Every year, Popsugar releases a list of reading prompts in the form of a challenge – read a book from each of the 40 prompts, plus the advance prompts if you want to push yourself even further. The book can be any book you want to read, so long as you can fit it into a prompt. I participated in the reading challenge for the first time last year, but fell off the wagon less than half way through the year. Basically, I became hooked on suspense novels during our honeymoon in July and said, ‘Screw it. I’m going to read what I want to read’. However, looking back and realizing how many books I’m capable of reading in a year, I want to again challenge myself to complete these prompts. Plus, one of my goals for the year is to read 60 books, and reading the 50 on this list will have me well on my way!
My favorite thing about this challenge last year was sitting down and researching which books I want to read. So, naturally, I (impatiently) waited for the 2018 list to be released and immediately started looking for books. There is a great group on Goodreads dedicated to the challenge and all the members share their ideas for each prompt. I go through those, and also my TBR list, in order to find books that match.
There is no doubt that this list will change many times over the next year as I find books at the library, am gifted books, or as things pop up on Kindle Daily Deals. However, in case there is anyone out there thinking of doing the challenge, I wanted to go ahead and share the books I am planning on reading as of this moment. Let me know if you are planning on reading any of the same books – I’m always looking for people to discuss with!
2018 Popsugar Reading Challenge*
- A book made into a movie you’ve already seen: Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
- True Crime: American Kingpin by Nick Bilton
- The next book in a series you started: Killman Creek by Rachel Caine
- A book involving a heist: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
- Nordic noir: The Snowman by Jo Nesbo
- A novel based on a real person: Victoria by Daisy Goodwin
- A book set in a country that fascinates you: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
- A book with a time of day in the title: Two O’Clock Boy by Mark Hill or The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
- A book about a villain or antihero: Lolita by Vladimir Nobokov
- A book about death or grief: The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
- A book with a female author who uses a male pseudonym: The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
- A book with an LGBTQ+ protagonist: I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
- A book that is also a stage play or musical: Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney
- A book by an author of a different ethnicity than you: Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
- A book about feminism: We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- A book about mental health: January First: A Child’s Descent into Madness and Her Father’s Struggle to Save Her by Michael Schofield
- A book you borrowed or that was given to you as a gift: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
- A book by two authors: The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine
- A book about or involving a sport: Beartown by Fredrik Backman
- A book by a local author: East of Acre Lane by Alex Wheatle
- A book with your favorite color in the title: Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- A book with alliteration in the title: Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
- A book about time travel: 11/22/63 by Stephen King
- A book with a weather element in the title: Hurricane Season by Lauren K. Denton
- A book set at sea: The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa
- A book with an animal in the title: The Cows by Dawn O’Porter
- A book set on a different planet: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman
- A book with song lyrics in the title: Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
- A book about or set on Halloween: The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
- A book with characters who are twins: The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand
- A book mentioned in another book: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
- A book from a celebrity book club: The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo
- A childhood classic you’ve never read: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott or The Railway Children by E. Nesbit
- A book that’s published in 2018: The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
- A past Goodreads Choice Awards winner: It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
- A book set in the decade you were born: The Future of Us by Jay Asher
- A book you meant to read in 2017 but didn’t get to: You are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero
- A book with an ugly cover: I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
- A book that involves a bookstore or library: 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
- Your favorite prompt from the 2015, 2016, or 2017 POPSUGAR Reading Challenges: A Novel Set During Wartime (2017): Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
A Note on Prompt #38
This is the cover of the version of I Capture the Castle that I have on my Kindle. I’ve had it downloaded for probably two years now and always pick stuff over it when choosing something to read because I just don’t like the cover. The say ‘don’t judge a book by it’s cover’, but I just can’t help it! The book does, however, have excellent reviews on Goodreads – hopefully including it in my 2018 PopSugar Reading Challenge list will encourage me to actually get around to reading it!
2018 Popsugar Advanced Reading Challenge*
- A bestseller from the year you graduated high school: Room by Emma Donoghue
- A cyberpunk book: Autonomous by Annalee Newitz
- A book that was being read by a stranger in a public place: TBD
- A book tied to your ancestry: Songs of Love and War by Santa Montefiore
- A book with a fruit or vegetable in the title: Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
- An allegory: Watership Down by Richard Adams
- A book by an author with the same first or last name as you: If We Were a Movie by Kelly Oram
- A microhistory: The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World’s Great Drinks by Amy Stewart
- A book about a problem facing society today: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
- A book recommended by someone else taking the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
As I said, this list will change many times throughout the course of 2018. However, instead of updating it here, I am going to post the books that I actually read for each challenge during a monthly reading recap. At the end of each month, I’ll share all of the books that I purchased and read in that month, as well as the ones I am currently reading. This will also be a great way for me to track how much I am spending on books (it’s not going to be a pretty number!).
If you are a member of the Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge group on Goodreads, you can follow along with my reading challenge progress in the ‘Post your 2018 reading lists’ thread – I am comment #35! If you are not yet a member of the group, join! It’s a great community of readers of all ages and all across the world. They also read a book each month that fits one of the prompts, so it’s a great way to get some motivation if you’re stuck.
Comment below if you are participating in the challenge as well!
*These lists contain affiliate links. To read more about what that means, see my Disclaimer.
I LOVE those themed challenge reading lists. I did one a few years ago and while I didn’t make it to the end, I read books that I would never have otherwise selected (for example, I read a memoir about drug addiction and prostitution, which is really not my thing. It still isn’t, but it was interesting to branch out).
That’s the best part of them! Even a relatively simple prompt like ‘Read a Book by an Author from a Country You’ve Never Visited’ makes you sit down and think about it and usually choose a book you wouldn’t have chosen otherwise. I didn’t complete this challenge when I did it last year, but I’m hoping that I’ll push through and complete it this year. I just need to keep diversifying my reading (last year I got swept up in a total suspense/thriller binge and forgot all about the prompts).