2019 was my best reading year in over a decade, thanks in large part to attempting both the Popsugar Reading Challenge and Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge. I’ll be attempting both challenges again in 2020 and linking my progress on this page.

42/50 (84%)

…as of October 28th, 2020
(full prompt list)

1. A book that’s published in 2020
Melissa Bashardoust, Girl, Serpent, Thorn
* Finished August 16, 2020. Owned (hardcover). Published July 7, 2020.

2. A book by a trans or nonbinary author
Masha Gessen, The Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy
* Finished August 21, 2020. Library (ebook). Gessen is trans/nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns (wikipedia).

3. A book with a great first line
Mackenzi Lee, The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky
* Finished March 3, 2020. Owned (hardcover).

4. A book about a book club
Lyssa Kay Adams, The Bromance Book Club
* Finished January 27, 2020. Library (ebook).

5. A book set in a city that has hosted the Olympics
K.J. Charles, Spectred Isle
* Finished July 22, 2020. Kobo (ebook). London, England, hosted Olympics in 1908, 1948, and 2012.

6. A bildungsroman
Joshua Whitehead, Jonny Appleseed
* Finished February 18, 2020. Library (ebook). Coming-of-age story of young (20s?) Two-Spirit/Indigiqueer Jonny.

7. The first book you touch on a shelf with your eyes closed
Kiera Cass, The Selection
* Finished May 22, 2020. Owned (softcover).

o 8. A book with an upside-down image on the cover
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Deadeye Dick
* Owned (softcover).

9. A book with a map
Donnie Eichar, Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident
* Finished January 14, 2020. Library (ebook). Contains maps of the hikers’ journey.

10. A book recommended by your favorite blog, vlog, podcast, or online book club
Alexander Chee, How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays
* Finished June 8, 2020. Kindle (ebook). Recommended by Adventurous Kate.

o 11. An anthology
Katherine Govier, Without a Guide: Contemporary Women’s Travel Adventures
* Owned (softcover). Collection of essays about travel by female authors.

12. A book that passes the Bechdel test
Olivia Waite, The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics
* Finished January 10, 2020. Owned (softcover). Many conversations between women about the nature of science and art.

o 13. A book with the same title as a movie or TV show but is unrelated to it
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Hocus Pocus
* Owned (softcover). Shares a name with my favourite Halloween movie.

14. A book by an author with flora or fauna in their name
Caitlin Starling, The Luminous Dead
* Finished January 13, 2020. Owned (hardcover). Starling is a family of birds.

15. A book about or involving social media
Nick Bryan, The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf
* Finished August 12, 2020. Kobo (ebook).

16. A book that has a book on the cover
Jenny Han, P.S. I Still Love You
* Owned (ebook). There’s a stack of notebooks/textbooks on the cover.

17. A medical thriller
Richard Preston, The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus
* Finished April 4, 2020. Library (ebook).

18. A book with a made-up language
Ted Chiang, Stories of Your Life and Others
* Finished September 2, 2020. Library (ebook).

19. A book set in a country beginning with “C”
Jeannie Lin, The Hidden Moon
* Finished October 9, 2020. Kobo (ebook). Set in Tang Dynasty China.

20. A book you picked because the title caught your attention
Amber Dawn, Sodom Road Exit
* Finished February 11, 2020. Library (ebook).

21. A book published the month of your birthday
Kim Phúc Phan Thị, Fire Road: The Napalm Girl’s Journey Through the Horrors of War to Faith, Forgiveness, and Peace
* Finished February 20, 2020. Library (ebook). Originally published October 3, 2017.

22. A book about or by a woman in STEM
Sheri Fink, Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital
* Finished April 1, 2020. Library (ebook). Sheri Fink has a Ph.D. in neuroscience and specializes in investigative reporting on science-, medicine-, and health-related issues.

o 23. A book that won an award in 2019
Mary Robinette Kowal, The Calculating Stars
* Owned (softcover). 2019 Hugo and Locus award winner.

24. A book on a subject you know nothing about
Mary Roach, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
* Finished January 8, 2020. Library (ebook).

25. A book with only words on the cover, no images or graphics
Svetlana Alexievich, Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster
* Finished March 17, 2020. Library (ebook).

26. A book with a pun in the title
Casey McQuiston, Red, White & Royal Blue
* Finished February 24, 2020. Library (ebook).

27. A book featuring one of the seven deadly sins
Mackenzi Lee, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
* Finished February 27, 2020. Library (ebook).

28. A book with a robot, cyborg, or AI character
Nina Varela, Crier’s War
* Finished October 17, 2020. Owned (hardcover). Features a number of Automa characters.

29. A book with a bird on the cover
Riley Hart, Forever Moore
* Finished April 27, 2020. Kindle (ebook).

30. A fiction or nonfiction book about a world leader
Holly Black, The Cruel Prince/The Wicked King/The Queen of Nothing
* Finished September 9/20/22, 2020. Library (hardcover). Originally planned to read nonfiction for this prompt, but with the dumpster-fire state of world politics I was really not feeling it.

o 31. A book with “gold,” “silver,” or “bronze” in the title
Kenneth Oppel, Silverwing
* Owned (softcover).

32. A book by a WOC
Célestine Hitiura Vaite, Breadfruit
* Finished January 11, 2020. Owned (softcover). Author is Tahitian.

33. A book with at least a four-star rating on Goodreads
Jenny Han, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
* Finished March 21, 2020. Library (ebook). 4.17 average rating on goodreads.

34. A book you meant to read in 2019
Maggie Stiefvater, Call Down the Hawk
* Finished May 14, 2020. Owned (hardcover). Preordered for its release date (November 2019).

35. A book with a three-word title
Gail Carriger, Romancing the Inventor
* Finished February 23, 2020. Owned (ebook).

36. A book with a pink cover
Dianne Freeman, A Lady’s Guide to Gossip and Murder
* Finished February 2, 2020. Library (ebook).

o 37. A Western
Guy Vanderhaeghe, The Last Crossing
* Owned (hardcover).

38. A book by or about a journalist
Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History
* Finished January 2, 2020. Library (ebook).

o 39. Read a banned book during Banned Books Week
Alice Munro, Lives of Girls and Women
* Owned (softcover). Started during Canada’s Freedom to Read Week (February 23-29) but couldn’t get into it.

40. Your favourite prompt from a past POPSUGAR Reading Challenge
Victoria Secunda, When Madness Comes Home: Help and Hope for Families of the Mentally Ill
* Finished July 1, 2020. Kindle (ebook). 2018 prompt: “a book about mental health”.

41. A book written by an author in their 20s
Natasha Ngan, Girls of Paper and Fire
* Finished April 8, 2020. Library (ebook). Ngan was 28 when the book was published.

42. A book with “20” or “twenty” in the title
Leo McKay Jr., Twenty-Six
* Finished July 28, 2020. Library (ebook).

43. A book with a character with a vision impairment or enhancement (a nod to 20/20 vision)
Mary Balogh, The Arrangement
* Finished June 20, 2020. Library (ebook). Blind protagonist.

44. A book set in the 1920s
K. J. Charles, Slippery Creatures
* Finished July 20, 2020. Kobo (ebook). Set in 1922.

45. A book set in Japan, host of the 2020 Olympics
Rin Chupeco, The Girl from the Well
* Finished August 6, 2020. Library (ebook).

46. A book by an author who has written more than 20 books
Michael Crichton, The Andromeda Strain
* Finished July 19, 2020. Owned (softcover). Crichton wrote 28 novels in his lifetime.

47. A book with more than 20 letters in its title
Carmen Maria Machado, Her Body and Other Parties
* Finished February 14, 2020. Library (ebook). 22 letters.

48. A book published in the 20th century
Richard Preston, The Cobra Event
* Finished April 24, 2020. Library (ebook). Originally published in 1997.

o 49. A book from a series with more than 20 books
Terry Pratchett, The Light Fantastic
* Owned (softcover). Discworld contains 40+ stories.

50. A book with a main character in their 20s
Dianne Freeman, A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder
* Finished January 4, 2020. Library (ebook). The protagonist is 27 years old.

20/24 (83%)

…as of October 28th, 2020
(full prompt list)

o 1. Read a YA nonfiction book
Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale, #Notyourprincess: Voices of Native American Women
* Library (ebook).

2. Read a retelling of a classic of the canon, fairytale, or myth by an author of color
Rin Chupeco, The Girl from the Well
* Library (ebook). Retelling of the legend of Okiku by a Filipino author.

3. Read a mystery where the victim(s) is not a woman
Dianne Freeman, A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder
* Finished January 4, 2020. Library (ebook). The victim is the protagonist’s husband.

4. Read a graphic memoir
George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott, and Harmony Becker, They Called Us Enemy
* Finished February 29, 2020. Owned (softcover). Graphic memoir about Takei’s family’s confinement in WWII-era Japanese Internment Camps.

5. Read a book about a natural disaster
Sheri Fink, Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital
* Library (ebook). Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.

6. Read a play by an author of color and/or queer author
Ann-Marie MacDonald, Belle Moral: A Natural History
* Finished June 10, 2020. Library (ebook). Author bio.

7. Read a historical fiction novel not set in WWII
Leo McKay Jr., Twenty-Six
* Finished July 28, 2020. Library (ebook). Based on the Westray Mine explosion.

8. Read an audiobook of poetry
Nikita Gill, Fierce Fairytales: Poems and Stories to Stir your Soul
* Finished April 3, 2020. Library (audiobook).

9. Read the LAST book in a series
W.M. Fawkes and Sam Burns, The Assassin’s Dragon
* Finished August 24, 2020. Owned (Ebook). Last in a 3-book series.

10. Read a book that takes place in a rural setting
Riley Hart, Forever Moore
* Finished April 27, 2020. Kindle (ebook). Set in the woods outside of a small town.

11. Read a debut novel by a queer author
Nina Varela, Crier’s War
* Finished October 17, 2020. Owned (hardcover).

12. Read a memoir by someone from a religious tradition (or lack of) that is not your own
Kim Phúc Phan Thị, Fire Road: The Napalm Girl’s Journey Through the Horrors of War to Faith, Forgiveness, and Peace
* Finished February 20, 2020. Library (ebook). Caodaism and Christianity.

o 13. Read a food book about a cuisine you’ve never tried before
Selina Periampillai, The Island Kitchen: Recipes from Mauritius and the Indian Ocean
* Kobo (ebook).

14. Read a romance starring a single parent
Sera Trevor, Consorting with Dragons
* Finished April 15, 2020. Kindle (ebook). Love interest is a widower.

15. Read a book about climate change
Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History
* Finished January 2, 2020. Library (ebook). Not strictly a climate change book, but discusses humans as the driving force behind current climate change and extinction events.

o 16. Read a doorstopper (over 500 pages) published after 1950, written by a woman
Jacqueline Carey, Kushiel’s Dart
* Owned (softcover). Published 2003. 1,015 pages.

17. Read a sci-fi/fantasy novella
Gail Carriger, Romancing the Inventor
* Finished February 23, 2020. Owned (ebook). A bit over the suggested 120 pages but not by much.

18. Read a picture book with a human main character from a marginalized community
Wab Kinew and Joe Morse, Go Show the World: A Celebration of Indigenous Heroes
* Finished January 14, 2020. Library (hardcover).

19. Read a book by or about a refugee
Masha Gessen, The Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy
* Library (ebook). Gessen’s family immigrated in 1981 under the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program to the United States (wikipedia). The Tsarnaev family and many other individuals discussed in the book moved to the U.S. from the Caucasus under political asylum; the author discusses in particular the legacy of Soviet deportation of Chechens during World War II.

20. Read a middle grade book that doesn’t take place in the U.S. or the UK
Lois Lowry, Number the Stars
* Finished March 3, 2020. Library (ebook). Set in Copenhagen, Denmark.

21. Read a book with a main character or protagonist with a disability (fiction or non)
Mary Balogh, The Arrangement
* Finished June 20, 2020. Library (ebook). Blind protagonist.

22. Read a horror book published by an indie press
Amber Dawn, Sodom Road Exit
* Finished February 11, 2020. Library (ebook). Published by Arsenal Pulp Press.

23. Read an edition of a literary magazine (digital or physical)
(Undecided)

24. Read a book in any genre by a Native, First Nations, or Indigenous author
Joshua Whitehead, Jonny Appleseed
* Finished February 18, 2020. Library (ebook). More about the author here.

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