Rambles · Telling Tales

Telling Tales | 2020 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

Last year was my first year competing in the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge, in which I managed to complete 22 out of the initial 40 prompts. This year, I’m aiming a little higher and hoping to get at least 25 prompts completed. Much like last year, I’m not going to try and bother with the Advanced prompts yet, wanting to get a little higher before aiming to complete those. Either way, it’s going to be fun!

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For now, I’m going to assign a few titles from my shelves that I’m hoping to read for each of the main forty prompts. I’ll do a mid-year update on this challenge in June to track my progress before the final tally at the end of the year.


1. A book that’s published in 2020

  • The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
  • One of Us is Next by Karen M. McManus
  • Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

2. A book by a trans or nonbinary author

  • I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver
  • Clean by Juno Dawson

3. A book with a great first line

  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  • The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

4. A book about a book club

  • The Paper & Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie

5. A book set in a city that has hosted the Olympics

  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer (Beijing)

6. A bildungsroman

  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  • The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

7. The first book you touch on a shelf with your eyes closed

  • Solitaire by Alice Oseman
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

8. A book with an upside-down image on the cover

  • Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  • The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

9. A book with a map

  • We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
  • Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

10. A book recommended by your favourite blog, vlog, podcast, or online book club

  • The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

11. An anthology

  • The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
  • Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet by Jennifer L. Armentrout

12. A book that passes the Bechdel test

  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

13. A book with the same title as a movie or TV show but is unrelated to it

  • Vicious by V.E. Schwab
  • Heartless by Marissa Meyer

14. A book by an author with flora or fauna in their name

  • The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
  • The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

15. A book about or involving social media

  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  • One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
  • Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

16. A book that has a book on the cover

  • Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moira Fowley-Doyle
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

17. A medical thriller

  • Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

18. A book with a made-up language

  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

19. A book set in a country beginning with “C”

  • Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor (Czech Republic) 

20. A book you picked because the title caught your attention

  • My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
  • The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

21. A book published the month of your birthday

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (July) 
  • Lost Boy by Christina Henry (July) 

22. A book about or by a woman in STEM

  • Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

23. A book that won an award in 2019

  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
  • Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuinston

24. A book on a subject you know nothing about

  • Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allen Poe by Edgar Allan Poe (19th Century Poetry) 

25. A book with only words on the cover, no images or graphics

  • The Mermaid’s Voice Returns in This One by Amanda Lovelace

26. A book with a pun in the title

  • Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuinston

27. A book featuring one of the seven deadly sins

  • Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo (Greed) 

28. A book with a robot, cyborg, or AI character

  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  • Illuminae by Amie Kaufman

29. A book with a bird on the cover

  • Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

30. A fiction or nonfiction book about a world leader

  • Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
  • The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

31. A book with “Gold”, “Silver”, or “Bronze” in the title

  • A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood

32. A book by a WOC

  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
  • My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

33. A book with at least a four-star rating on Goodreads

  • One of Us Is Next by Karen M. McManus
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

34. A book you meant to read in 2019

  • The Wicked King by Holly Black
  • Killer T by Robery Muchamore
  • Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco

35. A book with a three-word title

  • Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco
  • City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

36. A book with a pink cover

  • Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuinston
  • Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

37. A Western

  • Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx
  • Gunslinger Girl by Lyndsay Ely

38. A book by or about a journalist

  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

39. Read a banned book during Banned Books Week

  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

40. Your favourite prompt from a past POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

  • McFly: Unsaid Things… Our Story by Tom Fletcher, Danny Jones, Harry Judd and Dougie Poynter (2017: No. 8: Multiple Authors)
  • Ruple and Evelyn by Laurence Beveridge (2019: No. 3: A book written by a musician) 

Note: These are only ideas for each prompt so are subject to change. In my Mid-Year review on them, I will update on what I’ve changed my choices to.

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Is anyone else taking part in this challenge? What are some of your choices? 

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