Reading Challenges I’m Doing in 2023

Sooo, we all know I’m an idiot, right?

After swearing off reading challenges at the end of last year and promising myself that I’d be taking it easy in 2023, I have become distracted from my purpose (squirrel!) by a number of very lovely challenges … or more accurately, by the lovely bingo cards designed for them. As a result, I will be attempting four book bingos this year.

Naturally, this is not my fault. It is the fault of all the creative people out there making pretty things for their reading challenges. In the real world, I can’t ignore stickers. On the interweb, I can’t ignore beautiful bingo cards. I am a martyr to my enthusiasms.

Let’s take a look at what I’m letting myself in for, shall we?

The 12 Challenge

When I saw imyril design her own 12 Challenge bingo card I got all excited about this one again and decided to do the same (I wasn’t the copycat kid at school, but I totally am now).

I also made a point of asking for older recs as I do tend to feel put off by new releases when everyone is talking about them (I can only get so excited before I get tired). I own three of the titles on this list, so I’ll be reading them first before I source the others. I think something that put me off last year was that I bought all the recommendations and then had this big stack of books to stare at all year when I much prefer to pick things up as the mood takes me.

(I have linked to blogs where possible below. Where not, I’ve just left people’s Twitter handles without links).

The Amulet of Saramkand by Jonathan Stroud – recommended by Bender from FanFiAddict

Black Sun Rising by C S Friedman – recommended by Witty and Sarcastic Bookclub

Clade by James Bradley – recommended by Maryam the Curious SFF Reader

Behind the Throne by K B Wagers – recommended by Susy’s Cosy World

Dorsai! by Gordon R Dickson – recommended by Red Star Reviews

This Perfect Day by Ira Levin – recommended by @scififantasyfan

The Rabbit Back Literature Society by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen – recommended by Sarah of Little Frog Scribbles

Ombria in Shadow by Patricia A McKillip – recommended by @alisonhenle

Winter Rose by Patricia A McKillip – recommended by C S E Cooney

The Silent Tower by Barbara Hambly – recommended by @KMiddelberg

Daggerspell by Katherine Kerr – recommended by imyril of There’s Always Room for One More

Gate of Ivrel by C J Cherryh – recommended by Peat of Peat Long’s Blog

(Also, not pictured, Vita Nostra by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko – recommended last year by Aquavenatus remains on my mental 12 (13) Challenge bingo card because I really, really wanted to read that one).

The 2023 SFF Title Challenge

Created by the fabulous Annemieke of A Dance with Books, this book bingo feels pretty relaxed and I’m going to approach it in the same manner. If I get a bingo, awesome. If I don’t, no worries. I’m not going to pick books specifically to fit this bingo, I’m just going to see what works as I read.

2023 Beat the Backlist Bingo

And that was all I was going to do, along with my own Picture Prompt bingo, until I saw this over at Pages and Tea.

The Beat the Backlist reading challenge was created by Austine Decker and I like the randomness of the prompts and the pretty bingo card and button (now showing in my sidebar).

Picture Prompt Bingo

Finally, I’ll be doing my Picture Prompt Bingo again. Obvs.

bookforager's Picture Prompt Book Bingo for 2023 - text version available in post

I am renewing my aim to read more of what I already own this year and I have no ARCs lined up. Mood reading is definitely the name of the game for 2023 and I feel like all four if these bingos will work well with that.

I’ll be doing quarterly updates again, so we’ll see how it goes, eh?

What about you? Are you doing any of these reading challenges?



  1. I just put together my own challenges post (coming out tomorrow) and now I see more cool challenges here! I’m going to have to restrain myself not to go back and add more, lol. One of these days I want to try the 12 challenge. I see Rabbit Back Literature Society on yours, which I read and loved! Good luck😁

    Liked by 2 people

    • Don’t look! Don’t look! 🤣
      Ooo, good to hear more good things about Rabbit Back Literature Society, that’s one of the books I have to read first.
      Good luck to you too!


  2. A lot of quite demanding challenges, goo luck!

    I’m not doing any challenges as such, but definitely gonna go to my backlist a lot, especially for the paper books that I have on my shelves and reading will help me decide if they should stay there or makes space for some new ones 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting challenges. It looks like my 12 Month nominee from last year could meet one of your challenges for this year. And, I can give you a title for one of your Picture Challenges! Let me know!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Resisting the lure of a bookish challenge requires a lot of inner strength: like you I had promised myself not to fall again into this trap, but seeing all these intriguing challenges I’m not sure I will be able to hold off for long… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Using these BINGO board challenges seems like a great wya to have reading challenges that you can make as easy or as difficult as you like! After all, there are lots of types of BINGO and they don’t have to all be black-out BINGOs. I hope you enjoy the challenges!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m definitely joining you on two of these, and that SFF Title Challenge looks so tempting as well but I’d probably better not take on any more challenges.
    Good luck with all of them, I’m looking forward to seeing what you’ve read (especially for the bottom right pic on Picture Prompts as I have NO idea what to choose for that one yet).

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m a big fan of prompt based challenges, and it seems I just keep collecting more 😀 Good luck with the 12 in 2023 – please please please send me all your reactions to Daggerspell as you read 😉

    One day I will get to Behind The Throne – I loved the first NeoG book, so I’m curious to read more of Wagers’s work at some point. Have fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ooh so many shiny book challenges!! If it were earlier in January I may also have forgotten my no reading challenges for this year and given in! But I am definitely aiming to do more backlist reading, so that sort of counts? I will definitely be trying to complete your bingo card though 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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