2020 will be my third year to participate in the Popsugar Reading Challenge! (If you’ve never heard of the Popsugar Challenge, follow the link to read all about it.) A reading challenge pushes me out of my comfort zone, helps me to read more, and helps me to whittle down my TBR pile from Mt. Everest to you know… a normal sized mountain. At least that’s the plan. 🙂
Warning: This will be an extremely long post. I thought about splitting it into parts, but I like the idea of having it all in one post to refer back to throughout the year. If you’re one of those people who just like long posts, you can check out my post wrapping up my 2019 Popsugar Challenge here!
There are 40 Regular Prompts and 10 Advanced Prompts. This year to celebrate 2020, the advanced prompts all have the ’20’ theme, which is so much fun! My goal was to fill each prompt with books off my own shelves first, whether physical or digital. I had a much easier time this year than previous years. That could mean the prompts were better or that my tbr is seriously out of control. Even more fun, a prompt I suggested in the Goodreads group was chosen: A book with an upside down image. Yay! I typically read about 75-100 books a year, so that leaves me plenty of room to mood read as well. Let’s jump in!
(Link to Goodreads through the book title for synopsis.)
1 – A book that’s published in 2020
I received an ARC of A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler which will be published in February. I try to go through and fill all the prompts with my ARCs first. This one is generating quite the buzz. I love books about families and neighbors and secrets, so this one sounds perfect.
2 – A book by a trans or nonbinary author
So I had purchased Birthday by Meredith Russo to read for this prompt, but after discovering some controversy involving unsatisfactory comments that Russo made on twitter, I have decided not to read it. Since this is such a recent development, I haven’t had time to find a replacement, so I’m putting You Were Here by Cori McCarthy in for now. I read an ARC of this book in 2016 and really enjoyed it, so if I can’t find another replacement, I’ll just reread it! 🙂
3 – A book with a great first line
I have I Capture the Castle on my shelf, and I hear it has a great first line.
4 – A book about a book club
Technically, I don’t own a copy of The Bromance Book Club yet, so if I discover a book on my shelf about a book club, I’ll replace it. Or maybe see if I can borrow a digital copy through Libby. I will happily take recommendations too!
5 – A book set in a city that has hosted the Olympics
Things in Jars is another ARC I received through Netgalley. It’s set in London, so perfect for this prompt.
6 – A bildungsroman
After refreshing my memory, I remembered a bildungsroman is a story that deals with someone’s formative years or their spiritual journey. I have several possibilities for this prompt, but I’m placing The Song of Achilles or The Saturday Night Ghost Club here, both books I wanted to read last year.
7 – The first book you touch on a shelf with your eyes closed
What a fun prompt! My shelves are a mix of books I want to read and books I’ve already read, so I made a shelf of about 22 books that reside at the top of my TBR (including: Salt to the Sea, The Sun is Also a Star, What Alice Forgot, and A Man Called Ove). All of the ones I chose had Goodreads ratings of 4 or more stars. Except this one. I recently acquired My Last Continent and I tossed it in with the other books on my temporary TBR shelf. And it’s the one I touched after I spun around three times. But I’m okay with that. I really wanted to read it. And technically it has 3.9 stars. I’d say that’s close enough. 😉
8 – A book with an upside-down image on the cover
This was the prompt I suggested. I was so excited to see it was chosen! But who knew there were so many books with upside down images?? I have about five books on my shelves that would work. I’m planning on choosing Winterwood, which I just received in an Owlcrate box, or Silver Sparrow, which has been on my shelf for years.
9 – A book with a map
I am DETERMINED to finally read Six of Crows this year! But I haven’t read The Shadow of Bone trilogy either. I think I can find places for all of them on the challenge, even if it means I have to do some shifting.
10 – A book recommended by your favorite blog, vlog, podcast, or online book club
This is another prompt that may change as the year goes, but for now I’m placing Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine here. I own it, and I’ve seen it recommended everywhere.
11 – An anthology
I have a few books on my shelves that would work for this prompt, but I’ve been wanting to read Slasher Girls & Monster Boys around Halloween. Maybe that will finally happen in 2020.
12 – A book that passes the Bechdel test
To pass the Bechdel test, a book must have a scene (or scenes) in which women talk about something other than a man. I have several books that would work for this prompt, but I finally picked up the audiobook of Daisy Jones & The Six, which will work nicely here.
13 – A book with the same title as a movie or TV show but is unrelated to it
I loved The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer, so I’ve been wanting to read Heartless. It’s been sitting on my shelf since it was released, and it fits this prompt perfectly.
14 – A book by an author with flora or fauna in their name
This one may be a bit of a stretch, but I’m going with Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel–for St. John’s wort, a type of flora or flower. I already own this one and it comes highly recommended.
15 – A book about or involving social media
I just picked up One of Us is Lying on Kindle and was excited to discover it will fit this prompt!
16 – A book that has a book on the cover
This is another prompt that surprised me when I started going through the books on my shelf. I had no idea so many books have books on the covers. The Thirteenth Tale is another book that I have been meaning to read forever, so it was the perfect choice here.
17 – A medical thriller
I’m afraid Sharp Objects may be stretching this prompt a bit, but I’m trying so hard to use books I already have. Medical thrillers are not a genre I’m at all interested in. When I have a prompt that’s hard to fill, I will usually resort to reading a short story, which is why I’m also including The Mercy of Snakes, a short story by Dean Koontz, as a possible option.
18 – A book with a made-up language
I have two great options here. Shadow and Bone or The Return of the King. I was hoping this would be the year I finally finish The Lord of the Rings series, but I really need to read everything by Leigh Bardugo as well. Tough decisions.
19 – A book set in a country beginning with “C”
I have a couple of options for this prompt, both set in Canada. The Blue Castle is high on my TBR list, but it may end up fitting somewhere better on this challenge. I’ve also been wanting to read The Day the World Came to Town.
20 – A book you picked because the title caught your attention
This is the perfect prompt for another ARC because isn’t that basically how we choose ARCs on Netgalley if we’ve never heard of the author? Paris Never Leaves You is a great title!
21 – A book published the month of your birthday
This is one of those prompts where the stars align and the perfect book is ready and waiting. Saint X is an ARC I received at the end of last year and it has a publishing date of 2/18/20, which happens to be on my birthday.
22 – A book about or by a woman in STEM
I’ve been wanting to read The Kiss Quotient, so this seems like the perfect prompt for it, but the only problem is I don’t actually own it yet. So unless I pick it up or borrow it from Libby, I’ve heard Recursion also has a main character that would fit this prompt and I recently picked it up on Kindle.
23 – A book that won an award in 2019
I have several books that work for this prompt, but for now I’m putting Circe here. I meant to read it last year and I’m hoping this will force me to pick it up. It won the ALA Alex Award for 2019.
24 – A book on a subject you know nothing about
I was thrilled to receive an ARC of American Dirt through Netgalley. This one is generating a lot of buzz. It fits perfectly in this prompt because it covers a lot of topics I know nothing about.
25 – A book with only words on the cover, no images or graphics
I won a signed and finished copy of Three Women and I can’t believe I haven’t read it yet. But now it fits perfectly in this prompt.
26 – A book with a pun in the title
27 – A book featuring one of the seven deadly sins
Big Lies in a Small Town is another ARC I received through Netgalley, and it fits perfectly in this prompt.
28 – A book with a robot, cyborg, or AI character
I have several books on my shelves that would work for this prompt, but I’ve been wanting to read Scythe, so hopefully I’ll use it here. Or else I’ll just reread The Lunar Chronicles. 😉
29 – A book with a bird on the cover
This prompt has made me realize just HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE BIRDS ON THE COVERS! It’s kind of ridiculous. So I could end up using something else, but I’m hoping after I read Six of Crows I’ll want to pick up Crooked Kingdom.
30 – A fiction or nonfiction book about a world leader
A Curse So Dark and Lonely is my current read and it just happened to fit this prompt. That’s what I call perfect timing!
31 – A book with “gold,” “silver,” or “bronze” in the title
I’ve preordered Chain of Gold and it’s another perfect fit!
32 – A book by a WOC (Woman of Color)
I need to read the second installment from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series, P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han, before the Netflix movie comes out. I own the whole series, and it will fit nicely in this prompt.
33 – A book with at least a four-star rating on Goodreads
I’ve been meaning to read The Nightingale for a long time, so hopefully I’ll get to it this year. Although I have many books that would fulfill this prompt. 😉
34 – A book you meant to read in 2019
I finally started the Outlander series in 2018 and read the first five books in five months. And then I stopped. I think the tv series, which I watched after I’d read the books, fulfilled the desire to read more. Especially since I’d already read further than the TV series. But this year I want to continue with A Breath of Snow and Ashes, which I fully intended to read last year.
35 – A book with a three-word title
36 – A book with a pink cover
I’ve had After I Do on my shelf for awhile. It’s pink enough for me!
37 – A Western
Westerns are WAY out of my typical genres, so I was very very excited to discover the next Janie is a Western! My Calamity Jane will be published in June.
38 – A book by or about a journalist
39 – Read a banned book during Banned Books Week
40 – Your favorite prompt from a past Popsugar Reading Challenge
It’s kind of a typical thing to choose a prompt from each year of the past Popsugar Challenges, so I will have five choices here. Although I ended up reading two from each year in 2019.
2015 – A book your mom loves
I have been meaning to read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn for years. It’s one of my mom’s favorite books from her childhood, so this is the perfect prompt.
2016 – Set in Europe
I received an ARC of The Little Bookshop on the Seine through Netgalley. It will be available on January 20, 2020.
2017 – A book published in 2017
I recently purchased Roomies on Kindle, and it works for this prompt!
2018 – Book by a local author
I have the good fortune to live in the same state as Katherine Center. It makes prompts like this one super easy. I have The Bright Side of Disaster on my shelf and What You Wish For will be released in July of 2020.
2019 – Reread of a favorite book
I’m leaving this one blank for now so I can reread on a whim!
1 – A book written by an author in their 20s
The Bell Jar is another book I’m determined to read in 2020.
2 – A book with “20” or “twenty” in the title
This is the perfect year to be behind on the Stephanie Plum series. Turbo Twenty-Three is next on my list!
3 – A book with a character with a vision impairment or enchantment (a nod to 20/20 vision)
All the Light We Cannot See is another one that’s been on my shelf for awhile.
4 – A book set in Japan, host of the 2020 Olympics
Memoirs of a Geisha is another one that I’ve wanted to read for years. In fact it made my recent top ten list of books that have been on my TBR the longest. It’s time to finally read this one and what a perfect prompt.
5 – A book set in the 1920s
The perfect prompt to finally dive into A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams, one of my favorite historical fiction authors, or What the Wind Knows, a book I picked up through Amazon First Reads and has rave reviews!
6 – A book by an author who has written more than 20 books
I finished the final book in the Winter series, Winter Solstice, by prolific author Elin Hilderbrand in early January, so I was able to count it for this prompt! You can find my review of the whole series here.
7 – A book with more than 20 letters in its title
I won a finished copy of Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl, a memoir by Jeannie Vanasco, and I’m hoping to finally read it this year.
8 – A book published in the 20th century
Doctor Zhivago is another book that was on my top ten list of books that have been on my tbr the longest. I need to read this one soon.
9 – A book from a series with more than 20 books
This prompt is another opportunity to read a book from the Stephanie Plum series, Hardcore Twenty-Four!
10 – A book with a main character in their 20s
The Light After the War is another ARC I received through Netgalley. From the synopsis, I believe it will fit this prompt, but it may get replaced if I read something else that fits here better.
That’s it! If you made it to the end, let me know in the comments so I can give you all kinds of praise! 😉 Are you participating in Popsugar? Do you have any suggestions for prompts?