POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

At the end of every year, POPSUGAR posts a reading challenge for the upcoming year. It usually contains about 50 reading prompts. Since 2016, I participate with a couple of friends. We have our own spreadsheet to track the books we’ve read and we also tweak some of the prompts to better fit our diverse reading tastes. Here’s the list of the books I’ve read over the years. So far, my best has been 38 of 52 books in 2017. Let’s see whether I’ll ever top that!


Prompt Cover Title
1 A book published in 2020 Eulennacht:
In den Gärten von Redmoor

Ruth Rahlff
2 A book by a trans or
non-binary person
3 A book with a great first line
4 A book about a book club
5 A book that is set in a city that
hosted the Olympics
6 A bildungsroman
7 The first book you touch on your shelf with your eyes closed
8 A book with an upside-down image
on the cover
46132305. sx318 This Is How You Lose the Time War
Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone
9 A book with a map 36118682 Wicked Saints
(Something Dark and Holy, #1)
Emily A. Duncan
10 A book that was recommended by your favourite blog, vlog, podcast,
or online book club
11 An anthology 33843449. sy475 Because You Love to Hate Me
Ameriie (Ed.)
12 A book that passes the Bechdel Test 20839543. sx318 The Truth About Twinkie Pie
Kat Yeh
13 A book with the same title as a movie or TV show but is unrelated to it
14 A book by an author with flora or fauna in their name Entwined
Heather Dixon
15 A book about or involving
social media
16 A book that has a book on the cover 35512560. sy475 The Diary of a Bookseller
Shaun Bythell
17 A medical thriller
18 A book with a made-up language
19 A book set in a country
beginning with C
20 A book you picked because the title caught your attention
21 A book published in the month of your birthday 36375387. sy475 The Hazel Wood
(The Hazel Wood, #1)
Melissa Albert
22 A book about or by a woman in STEM
23 A book that won an award in 2019 33080122 The Calculating Stars
(Lady Astronaut, #1)
Mary Robinette Kowal
24 A book on a subject you know
nothing about
22594274 Über uns das Meer
Sabine Giebken
[apnoea diving]
25 A book with only words on the cover, no graphics or images 41448764. sy475 Craic Baby: Dispatches from a Rising Language
(Motherfoclóir, #2)
Darach Ó’Séaghdha
26 A book with a pun in the title 53341374. sx318 Luftschlösser sind schwer zu knacken
Antje Leser
27 A book featuring one of the
seven deadly sins
28 A book with a robot, cyborg,
or AI character
29 A book with a bird on the cover 627212. sx318 Winter Rose
(Winter Rose, #1)
Patricia A. McKillip
30 A fiction or non-fiction book
about a world leader
31 A book with gold, silver or bronze
in the title
32 A book by a WOC 42352217. sy475 The Best Lies
Sarah Lyu
33 A book with at least a 4-star rating
on Goodreads
31145052 The Librarian of Auschwitz
Antonio Iturbe
34 A book you meant to read in 2019
35 A book with a three-word title 23507628 I Was Here
Gayle Forman
36 A book with a pink cover 51017125. sx318 sy475 The Boob Book
Kristina Micotti
37 A Western
38 A book by or about a journalist 52072822. sx318 sy475 Meine Suche nach dem Nichts
Lena Schnabl
[pilgrimage in Japan]
39 Read a banned book during
Banned Book Week (Sept 20-26)
40 A prompt from a past Pop Sugar Reading Challenge
41 A book written by an author
in their 20s
42 A book with 20 or twenty in the title
43 A book with a character that has a vision impairment or enhancement 1626307 Die Fließende Königin
(Merle, #1)
Kai Meyer
44 A book set in Japan
45 A book set in the 1920s
46 A book by an author who has written more than 20 books
47 A book with more than 20 letters
in its title
43176021. sx318 Ein Schimmern am Horizont
(Wolkenherz, #4)
Sabine Giebken
48 A book published in the 20th century
49 A book from a series with
more than 20 books
50 A book with a main character
in their 20s

Prompt Cover Title
1 A book becoming a movie in 2019 29058393 The Stand-In
Steve Bloom
[The Perfect Date]
2 A book that makes you nostalgic 35663816 The Immortalists
Chloe Benjamin
3 A book written by a musician
(fiction or nonfiction)
41750903 Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You
Lin-Manuel Miranda
4 A book you think should be turned into a movie 27074515 The Dark Days Club
(Lady Helen, #1)
Alison Goodman
5 A book with at least one million ratings on Goodreads 28187 The Lightning Thief
(Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)
Rick Riordan
6 A book with a plant in the title
or on the cover
36072792 Tyler Johnson Was Here
Jay Coles
7 A reread of a favorite book 3040537 Wechselnde Pfade
(Pferdeheimat im Hochland, #4)
Ursula Isbel
8 A book about a hobby 42655490 Bodenarbeit mit dem Leitseil
Andrea und Markus Eschbach
9 A book you meant to read in 2018 Das Fleisch der Vielen
Kai Meyer & Jurek Malottke
10 A book with POP, SUGAR, or CHALLENGE in the title
11 A book with an item of clothing or accessory on the cover 43176035. sx318 Mein ganz normaler Wahnsinn
(Lil April, #4)
Stephanie Gessner
12 A book inspired by myth/legend/folklore 35688988 Tangleweed and Brine
Deirdre Sullivan
13 A book published posthumously 32708664. sy475 Beren and Lúthien
J.R.R. Tolkien &
Christopher Tolkien
14 A book you see someone reading
on TV or in a movie
15 A retelling of a classic 25658681 First & Then
Emma Mills
[Pride & Prejudice]
16 A book with a question in the title
17 A book set on college or university campus
18 A book about someone with a superpower 28421168 Renegades
(Renegades, #1)
Marissa Meyer
19 A book told from multiple POVs 26156203 The Crown’s Game
(The Crown’s Game, #1)
Evelyn Skye
20 A book set in space 34860402 Leia: Princess of Alderaan
Claudia Gray
21 A book by two female authors 43720424. sy475 Watch Us Rise
Renée Watson & Ellen Hagan
22 A book with SALTY, SWEET, BITTER,
or SPICY in the title
23 A book set in Scandinavia 45711534 Emil und die Prinzessin aus dem Nachbarhaus
Marianne Kaurin
24 A book that takes place
in a single day
25 A debut novel 15841072 Fire and Thorns
(Fire and Thorns, #1)
Rae Carson
26 A book that’s published in 2019 45711457. sy475 Eine Kiste voller Wünsche
(Wunschbüro Edda, #1)
Suza Kolb
27 A book featuring an extinct or imaginary creature 45711410 Der kleine Dunkelfresser
Ilka Volz
[cute little plushy ball creature that feeds on darkness turning it into light]
28 A book recommended by a
celebrity you admire
28960122 The Buried Giant
Kazuo Ishiguro
[Neil Gaiman]
29 A book with LOVE in the title 34748939. sy475 Love & Gelato
Jenna Evans Welch
30 A book featuring an amateur detective 20662423 Sherlock Chronicles
Steve Tribe
31 A book about a family 18339662 We Were Liars
E. Lockhart
32 A book author from Asia, Africa, or South America
33 A book with a zodiac sign or
astrology term in title
34 A book that includes a wedding 15958159 How to Be Irish
David Slattery
35 A book by an author whose first and last names start with the same letter 49104865. sx318 Rocky, der Bankraub und ich oder wie mich ein stinkender Turnschuh reich machte
(Rocky, #2)
Fritz Fassbinder
36 A ghost story 18393324 Goth Girl and the
Ghost of a Mouse
(Goth Girl, #1)
Chris Riddell
37 A book with a two-word title 34052659 Wild Bird
Wendelin van Draanen
38 A novel based on a true story 39909790. sy475 Firebird
Elizabeth Wein
[Female Soviet fighter pilots in WWII]
39 A book revolving around a puzzle
or game
25613374 Armada
Ernest Cline
40 Your favorite prompt from a past POPSUGAR Reading challenge 45711575 Maus mit Mission
(Extrem gefährlich!, #1)
Mario Fesler
[A book that’s guaranteed to bring you joy, 2016]
41 A “cli-fi” (climate fiction) book 27313170 All the Birds in the Sky
Charlie Jane Anders
42 A “choose-your-own-adventure”
43 An “own voices” book
44 Read a book during the season
it is set in
40222129. sx318 Orcasommer
Sabine Giebken
45 A LitRPG book
46 A book with no chapters/unusual chapter headings/unconventionally numbered chapters 41219673 100 Hugs
Chris Riddell
47 Two books that share the same
title (1)
48 Two books that share the same
title (2)
49 A book that has inspired a common phrase or idiom 8698 So Long, and Thanks for
All the Fish

(The Hitchhiker’s Guide, #4)
Douglas Adams
[42 is mentioned,
so I’d say it counts]
50 A book set in an abbey, cloister, monastery, vicarage, or convent

Prompt Cover Title
1 A book made into a movie you’ve already seen Persuasion
Jane Austen
2 True crime
3 The next book in a series
you started
Das Chaos kommt selten allein
(Lil April, #3)
Stephanie Gessner
4 A book involving a heist Fett Kohle
Dorit Linke
5 Nordic noir
6 A novel based on a real person Am Ende des Regenwaldes
Marion Archard
7 A book set in a country that
fascinates you
Deception’s Princess
(Deception’s Princess, #1)
Esther Friesner
8 A book with a time of day in the title
9 A book about a villain or antihero All Our Yesterdays
Cristin Terrill
10 A book about death or grief Revolution
Jennifer Donnelly
11 A book with a female author who
uses a male pseudonym
12 A book with an LGBTQ+ protagonist Far from You
Tess Sharpe
13 A book that is also a stage play or musical
14 A book by an author of a different ethnicity than you The Way to Bea
Kat Yeh
15 A book about feminism The Female of the Species
Mindy McGinnis
16 A book about mental health (Don’t) Call Me Crazy
Kelly Jensen (Ed.)
17 A book you borrowed or that was given to you as a gift The Circle
Dave Eggers
18 A book by two authors Illuminae
(The Illuminae Files, #1)
Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
19 A book about or involving a sport Mähnen im Wind
(Die Pferde von Eldenau, #1)
Theresa Czerny
20 A book by a local author Heldenhaft
Andreas Thamm
21 A book with your favorite color
in the title
22 A book with alliteration in the title The Wide Window
(A Series of Unfortunate Events, #3)
Lemony Snicket
23 A book about time travel Time Was
Ian McDonald
24 A book with a weather element
in the title
25 A book set at sea The Ship Beyond Time
(The Girl from Everywhere, #2)
Heidi Heilig
26 A book with an animal in the title Immer dieser Kater!
(Kater Aristoteles, #2)
Annette Herzog
27 A book set on a different planet Obsidio
(The Illuminae Files, #3)
Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
28 A book with song lyrics in the title Space Opera
Catherynne M. Valente
29 A book about or set on Halloween
30 A book with characters
who are twins
Ein Zwilling macht noch keine Schwester
Stephanie Gessner
31 A book mentioned in another book Northanger Abbey
Jane Austen
32 A book from a celebrity book club The Twelve Day’s of Dash & Lily
(Dash & Lily, #2)
Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
33 A childhood classic you’ve
never read
Michael Ende
34 A book that’s published in 2018 Gone Rogue
(Wires and Nerve, #2)
Marissa Meyer/Stephen Gilpin
35 A past Goodreads Choice Awards winner The Hate U Give
Angie Thomas
36 A book set in the decade you
were born
37 A book you meant to read in 2017
but didn’t get to
Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View
38 A book with an ugly cover Life, the Universe and Everything
(Hitchhiker’s Guide, #3)
Douglas Adams
39 A book that involves a bookstore
or library
Out of the Easy
Ruta Sepetys
40 Your favorite prompt from the 2015/2016/2017 POPSUGAR
Reading Challenges
Far from the Tree
Robin Benway
[A book that made you cry]
41 A bestseller from the year you graduated high school
42 A cyberpunk book
43 A book that was being read by a stranger in a public place
44 A book tied to your ancestry Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod #4-6
Bastian Sick
45 A book with a fruit or vegetable in
the title/mentioned in the book
Die Wunderpeperoni
(Flora Botterblom, #1)
Astrid Göpfrich
46 An allegory The Atrocities
Jeremy C. Shipp
47 A book by an author with the
same first or last name as you
48 A microhistory
49 A book about a problem facing
society today
The Handmaid’s Tale
Margaret Atwood
50 A book recommended by someone else taking the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
(Montague Siblings, #1)
Mackenzi Lee


Prompt Cover Title
1 A book recommended by an industry professional
2 A book that’s been on your TBR list
for way too long
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
(The Hitchhiker’s Guide, #2)
Douglas Adams
3 A book of letters
4 An audiobook Heilung aus der Wildnis
Anita Daher
5 A book by a person of color
6 A book with one of the four seasons in the title Sommer voller Schatten
Eleanor Jones
7 A book that is a story within a story Amelia Anne Is Dead and Gone
Kat Rosenfield
8 A book with multiple authors Gemina
(The Illuminae Files, #2)
Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
9 A thriller
10 A book with an animal on the cover Immer den Nüstern nach!
(Die Haferhorde, #3)
Suza Kolb
11 A book by an author who uses a pseudonym Schmetterlinge im Ponybauch
(Die Haferhorde, #4)
Suza Kolb
12 A book from a genre you don’t normally read Der Igel Nepomuk
Rusalka Reh
[read aloud story book]
13 A book by or about a person who
has a disability
14 A book involving travel Stallpiraten ahoi!
(Die Haferhorde, #5)
Suza Kolb
15 A book with a subtitle/catchphrase An Abundance of Katherines
John Green
16 A book that’s published in 2017 Volle Pferdestärke voraus!
(Der Esel Pferdinand, #3)
Suza Kolb
17 A book involving a mythical creature The Girl from Everywhere
(The Girl from Everywhere, #1)
Heidi Heilig
18 A book you’ve read before that
never fails to make you smile
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
(The Hitchhiker’s Guide, #1)
Douglas Adams
19 A book about food
20 A book with career advice/an alternate career (fiction/non-f) The Invisible Library
(The Invisible Library, #1)
Genevieve Cogman
21 A book from a nonhuman
Volle Mähne!
(Die Haferhorde, #2)
Suza Kolb
22 A steampunk novel
23 A book with a red spine The Princess Diarist
Carrie Fisher
24 A book set in the wilderness The Fox and the Star
Coralie Bickford-Smith
25 A book you loved as a child
26 A book by an author from a country you’ve never visited Sabriel
(Abhorsen, #1)
Garth Nix
27 A book with a title that’s a
character’s name
Neil Gaiman
28 A novel set during wartime Brilliance of the Moon
(Tales of the Otori, #3)
Lian Hearn
29 A book with an unreliable narrator Zweilicht
Nina Blazon
30 A book with pictures Wer fragt schon einen Kater?
(Kater Aristoteles, #1)
Annette Herzog
31 A book where the main character is
a different ethnicity than you
The Paper Menagerie
Ken Liu
32 A book about an interesting woman Monstress Vol. 2: The Blood
Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda
33 A book set in two different time periods
34 A book with a month or day of the week in the title
35 A book set in a hotel Wanderlost
Jen Malone
36 A book written by someone you admire The Near Witch
Victoria Schwab
37 A book that’s becoming a movie in 2017 Wonder
R.J. Palacio
38 A book set around a holiday other than Christmas
39 The first book in a series you
haven’t read before
The Winner’s Curse
(The Winner’s Trilogy, #1)
Marie Rutkoski
40 A book you bought on a trip Bloodlines
(Bloodlines, #1)
Richelle Mead
41 A book recommended by an author you love The Song of Achilles
Madeline Miller
[rec by Victoria Schwab]
42 A bestseller from 2016
43 A book with a family-member term
in the title
The Other F-Word
Natasha Friend
44 A book that has flashbacks The Vanishing Season
Jodi Lynn Anderson
45 A book about an immigrant or refugee Salt to the Sea
Ruta Sepetys
46 A book from a genre/subgenre
you’ve never heard of
47 A book with an eccentric character Ready Player One
Ernest Cline
48 A book that’s more than 800 pages
49 A book you got from a used
book sale
The Dark Horse
Jenny Hughes
50 A book that’s been mentioned in another book The Secret Garden
Frances Hodgson Burnett
51 A book about a difficult topic Schwere Zeiten für Julia
Margot Berger
52 A book based on mythology The Star-Touched Queen
(The Star-Touched Queen, #1)
Roshani Chokshi

Prompt Cover Title
1 A book based on a fairy tale The Starlit Wood
Dominik Parisien & Navah Wolfe
2 A National Book Award Winner
3 A YA bestseller Shadow & Bone
(The Grisha, #1)
Leigh Bardugo
4 A book you haven’t read since high school
5 A book set in your home country Wahrheit schmeckt wie Mokkatorte
Christina Michels
6 A book translated to English
7 A romance set in the future Light & Darkness
Laura Kneidl
8 A book set in Europe Der Fluch des Bonawentura
Andreas Collin
[Germany – Poland]
9 A book that’s under 150 pages Mit ZORRO durch die Nacht
Andrea Hensgen
10 A New York Times bestseller Ruin & Rising
(The Grisha, #3)
Leigh Bardugo
11 A book that’s becoming a movie
this year
12 A book recommended to you The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love
Sarvenaz Tash
13 A book with a character who undergoes drastic changes A Week of Mondays
Jessica Brody
14 A book you can finish in a day A Brush with Danger
(Fox Investigates, #1)
Adam Frost
15 A book written about a famous/notorious character Hamilton: The Revolution
Lin-Manuel Miranda & Jeremy McCarter
16 A book set in a world of political upheaval Truthwitch
(The Wirchlands, #1)
Susan Dennard
17 A book published 15 to 25 years before or after you were born A Drop of Night
Stefan Bachmann
18 A book that’s more than 600 pages
19 A book recommended by an author
20 A science-fiction novel
21 A book recommended by a family member
22 A graphic novel Monstress I: Awakening
Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda
23 A book that is published in 2016 Mein Leben und andere Missgeschicke
(Lil April, #1)
Stephanie Gessner
24 A book with a disabled protagonist (physically/mentally) Dead Ends
Erin Jade Lange
25 A book that takes place during summer Summer Days & Summer Nights
Stephanie Perkins
26 A book and its prequel
27 A murder mystery
28 A humorous book
29 A dystopian novel
30 A book with a blue cover Emmy & Oliver
Robin Benway
31 A book with an MC of color
32 The first book you see in a bookstore
33 A classic from the 20th century
34 A book from the library Siege & Storm
(The Grisha, #2)
Leigh Bardugo
35 A book by an author of color
36 A book about a road trip
37 A book about a culture you’re unfamiliar with
38 A satirical book
39 A book that takes place on an island
40 A book that’s guaranteed to bring
you joy
Stars Above
(Lunar Chronicles Collection)
Marissa Meyer
41 A book that takes place in the future
42 The last book of a series Blutbuch
(Die Seiten der Welt, #3)
Kai Meyer
43 Reread a book Jellicoe Road
Melina Marchetta
44 A book set in a matriarchy
45 A self-published or indie book
46 A fiction book without romance Papageienparty
(Antonia rettet die Welt, #1)
Katrin Zipse
47 A book with a bi/multiracial character
48 A duology The Wrath & the Dawn & The Rose & the Dagger
Renée Ahdieh
49 A book about siblings
50 A book written by someone 25 or younger

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