The European Reading Challenge
January 1, 2013 to January 31, 2014


Welcome to the 2013 European Reading Challenge – where participants tour Europe through books.  And have a chance to win a prize.  Please join me for the Grand Tour!

The gist: The idea is to read books by European authors or books set in European countries (no matter where the author comes from). The books can be anything – novels, short stories, memoirs, travel guides, cookbooks, biography, poetry, or any other genre. You can participate at different levels, but each book must be by a different author and set in a different country – it's supposed to be a tour. (See note about the UK, below)

What counts as "Europe"? For this challenge, we will use the list of 50 sovereign states that fall (at least partially) within the geographic territory of the continent of Europe and/or enjoy membership in international European organizations such as the Council of Europe. This list includes the obvious (the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy), the really huge Russia, the tiny Vatican City, and the mixed bag of Baltic, Balkan, and former Soviet states.

Note: Technically, the United Kingdom is one country that includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.  So one book from any one of these four should count as your one book for that one country. I'm not going to be a stickler about it because challenges should be about fun not about rules. However, when it comes to winning the Jet Setter prize, only one book from one of the UK countries will count.

Here is the list, in alphabetical order: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Vatican City.


Five Star (Deluxe Entourage): Read at least five books by different European authors or books set in different European countries.

Four Star (Honeymooner): Read four qualifying books.

Three Star (Business Traveler): Read three qualifying books.

Two Star (Adventurer): Read two qualifying books.

One Star (Pensione Weekender): Read just one qualifying book.

NOTE:  For 2013, we are abandoning the "Alternate Arrangements" categories we tried in 2012.  The idea was to choose books for the challenge according to particular themes: Agritourisimo (food books); Youth Hostel (YA books); and Culture Vulture (prize winners).  These weren't popular, so we'll stick with the basic package tour this year.


The participant who reads and reviews the greatest number of qualifying books (more than five) will get a $25 gift card to Powell's Books (can be used in store or on line).  Participants living in Europe will get a $25-equivalent gift card to the Amazon store in your country, if possible. If you live in a country where neither Powell's nor Amazon will work, then sorry, you are out of luck.

Each book must be by a different author and set in a different country. This means that only one book from one of the four UK countries will count.  Only books reviewed count towards the prize.

  • Read all books between January 1, 2013 and January 31, 2014.  I like having 13 months so there is extra time to finish after the holidays.  However, if you participated in the 2012 European Reading Challenge, you can only count books read in January 2013 for one year -- either the end of the 2012 challenge or the start of the 2013 challenge -- you don't get to count one book for both challenges. 
  • Sign up here using Mr. Linky under the "PARTICIPANTS" heading below. Please use a link to your challenge post, not your blog home page.   
  • If you do not have a blog, please leave a comment below with the level you are signing up for, and your list of books if you want to name them now, and I will add you to the list.
  • You do not have to commit to your choices now; you can change your mind about books at any time.
  • Overlap with other challenges is allowed -- and encouraged! Have ideas for good overlapping challenge opportunities? Please leave links in comments.
  • Re-reads count. Audiobooks count.  E-books count.  Self-published books count.
  • As you progress, please link to your reviews on the review list page.  Reviews are not necessary, unless you are going for the prize, in which case only books reviewed count.  If you do not have a blog, put your reviews or reports in a comment on this post. When you finish, please link to your wrap-up posts on the wrap-up page.
  • You can copy and paste the button. Or, if you want me to send you the code, please leave a comment with an email and I will. I cannot figure out the fancy ways of giving button instructions.

(To post a review, go to this page)

Please sign up using Mr. Linky below.  Please leave the link for your challenge page, not your blog home page.


To post a review or see the list of reviews, please go to this page.


My shelves are crammed with books set in European countries and/or written by European authors.  I hardly know where to begin!

But I could start with this list of books with French Connections, or this list of books set in Venice.

Other sources of inspiration:

The perpetual Nordic Challenge on Notes from the North.

Murder is Everywhere is a collaborative authors' blog about their mystery novels set in various international locations.

The World Literature Forum also has an active European literature forum

And please check out other participants' sign up posts listed in Mr. Linky (above) for ideas and inspiration.


Miguel said...

Yep, I'll be joining it.

TracyK said...

I was so excited, I went and did a joining post ASAP. Looking forward to starting on this in January.

sffbookreview said...

I think I'm going to try this. I'm doing a very loose around-the-world challenge (no time limit) anyway, and I might as well get started with Europe.

One question though: Do fantasy novels count? Meaning, would you accept an alternate Italy (as in Guy Gavriel Kay's Tigana) for the challenge?

Lizzy Siddal said...

I'm still working on the 2012 challenge but shall join again in 2013.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
maphead said...

Count me in! Just like Lizzy I'm currently working on the 2012 challenge. I can't wait to get started!

Darlene said...

Thanks for hosting!

MissKimberlyStardust said...

Thanks for hosting this! I'm all signed up :)
-Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

wordsandpeace.com said...

Thanks for hosting this again! It was fun, I read 12 books actually for this last year, recap coming, so I'm shooting for the 5 stars again, and have 6 books already listed.

Elizabete Cruz said...

I loved the idea: D

MeganMae said...

I don't have a URL (yet) but sign-me up, por favor! I'm aiming for the 5+ books level!
Thanks for hosting!

Karen said...

Definitely in and want to do the linky, but I don't understand the url thing. Can you explain?

iasa said...

I'm going for the 5+ deluxe category but I don't have a blog.

Deondra said...

Excited to do this challenge again! Thanks for hosting! Merry Christmas!

Jenny Colvin said...

I'm in the second year of an Around the World reading group, so I might as well. Your readers might get more ideas from our group too:

Karen said...

This is quite the challenge. I did manage to start a blog!!! Another new adventure. I'm going for the whole thing--5 books. Starting with the Hobbit next week. Haven't read it in 40 years!

Teresa said...

Hi! I'll try to complete the challenge in 2013. I have put two links in the sign up page, the first leads to my blog's main page, so if you could delete it I'd be most grateful. Thanks! (btw, it's Teresa@Anyway!)

Melissa @ Confessions of an Avid Reader said...

Thanks for hosting. I'm going to take part in this one and aim for 5 books.

Shonna said...

Signing up for five star again. Thanks for hosting this. It`s a great challenge.

Serena! said...

I signed up!! ^^

SGriffin9 said...

I'd like to try for 5 books, fellow Rose Cityer...Citier...Cityr...oh, you know where we live!

RealBooks4ever said...

Sorry, I put the wrong link. I had to go and make a new page in my blog (first time!) for the 2013 ERC. Here it is: http://realbooks4ever.tumblr.com/2013ERC

Annette said...

I'm joining with a goal of 5 Star Deluxe Entourage.

Peek-a-booK! said...

I'm a 5 stars as last year, it's a great challenge, thanks for hosting! :)

I've just finished reading the first book that counts, set in Italy and written by an italian author :)


Shonna said...

Are you making the review page live soon? I'm looking to post my first review, but the links don't seem to be there.

Gilion Dumas said...

Thanks everyone for signing up!

The review page is live now. See the link at the top of the page, right under the challenge button.

Donetta Sifford said...

I have never done anything like this before and am looking very forward to joining this challenge.

Introverted Jen said...

All signed up! Thanks for hosting again!

And since you asked...

This could overlap very well with my own Books in Translation Challenge.

Ally said...

Looking forward to this challenge, again, for the second year! :)

Mari Reads said...

Participating again this year. Thanks for hosting!

Wendy said...

I'm in!

Judith said...

My favorite setting for the books I read is Europe, so this challenge is perfect for me.

This is my first year.

Thank you for hosting!

Judith (Reader in the Wilderness)

Brittany said...

I'm definitely in. Thanks for hosting!

Michelle @ The True Book Addict said...

Giving it another try. Thanks for hosting again!

Shonna said...

Sorry, I put my review on this page by mistake. I've put it on the right page now, but please go ahead and remove it from this one.

k505 said...

just signed up. looking forward :)

Deb said...

Thank you for this wonderful 2013 challenge, I am always looking for a new author to read so this challenge will fit nicely.


Deb said...

Ooops yesterday I joined but neglected to note my level, I have chosen:
Five Star (Deluxe Entourage): Read at least five books by different European authors or books set in different European countries.

My first book is The Fellowship of the Ring, which I have always wanted to read.

Jean said...

I'm late, but I've been meaning to join for a few weeks! I'm in for the 5-star level.

Leyla said...

I like to join this very nice challenge, but I read and I write in Italian, that will be ok for you ?

Quixotic Magpie said...

Love this challenge! I am looking forward to participating. :)

vrouwvaneenwetenschapper said...

What a great challenge! I look forward to discovering some new authors from Europe. Getting their books might be a challenge in itself :)

Pamela said...

Neat challenge! I have many European books sitting on my shelves just waiting to get read, so this will be the year. I have a couple already planned:
The Scale of Maps by Belén Gopegui, Spain
Truck Stop Rainbows by Iva, Pekárková, Czech Republic
Not sure what else is next, exciting! I am going to try for the Five Star Deluxe Entourage, and hope for more.

Jen K said...

I've signed up for Deluxe Entourage. I'm trying to figure out where some authors would fit though - I have one book I'm looking at, and the author was born and raised in Hungary, but ended up living and publishing in Britain. Could she count for Hungary?

laraemilie said...

I join in this year again as I enjoyed last year a lot! Will try to do better this time ;)
I'm going for the Five star again!
Have fun everybody!

AJ Riley said...

I am in for the 5 book level. Happy reading :)

Barbara Punch said...

I'm in for the 5 book level...no blog, so please sign me up.

Barbara Punch

Laura S. said...

I will be trying to read 5 books for this challenge. See you on the other side!

Marianne said...

I am European and the member of an International Book Club. I have read books from and about almost every European country but am happy to take part and contribute to this group.

Marianne said...

Just went through my list. I have read books taking place in 25 European countries already this year: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portual, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom. Still, I will carry on reading more and hope to contribute to this group. Anyone interested in ideas can check my blog Let's Read .

Marianne said...

I just removed my original entry but I still see it. Anyway, I have added the real one now: Let's Read - European Challenge. Hope this helps.

Julie @ Smiling Shelves said...

This sounds like a great challenge for me! I love reading books about Europe. I'm aiming for the 5+ level, since I've already read 8 books that are Europe-based. Hopefully I can fit a few more in by the end of the year!

Edith LaGraziana said...

Hello! I just joined the challege. I like the idea of making some really good reads from my continent more visible in the world.

mave said...

Hello! I love the idea!!!!

andreainuae said...

Wish I would have known about this in January. Lets hope I can remember all the books I've read this so far year!

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