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© Bookshelf Journeys, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Terrie Purkey and Bookshelf Journeys with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.   2019

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2020 Popsugar reading challenge

First and foremost, I look at challenges as a gateway to new reading paths, a way to nudge me in a new direction with my reading. It's not a competition and if I don't finish, I don't care; but, I'm going to give it a shot! Are you inspired to join me?


The Popsugar reading challenge has been around for a while and I've never participated. I thought I'd see what it's all about this year. They offer 40 categories with a bonus 10 for those who want the extra challenge and the bonus categories all relate to the 2020 Olympics in Japan in some way.

Here's where I'll track my efforts to complete the challenge in 2020. I'll be double dipping some of the books that will also fit categories in other challenges. I started by taking the lists and perusing my own bookshelves to see what I already own that will fit the challenge. Then, as I search the forums for ideas, I watch for books I know are already on my TBR list. Finally, I fill in with books totally new-to-me. Completed books will be in bold with a cover image and links to the reviews.  (AOC, author of color) 

1 - book published in 2020:


2 - a book by trans or non-binary author:

  I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver (non-binary author)

3 - a book that has a great first line: 

Nightingale (The)by Kristin Hannah (own)  The line is: "If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this: In love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are."

4 - a book about a book club:

End of Your Life Book Club (The) by Will Schwalbe (own)  

5 - a book set in a city that has hosted the Olympics:

Little Paris Bookshop (The) by Nina George (own, Kindle)  

6 - a bildsungroman: (yeah, I had to look that up - story focuses on formative years and moral growth)

Ten Thousand Doors of January (The) by Alix Harrow   - a coming-of-age story about a girl who finds the magical doors between worlds as she searches for her family and her identity

7 - first book touched on shelves with eyes closed:


8 - book with upside down image on cover:

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard  (own)

9 - book with a map:

7-1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (The) by Stuart Turton

a mystery within a mystery as a man tries to solve a murder but each day is in a new host body

10 - book recommended by favorite blogger or podcast:


11 - an anthology:

#NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women by Lisa Charleyboy

Excellent collection of essays and poetry by women

12 - book that passes Bechdel test: (had to look this one up too - 2 or more females talking about something other than a man

Fifth Season (The) #1 by N. K. Jemison (TBR list)

13 - has the same title as a movie or TV show but is unrelated:

Water Dancer (The) by Ta-Nehisi Coates

A powerful story about slavery, family, self-belief, and the underground railroad with a splash of magic

14 - by an author with flora or fauna in their name

There, There by Tommy Orange  (own)

15 - about or involving social media:

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

16 - book with a book on the cover:

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew J. Sullivan  (own)

17 - a medical thriller:

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

18 - book with a made up language:


19 - set in a country beginning with C:

Cinder (#1 Lunar Chronicles)  (Beijing, China) by Marissa Meyer

20 - book picked up because title caught my attention:

Native Tongue #1 by Suzette Hayden Elgin

21 - published month of my birthday (Dec):

If You Tell: A True Story of Murder by Gregg Olsen (TBR list)

22 - book about or written by a woman in STEM:

Wesley the Owl by Gregg Olsen (TBR list)

23 - 2019 award winner:

Calculating Stars (The) #1 by Mary Robinette Kowal (Hugo & Nebula awards)

24 - book on subject I know nothing about:

Meeting Faith by Faith Adiele

25 - book with only words on cover, no art or photo

Don't Tell A Soul by David Rosenfelt  (own)

26 - book with a pun in title:

Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn

27 - featuring one of the seven deadly sins:

Bride Test (The) by Helen Hoang

28 - book with a robot, cyborg, or AI character:

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

29 - book with bird on cover:

Night Bird (The) by Brian Freeman (own Kindle)

30 - book about a world leader (fiction or non)

A Darker Shade of Magic #1 by VE Schwab

31 - with 'gold', silver', or 'bronze' in title:

Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel

32 - by a WOC (woman of color)

Purple Hisbiscus by Chimamanda Adichie  (own)

33 - has at least a 4 star rating on GR:

Ten Thousand Doors of January (The) by Alix E. Harrow  (4.16 rating)  - coming-of-age story of girl who finds magical doors between worlds

34 - book I meant to read in 2019:

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson  (own)

35 - book with 3-word title:

Cloud of Sparrows by Takashi Matsuoka  (own)

36 - book with a pink cover:

Ghostland  by Duncan Ralston

37 - a western:

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry  - our Buddy Read for Feb'20 is the classic epic western

38 - by or about a journalist:

It's What I Do by Lynsey Addario  (on TBR)

39 - banned book read during banned book week:


40 - fave prompt from previous Popsugar challenge (rec. by celebrity):

Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo ( own; Reese bookclub)

bonus categories - all relating to 2020 or olympics

41 - book written by an author in their 20s:

Notes From a Young Black Chef by Kwame Onwauchi

42 - book with 20 or twenty in title:

Twentieth Wife (The) #1 by Indu Sundaresan  - our Buddy Read for Jan'20

Historical fiction set in India and based on an actual Emperor and his long time love who eventually became his 20th wife 

43 - character with visual impairment or enhancement (20/20 vision):

Planet of the Blind by Stephen Kuusito   -  memoir of a man coming to terms with his blindness and its difficult limitations and opportunities

44 - set in Japan (host of 2020 Olympics):

Cloud of Sparrows by Takashi Matsuoka  (own)

45 - set in 1920s:

Tilted World (The) by Tom Franklin

46 - by author that's written more than 20 books:

Different Seasons by Stephen King  (own)

47 - with more than 20 letters in title:

Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell (The) by Robert Dugoni  (own, Kindle)

48 - published in twentieth century:


49 - from a series with more than 20 books:

Wee Free Men (The) by Terry Pratchett (part of Disc World Series) 

50 - main character is in their 20s:

Giver of Stars (The) by Jojo Moyes  - a British woman in her mid-twenties marries and moves to Kentucky and eventually becomes a horse pack librarian