Stepping Up My 2018 Reading Challenge

You can tell by the title of this post that I’m being optimistic about one of my personal goals for 2018, which is basically to read more and complete a reading challenge. It’s mid-January, and I’m happy to report that I’ve read one of 12 books I’d set myself to finish by the end of the year. I’m also halfway through the second book I’d started this month, so things are looking up for me, if I may say so myself.

Plot twist: Roan recently got so into reading, too! Here’s how it came about— While Christmas shopping last year, I stopped over at Sephora to pick up some items I’d been wanting to try. Roan knew that I was going to take a while in there, so he stepped out and went across the store at Amazon Books. To my surprise, he left the store with a book in hand! He’s so far read three (going four) books since then, and he’s totally kicking my butt in the reading department! He prefers to read non-fiction books, however, like this one that he’s almost done with. It’s definitely a first, but I’m happy that we now share the same interest in reading! Oh, and did I mention that he’s now on Goodreads, too?!

Anyway, I came across Kasi’s POPSUGAR Reading Challenge, and I thought to myself—hey, I can do that! It’s not the first time I’ve heard about the reading challenge, but I found it interesting enough to join in and just have fun. There are 40 books in the regular challenge, and while I only aim to read 12 this year, it’d be great if I actually surpass my original goal, wouldn’t it? I haven’t finalized the line-up, though, because I have yet to find books that fit their corresponding requirements. If you have suggestions, better recommendations, or you’re doing the challenge, too, please let me know in the comments section below!

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POPSUGAR 2018 Reading Challenge

A book made into a movie you’ve already seenAllegiant by Veronica Roth OR The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
True crimeIn Cold Blood by Truman Capote
✔The next book in a series you startedAfter You by JoJo Moyes [read on 11/19/2018,★★★★☆]
A book involving a heist
Nordic noirThe Girl with The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
A novel based on a real personGirl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier OR Chang and Eng by Darin Strauss
A book set in a country that fascinates youThe Nightingale by Kristin Hannah [read on 02/17/2018, ★★★★★]
A book with a time of day in the title Sleepless Nights by Elizabeth Hardwick
A book about a villain or antihero Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
✔A book about death or griefThirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher [read on 07/30/2018, ★★★☆☆]
A book with your favorite color in the titleThe Color Purple by Alice Walker
A book with alliteration in the title Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
••A book about time travel11.22.63 by Stephen King [currently reading]
A book with a weather element in the titleFlowers in the Snow by Danielle Stewart
A book set at seaThe Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
A book with an animal in the titleWater for Elephants by Sara Gruen
A book set on a different planetThe Martian by Andy Weir
A book with song lyrics in the title — Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo
A book about or set on Halloween
A book with characters who are twinsBig Little Lies by Liane Moriarty [read on 01/29/2018, ★★★★★]
A book with a female author who uses a male pseudonymThe Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (a.k.a. J.K. Rowling)
A book with an LGBTQ+ protagonistCall Me by Your Name by Andre Aciman [read on 03/09/2018,★★★★☆]
A book that is also a stage play or musical Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
A book by an author of a different ethnicity than you The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
A book about feminismWe Were Feminists Once by Andi Zeisler OR The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
A book about mental health All The Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
A book you borrowed or that was given to you as a giftThe Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
A book by two authors — Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
A book about or involving a sportBeartown by Fredrik Backman
A book by a local authorThe Good Sister by Drusilla Campbell
A book mentioned in another bookInfinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
A book from a celebrity book club — Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed (from Oprah’s Book Club)
A childhood classic you’ve never read — Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
A book that’s published in 2018Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu
A past Goodreads Choice Awards winnerLittle Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (2017) [read on 07/10/2018, ★★★★☆]
A book set in the decade you were bornNorwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
✔A book you meant to read in 2017 but didn’t get toIt Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover [read on 07/15/2018, ★★★★★]
A book with an ugly cover — Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
A book that involves a book store or library — Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
A book that’s been on your TBR list for way too longThe Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks

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  • I’ve been seeing the PopSugar reading challenge for years, tell myself I’ll do it, and forget all about it until the next year! Hahaha. I’m going to actually give it a go this year, haven’t read a single book yet. I might steal a couple of titles from your list!

  • Saw this on the facebook social group and thought I’d drop in. The PopSugar prompts are pretty cool but I don’t have the patience to FIND the books. Your list sounds promising so far! My book club read both Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore and Water for Elephants in the past (I enjoyed both). I hope to meet my personal goal of 12 by reading my monthly book club pick. Just bought the Wrinkle of Time boxed set so might read/re-read those too! Have a great year of reading and stop by our site for travel and food! 🙂

    • Hi, Lynn! Thanks for stopping by! Hahaha I know exactly what you mean! I just thought I’d do this challenge this year to motivate me to read more (and actually meet the goal of 12 books)! Thanks for the feedback on two books I had listed on here! Everyone seems to think I’ve got a great list of books for the challenge!

  • Good luck with your reading goals and challenge!~ I had to laugh when I read about Roan beating you in the reading the department XD;; I’ve never thought about these reading challenges, but they are definitely good to try and read more.

    You have a good list of books, there! I1.22.63 is great — probably the only Stephen King book I will ever like or read, haha! Anne of Green Gables is one of the few classics I like :3 You have a couple of books on there that I have on my to-read list. Again, good luck, Jae!

    • Thanks so much, Tara! Hahaha it’s true! He’s read more books than I have since 2018 kicked off!

      I’ve been meaning to read 11.22.63 because I wanted to watch the Hulu Original show, so I hope I read it sometime this year! I would’ve added Alice in Wonderland in the classics, but I’ve listened to an audiobook of it last year, so Anne of Green Gables it is! Thank you, Tara!

  • You have SO many good books on your list! I have a lot of these on mine too so I’m excited to read them. Also, you will LOVE The Nightingale. I read it last year and it’s one of my all time favorites.

    • Thanks, Shannon, so I’ve been told! I’m excited to read most of them, really! Joining this reading challenge might be a good decision after all!

  • I have the challenge on my page as something I’d like to try, too. I’m not putting too much pressure on myself, though. I wish my husband liked to read. I’ve never seen him read a book 🙁 (That’s a lie- he was working on a management book once.) Hope you and Roan keep it up and reach your goals- keep it fun! 🙂

    • Yes, no pressure in completing all 40, but I really would love to read 12 books this year! Like I’m dead set on that goal right now. Aww who knows? I never imagined Roan to be as hooked about reading either, but look at him now… Hahaha!

  • Wow! You have a huge list here for your reading challenge! I’m always happy when I can read 10 books a year or so. But you have definitely set the bar high; and you ca totally reach your goal! Happy reading! ☺️

    • Hahaha! It only looks huge and intimidating because of the challenge, but I’m really just aiming to read 12 this year. I think reading one book a month isn’t so bad! Thanks, Kiara! I hope you read as many books this year, too!

    • Oh, wow! I’ve never started nor joined a book club before. Maybe I’ll try that next time! Ohh, I read that last year! I hope you love it as much as I did! Happy reading, Katie!

    • Ohh, I think it’s a great challenge to try, Sami! I hope you find more time to read this year, too! It’s nice to get lost in a book every now and then.

  • I love this challenge and hope toake it through. I read 12 vooks last year and that was my target. I set the same for this year that’s what I think I can achieve. I haven’t started yet though! Yikes!

    • Aww lucky! I wanted to read 12 books last year, but didn’t make it through (I was short of four books). I’m really adamant in completing the Goodreads challenge this year with the help of POPSUGAR’s reading challenge prompts!

  • Hmmm that Pop Sugar Reading Challenge sounds interesting! I MIGHT have to try that, but it sure looks a bit challenging. The Goodreads challenges I set are much easier for me, lol. I managed to complete my first one last year (15 books) and I upped it this year to 25 books, and I hope I can reach it as well! Good luck with your book challenges and happy reading! 🙂

    • Hi, Jessica! No pressure, girl! I’m dead set on completing all 40 books, but what is 38 more on top of my original goal of 12, right? Hahaha! That’s where my head’s at right now because I don’t want to aim too high, then fall off track again, you know?

  • This sounds like so much fun! I probably won’t be this organized with my reading, but it’s fun to get a prompt for a book if you’re feeling a little stale with your current reads 🙂

    xoxo, SS

    Southern and Style

  • Yay, I’m so proud of you for joining the reading challenge! I hope it will make you want to read more and that you’ll be able to find more books that sounds interesting. It’s great that Roan is getting into reading too, you can read together 🙂 There are some books on your list that I’ve read before. The Lovely Bones is a great book, so is Dark Places, Old Man and the Sea, Big Little Lies, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Little Fires Everywhere! I hope you like them all.

    • No, thank you for inspiring me to join the challenge and read more! If we’re not home, we frequent coffee shops these days just so we could read in peace. Ohh, thanks for the feedback! I’ll keep those in mind!

  • Ok this is so great & helpful! I always need to good books to read and I love that there is a focus on having diversity in the books. So impressed with you. Where do you normally read?!

    • Right?? That’s what I realized when I saw the list, too! I mean, no pressure about completing all 40, but it will definitely challenge me to read more! I have a Kindle Paperwhite, so that’s where I normally read!

    • It seems like a great reading challenge, isn’t it?? I love that I was able to add here some of the books I actually intend to read this year, so it’s convenient!

  • That sounds like a really cool challenge. 11.22.63 by Stephen King is one of my favourites, but it is very very long. A lot better than the mini series they created. Also just added you on Goodreads!

    Good luck with your reading challenge!

    • I just saw it—I accepted, and added you back! I’ve been meaning to read it since the exclusive Hulu series came out, but I’ve been putting it off because yes, it’s a long one! Anyway, thanks, Nat!