Book Challenge

I Finished My 2019 Popsugar Reading Challenge!

This was my second year to participate in the Popsugar Challenge. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a list that Popsugar releases (usually in November of the previous year–and I’m anxiously awaiting next year’s list to be released;)). There’s a group dedicated to the list on Goodreads here. And there is a new Facebook group here as well. I’ll be listing the prompts and the books I read for each one.

The list consists of 40 regular prompts and 10 advanced prompts. I typically read anywhere from 75-100 books a year so I tweaked one of the prompts by adding multiple books.

(Link to Goodreads included through the book title.)

A book becoming a movie in 2019:

Between Shades of Gray was released as the film, Ashes in Snow, which was released in the US on January 1, 2019. 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

A book that makes you nostalgic:

The entire time I was reading The Only Plane in the Sky (which is phenomenal) I was thinking about where I was and what life was like on 9/11. I highly recommend this book, and you can find my review here. 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

A book written by a musician (fiction or nonfiction):

I’m a huge fan of Florence + The Machine, so when I received Florence Welch’s Useless Magic (a book of her poetry and lyrics) for Christmas last year, it was the perfect choice for this prompt. It’s beautifully illustrated as well. 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

A book you think should be turned into a movie:

I’ve been wanting to read Beartown for a few years, and I could very much see this one becoming a movie! 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

A book with at least one million ratings on Goodreads:

I’ve had The Time Traveler’s Wife on my TBR for awhile, so when I snagged a copy on Paperbackswap, I decided to use it for this prompt. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

A book with a plant in the title or on the cover:

I had The Language of Flowers on my shelf and I’d heard repeatedly how great it was, so it was the perfect choice for this prompt. 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

A reread of a favorite book:

I knew a reread of Lady Midnight would be necessary before the release of the next book in the series, so this was an easy prompt to fill. 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

A book about a hobby:

The Girl He Used to Know was an ARC I received through Netgalley. It revolves around a character who loves to play chess, and it was a lovely book. 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

A book you meant to read in 2018:

I had You on my bookshelf and had wanted to read it before I watched the Netflix series, so this prompt was the perfect excuse to pick it up. It was thoroughly creepy. 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

A book with POP, SUGAR, or CHALLENGE in the title:

This was a prompt I ended up having a hard time filling. It was one of my final prompts to fill. I finally decided to read a favorite Pop-Up book from my childhood that I’d also read with my children, but after searching high and low I couldn’t locate it. (I’m hoping it’s just packed away somewhere.) So I turned to my niece’s collection of books and my sister-in-law suggested Popcorn. It was perfect for the time (Halloween) and absolutely delightful! 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

A book with an item of clothing or accessory on the cover:

Lilac Girls was an ARC I’d won but hadn’t read yet, so I was happy to find a prompt that it worked for. 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

A book inspired by myth/legend/folklore:

This was my very last prompt to fill. I fully intended to read Circe for this prompt, but never got to it, so when I was already reading D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths with my son, I realized (happily) that it would work for this prompt. 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

A book published posthumously:

This was also one of the last prompts I filled. I listened to most of Persuasion on audiobook, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as other Austen novels. 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

A book you see someone reading on TV or in a movie:

If you’ve watched Friends, you’ll remember Rachel finding Joey’s copy of The Shining in the freezer because it scared him so much. I had been wanting to read this for a long time. I was finally able to mark it off my TBR (on Halloween too!), but it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

A retelling of a classic:

Eligible is another one I had an ARC of from Netgalley that I didn’t get to last year, so it was the perfect choice for this prompt! It’s a retelling of Pride and Prejudice. Loved it! 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

A book with a question in the title:

I had Why Not Me? on my shelf, so it was the first book that came to mind when I read this prompt. But I ended up listening to it on audiobook because I enjoyed listening to her other book (Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me) so much. 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

A book set on a college or university campus:

I had The Secret History on my TBR for awhile. My daughter had been begging me to read it too. I saved it for this prompt, AND I saved it to read in the fall since I’d heard it was such an autumnal book. This was my biggest book disappointment (so far) this year. I fully expected to love it, but I didn’t. Which left me very bummed. (I did love The Goldfinch though.) 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

A book about someone with a superpower:

I wanted to reread Lord of Shadows in anticipation of the next book in the series, so I was happy to find it would fit in this prompt. 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

A book told from multiple POVs:

The Dreamers was an ARC I received through Netgalley and it fit perfectly in this prompt. 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

A book set in space:

The Space Between the Stars was an ARC I’d won that I hadn’t picked up yet, so I was happy to find a place for it in the challenge. 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

A book by two female authors:

I was happy when I remembered I had picked up My Lady Jane on sale and it was waiting on my kindle AND it fit this prompt (if you allow that there are at least two). It was one of my favorite reads this year. I ended up wondering why I hadn’t read it sooner! 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

A book with SALTY, SWEET, BITTER, or SPICY in the title:

I’m not a fan of prompts that use specific words in the title, but I had Sweet on my kindle, so it worked for this prompt. 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

A book set in Scandinavia:

I originally had Beartown filled in for this prompt, but I quickly realized I would want to read the next book in the series, so I moved Us Against You here and found a new spot for Beartown. 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

A book that takes place in a single day:

I had This is Where it Ends sitting on my shelf, so when I discovered the entire book takes place in one day, I chose it for this prompt. This book was overwhelming, but hard to put down. I still have mixed feelings about it. 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

A debut novel:

I tend to read a lot of debut novels since I’m a Netgalley reader, so I had multiple books that could fulfill this prompt, but The Most Fun We Ever Had was one of my favorite reads this year. Just phenomenal! 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

A book that’s published in 2019:

Just like how I tend to read a lot of debuts, I also have no shortage of new books to choose from thanks to Netgalley. I Owe You One fit perfectly here.3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

A book featuring an extinct or imaginary creature:

I finally read The Burning World in preparation for the the final book in the series, The Living. It’s such a cool world Isaac Marion has created. 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

A book recommended by a celebrity you admire:

Sometimes the stars align and the perfect book lands in your lap. I enjoy watching Zoella, a spunky Youtuber from the UK, and this year she started a book group. Her first book was Little Fires Everywhere, a book I had just picked up and was dying to read. Stars aligned. 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

A book with LOVE in the title:

Here’s an instance when I didn’t mind the prompt being so specific, because how hard is it to find the word LOVE in a title?? I was approved for Love You Hard through Netgalley, so it fit perfectly. It was a difficult, but uplifting read! 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

A book featuring an amateur detective:

I always enjoy picking up a Stephanie Plum novel. They’re a nice palate cleanser when I’ve read more lengthy books with heftier subject matter. So I immediately thought of my next one in the series for this prompt, Tricky Twenty-Two. 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

A book about a family:

The Last Romantics was another ARC I was approved for on Netgalley, and it fit this prompt perfectly. Unfortunately, it wasn’t really my cup of tea, but very well-written. 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

A book author from Asia, Africa, or South America:

The Broken Circle was a book I won on Goodreads and it fit this prompt perfectly. It was a harrowing and inspirational story, although it seems there is some controversy swirling around about it now. 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

A book with a zodiac sign or astrology term in the title:

This might have been a bit of a stretch, but I had to find somewhere for the final installment of The Dark Artifices series, Queen of Air and Darkness. 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

A book that includes a wedding:

This was a fun prompt to fill! The Unhoneymooners was the perfect choice. I loved this fun and refreshing novel! 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

A book by an author whose first and last name start with the same letter:

I won an advance copy of Cape May through Bookishfirst and was happy that it filled this prompt. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, but it’s not for everyone. It was at least memorable. I usually can’t remember much about novels I’ve read several months back, but this one has stuck with me. 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

A ghost story:

I fully intended to put The Shining here, but was surprised when My Plain Jane filled this prompt. (It’s not a spoiler. I picked this one up without reading the blurb. And fun fact, the ghost was my favorite character. πŸ˜‰ ) 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

A book with a two-word title:

This was one of those nice prompts that was more general. I was approved for the ARC of Whisper Network through Netgalley, so it worked great here. 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

A novel based on a true story:

I love historical fiction, so this was an easy prompt for me to fill. The Last Year of the War was an ARC I received through Netgalley. (Are you noticing a trend? And my goal for the year was to read less ARCs and more books from my own shelves. I would say I failed.) 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

A book revolving around a puzzle or game:

I was having a hard time filling this prompt when I won an ARC copy of The Escape Room AND was approved for the ARC through Netgalley. I remember I read it in almost one day. It was a thrill-ride! 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Your favorite prompt from a past POPSUGAR Reading Challenge:

It’s common for participants to pick a prompt from each year of the past challenges instead of just one, and this year I chose two prompts from each year. Woohoo!

2015 – Book that made you cry:

I was so happy when I received an ARC of Things You Save in a Fire from the publisher. I love Katherine Center! This is obviously a case where I filled the prompt after I read the book. 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

2015 – Book with a female author:

Another one I was approved for through Netgalley! Mrs. Everything was slower than I prefer, but still an enjoyable read. 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

2016 – A book that takes place during the summer:

You guessed it, I was approved for Say You Still Love Me through Netgalley. Another one that I searched out a prompt to fit the book after I’d read it. 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

2016 – Book with a blue cover:

From Netgalley. Ask Again, Yes has loads of family drama. It’s a perfect book club read! 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

2017 – A book about a difficult topic:

I won an ARC of The Arrangement through Goodreads. It was well-researched and well-written, but I didn’t love this one. 2.5 out of 5 stars (2.5 / 5)

2017 – A book set in two different time periods:

From Netgalley, The Guest Book is a beautiful historical fiction novel! 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

2018 – A book about death or grief:

From Netgalley, Life and Other Inconveniences was delightful! 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

2018 – A book with the time of day in the title:

From Netgalley, The Night Window is the final installment in the Jane Hawk series, which I loved! 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Advanced Prompt – A “cli-fi” (climate fiction) book:

I’ve had The Dry on my shelf for awhile, so I was happy to find a prompt that it filled. Loved it! 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Advanced Prompt – A “choose-your-own-adventure” book:

I picked up Choose Your Own Misery: The Holidays on kindle for cheap and it was a fun read for the holidays. Thankfully I finished it after New Year’s so I could count it for this year’s challenge. πŸ˜‰ 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

Advanced Prompt – Own voices book:

I was thrilled to win a copy of this novel through Bookishfirst. I adored Frankly in Love. You can read my review here. 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Advanced Prompt – Read a book during the season it is set in:

From Netgalley, Montauk was very atmospheric, but not a perfect read. 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Advanced Prompt – A LitRPG book:

Romeo and/or Juliet: A Chooseable-Path Adventure was most definitely a stretch for this prompt but I was desperate. There was a short challenge within one of the path choices that put you inside a game. Worked for me. This was a fun book if you’re a die-hard Shakespeare fan. 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Advanced Prompt – A book with no chapters/unusual chapter headings/unconventionally numbered chapters:

I read The Wednesday Wars with my son and it fit the prompt. We both enjoyed it! 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Advanced Prompt – Two Books that share the same title:

I was thrilled to receive an ARC of The Living, the last installment in the Warm Bodies series. It was a great conclusion! 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

I had my second book for this prompt, The Living, already on my kindle. I did not enjoy this one, however. 2 out of 5 stars (2 / 5)

Advanced prompt – A book that has inspired a common phrase or idiom:

Friends inspired so many phrases that are common now. I’ll Be There for You: The One about Friends was a lot of fun! 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Advanced prompt – A book set in an abbey, cloister, monastery, vicarage, or convent:

This was one of the last prompts I completed, and it was a reread, but I’d forgotten so much of what happened in Northanger Abbey, most of it was new to me. I listened to this on audiobook and it was perfect for autumn! 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)


So, that’s it. If you’ve made it this far, you’re an exceptional human being. πŸ™‚ I definitely failed my goal to read less ARCs from Netgalley and more books off my shelf at home (or already on my kindle), but I will try to be stronger next year. I must resist the request now button on Netgalley! πŸ˜‰

Happy Wandering!

2 thoughts on “I Finished My 2019 Popsugar Reading Challenge!”

  1. Congratulations on finishing the challenge! It’s looking like I won’t this year, but I loved seeing what different books you read for the same promts.

    1. Oh thank you so much!! If you’re not too far away, just grab some children’s books, graphic novels and short stories to round it out. But even if you don’t finish, it’s just great that you’ve been reading. <3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *