The PopSugar Ultimate Reading Challenge 2020: Complete!

Earlier than last year, too–there wasn’t space to post about this until now, but I finished the final book on this list at the end of October. So, in the order I read them:

  1. A book with the same title as a movie or TV show but is unrelated to it: Sunshine
  2. A book recommended by your favorite blog, vlog, podcast or online book club: Full Dark, No Stars
  3. A book with a robot, cyborg, or AI character: Autonomous
  4. A book with “gold,” “silver,” or “bronze” in the title: Golden Fool
  5. A book with a pink cover: Next Year in Havana
  6. The first book you touch on a shelf with your eyes closed: The Age of Innocence
  7. A book by a trans or nonbinary author: The Black Tides of Heaven
  8. A book set in a place or time that you wouldn’t want to live: Station Eleven
  9. A book that passes the Bechdel test: Hold Me
  10. A book about a book club: The Bromance Book Club
  11. A book with a map: Red Rising
  12. A book with a made-up language: The Singer
  13. Your favorite prompt from a past PopSugar Reading Challenge (next book in a series I’m reading): The Secret
  14. A book with a main character in their 20s: Breakaway
  15. A book with at least a four-star rating on Goodreads: Barefoot with a Bodyguard
  16. A book by an author who has written more than twenty books: From a Buick 8
  17. A book published in the month of your birthday: Make Him Wild
  18. A book with a three-world title: A Secret Affair
  19. A book you meant to read in 2019: Pantomime
  20. A book with a great first line: Beauty is a Wound
  21. A book with more than twenty letters in its title: Kitchens of the Great Midwest
  22. An anthology: Return of the Black Widowers
  23. A book featuring one of the seven deadly sins: The Miniaturist
  24. A book published in the 20th century: The English Patient
  25. A book that won an award in 2019: The Only Harmless Great Thing
  26. A book set in Japan, host of the 2020 Olympics: I am a Cat
  27. A bildungsroman: The Inexplicable Logic of My Life
  28. A book about or by a woman in STEM: State of Wonder
  29. A book set in a city that has hosted the Olympics: The Night Watch
  30. A book with a pun in the title: Tikka Chance on Me
  31. Read a banned book during Banned Books Week: The Picture of Dorian Gray
  32. A book by an author with flora or fauna in their name: Wasted Words
  33. A book published in 2020: Girl Gone Viral
  34. A book with a character with vision impairment or enhancement: Lost Lake
  35. A Western: The Birchbark House*
  36. A book with only words on the cover, no images or graphics: Room
  37. A book on a subject you know nothing about: Stamped from the Beginning
  38. A book by a WOC: Love on My Mind
  39. A book about or involving social media: Get a Life, Chloe Brown
  40. A book that has a book on the cover: The Bookish Life of Nina Hill
  41. A book by or about a journalist: Rosewater: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity and Survival
  42. A book with an upside-down image on the cover: Witchmark
  43. A book written by an author in their 20s: Homegoing
  44. A fiction or nonfiction book about a world leader: The Other Boleyn Girl
  45. A book with “20” or “twenty” in the title: Eat that Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time
  46. A book you picked because the title caught your attention: Autiobiography of a Corpse
  47. A medical thriller: Wilder Girls
  48. A book with a bird on the cover: A Song for Arbonne
  49. A book from a series with more than 20 books: Acheron
  50. A book set in the 1920s: An American Princess: The Many Lives of Allene Tew

Note*: chosen via recommendation and didn’t actually fit the prompt well, but didn’t want to read a replacement book.

This is my fifth year in a row both attempting and completing the PopSugar Challenge, but honestly, I think I’m played out for next year. I’ll miss the peculiarly specific kind of joy I get from pondering the tasks and assembling a reading list proposal for it (and other challenges) but this year really hammered home how much I overthink and overplan my reading, and I already anticipate next year just being Mount TBR (because I still have SO MANY unread book in my possession and as it’s a number-based challenge there’s no prep work for it.)

What started as fun, and a good way to stretch the boundaries of my reading, has felt like a chore and a hassle, which means it’s time to give it a rest. Who knows, maybe I’ll miss it so much in 2021 that I’ll go back to it in 2022!

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