2013 Middle East reading challenge is hosted on a dedicated blog of the same title. It is a challenge to read books, to quote the host: "...which are written by Middle Eastern writers, or take place in the Greater Middle East, or are concerned with the Greater Middle East and with historical and contemporary Middle Eastern issues." The area covered is more or less what is sometimes referred to as the "Greater Middle East" and is comprised of Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Territories and all the nations within, bordering or relatively close proximity to the Arabian Peninsula including Iran, Iraq, Kuwait and the Gulf Emirates. Some exceptions are given in the introduction post.
The challenge runs all year, I did not see a sign-up deadline, there are 4 levels, from 1 to 15+ books, and more rules can be found in the intro post. Considering how much the area has been in the news lately, remarkably few people have joined, so why not pop over and join them?
European Reading Challenge is becoming a stable among reading challenges. It is hosted by Rose City Reader and is, quite simply, a challenge to take a tour of Europe through books where each book must be by a different author and set in a different country. There are five levels: to read 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 books. The challenge runs between January 1, 2013 and January 31, 201, there is no sign-up deadline, and there is a prize for the most books read. Overlap with other challenges is allowed and reviewing is not necessary unless you intend to compete for the prize, in which case you must review, either on a blog or in comments. There are 55 people already signed up and I can foresee a fierce competition for the prize.
Next we have the 7 Continents, 7 Billion People, 7 Books - Reading Challenge2013. This one has 7 categories, each covering 7 countries, and you must choose one and read book belonging to each category.
Visit the hosting site for more information on the categories and the philosophy behind the challenge. I did not see a sign-up deadline, the challenge runs Jan 1, 2013 – Dec 31, 2013, and there are already 19 participants. Why not become the 20th?
EDIT - I forgot about this one, so I'm adding it (1 Feb.):
The Global Reading Challenge is hosted on Mysteries in Paradise and is, as the title suggests, about reading globally. There are three levels, explained in the intro post, and it runs all year with no sign-up deadline. There are only 16 participants so far, which is a pity because itðs a great challenge. I may even join it myself.
The final challenge in this category is the Around the World in 80 Books challenge. Hosted by Have Books, Will Travel, it is a 5-year challenge that started on October 1, 2012 and ends on September 30, 2017.
You can join at any time (but the sooner, the better) and each book must be set in a different country. If you're ready for a long-haul challenge, go join the 24 other who have already signed up.