Yay! I Completed the PopSugar 2019 Reading Challenge!

PopSugar is my favorite reading challenge. In this year’s edition of PopSugar 2019 Reading Challenge, there are 40 Regular prompts and 10 Advanced prompts. My favorite part of this challenge is searching, selecting and then buying books for the various prompts. Oh, there’s one more thing that I absolutely love is tracking the books read against the various prompts. This year, I have completed this challenge a month earlier and I cant get enough of seeing the completed excel sheet.

I love PopSugar Reading Challenge the most for a lot of reasons. This challenge broadens my scope of reading as I get to explore a whole lot of books. From diverse genres (this year I read a Cli-Fi, LitRPG, Choose Your Own Adventure Book for the first time) and topics to variety of authors, from different characters in every book to distinct settings,  from short tales to really long ones, from classics to contemporary stories, from fiction to non-fiction, from memoirs and biographies to popular books, from books in various formats to books outside my comfort zone, PopSugar Reading Challenge makes me read all these and much more. Another interesting aspect of taking up this reading challenge is that it makes my reading list so lively. Don’t believe me, check it out for yourself….

Here are the books I read for the various prompts of PopSugar 2019 Reading Challenge with some brief info and thoughts.

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1. A book becoming a movie in 2019The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. The trailer is already out, hopefully the movie will be released soon too.Such an addictive, charming, funny and endearing story. It was like reading about Sheldon in love. Loved Don’s systematic approach with questionnaire and even field validation to find a wife. He meets Rosie who is his polar opposite and is unsuitable as a potential wife. Do opposites attract? Read this sweet, hilarious story to find out. Excellent read!!The Rosie Project
2. A book that makes you nostalgicHarry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling. After reading it in 1999, I re-read it this year and I realized that this is a story that’ll never get old and you’re never too old to read Harry Potter.Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling
3. A book written by a musician (fiction or nonfiction)Mile 81 by Stephen King. I wasnt aware that King is a musician and that he had collaborated with Michael Jackson to create Ghosts and played guitar for the rock band Rock Bottom Remainders, several of whose members are authors.Mile 81 by Stephen King
4. A book you think should be turned into a movieMy Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite. A short, dark, fast-paced, humorous story with family dynamics, loyalty-love-hatred between sisters.My Sister. The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
5. A book with at least one million ratings on GoodreadsGone Girl by Gillian Flynn. This book has 2.06 million ratings. What an outstanding read. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
6. A book with a plant in the title or on the coverPurple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. A beautiful coming-of-age story of a lonely and reclusive 15-year-old girl, Kambili. What I loved about this book is that transports you to her world. Set in the Nigeria of 1980s, this is a story of her family, but also gives insights about the political unrest, power, social norms and religious fanaticism, loyalty and love.Purple Hibiscus
7. A reread of a favorite bookThe Godfather by Mario Puzo. This is one of my all time favorites! Brilliant story that is dramatic, fascinating, heart breaking and chilling with characters so memorable and dialogues that are so powerful and iconic.
8. A book about a hobbyDance with Me by PG Van. A sweet and romantic, hot and sizzling breezy read. And yes, the book is about dance!!Dance with Me by PG Van
9. A book you meant to read in 2018When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. This book was on my TBR for over 2 years! Finally got to read it. An adorable, funny, happy, contemporary romance.When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon.
10. A book with POP, SUGAR, or CHALLENGE in the titleSugar Daddy by Victoria Snow. It’s a long, long, drawn out story but still an okayish read.Sugar Daddy by Victoria Snow
11. A book with an item of clothing or accessory on the coverHigh Heels: The Year of Short Stories – May by Jeffrey Archer. It’s a short, well crafted mystery that will keep you hooked till the end.
12. A book inspired by myth/legend/folkloreGanesha’s Secret: Different People See God Differently by Devdutt Pattanaik. This book explores the story and the ideologies, beliefs, myths, cultures & traditions associated with Indian spirituality and mythology.Ganesha’s Secret: Different People See God Differently by Devdutt Pattanaik
13. A book published posthumously The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. The author died suddenly in 2004 and this book which is the first one in the Millennium trilogy was published in 2005.The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
14. A book you see someone reading on TV or in a movieThe Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. In Natural Born Killers, Juliette Lewis was reading this book.The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
15. A retelling of a classicThe Ugly Stepsister by Aya Ling. It’s an interesting retelling of Cinderella. Loved the twisty take on the classic fairy tale.The Ugly Stepsister by Aya Ling
16. A book with a question in the title Who Moved My Cheese? by Dr Spencer Johnson. A book with a lot of learnings and insights.Who Moved My Cheese? by Dr Spencer Johnson
17. A book set on college or university campusFangirl by Rainbow Rowell. The main characters begin their freshman year in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
18. A book about someone with a superpowerHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling. And we have Boggart, Werewolf, Hippogriff, Dementors, Crookshanks with some unusual superpowers.Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling
19. A book told from multiple POVsEleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. A charming and delightful story of two teenagers, misfits in their own right and who manage to find love despite all odds.Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
20. A book set in spaceTime Crawlers by Varun Sayal. Interesting collection of stories on alien invasion, dark artificial intelligence, time-travel…Time Crawlers by Varun Sayal
21. A book by two female authorsThe Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen. A hyped up thriller that everyone loved but disappointed me!!The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
22. A book with SALTY, SWEET, BITTER, or SPICY in the titleThe Salty Taste of Murder by Christine Zane Thomas. It’s a story of a food blogger with interesting insights about her way of reviewing restaurants and creating recipes and blog posts.The Salty Taste of Murder by Christine Zane Thomas
23. A book set in ScandinaviaBritt-Marie Was Here by Fredrick Backman. A delightful, quirky, humorous story with some eccentric characters. The story focuses on relationships, loneliness, the desire to make a difference and be loved and appreciated.Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrick Backman  
24. A book that takes place in a single dayThe Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. A cute story with a lot of heart.The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
25. A debut novelThis is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay. What an amazing book!! It has anecdotes about life-threatening birth complications, shocking injuries and quiet joys of being a junior doctor in a hospital. Some stories are so horrifying, shocking, surprising and amusing. It also shows how the young docs are overworked and underappreciated. Loved the way this book is written. Cant wait to read his second book, Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas.This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay
26. A book that’s published in 2019You Beneath Your Skin by Damyanti Biswas. A compelling and credible crime thriller that is really hard to put down.You Beneath Your Skin by Damyanti Biswas
27. A book featuring an extinct or imaginary creatureHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling. And there’re so many of them in this book… Dobby, Whomping Willow, Mandrakes, Cornish Pixies, Fawkes, Basilisk…Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
28. A book recommended by a celebrity you admireErotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal. It’s recommended by the Reese Witherspoon Book Club. The book addresses many issues of the Punjabi widows in Southall, is thought-provoking and is hands down funny and interesting.Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal
29. A book with LOVE in the titleLove A Little Stronger by Preeti Shenoy. I have read, 34 Bubblegums and Candies, this book is its newer version with some additional stories. An enjoyable read with fun, humorous and heart-warming anecdotes from author’s life.Love A Little Stronger by Preeti Shenoy.
30. A book featuring an amateur detectiveTurtles All the Way Down by John Green. Not my favorite John Green book. Liked the way the dark and ugly side of mental illness is portrayed but found the story a bit tedious and boring.Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
31. A book about a familyPachinko by Min Jin Lee. A fascinating read with insights about Japanese and Korean lifestyle and dynamics from 1910 to 1989. Loved the first half of this family saga though the second half wasn’t that bad!Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
32. A book author from Asia, Africa, or South AmericaGuardian Angel by Ruchi Singh. I love books that completely engulf me in the story and Guardian Angel is one such book. It’s a page turner and totally un-putdownable.Guardian Angel by Ruchi Singh
33. A book with a zodiac sign or astrology term in titleJourney Under the Midnight Sun by Keigo Higashino. With lots of sub plots and unexpected twists, this multi-layered mystery keeps you guessing till the last.Journey Under the Midnight Sun by Keigo Higashino
34. A book that includes a weddingCrazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. It is about the high society wedding in Singapore. I was looking forward to read it after seeing all the hype around the book and the movie. While the setting of the story is interesting but it drags and is repetitive. With so many characters and constantly changing POVs, this was one tedious read for me.Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
35. A book by an author whose first and last names start with the same letterA French Girl in New York by Anna Adams. It’s a typical YA fluff kind of book but I loved the insights I got about the musicians and music industry through this book.A French Girl in New York by Anna Adams
36. A ghost storyGhost Stories by Ron Ripley. Unimaginative title but scary stories guaranteed.Ghost Stories by Ron Ripley
37. A book with a two-word titleLadies Coupe by Anita Nair. It’s a story of six women from different walks of life who happen to be in a ladies coupe of a long distance train. They bond with each other and through their life stories reveal the dilemmas that women face in their different relationships. It is a journey towards self-discovery and self realization.Ladies Coupe by Anita Nair
38. A novel based on a true storyThe Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. I find stories about World War II and holocaust, compelling and morbidly fascinating. I have read The Book Thief, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (this book haunted me for a long long time), The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, The Diary of a Young Girl. I picked The Tattooist of Auschwitz which is based on a true story, with great expectations. I believe this book is an example of a great story with a lot of potential but poor execution.The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
39. A book revolving around a puzzle or gameHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling. There’s The Quidditch World Cup and the Triwizard Tournament in this book. By far the best book in the series!Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling
40. Your favorite prompt from a past POPSUGAR Reading challengeHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling. I picked the prompt, “The next book in the series you started” from the PopSugar 2018 Reading Challenge.Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling


41. A “cli-fi” (climate fiction) bookWatermelon Snow by William A. Liggett. My first climate-based thriller. A compelling story about the worsening climate change crisis along with all the elements of a good novel—danger, suspense, unusual discovery, intrigue and some romance too.
42. A “choose-your-own-adventure” bookChoose Your Own Story: The Minecraft Zombie Adventure by Aidan Orion. It’s my first Choose Your Own Story book. After each chapter, book will offer you a couple choices about what you want to do next. As you make your choices, your experience of reading the story will be different from everyone else’s. There are 25 different endings to discover and only some of them will take you to the sequel.
43. An “own voices” bookA Quilt Is Meant To Keep You Warm: Humor, Love and Misadventure in the Age of AIDS by MJ Hobbs. An honest account of the author’s coming out, survival, and misadventures of being a part of the LGBTQ community in the 80s. A warm, witty and poignant memoir.
44. Read a book during the season it is set inLet It Snow by John Green. It’s a collection of 3 holiday romances by J Green, L Myracle and M Johnson. Such cute, heat-warming stories. Loved all of them and the best was how all the characters come together in the end. It’s a perfect wintery Christmassy read.
45. A LitRPG bookOff to Be the Wizard by Scott Meyer. Another first for me. LitRPG, short for Literary Role Playing Game, is a literary genre combining the conventions of RPGs with science-fiction and fantasy novels.I was hesitant to read this genre but this book was a delightful read.
46. A book with no chapters / unusual chapter headings / unconventionally numbered chaptersThe Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway. This book has no chapters. A simple yet profound story that makes you reflect and shares some amazing life lessons like persisting despite failures, accepting challenges, never give up….
47. Two books that share the same titleBring Me Back by BA Paris. I loved Behind Closed Doors – one of the best psychological thriller that I have ever read. The Breakdown was not that bad. But Bring me Back was not convincing enough.

48. Two books that share the same titleBring Me Back by Taryn Plendl. An okay-ish one-time read of 2 broken and flawed characters.
49. A book that has inspired a common phrase or idiomA Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. The phrase “as dead as a doornail” is originated from a French poem by William Langland in 1350. Later Shakespeare used it in King Henry VI but it is Charles Dicken who plays an important role in making it popular in A Christmas Carol where he wrote, ‘Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.’
50. A book set in an abbey, cloister, monastery, vicarage, or conventThe Monastery Murders by EM Powell. I don’t read much of historical fiction and I wasn’t actually looking forward to read it. But this book took me by surprise and pulled me into the story, like I’d stepped into a movie. Loved the way the characters are developed and the murder plot is intriguing and the twists and turns are intelligently crafted. A gripping and riveting murder mystery.

How many of these prompts could you tick off for this year? Which books have you read from these 50 books? Do you like to take up Reading Challenges? Let me know in the comments below!