POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge 2019 – Completed

Thanks to Clipart Library for these pretty fireworks!

After having participated for the past few years, the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge has become something of a tradition in my home. If you’ve never taken part in the Reading Challenge, the basic idea is that participants are encouraged to expand their reading horizons through a series of forty (or fifty, if you choose to tackle the “advanced” list) reading prompts. Some of the prompts require readers to step outside their comfort zones and read books in new genres, while others focus on specific elements that need to be part of a book’s title, cover, or plot.

What I love about the Reading Challenge is how excited people get when recommending books to each other. This year, I finally decided to join the “Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge” group on Goodreads. I’ve really enjoyed seeing everyone’s progress through the challenge, and reading about their choices for each of the different prompts. Recommendations by various group members have lead me to try several new books and authors this year.

I’m not really the type of person who plans all of my yearly reading ahead of time. I tend read what I want, when I want, and match books with prompts wherever I can. I’ve actually done a lot of reading this year that was completely unrelated to the Reading Challenge, but still managed to finish with time to spare. Some of the books I read this year were rereads of old favorites I hadn’t picked up in years, while others were brand new to me.

While the following list only includes one title per prompt, I actually ended up reading multiple titles for several of this year’s POPSUGAR Reading Challenge prompts…

  • A book becoming a movie in 2019: Five Feet Apart (Rachel Lippincott)
  • A book that makes you nostalgic: Howl’s Moving Castle (Diana Wynne Jones)
  • A book written by a musician (fiction or nonfiction): Tales from Margaritaville (Jimmy Buffett)
  • A book you think should be turned into a movie: Get A Clue (Jill Shalvis)
  • A book with at least one million ratings on Goodreads: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (J.K. Rowling)
  • A book with a plant in the title or on the cover: Takane & Hana, volumes 1-7 (Yuki Shiwasu)
  • A reread of a favorite book: Beauty (Robin McKinley)
  • A book about a hobby: A Time to Dance (Padma Venkatraman)
  • A book you meant to read in 2018: Scythe (Neal Shusterman)
  • A book with “pop,” “sugar,” or “challenge” in the title: Geek Art An Anthology: Art, Design, Illustrations & Pop Culture (Thomas Olivri)
  • A book with an item of clothing or accessory on the cover: Loves Music, Loves to Dance (Mary Higgins Clark)
  • A book inspired by mythology, legend, or folklore: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer (Rick Riordan)
  • A book published posthumously: Sleeping Murder (Agatha Christie)
  • A book set in space: Nightflyers (George R.R. Martin)
  • A book by two female authors: Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered (Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark)
  • A book with a title that contains “salty,” “sweet,” “bitter,” or “spicy”: Bitter Orange (Claire Fuller)
  • A book set in Scandinavia: Number the Stars (Lois Lowery)
  • A book that takes place in a single day: Long Way Down (Jason Reynolds)
  • A debut novel: Ash Princess (Laura Sebastian)
  • A book that’s published in 2019: The Stars Below (David Baldacci)
  • A book featuring an extinct or imaginary creature: Dealing with Dragons (Patricia C. Wrede)
  • A book recommended by a celebrity you admire: The Price (Arthur Miller) – recommended by Mark Ruffalo
  • A book with “love” in the title: Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku, volumes 1-3 (Fujita)
  • A book featuring an amateur detective: Real Murders (Charlaine Harris)
  • A book about a family: The Turn of the Key (Ruth Ware)
  • A book written by an author from Asia, Africa, or South America: Born A Crime (Trevor Noah)
  • A book with a zodiac or astrology term in the title: The Zodiac Legacy: Convergence (Stan Lee, Stuart Moore, and Andie Tong)
  • A book you see someone reading on TV or in a movie: The Fault In Our Stars (John Green)
  • A retelling of a classic: Rose Daughter (Robin McKinley)
  • A book with a question in the title: All the Wrong Questions: Shouldn’t You Be In School? (Lemony Snicket)
  • A book set on a college or university campus: Genshiken, omnibus 1-3 (Shimoku Kio)
  • A book about someone with a superpower: The Institute (Stephen King)
  • A book told from multiple character POVs: Confessions (Kanae Minato)
  • A book that includes a wedding: 20 Times A Lady (Karyn Bosnak)
  • A book by an author whose first and last names start with the same letter: The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller (Cleo Coyle)
  • A ghost story: The Woman in Black (Susan Hill)
  • A book with a two-word title: The Leveler (Julia Durango)
  • A novel based on a true story: The Girl They Left Behind (Roxanne Veletzos)
  • A book revolving around a puzzle or game: The Forbidden Game: The Hunter (L.J. Smith)
  • Your favorite prompt from a past POPSUGAR Reading Challenge – a book from the library (2016): Geek Parenting: What Joffrey, Jor-El, Maleficent, and the McFlys Teach Us About Raising A Family (Stephen H. Segal and Valya Dudycz Lupescu)


  • A “cli-fi” (climate fiction) book: Thirst (Benjamin Warner)
  • A “choose-your-own-adventure” book: Lost in Austen (Emma Campbell Webster)
  • An “own voices” book: The Hate U Give (Angie Thomas)
  • Read a book during the season it is set in: Millennium Snow, volumes 1-4 (Bisco Hatori)
  • A LitRPG book: 80AD: The Jewel of Asgard (Aiki Flinthart and Jason Seabaugh)
  • A book with no chapters, unusual chapter headings, or unconventionally numbered chapters: We Need to Talk About Kevin (Lionel Shriver)
  • Two books that share the same title (1): Final Girls (Riley Sager)
  • Two books that share the same title (2): Final Girls (Mira Grant)
  • A book that has inspired a common phrase or idiom: A Game of Thrones (George R.R. Martin)
  • A book set in an abbey, cloister, monastery, vicarage, or convent: The Crowfield Curse (Pat Walsh)

Some of my friends have already asked whether or not I will participate in next year’s POPSUGAR Reading Challenge. While it’s very likely that I will participate, I’m going to wait until I’ve seen the complete list of reading prompts before I make any commitments.

If you’re currently participating in the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge, I hope you enjoy the rest of your reading for the year. If you’ve never taken part, I hope you’ll consider giving it (or another challenge like it) a try in 2020.

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