challenge is self-paced, you can complete the prompts on your own schedule.

How do I get the printable reading challenge log?

Just scroll back up and fill out the email form in the blue box, which is located above the links to all the book lists.

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 many book clubs use our challenges and reading prompts to help guide their book selections throughout the year. One suggestion is to give each member a link to the book list for each prompt and let them vote on their top 3 options to help narrow down the book options before making the final selection as a club. We also have a list of Universal Book Club Discussion Questions to spark insightful conversations, no matter what title your club is exploring.


Comments on: Read Around the USA - 2024 States Reading Challenge

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  1. Are the books in the Read Around the USA 2024 challenge different from the books that were included in the 2023 challenge? If they are the same books, then I’ll probably choose a different challenge for 2024. Thanks for all the hard work you put in to ALL the challenges!

    1. Melissa George says:

      Hi Kelly, the core lists would remain the same as there is a surprising lack of highly-rated books for many states. However, we are going to TRY to add at least one new recommendation for each state (the New England list is already updated with those titles for 2024).

  2. Kerry Gray says:

    I requested the tracking map and received an email from you, but none of the links in my email are working.

    1. Melissa George says:

      Hi Kerry, Do you use Eero routers for your home internet? They are notorious for blocking links they shouldn’t (Melissa has them and constantly struggles, and we’ve recently identified two other readers who said the links didn’t work, but they had the same routers blocking the links. To test if it’s the home network, we recommend trying to access the links from your phone with the wifi on the phone turned off. If you’re still having trouble, please email us at hello @ for more assistance.

  3. I have teen grand daughters looking to join book challenges. Are these books clean? Also are they easily accessible, such as through the library or kindle unlimited?

    1. Melissa George says:

      Hi Cheryl, there is a wide range of books on each of the challenge lists, ranging from clean to adult content. We would recommending doing additional research on the content of the specific titles that interest them to check for any content warnings. We do indicate in the descriptions when books are included with Kindle Unlimited, and most books on the lists are available through most libraries, but there may be wait lists for newer titles.

  4. Roberta Wells says:

    Thanks! Can’t wait to get started

  5. I am so excited about this new challenge! The US is such a large and diverse country with a lot different perspectives, and I’m so happy to see that represented already in the first list!

    1. Melissa George says:

      Thank you! We work really hard to make every list include characters with a range of perspectives and backgrounds in addition to the range of genres. Sometimes it’s hard just based on books not existing, but it’s important to us to help readers (and ourselves) step into as many different shoes as they can throughout the year!

  6. I’ve done the new reading challenges every year for the past 3 years. This is the first one I won’t be doing. As someone who doesn’t live in the USA, and who wants to read more diverse books published outside of the states, this challenge is disappointing. I’ve always loved that the challenges pushed me to read diverse authors from all over the world. This one is the opposite.

    1. Melissa George says:

      Hi Cindy, The Book Voyage Challenge has also been updated for 2023, with new books being added each month. We set up that challenge before a US challenge on purpose to provide a global view for readers. We hope you’ll participate in that challenge again. Now, we are excited about the opportunity to add armchair travel around our diverse country in addition to our armchair world travel this year. We hope that it brings new perspectives to our readers, just as reading world books brings new perspectives.

  7. Fun! Great challenge. I look forward to participating!

  8. Kathy Coaker says:

    So excited to get started on this new challenge!

  9. I am amazed and so appreciative of the work you put into these challenges! 2023 will be another fun reading challenge year!

    1. Melissa George says:

      Thank you so much, Deb! It’s been a lot of long days to get everything set up, but it’s worth it knowing how much everyone appreciate it!