PopSugar 2020 is here!

PopSugar hosts an annual reading challenge each year with 40 regular prompts and 10 labeled as “advanced”.  I took part in 2018, and completed 45 prompts.  In 2019, I was a little frustrated with the prompts, as many of them I simply didn’t care for.  I still cobbled a list together, and made it through 42 prompts, but didn’t really try in any meaningful way.

I’m much happier with the 2020 list- many prompts are specific while also leaving lots of room for interpretation!  I’m not planning my list as rigidly as I have in the past.  I’m torn because planning is most of the fun for me, but I also know I can hit a lot of these just in my regular reading throughout the year.

But I did want to point out a handful of my favorite prompts, and list a few options for each.

A book with a book on the cover:

Or What You Will by Jo Walton

The Girl Who Could Move Sh*t With Her Mind by Jackson Ford

Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix

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

If It Bleeds by StepHEN King

The Winter King by Bernard CORNwell

2312 by Kim Stanley ROBINson

All the Windwracked Stars by Elizabeth BEAR

Storm of Locusts by Rebecca RoanHORSE

A book recommend by your favorite blog, vlog, podcast or online book club:

Okay- so I actually have a shelf for blogger recommended books on GoodReads- but in looking at them, I’m having trouble remembering where all the recs came from (I’m sorry!).  So these are three I do remember, and if I left you out, I’m sorry!

Finder by Suzanne Palmer recommended by the Captain @ The Captain’s Quarters

The Last Sun by K.D. Edwards recommended by Tammy @ Books, Bones and Buffy

The Possession by Michael Rutger recommended by Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek

A book with a robot, cyborg, or AI character:

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie

Hammered by Elizabeth Bear

The Companions by Katie M. Flynn

The God Game by Danny Tobey

Robots of Gotham by Todd McAulty

A western:

The Six-Gun Tarot by R.S. Belcher

Charmcaster by Sebastien De Castell

Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear

A book with an upside down image on the cover:

The Hanged Man by K.D. Edwards

The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion by Margaret Killjoy

Walkaway by Cory Doctorow

The Returned by Jason Mott

A book by a WOC:

Everfair by Nisi Shawl

Midnight Robber by Nalo Hopkinson

The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin

A book by or about a woman in STEM:

The Relentless Moon by Mary Robinette Kowal

A Study in Honor by Claire O’Dell

Arrival by Ted Chiang

To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers

Probability Moon by Nancy Kress

A book with a great first line:

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk – “Tyler gets me a job as a waiter, after that Tyler’s pushing a gun in my mouth and saying, the first step to eternal life is you have to die.”

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence – “It is important, when killing a nun, to ensure that you bring an army of sufficient size. For Sister Thorn of the Sweet Mercy convent Lano Tacsis brought two hundred men.”

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson – “The moon blew up without warning and for no apparent reason.”

A book set in Japan:

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Lost Future of Pepperharrow by Natasha Pulley

There are a few more prompts that I love- but feel better left to chance than to plan for.  Prompts I’m looking for help with are: a fiction or non fiction book about a world leader, a book with a made up language, a book with a pun in the title, and a book by or about a journalist.

Are you participating in the PopSugar 2020 reading challenge?  Do you have any favorite prompts?  Are there any your struggling with?

16 thoughts on “PopSugar 2020 is here!

  1. I’ve always wanted to do this challenge, but as a blogger with too many promised review books to read, it’s hard to fit in some of the challenges. But you’re right, there are some good ones next year that could work for me! I’m going to have to seriously consider this:-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tammy I think the prompts are open enough this year you could totally fill most of them with books you’ve already or will receive as ARCs! I did a lot of backlist titles because I think that’s one of my goals for next year- get caught up on the backlist. Every prompt is open to your own interpretation so there’s no reason you couldn’t stretch or bend some prompts to your will!


  2. I am participating in the Popsugar Challenge again this year, but I’ve decided that I’m not doing any official planning ahead of time. I had forgotten that Karen Memory could work as a Western, though! Thanks for that suggestion. I’m tentatively thinking of using the Night Vale book as the podcast recommendation one, though. That seems very appropriate.

    I’m also glad that a lot of these prompts could work for both fiction and non-fiction. I like it best when they say “a book” and not “a novel”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t realize you read a lot of non-fiction! I usually interpret the prompt how I want to anyway so that wouldn’t have bothered me too much- but I am glad PopSugar has left most of the prompts wide open.

      As for planning, the truth is- I plan because I enjoy the planning part, but I usually don’t stick to the plan very much.


      • I haven’t been reading as much non-fiction lately as I like to, but yes! I enjoy reading non-fiction as well as fiction.

        I tried planning my Popsugar challenge this year, and it came close to making me stress over it. I think if I leave it open for random prompt-filling, I’ll do better about keeping it “fun only” and not stressful.

        If you enjoy the planning part, though, that’s awesome!


      • I think it’s just fun to do the research and discover new potential books. I sometimes feel like I see the same books recommended over and over, so it’s fun to do some independent research and see what I come up with.

        I’d like to read more non-fiction- but my mind immediately assumes non-fiction must all read like a text book even though I know that’s not really true. I have trouble dissociating the word non-fiction w/boring.


      • I can see that! Non-fiction too often does read like a textbook, unfortunately. If I’m interested enough in the subject, though, it can be a fascinating read. Also sometimes audiobook is the way to go with them. Makes it feel more like a university lecture than a textbook.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I actually do prefer non-fiction in audio format! I don’t feel like I need to constantly rewind if I missed a part. I can just keep going on with my day. But the narrator has to be good. I actually listened to a few good non-fiction audiobooks last year. This year not so much.


      • I’ve been enjoying the Great Courses series for my non-fiction audiobooks for a while. You have to be careful with the lecturer, since the series is usually really long, but you can end up with some great info and it’s packaged in neat 30-minute or so chunks which are perfect for my commute.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Yes!! I have some ways I’m leaning on some of them, the Jo Walton book for book on a cover, Relentless Moon for women in STEM, but I’d like to keep it open for the most part, because I never know what I’ll be in the mood for!


      • That be me problem too – moods. Six of the books I have be from the library and I was on wait lists for forever. So I have to read them in December but I be only in the mood for one currently. I have fingers crossed that the mood will substantially shift.
        x The Captain

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well the nice part about getting from the library- is you can always go back to them later! But yeah I know the feeling. Sometimes I bring stuff home from the library and I have it for 3 months (assuming no one else is on the waitlist).

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Month in Review: November 2019 | Hamlets & Hyperspace

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