The 2018 PopSugar Reading Challenge

Happy New Year, dear readers. We’re starting 2018 (2018!) with one of my favorite posts of the year! In fact, we’ve got a couple straight days of nothing but books. If you’ll indulge me, let’s get at it.

It was at some point at the end of October last year when my reading goal for 2018 hit me over the head.

Quality over quantity.

For years, my goal has been around a number of books, or a certain website’s annual reading challenge. And I always start the year with a bang and taper off as soon as I’m home from the beach.


If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.

So I’m trying something different this year.

Sort of.

I’m going into 2018 with the quality over quantity mantra, and seriously hope I’ll prioritize some of the titles I’ve always meant to read and have never gotten to over choosing tons of quick reads in the name of meeting a specific number.


But I’ve got to play along and at least share what I’d read from PopSugar’s list for the year. You know, if I planned to do it. Oh, who are we kidding, it’s such a habit to be checking this list all the time, I’m sure I’ll still be on board. I tried desperately to make them match up with my quality over quantity goal wherever I could.

A book made into a movie you’ve already seenEmma, by Jane Austen

True crime  American Fire, by Monica Hesse

The next book in a series you started – Anything is Possible, by Elizabeth Strout

A book involving a heist – Heist Society, by Ally Carter

Nordic noir – Eek, I’ve looked far and wide, and I just don’t know about this category. I’ve started The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo approximately 85 times. Stay tuned.

A novel based on a real person – Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders

A book set in a country that fascinates you – L’appart, by David Lebovitz

A book with a time of day in the title – Friday Night Lights, by H.G. Bissinger

A book about a villain or antihero – Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte (or maybe The Talented Mr. Ripley, by Patricia Highsmith)

A book about death or grief – The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion

A book with a female author who uses a male pseudonym – The Cuckoo’s Calling, by Robert Galbraith (aka, JK Rowling)

A book with an LGBTQ+ protagonist – Dreamland Burning, by Jennifer Latham

A book that is also a stage play or musical – The Color Purple, by Alice Walker

A book by an author of a different ethnicity than you Anything by Jhumpa Lahiri; where do I start?

A book about feminism – Bad Feminist, by Roxanne Gay (I started this a million years ago and didn’t get very far. Time for another shot.)

A book about mental health – This Close to Happy, by Daphne Merkin

A book you borrowed or that was given to you as a gift – Americanah, by Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie

A book by two authors – The Last Mrs. Parrish, by Liv Constantine (Which is a hybrid of two sisters’ names!)

A book about or involving a sport – The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown

A book by a local author – The Perfect Neighbors, by Sarah Pekkanen

A book with your favorite color in the title – The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison

A book about time travel – The rest of the Wrinkle in Time series, by Madeline L’Engle

A book with a weather element in the title – Rain Reign, by Ann M. Martin (yes, that Ann M. Martin)

A book set at sea – The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, by Avi

A book with an animal in the title – Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM, by Robert C. O’Brien

A book set on a different planet – Space Case, by Stuart Gibbs (No, the moon is not, technically, a planet. Oh well.)

A book with song lyrics in the title – Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger

A book about or set on Halloween – Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley (This is absolutely not a Halloween book, but oh well.)

A book with characters who are twins – I Know This Much is True, by Wally Lamb (except I did not love She’s Come Undone, and it’s given me major pause when it comes to picking this up)

A book mentioned in another book – I’m going to wait on this, but I am reading My Life With Bob right now, and that will give me plenty of options.

A book from a celebrity book club – The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd (from Oprah’s Book Club; as if there is any other!)

A childhood classic you’ve never read – Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott (I KNOW!)

A book that’s published in 2018 – Tell Me More, by Kelly Corrigan (Who is from my hometown!)

A past Goodreads Choice Award winner – Before We Were Yours, by Lisa Wingate

A book set in the decade you were born1984, by George Orwell

A book you meant to read in 2017 but didn’t get to – Halfway Normal, by Barbara Dee

A book with an ugly cover – Deep Work, by Cal Newport

A book that involves a bookstore or a library – A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith (I only vaguely remember reading this in high school, so though it’s technically a reread, I’ll allow it.)

Your favorite prompt from the 2015, 2016, or 2017 PopSugar reading challenge – I’m going with “A book you’ve read before that always makes you smile:” and it’s the same dang book I meant to reread last year – The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin


A bestseller from the year you graduated high school – Everything is Illuminated, by Jonathan Safran Foer (I have culled these lists and dear readers, I have read everything I wanted to read that was an NYT fiction or non-fiction best-seller in 2002. What’s on the children’s lists you ask? Holes, Stargirl, and of course, Harry Potter. So I’m going with something from 2003, that is about 2001, and we’ll meet in the middle on the year I graduated.)

A cyberpunk book – Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline

A book that was being read by a stranger in a public place – Oooooh, we’ll see!

A book tied to your ancestry – Cheerful Money, by Tad Friend

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 – A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan (or perhaps this autobiography of Jennifer Lopez? How many people can say they’ve read a book written by someone with their same name.)

A microhistory – At Home, by Bill Bryson

A book about a problem facing society today – Dear Martin, by Nic Stone

A book recommended by someone else taking the PopSugar reading challenge – TBD

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s