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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.



Angela & Melissa

The Book Girls are best friends who jointly read over 200 books per year. We started Book Girls' Guide in 2019 to help others de-stress and find joy through the power of a great book. We do in-depth research on thousands of novels and non-fiction titles each year to provide curated book lists covering a variety of genres.

Kelley O

Tuesday 28th of November 2023

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!

Melissa George

Tuesday 28th of November 2023

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).

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