Skip to Content

2021 Reading Challenge – Read Around the World

Sharing is caring!

Are you ready to go on an unforgettable journey from the comfort of your favorite reading chair? Throughout this year-long challenge, we’ll be your travel guides, sharing comprehensive reading lists full of great books for each geographic monthly reading prompt!

Text over colorful world map - Book Voyage: Read Around the World

We’re calling the 2021 reading challenge Book Voyage: Read Around the World because you’ll get to experience every continent and the vastly different landscapes and cultures that make up our beautiful planet.

If you’re looking for our Read Around the World Summer Reading Challenge for Kids, you’ll find that here!

For each region, we’ll provide a list of books ranging from novels to memoirs covering a variety of cities and topics. While we love taking your reading life out of your normal comfort zone, it should also be fun. We work hard to choose a broad mix of books to suit every style, including adding a few young adult (YA) picks to each region.

Colorful world map -book voyage reading challenge tracker

You can revisit this post throughout the year as an index to all the book lists. Each one will be linked below. Make sure you’re notified when each new book list is published by joining our email list in the box below, along with our Read with the Book Girls Facebook group.

When you sign up by adding your email address above, you’ll get an email a few minutes later with a link to print our custom map reading log. Fun, right?

For the 2021 Reading Challenge, we’ll release the book list for a new region each month and have discussions in the Facebook group about the choices, just like we did for the Decades Reading Challenge. While we’d love you to join the group, it’s totally optional and you can participate only by email if you prefer.

Book Voyage Challenge Schedule

Click the month below to get our reading suggestions for each region.

Each list will be a mix of enjoyable contemporary fiction, historical fiction, memoirs full of locals’ own experiences in the region, and other highly rated books from a variety of locations within the region. We always try to include light options for months when you’re busy or stressed, along with some deeper reads.

The variety of book options makes it easy mix this challenge with your other reading goals. You’ll also find many potential book club picks on each list. We love hearing from groups that have opted to follow our year-long reading challenge together!

Additionally, each list contains a blend of new releases and books that are a little older, which means they’ll be more likely to be available at your local library. We check each book through our library systems and aim to have at least 70% of each list easily accessible

We hope you’ll have a great time reviewing each post and adding new books to your reading list.

Do you share books on Instagram?
Use #bookvoyagechallenge when you post your challenge book so we can see what you read.


Don’t worry if you found this challenge on social media well after the start of the new year, you’re welcome to join at any point.

Just jump into the current month and then work in the others. While we’re making a geographic circle, unlike the Decades Challenge, this one works just as well out of order.

Happy travels and happy reading!

IMPORTANT NOTE: We took some liberties in dividing up the regions to create a 12 book challenge, so don’t give our map to your kids for a geography test. For example, Russia is located partially in Europe and partially in Asia, but for our purposes, it is grouped with Europe – East. Oceania is part of Australia, but we’re including the smaller island-nations in our summer island month along with other islands around the globe. There are other examples within our divisions of the Middle East, Europe, and Asia.

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!

Books Set in South America - Book Girls' Guide

Monday 20th of September 2021

[…] month the Book Voyage reading challenge is whisking us away to South […]

Books Set in Africa - Book Girls' Guide

Friday 20th of August 2021

[…] month the Book Voyage reading challenge is taking us to the vast continent of […]

Books Set in the Middle East - Book Girls' Guide

Tuesday 20th of July 2021

[…] month the Book Voyage reading challenge is taking us to the complex region of the Middle […]


Thursday 15th of July 2021

For your December list Spanning multiple countries: Midnight in Broad Daylight, a Japanese family caught between 2 worlds, by Pamela Rottner Sakamoto. One of my very favorites.

Marcia Pratt

Monday 21st of June 2021

Did you post the July list yet?

Melissa George

Monday 21st of June 2021

Hi Marcia,

You can find the July list here: