Last year, a small group of friends and I did a Reading Challenge of 25 books, The 2019 PolyWogg Reading Challenge, based on a five-by-five grid like a reading bingo game. It was open season for the year, you could pick any square at any time. While people enjoyed it, they had views for the new year:

  1. More choice (almost like they could read anything they wanted, but not necessarily in order to get to a goal of a specific number of books per year);
  2. A few specific ideas about themes (we added Indigenous, locations, etc.); and,
  3. They want badges (I kept wanting to say, “We don’t need no stinkin’ badges”, but as moderator of the small but mighty band of intrepid readers, that seemed discouraging).

So, with those changes in mind, here is the grid for 2020! (Pssst, don’t ask about the blue bands, that is a FB viewing thing).

Here’s how it’s going to work

In advance, you know from the grid above that for January you can read a “mystery, thriller or adventure” book or “any book of the reader’s choice”. Which sounds like you can read anything you want, right? Nope, there are two catches. The badges. You have to earn them.

Each month, I’m going to name some four options of specific titles (Group A, named books) that fit the first category. — two adult titles and two young adult titles (that way, Jacob and Paige can play along too!). You can also read a title from the second category (Group B) or reader’s choice (Group C). There will also be a monthly “challenge book” (Group D). But which ones you read will determine which badge you can get for the month.

  • A orange copper badge will be awarded if you read one book of choice; from Group A (named), B (open), or C (open);
  • A green bronze badge will be awarded if you read one named book; from Group A (the named list);
  • A yellow silver badge will be awarded if you read two books, any combo; from Group B (open) and C (open);
  • A blue gold badge will be awarded if you read two named books; from Group A (named) and C (open); and,
  • A red platinum badge will be awarded if you read three books of any combo or the challenge book; , , one from Group A (named), one from Group B (open), and one from Group C (open).

I’ll post each month with the named books for that month , both here and in the FB group.

Some resources to help you choose other books if you don’t like the named ones for the month

A. Master Lists

There is a website called The Greatest Books which is a compilation of lists of great books — 2073 titles in total. Should keep you going to start.

B. Award winners

C. Curated lists

 D. Sources other than Amazon or your library

A non-fiction self-help (or business) book.

Feel free to ask me to suggest a title or share with me other resources you think should be here too!

Titles Read By The Members by Month


  1. The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz
  2. Down the River Unto the Sea by Walter Mosley
  3. Zap! by Martha Freeman
  4. Winterhouse by Ben Guterson
  5. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  6. Read and Buried by Eva Gates
  7. Where The Light Comes In by Sara Donati
  8. The Library of the Unwritten by A.J. Hackwith
  9. Me by Elton John
  10. The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
  11. Dies the Fire by S.M. Stirling
  12. New Spring by Robert Jordan
  13. The Last Librarian by Brandt Legg
  14. The Wives by Tarryn Fisher
  15. One of Our Thursdays Is Missing by Jasper Fforde
  16. A Meeting At Cornvallis by S.M. Stirling
  17. The Mark of the Plague by Kevin Sands
  18. Crush by Tracy Wolff


  1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  2. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
  3. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  4. The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
  5. One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
  6. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
  7. Newberry: The Girl Who Drank The Moon by Kelly Barnhill
  8. The Case of Windy Lake by Michael Hutchinson
  9. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  10. Tears in the Grass by Lynda Archer
  11. The Museum of Desire by Jonathan Kellerman
  12. Hindsight by Iris Johansen
  13. Beating About the Bush by M.C. Beaton
  14. The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline
  15. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  16. Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter
  17. The Secrets of Winterhouse by Ben Guterson
  18. Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo
  19. Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline
  20. From the Ashes by Jesse Thistle
  21. Radicalized by Cory Doctorow
  22. The Winterhouse Mysteries by Ben Guterson
  23. Endling The Last by Katherine Applegate
  24. Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore
  25. The Perfect Girl by Gilly MacMillan
  26. Long Bright River by Liz Moore
  27. The Outlandish Companion vol 1 + 2 by Diana Gabaldon
  28. A History of the Canadian Peoples by J.M. Bumstead
  29. Long Range by C.J. Box
  30. Blueberry Island by Susan Mallory
  31. Elevatory Pitch by Linwood Barclay
  32. What time is the 920 bus by Lucinda Hage
  33. The Wheel of Time: Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
  34. The Sunrise Lands by S.M. Stirling
  35. In the Frame by Dick Francis
  36. Heartberries by Terese Marie Mailhot


  1. The Vagina Bible by Jen Gunther
  2. The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King
  3. We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib
  4. Galaxy Girls by Libby Jackson
  5. The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind by William Kamkwamba
  6. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
  7. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
  8. In A Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
  9. Ford Abomination by Linwood Barclay
  10. The Artful Goddaughter by Melodie Campbell
  11. The Goddaughter Caper by Melodie Campbell
  12. Keys to the Demon Prison by Brandon Mull
  13. Murder at Hawthorn Cottage by Betty Rowlands
  14. The Twelve Apostles by William Coughlin
  15. The Huntress by Kate Quinn
  16. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil Degrasse Tyson
  17. Educated by Tara Westover
  18. All Systems Red by Martha Wells


  1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  2. Masked Prey by John Sandford
  3. Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
  4. Poet by Michael Connelly
  5. Scarecrow by Michael Connelly
  6. The King’s Justice by Susan Elia MacNeal
  7. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb
  8. 52 Small Changes for the Mind by Brett Blumenthal
  9. The Wheel of Time: The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan
  10. Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
  11. To Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow
  12. The Body by Bill Bryson
  13. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  14. Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood
  15. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
  16. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
  17. Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown
  18. Taking back what was stolen by n/a
  19. When The Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress by Gabor Maté


  1. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  2. The Wheel of Time: The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan
  3. The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware
  4. Camino Island by John Grisham
  5. From the Ashes by Jesse Thistle
  6. Hit List by Stuart Wood
  7. 5 Ways to Disappear by RM Greenaway
  8. Pumpkin Spice Peril by Jenn McKinley
  9. One for the Books by Jenn McKinley
  10. Dragonfly In Amber by Diana Gabaldon
  11. Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon
  12. Seven Stones by Diana Gabaldon
  13. In A Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
  14. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  15. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
  16. Murderbot ? by Martha Wells
  17. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
  18. Conquistador by S.M. Stirling
  19. Of A Linear Circle by Flamethrower
  20. Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz


  1. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
  2. Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor
  3. Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor
  4. The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows
  5. Behind Closed Doors by J.A. Paris
  6. The Body at the Tower by Y.S. Lee
  7. The Traitor in the Tunnel by Y.S. Lee
  8. Rivals in the City by Y.S. Lee
  9. Fair Warning by Michael Connelly
  10. Benefit of Hindsight by Susan Hill
  11. Postmark Berlin by Anne Emery
  12. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
  13. No Great Mischief by Alistair Macleod
  14. Lady in Waiting by Anne Glenconner
  15. Grudge Match by Mike Lupica
  16. Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon
  17. Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon
  18. Breath of Snow by Diana Gabaldon
  19. Ashes by Diana Gabaldon
  20. With My Body by Diana Gabaldon
  21. Option B by Sheryl Sandberg
  22. Cemetery Road by Greg Iles


  1. Heroes of Olympus 1 by Rick Riordan
  2. Heroes of Olympus 2 by Rick Riordan
  3. Heroes of Olympus 3 by Rick Riordan
  4. I Am Number 4 by Pittacus Lore
  5. The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore
  6. The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore
  7. The Fall of Five by Pittacus Lore
  8. The Revenge of Seven by Pittacus Lore
  9. The Fate of Ten by Pittacus Lore
  10. United as One by Pittacus Lore
  11. Educated by Tara Westover
  12. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman
  13. The Malta Exchange by Steve Berry
  14. The Lion’s Game by Nelson de Mille
  15. An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon
  16. Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon
  17. Exile by Diana Gabaldon
  18. And the Answer Is by Alex Trebek
  19. Crow Trap by Ann Cleeves
  20. Telling Tales by Ann Cleeves
  21. Hidden Depths by Ann Cleeves
  22. Silent Voices by Ann Cleeves
  23. The Glass Room by Ann Cleeves
  24. Harbour Street by Ann Cleeves
  25. The Moth Catcher by Ann Cleeves
  26. The Seagull by Ann Cleeves
  27. A Dagger Before Me by Jeanne M. Dams
  28. The Evil that Men Do by Jeanne M. Dams
  29. Sins out of School by Jeanne M. Dams
  30. Crisis at the Cathedral by Jeanne M. Dams
  31. Far North by Will Hobbs
  32. Hello Summer by Mary Kay Andrews
  33. Dying to Celebrate by Lynne Calhoon
  34. Immoral by Bryan Freeman
  35. How to Add Value to your House by Scott McGillvray
  36. The Sport and Prey of Capitalists by Linda McQuaig
  37. The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton
  38. The Queen’s Secret by Karen Harper
  39. Le Noel d’Agatha by MC Beaton
  40. Anne’s House of Dreams by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  41. Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner

August / September / October

  1. Celestial Bodies by Johka Alharthi
  2. Calypso by David Sedaris
  3. The Only Woman in the Room by Eileen Pollack
  4. Untamed by Glennon Doyle
  5. Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen
  6. Find Your Fire by Terri Broussard Williams
  7. The Beauty in Breaking by Michele Harper
  8. The Answer Is… by Alex Trebek
  9. This Is Ohio by Jack Shuler
  10. Calm the H*ck Down by Melanie Dale
  11. Wheel of Time: The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan
  12. Theodore Boone: The Fugitive by John Grisham
  13. The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz
  14. I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
  15. The Dressmaker’s Diary by Meredith Jaeger
  16. The Four Legendary Kingdoms by Matthew Reilly
  17. Too Much and Never Enough by Mary L. Trump
  18. The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore
  19. Three Secret Cities by Matthew Reilly
  20. How To Survive the Loss of a Love by Harold Bloomfield
  21. The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore
  22. The Hive by Gillian Hornby
  23. The Martian by ?
  24. The Sun is Also A Star by ?
  25. Everything Everything by ?
  26. The Night Gardener by ?
  27. The Force of Nature by Jane Harper
  28. Natchez Burning by Greg Iles
  29. A Week At The Shore by Barbara Delinsky
  30. It’s Not All Downhill from Here by Terry McMillan
  31. A Day Late and a Dollar Short by Terry McMillan
  32. I Almost Forgot About You by Terry McMillan
  33. 28 Summers by Elin Hildebrand
  34. The Secret Life of Bees by Drew Monk Kidd
  35. Such A Fun Age by Kelly Reid
  36. The Orphan Thief by Glynis Peters
  37. Daughter of the Reich by Louise Fine
  38. Three Hours in Paris by Cara Black
  39. Bombshell by Stuart Woods
  40. The Prince of Risk by Christopher Reich
  41. The Sleeping and the Dead by Ann Cleeves
  42. A Bird In The Hand by Ann Cleeves
  43. Half Moon Bay by Jonathan Kellerman
  44. The Art of Racing the Rain by Garth Stein
  45. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaeffer and Annie Barrows
  46. The Lion’s Game by Nelson de Mille
  47. Trumpocalypse by David Frum
  48. Key Lime Crime by Lucy Burdette
  49. Unlocking Season by Gail Bowen
  50. Outsider by Linda Castello
  51. Trump bio by Mary Trump
  52. Calypso by David Sedaris
  53. Down to This by Shaugnessy Bishop-Stahl
  54. No Girls Need Apply by Kelly Thompson
  55. Not Dead Yet by Phil Collins
  56. 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Petersen
  57. Braving the Wilderness by Brenee Brown
  58. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brenee Brown
  59. The Fall of Five by Pittacus Lore
  60. The Revenge of Seven by Pittacus Lore
  61. The Fate of Ten by Pittacus Lore
  62. United as One by Pittacus Lore
  63. Shanghai Girls by ?
  64. The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
  65. Ridgerunner by Gil Adamson
  66. How to Pronounce Knife by Souvankham Thammavongsa
  67. Here the Dark by David Bergen
  68. Polar Vortex by Shani Mootoo
  69. The Bone Tree by Greg Iles
  70. Boy from the Woods by Harlen Coben
  71. All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny
  72. The Enduring Vision by x
  73. The Last Trial by Scott Turow
  74. Alaska Cruise Guide by Ocean Cruises
  75. On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder
  76. Anxious People by Fredrik Beckman
  77. Third To Die by Allison Brennan
  78. Deadly Anniversaries by CWA
  79. The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne
  80. Dead Man Walking by Sr. Helen Prejean
  81. While Canada Slept by Andrew Cohen
  82. Choppy Water by Stuart Woods
  83. The Friendship List by Susan Mallery
  84. Bound Scream Murder by Ginger Bolton
  85. Christmas Cupcake by Joanne Fluke
  86. Bound for Murder by Victoria Gilbert
  87. Needled to Death by Annelis Ryan
  88. Night Shift by Annelis Ryan
  89. Lighthouse Mystery by Vicky Delaney
  90. Silent Bite by David Rosenfelt
  91. The Malta Exchange by Steve Berry
  92. Deep in the Alaskan Woods by Karen Harper
  93. How Stella Got Her Groove Back by Terry McMillan
  94. Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan
  95. Mississippi Blood by Greg Iles
  96. The Missing by C.L. Taylor
  97. The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton


  1. The Silent Wife by Karin Slaughter
  2. Remember Me by Mary Higgins Clark
  3. The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
  4. Normal People by Sally Jenkins
  5. Once Upon A River by Diane Setterfield
  6. Theodore Boone: The Scandal by John Grisham
  7. A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy by Sue Klebold
  8. Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  9. What Would I Tell You: One Mother’s Adventure with Medical Fragility by Julie Keon
  10. Ladies No 1 Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
  11. Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith
  12. Morality of Beautiful Girls by Alexander McCall Smith
  13. Kalahari Typing School for Men by Alexander McCall Smith
  14. Full Cupboard of Life by Alexander McCall Smith
  15. Company of Cheerful Ladies by Alexander McCall Smith
  16. Blue Shoes and Happiness by Alexander McCall Smith
  17. The Good Husband of Zebra Drive by Alexander McCall Smith
  18. the Miracle at Speedy Motors by Alexander McCall Smith
  19. Tea Time for the Traditionally Built by Alexander McCall Smith
  20. Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith
  21. Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party by Alexander McCall Smith
  22. Limpopo Agency of Private Detection by Alexander McCall Smith
  23. Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon by Alexander McCall Smith
  24. Handsome Man’s Deluxe Café by Alexander McCall Smith
  25. the Woman who Walked in Sunshine by Alexander McCall Smith
  26. Collected Works of Ogden Nash by Alexander McCall Smith
  27. Collected Works of Robert Service by Alexander McCall Smith
  28. Clanlands by Sam Heughen & Graham McTavish
  29. B team by Melodie Campbell
  30. Tea and Treachery by Vicky Delaney
  31. Call the Pharmacist by Elizabeth Roderick
  32. The Dry by Jane Harper
  33. Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue
  34. Then She was Gone by Lisa Jewell
  35. The Order by Daniel Silva
  36. Lantern Man by Ellie Griffiths
  37. Still Life by Val McDermid
  38. Darkest Evening by Ann Cleeves
  39. Fortune and Glory by Janet Evanovich
  40. Sentinel by Lee Child and Andrew Child


  1. A Mothers Reckoning by Sue Debolt
  2. Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield
  3. Silent Wife by Karen Slaughter
  4. One by One by Ruth Ware
  5. The Expendables by Jeff Rubin
  6. Finding Freedom by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand
  7. American Dirt by Jeanne Davis
  8. The House of Kennedy by James Patterson
  9. Trouble in Paradise by Elin Hildebrand
  10. Precious and Grace by Alexander McCall Smith
  11. House of Unexpected Sisters by Alexander McCall Smith
  12. Colours of Cattle by Alexander McCall Smith
  13. Land of Long Lost Friends by Alexander McCall Smith
  14. How to Raise an Elephant by Alexander McCall Smith
  15. My Italian Bulldozer by Alexander McCall Smith
  16. Surprising Case of Moderate Extremists by Alexander McCall Smith
  17. High-End Finish by Kate Carlisle
  18. This Old Homicide by Kate Carlisle
  19. Crowned and Mouldering by Kate Carlisle
  20. Deck the Hallways by Kate Carlisle
  21. Eaves of Destruction by Kate Carlisle
  22. Wrench in the Works by Kate Carlisle
  23. Shot Through the Hearth by Kate Carlisle
  24. Premeditated Mortar by Kate Carlisle
  25. The Law of Innocence by Michael Connelly
  26. Love and Other Crimes by Sara Paretsky
  27. The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
  28. Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser
  29. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  30. Theodore Boone: The Accomplice by John Grisham
  31. Women Talking by Miriam Toews
  32. Marie Calumet by Rodolphe Girard
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