Reading Challenge

12 Months. 12 Books.

Welcome to the M. Judson Booksellers Reading Challenge, where we break you out of your comfort zone and take you places you never thought you’d go.

Each month, pick a book that fits the prompt (you can be creative with it), and then submit your reading here. For extra credit and to share the fun, post to your social media account with the hashtag #mjreads2023.

At the end of the year, we’ll gather the names of those who finished all 12 months and draw a winner for a big bag of books and a gift card. Everyone who finishes will be invited to a celebratory party!

This challenge is about more than upping your reading for the year. It’s about being an adventurous reader for life. Are you up for the challenge?

Book Selection

Obviously, you do this challenge for the books, but a party can’t hurt.

If you finish reading a book for each month of this challenge, then you’re in line for an invite to this exclusive, invite-only party!

Last year, we had a blast sipping on bubbly, eating snacks from Camilla Kitchen, and sharing what we read throughout the year. We made new friends, found new great reads, got ideas for the next year, and gave away some really juicy giveaways. More than anything, this party is a celebration of what we all love: reading.

To get an invitation, we need you to submit each book you’ve read through the form above. Not only does this help us find and check all your social media posts, but it allows those of you with private accounts or no socials to easily participate. The form also provides us with your email, which is how we’ll send out invitations. So tell all your friends: get those form submissions in!

Submit Your Reading

Finished a book? Log your reading here to make sure we have your progress on file!

*Even if you are posting on social media, please log your books here as well. With the massive amount of people now participating in the challenge each year, we don’t want to miss a single entry! This is the best way to ensure we don’t.

  • July: a book you’ve seen on someone else’s bookshelf
    • Our idea: next time you visit a friend, browse! Our Store Manager Alyssa says she’d pick The Murder of Mr. Wickham by Claudia Gray or Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan from a friend’s shelf.
    • Another idea: next time you have a zoom meeting or watch an author on Instagram Live, TikTok, or Interview, see if you can find an interesting title on the bookshelf behind them!
  • August: a well-reviewed book in your least favorite genre
    • If it’s Thriller: Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy
    • If it’s NonFiction: The Kissing Bug by Daisy Hernández, A Swim in a Pond in the Rain by George Saunders, Aftershocks by Nadia Owusu, How the Word Is Passed by Clint Smith, Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner
    • If it’s Poetry: Blood on the Fog by Tongo Eisen-Martin, Love and Other Poems by Alex Dimitrov, Returning the Sword to the Stone by Mark Leidner.
    • If it’s another genre, we recommend searching that genre in our staff reviews!
  • September: a favorite childhood book for the second time
    • Alyssa says: The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman, Catherine Called Birdy by Karen Cushman, and Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
    • Our owner June says: “There are some childhood favorites that just land differently depending on where you are in life, like A Wrinkle in Time or The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
  • October: a science fiction or fantasy novel
    • Alyssa is also one of the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book club moderators, and she suggests: The Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler, Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes, She Who Became The Sun by Shelly Parker-Chan.
    • June says: “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip Dick, which is the basis for Bladerunner. So, so good. Also for a great YA crossover, the Leigh Bardugos Six of Crows or Crooked Kingdom.
  • November: a book that’s a family member’s favorite
    • It could be your mom’s: Jane Austen at Home by Lucy Worlsey
    • It could be a sibling’s: The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
    • June says: “You learn so much about people by reading their favorite books. I loved reading my mom’s favorite (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn) or one that actually got my child to read (Falling by T.J. Newman).
  • December: a book published in 2022
    • There are no shortages here!
    • Alyssa says: Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt, Lapvona by Otessa Moshfegh, Disorientation by Elaine Hsieh Chou.


Not sure what to read? Here are some recommendations and examples of what we might pick!

Our Event Manager Savannah (who has always dreamed of being a playwright) says: Smile: A Memoir by Sarah Ruhl is a great insider look into the mind of one of America’s best playwrights in the last twenty years, it’s full of great moments of being both a talented writer (with a play going up on Broadway) and also a being a mom. 

Recommendations Coming Soon!

Recommendations Coming Soon!

Recommendations Coming Soon!

Recommendations Coming Soon!