Book Challenge

My 2021 Popsugar Reading Challenge

Hello Readers! This will be my fourth year to participate in the Popsugar Reading Challenge! If you’ve never heard of the challenge, you can learn about it here. There’s also an informative Goodreads group here, as well as a Facebook group—but I’m not currently using Facebook. What I like about this challenge is it pushes me out of my comfort zones a bit, but I can almost always find books off my own shelf to fill the prompts. The list creators are always encouraging readers to make the list their own and to interpret the prompts in the way that is best for their own use, as well.

The day they release the prompts is always a little bit like Christmas morning for me. I always have way too much fun planning out my reading year—even though I rarely stick to it too closely.

I try to pick out existing books on my physical and digital shelves first and then fill in any other spots with books I’ve been wanting to read but don’t own yet. What usually causes my list to change the most are my ARCs. It’s usually while I’m reading them that I discover they’ll fit a prompt on the list. But I do also like to allow some room for mood reading.

After browsing through 2021’s prompts, I think I was most excited about the Advanced Prompts! All of them involve our abundant TBRs. Hopefully it will help me tackle some of my backlist. Here’s what I’ve “planned”. We’ll see at the end of the year how well I stick to what I’ve picked. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • A book that’s published in 2021The Perfect Guests by Emma Rous
  • An Afrofuturist bookSlay by Brittney Morris (alternate – The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin)
  • A book that has a heart, diamond, club, or spade on the coverThe Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren (alternate – Heartless by Marissa Meyer)
  • A book by an author who shares your zodiac sign – (Aquarius) Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison (who shares my actual birthday) or one of the several Edith Wharton novels I still need to read.
  • A dark academia bookThe Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafรณn
  • A genre hybrid – (YA, Historical Fiction) We Are Not Free by Traci Chee (alternate – [Romance, Thriller] Verity by Colleen Hoover)
  • A book set mostly or entirely outdoorsForce of Nature by Jane Harper
  • A book with something broken on the coverStepsister by Jennifer Donnelly
  • A book by a Muslim American authorAn Ember in the Ashes by Saaba Tahir (alternate – A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini)
  • A book that was published anonymouslyMansfield Park by Jane Austen (originally published anonymously)
  • A book by a blogger, vlogger, YouTube video creator, or other online personalityThe Lost Causes of Bleak Creek by Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal
  • A book whose title starts with “Q,” “X,” or “Z”Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
  • A book featuring three generations (grandparents, parent, child)Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
  • A book about a social justice issueThe Smash-Up by Ali Benjamin
  • A book in a different format than what you normally read (audiobooks, ebooks, graphic novels)Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (audiobook)
  • A book that has fewer than 1,000 reviews on Amazon or GoodreadsHappy Singles Day by Ann Marie Walker
  • A book you think your best friend would like – It’s typically while I’m reading a book that I’ll think someone else would enjoy it, so I’ll leave this blank for now.
  • A book about art or an artistWhat Could Be Saved by Liese O’Halloran Schwarz (alternate – Mister Impossible by Maggie Stiefvater)
  • A book everyone seems to have read but youCirce by Madeline Miller

Your favorite prompt from a past Popsugar Reading Challenge (I like to challenge myself by choosing a book from each past challenge, and I added one to round out my TBR to 60 books.)

Advanced Prompts

  • The longest book (by pages) on your TBR list – (830 pages) An Echo in the Bone (Outlander, #7) by Diana Gabaldon (This is the longest book on my 2021 TBR, but only about the fourth or fifth on my overall Goodreads shelf. I have a feeling if I try to put something else here, it won’t happen. :))
  • The shortest book on your TBR list – (75 pages) Three Cups of Deceit by Jon Krakauer (This is the shortest book on my physical shelf, but may get changed to digital shelf.)
  • The book on your TBR list with the prettiest coverThe Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  • The book on your TBR with the ugliest coverThe Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah (alternate – [on my digital shelf] The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred)
  • The book that’s been on your TBR list for the longest amount of timeThe Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkein (Technically, I have about 70 books that have been on my Goodreads TBR for the same amount of time, so this could change. But hopefully I’ll finally read this one.)
  • A book from you TBR list you meant to read last year but didn’tThe Last Star by Rick Yancey (alternate – Three Women by Lisa Taddeo)
  • A book from your TBR list you associate with a favorite person, place, or thing – (place) Astoria by Peter Stark
  • A book from your TBR list chosen at randomThe Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown (I set my Goodreads TBR to random and this was the first book that came up!)
  • A DNF book from your TBR listThe Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams (I started this one in 2020 but couldn’t get into it at the time.)
  • A free book from your TBR list (gifted, borrowed, library) – (gifted/giveaway) Love at First by Kate Clayborn

Are you participating in the Popsugar Reading Challenge? Did I include any of your favorites? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Wandering!

8 thoughts on “My 2021 Popsugar Reading Challenge”

  1. I did Popsugar back in the day, and they still have some great prompts, but there are some I know never do. Good luck! You have some great books on the list, and I hope you enjoy them.

    1. Thank you! Some of the prompts are definitely more challenging. I can usually find a short story or graphic novel to fill the harder ones or ones I’m less interested in. That’s one thing I like about the Goodreads group, someone always has a great suggestion for those harder to fill prompts. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Wow, this is amazing and it honestly motivates me to get my act together to actually complete the challenge this year ๐Ÿ˜‚ I’ve already made my list of possibilities but haven’t settled on one book for most of the prompts yet (except for the one that I’ve already completed). Let’s see if this year is the one that I actually finish this challenge. Good luck and happy reading ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

    1. You can do it, Dini!! Don’t be afraid to use short stories, graphic novels, or children’s books to fill those harder prompts. But even if you don’t finish, it’s still a great accomplishment—and fun to try! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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