Monthly Updates

I finally finished the 2018 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge!

REFLECTIONS

I found out about this challenge in December 2017 and quickly decided I wanted to try it. I spent days coming up with books to read for each prompt, though I’m quite sure each one has changed multiple times over the year. I was half-way through my final year of university when I really properly started the challenge, so the first five months were spent reading assigned books and trying to fit them into a prompt. By the time I’d finished university this year, I’d read a lot of books but not many towards the list, so I had a lot of catching up to do. For the last three or so months of 2018, I pretty much solely read books that would fit my remaining prompts. I really enjoyed doing the challenge, it definitely pushed me to read things I may not have normally picked up before, but I also found it quite limiting and felt like I couldn’t read other books I really wanted to because I felt the pressure to finish before the year was up! I probably wouldn’t have felt like this if I didn’t have to do so much catch up in the second half of the year, but I don’t think I’d do a year-long challenge again!

Anyone else does the challenge this year? Or any other year-long challenge? I’d love to know how you got on with it! 

STATS

5 STAR READS: 20
4 STAR READS: 10
3 STAR READS: 8
2 STAR READS: 2
1 STAR READS: 0

NON-FICTION: 7
FICTION: 33

That’s a lot of 5 star books and I’m not sure whether it means I’m too generous with my ratings or whether I’m just really good at picking books I know I’ll like… Also around half of these were interspersed between required reading whilst I was still at university, some of which I hated, so maybe I was rating relative to the terribleness of other books I’d forced myself through for class. I’ve really enjoyed reading non-fiction this year but it definitely wasn’t easy to fit many non-fic books into these prompts.

THE LIST

I didn’t start this blog until June, so I’ve only reviewed some of the books I read for this challenge. I’ve included links to my reviews where I did so.

1 – A book made into a movie you’ve already seen

Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín (Review– 5 STARS


2 – True crime

The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir by Alexandra Marzano-Lesnevich – 5 STARS


3 – The next book in a series you started

A Murder of Magpies by Mark Edwards – 4 STARS


4 – A book involving a heist

The Man Who Lived Underground by Richard Wright – 3 STARS


5 – Nordic noir

Roseanna by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö – 4 STARS


6 – A novel based on a real person

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (Review– 5 STARS


7 – A book set in a country that fascinates you

Silence of the Grave by Arnaldur Idridason (set in Iceland) – 5 STARS


8 – A book with a time of day in the title

4.50 from Paddington by Agatha Christie (Review– 3 STARS


9 – A book about a villain or antihero

The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks – 4 STARS


10 – A book about death or grief

Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward – 5 STARS


11 – A book with a female author who uses a male pseudonym

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (pseudonym of J. K. Rowling) (Review– 2 STARS


12 – A book with an LGBTQ+ protagonist

The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall – 5 STARS


13 – A book that is also a stage play or musical

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry – 5 STARS


14 –  A book by an author of a different ethnicity than you

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston – 5 STARS


15 – A book about feminism

Women and Power by Mary Beard – 4 STARS


16 – A book about mental health

Hunger by Roxane Gay – 4 STARS


17 – A book you borrowed or that was given to you as a gift

Becoming by Michelle Obama (Review– 4 STARS


18 – A book by two authors

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett – 5 STARS


19 – A book about or involving a sport

Beartown by Fredrik Backman (Review– 3 STARS


20 – A book by a local author

The Word for Woman is Wilderness by Abi Andrews (Review– 5 STARS


21 – A book with your favourite colour in the title

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison – 3 STARS


22 – A book with alliteration in the title

After Leaving Mr. MacKenzie by Jean Rhys – 3 STARS


23 – A book about time travel

The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas (Review)  – 5 STARS


24 – A book with a weather element in the title

Strange as This Weather Has Been by Ann Pancake (Review)  – 3 STARS


25 – A book set at sea

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (Review– 3 STARS


26 – A book with an animal in the title

History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund (Review– 4 STARS


27 – A book set on a different planet

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury (Review– 5 STARS


28 – A book with song lyrics in the title

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (song by Roy Smiles) (Review)  – 3 STARS


29 – A book about or set on Halloween

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury (Review– 2 STARS


30 – A book with characters who are twins

The Secret History by Donna Tartt (Review– 5 STARS


31 – A book mentioned in another book

The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J. K. Rowling  (mentioned in Harry Potter) – 5 STARS


32 – A book from a celebrity book club

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (SJP book club and recommended by Barack Obama)– 5 STARS


33 – A childhood classic you’ve never read

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – 5 STARS


34 – A book that’s published in 2018

Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss (Review– 5 STARS


35 – A past Goodreads Choice Awards winner

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (Non-fiction, 2010) (Review– 5 STARS


36 – A book set in the decade you were born

Forgive Me If I’ve Told You This Before by Karelia Stetz-Waters (‘89-’93) (Review– 4 STARS


37 – A book you meant to read in 2017 but didn’t get to

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski – 5 STARS


38 – A book with an ugly cover

Trumpet by Jackie Kay – 4 STARS


39 – A book that involves a bookstore or library

Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks by Annie Spence (Review– 4 STARS


40 – Your favourite prompt from a previous POPSUGAR challenge

Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer (prompt was a book that’s becoming a movie this year) – 5 STARS

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