Saturday, January 9, 2021

Announcing the I Read Horror Year-Round Reading Challenge #IReadHorror

After determining there were no good horror reading challenges (that I could find), I decided to create one of my own. I'm going to host this one here at Castle Macabre, instead of at Gather Together and Read, because...horror. 

I mulled over different ideas for this challenge and finally came up with something I think horror lovers will like. There are 12 categories and 4 levels of participation. 

Here are the categories, or themes. (I created the additional graphic below which can be printed out, if desired.) 
  • Winter theme, or winter appearance on the cover (snow, ice, etc.)
  • Ghosts or spirits
  • Psychological
  • Monster or monsters
  • A body of water (featured in story, on cover, or in title)
  • Really scary book cover
  • Woman on cover
  • Written by a woman
  • Written by a best-selling horror author
  • Written by an indie author
  • Historical horror (must be an historical novel written by a contemporary author. Example: The Historian, Mexican Gothic, Interview with the Vampire
  • Folk horror (Ideas: or


Spooky: Read 6 books from 6 categories
Chilling: Read 12 Books from all 12 categories
Frightful: Read 2 books from each category for a total of 24 books
Horrifying: Read 3 books from each category for a total of 36 books

Challenge runs from January 2021 (anything you've read thus far counts) through December 31, 2021. Cross overs with other challenges count. Short stories are allowed if you're reading an entire collection or anthology. Books must be over 100 pages. You do not have to pick your books ahead of time, but you can if you want.

That's it! I hope you will join me.

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  1. Thank you for this cool idea for Horror fans. I have been in a reading slump lately. With everything going on in the world this might be a welcome distraction. Thank you. Happy to be the first to sign up.

  2. I have tentatively signed up, it sounds like fun! I will need constant reminders though. lol. Goodreads group?

    1. Hope you will join us for sure. I can't handle managing another Goodreads group, but I am going to add a check in every three months into the challenge details and I'll post a check in post on here. Hopefully, that will help people with accountability. :)

  3. I'm excited! Looking forward to finding books that fit these prompts.

  4. I'm so excited for this!

    If you don't mind me making a suggestion, another category on the challenge list could be to read a book in the horror genre written by a POC. But I know the list has already been posted and the challenge started a while back haha.

    I also have a couple questions: Do audiobooks count (but not solely audiobooks)? Also, can a book be characterized as a thriller or does it need to specifically be named as horror (like if it were to be categorized in a library or bookstore). Hope that makes sense!

    1. I will definitely make that a prompt next year. Thanks for the suggestion. I can't believe I didn't think of it myself!

      Yes, audio books are fine and you can listen to all audio books if you like. I would think a thriller would be okay. Everyone's definition of horror is a bit different. There are thrillers with serial killers that are pretty horrific. What's scary for me might be way too scary for someone else. Hope that helps!

      So glad you're joining us!

  5. Well I tried to comment and it disappeared so if this comes through twice, that’s why! I’m totally in on this challenge since Horror/Thriller is my most favorite genres. I am trying to expand my reading horizons and pick books form all different ones. I tend to get hired and then drop into a huge slump if I don’t.

    I’d like to the Frightful or even the Horrifying level of participation. That’s another goal for the year to up the amount of reading I do. You would think during a quarantine l would have already done this, but no. Now that one of my daughters has loved out and the other is a freshman in college (albeit remotely right now), I am trying to make some ME time. So thank you for the invites to your challenges Michelle. I really need this right now!

    Then if I could only get my butt in gear and get back to the blogging, it would all be aces!!

  6. To participate we would read the books from the categories and then talk about/review them at our own blogs?

    1. You don't have to write posts, but you can if you want. I didn't do a write up on the book I read in January. I will be posting a quarterly check-in post so look for the first one at the end of March. You can share links to what you've read in the comments on the quarterly check-in posts, or share them in the comments here on this post. Hope you will join us. Thanks for visiting!

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