Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge discussion

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2018 Challenge - General > Popsugar wants to know your favorite challenge book!

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message 1: by Sara (last edited Aug 24, 2018 03:19AM) (new)

Sara | 1508 comments The wonderful people at Popsugar are asking us to contribute some feedback on our favorite book so far from the challenge this year. Please provide the following:

Title/author of a favorite book you read for this year's challenge:

Prompt you used it for:

Two to three sentences on why you loved it:


Please only post one book (hard as it may be to choose just one).


message 2: by Sara (last edited Aug 23, 2018 12:00PM) (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Title/author of a favorite book you read for this year's challenge: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Prompt you used it for: A past Goodreads Choice award winner (2016)

Two to three sentences on why you loved it: I never thought I’d fall for a fantasy series like I have for this one. The characters burrow into your soul, and the beautiful descriptions of the courts (based on the four seasons as well as Dawn, Day and Night) are breaktaking. It’s a rare thing in a series when book two outshines book one but this one does!


message 3: by Kristina (new)

Kristina (baronessekat) | 112 comments Title/author of a favorite book you read for this year's challenge: Dark Harvest

Prompt you used it for: BOOK ABOUT OR SET ON HALLOWEEN

Two to three sentences on why you loved it:

The language choices that the author picked. Second person present tense, tends not to be a writing style I enjoy at all, but that is exactly what made this book work so well. The choice of tense and almost conversational tone to the book is what made it down right creepy, and brought the story to life.


message 4: by Leslie (new)

Leslie (atwistedlime) | 18 comments Super Powereds Year 4 by Drew Hayes

Fit the category of the next book in a series. Drew Hayes is a master of universe and character development. You feel like you know them personally and the man can tell am amazing story.


message 5: by Anabell (new)

Anabell | 354 comments Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Prompt you used it for: A cyberpunk book

I was actually not looking forward to this category as I didn't know the genre but thought it would be close to Sci-fi which is not really my thing. I ended up absolutely loving this book all the way through. The whole cyberworld vs. the real world and ALL the 80's reference and the gaming was awesome. Add great humor and sarcasm and it was a 5 star read for me. I couldn't put the book down and I actually added another cyberpunk book to my reading challenge afterwards.


message 6: by Kathi (new)

Kathi (kathijo) | 3 comments Title/author of a favorite book you read for this year's challenge: His Majesty's Dragon

Prompt you used it for: A Book Set at Sea

Two to three sentences on why you loved it: I can sum it up in 1 word: DRAGONS! This had action, adventure, the aforementioned dragons and tears. I loved discovering a new (to me) author and can't wait to read more.


message 7: by Carmen (new)

Carmen (TheReadingTrashQueen) (thereadingtrashqueen) | 908 comments Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

Used for the “book given to me as a gift” prompt, though it fits a few others as well.

Why I loved it so much? It read like fanfiction, which is the best thing ever to me. The characters were real, it was modern, and connecting to the story was like second nature. It also gave me all the feels- I cried both happy and sad tears!


message 8: by Rachel (new)

Rachel (rachel_rieve) | 10 comments Title/author of a favorite book you read for this year's challenge:
Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy by Ameriie

Prompt you used it for: A book about a villain or antihero

Two to three sentences on why you loved it: Often when I read short story anthologies, there are multiple ones I don't like. This book revitalized my interest in short stories: I liked almost all the stories in this collection, and some I especially loved and thought they were very interesting retellings or takes on original villains or antiheroes (The Sea Witch being my favorite). I don't know anything about the Booktubers, but some of their commentaries were fun on their own as well.


message 9: by Wednesday (new)

Wednesday | 42 comments Title/author of a favorite book you read for this year's challenge: Scream For Jeeves by P. H. Cannon

Prompt you used it for: A book you borrowed or that was given to you as a gift

Two to three sentences on why you loved it: This was a parody book of short stories that put P. G. Wodehouse's Wooster and Jeeves into H. P. Lovecraft stories. The author nailed the tone of both authors and somehow created a perfect parody of both.


message 10: by Heather (new)

Heather | 2 comments Title/author of a favorite book you read for this year’s challenge: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Prompt you used it for: A Book With a LGBTQ+ Protagonist

Two to three sentences on why you loved it:

I felt every emotion deeply, the characters were beautifully written and the story line was messy, gut wrenching... there wasn’t a pretty bow and it was perfection.
While I was reading I wanted to highlight, every few pages, the beautifully written phrases and thoughts but I didn’t want to interrupt the flow of my reading. There were just too many.


message 11: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany | 0 comments My favorite book this year is The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne.

Prompt used: LGBTQ+ protagonist

I loved getting to know Cyril incredibly well throughout the years (The perfect slice-of-life book.) I was particularly intrigued with the portrayal of gay people in notoriously homophobic Ireland and how they eventually evolved.


message 12: by Milena (last edited Aug 23, 2018 11:32AM) (new)

Milena (milenas) | 979 comments Title/author of a favorite book you read for this year’s challenge: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Prompt you used it for: A book with an animal in the title.

Two to three sentences on why you loved it:
I am fascinated by both Russia, and books set in very cold places. I speak Russian, so understanding some of the foreign words was fun. The book was very well written and made me look forward to the rest of the series.


message 13: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 249 comments I think I’ll have to go with: The Lost World by Michael Crichton for this. I used it for the: read a book made into a movie you’ve already seen.


message 14: by Vikki (new)

Vikki P (meandmymundanelife) | 2 comments Title/author of a favorite book you read for this year's challenge: A Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Prompt you used it for: Your favorite prompt from the 2015, 2016, or 2017 POPSUGAR Reading Challenges (I chose a Book Over 500 Pages)

Two to three sentences on why you loved it: The book has the most amazing characters I have ever read of. Monty is my new favorite. The writing is fascinating.


message 15: by Kathy (new)

Kathy | 129 comments Title/author of a favorite book you read for this year's challenge: Kindred

Prompt you used it for: Time Travel

Two to three sentences on why you loved it: I don’t really like si fi, so this is was a great surprise. What a wonderful book, even though it is from the 70s, the issues are still so current. Reading this is what’s great about the challenge, I never would have found this book and read it on my own.


message 16: by Anne (new)

Anne (annefullercoxnet) | 203 comments My favorite book: Whiter Than Snow by Sandra Dallas

Prompt: Stranger reading in a public place

Why: I hated this prompt because everything I was seeing was angsty romance (yuck). When this came up I was thrilled. The character development was beautifully done and the story was engrossing.


message 17: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (jovali2) | 242 comments Tite/author of a favorite book you read for this year's challenge: Circe by Madeline Miller

Prompt you used it for: A book about surviving a hardship (war, famine, major disasters, serious illness, etc.)

Two to three sentences on why you loved it:
I loved everything about this book -- the strong female lead, the different perspective on a story I thought I already knew, the poetical quality of the prose, the intimacy of the first person narrative, the complexity of the characters, Circe's growth and resilience in the face of hardship.


message 18: by Joel (new)

Joel The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is my favorite book I read for this year's challenge.

I used it for the prompt of "A book about a problem facing society today."

What I most enjoyed about the book was that if offered me a window into a world of everyday reality for millions of people, and it encouraged me to think about issues from different perspectives, and realize the media's role in shaping news to fit predetermined narratives. This one will stick with me for a long time.


message 19: by Adelle (new)

Adelle (adellelashbrook) | 2 comments My favorite book: The Great Alone
Prompt: A book set in the decade you were born

I have never felt such grief from a book ending. I fell in love with the characters. The story was told so that you felt like you were right there in Alaska with everyone. It just pulled you right in!


message 20: by Mercedes (new)

Mercedes (villadinorah) Title/author of a favorite book you read for this year's challenge: Native Son by Richard Wright

Prompt you used it for: Author of a different ethnicity than mine.

Two to three sentences on why you loved it: Wright's style is enthralling, and this novel about the lives of marginalized blacks was Earth shattering


message 21: by Maggie (new)

Maggie Bradley | 3 comments Favorite Book: Jaws
Prompt: A book made into a movie you’ve seen

I had no idea I was going to like Jaws so much. I like the movie but I expected the book to have some boring parts. It had everything I want in a book: action, adventure, thrill, and believe it or not love. I didn’t expect to get so much depth into Chief Brody’s marriage. I am definitely going to check out other works by Peter Benchley.


message 22: by Tami (new)

Tami (tamidale) Favorite Book: The Ballad of the Whiskey Robber
Prompt: A book involving a heist

I loved this because it was told with such humor and was almost too crazy to be believable--but yet it was a true story. I had to google Attila Ambrus after reading the story and was pleasantly surprised at what a handsome man he is. It was also interesting to see what he was doing with his life today as a reformed bank robber.


message 23: by Kelly (new)

Kelly (goodreadscomkaos127) | 16 comments Favorite book: A Symphony of Echoes, by Jodi Taylor.

Prompt: A book about time travel/next book in a series

This is the second book in the Chronicles of St. Mary's series. It is so much fun. There is sex and swearing, so be aware, but I laugh a lot when I read these books.


message 24: by Sue (new)

Sue | 25 comments Title/author of a favorite book you read for this year's challenge: A Man Called Ove

Prompt you used it for: A book recommended by someone else taking the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

Two to three sentences on why you loved it: This is a beautifully written story of grief and love and how life intervenes in unexpected ways. It will make you laugh and cry. One of my favorite books ever.


message 25: by Daniele (new)

Daniele Powell (danielepowell) | 5 comments Favourite book: The Princess Bride
Prompt: A book from a movie you've already seen

I found it oddly enjoyable to discover a book after seeing the movie, since I usually read the book first. I loved seeing the different choices the author made, what was left out, what was never there in the first place. (I did the same thing with ready Player One.)

I loved this particular book, not because I was a die-hard fan of the movie. In fact, reading the book is what *turned me* into a super-fan.

The book has a great pace, the characters are richly written and really come to life, and really... the story has everything :)


message 26: by Kenya (new)

Kenya Starflight | 747 comments Dang, there were so many books I loved this year! Guess I have to narrow it down... hmmm...

Favorite book: The Refrigerator Monologues

Prompt you used it for: A book about feminism

Catherynne Valente is one of my favorite writers, and I adore her beautiful yet clever and subversive writing style. And in this book she gives us a scathing look at the "Women In Refrigerators" syndrome so common in fiction, especially superhero comics -- the tendency for female characters to be murdered, raped, crippled, de-powered, or otherwise traumatized in order to further the male characters' stories.


message 27: by Kym (new)

Kym Hamer (kymhamer) | 156 comments Favourite Book: Small Great Things by Jodi Piccoult

Prompt you used it for: A book that was being read by a stranger in a public place

It was just so unexpected. I've read a couple of Jodi Piccoult's novels and found them a bit sappy for me but in Small Great Things, I absolutely loved the relationship that developed between the two women and how that was what really drove the plot.


message 28: by Kym (new)

Kym Hamer (kymhamer) | 156 comments Anabell wrote: "Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Prompt you used it for: A cyberpunk book

I was actually not looking forward to this category as I didn't know the genre but thought ..."


I really loved this too - it was a contender for my top one but I ended up choosing Small Great Things by Jodi Piccoult :-)


message 29: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sezziy) | 899 comments So hard to pick!

Title/author of a favourite book you read for this year's challenge: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Prompt you used it for: LGBTQ+ Protagonist

Two to three sentences on why you loved it: So many reasons! The story follows an incredibly diverse yet inclusive created family on board a spaceship. Each one of the characters has a distinct voice and backstory, no one is filler and they all weave together perfectly.


message 30: by Rosa (last edited Aug 23, 2018 12:44PM) (new)

Rosa (rosarodriguez) | 7 comments Gosh, I must agree with the above comments--so many good book in this challenge.
Here's my most fave:

A Microhistory: Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World

Followed by:
Your Favorite Prompt From The 2015, 2016, Or 2017 Popsugar Reading Challenges (2017 - A Book Involving Travel): Relish: My Life in the Kitchen


message 31: by Katy (new)

Katy M | 794 comments There were a few really good ones. I think my favorite was probably The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.

I sued it for the past GoodChoice award winner. I liked it because it kept you guessing, you really got invested in the main character and it was pretty exciting.


message 32: by Brittany (new)

Brittany Morrison | 145 comments Title/author of a favorite book you read for this year's challenge:
Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things

Prompt you used it for: stranger reading in a public place


Two to three sentences on why you loved it: Honestly going in this was my least favorite prompt, but it has given me my favorite book of the year thus far. This book was great because it made talking about mental illness and depression okay and relatable without dragging you down into your own state of sadness. Jenny Lawson is hilarious and let’s the reader know her experiences are going to be different from their own because we’re all different people.


message 33: by Jo (new)

Jo Swenson | 3 comments Title/author: Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Prompt: a book about death or grief

Why I loved it: Lincoln in the Bardo is the most complex and nuanced portrayal of griefs I’ve read in many years. Saunders invites readers into the interior life of one of the country’s most famous presidents in a unique and breathtaking way.


message 34: by SadieReadsAgain (new)

SadieReadsAgain (sadiestartsagain) | 767 comments Oh my god, this is too hard. I'm still 12 short of finishing and could easily nominate 4 at least...

Title/author of a favorite book you read for this year's challenge: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Prompt you used it for: #39 a book that involves a bookstore or library

Two to three sentences on why you loved it: This book hooked me in from the very start and I couldn't stop reading it. When I wasn't reading it I was thinking about when I next could. The writing absolutely captivated me, and I completely submerged myself in the dysfunctional world of the Angelfield family and their damaged tangle of relationships.


message 35: by Ella (last edited Aug 24, 2018 10:30AM) (new)

Ella The Seagull - Anne Cleeves,17. A book you borrowed or that was given to you as a gift.

For me, this was a gift selected by my daughter - she went into the bookshop remembering my favourite authors and chose for me. A good book bought by a could heart. What more good you wish for.


message 36: by Emanuel (new)

Emanuel | 251 comments Alvorada Vermelha
- book set on another planet; favourite colour on title.


message 37: by Lorna (new)

Lorna | 27 comments Favourite Book: The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

Prompt I used it for: a book with characters who are twins

Why I loved it: I don't normally read romance novels but this was moving and hilarious! I thoroughly enjoyed it and it did put me out of my comfort zone as far as my reading habits go.


message 38: by Karen (last edited Aug 23, 2018 02:16PM) (new)

Karen | 127 comments Title/ author: The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon by Kevin Fedarko

Prompt: A microhistory

Why I loved it: This book combined poetic imagery of the Colorado River, with dual invigorating narratives of a team of boat guides speed run down the river during flood stage and the engineers efforts to save the Hoover Dam from failure. I love the history that helps you understand the tension between engineers who feel the dam represents all that is great about American innovation and skill, and the river guides who feel the dam represents all that is wrong with America's built environment encroaching on the natural, untamed beauty of our raw resources.


message 39: by Linda882 (new)

Linda882 | 6 comments Looked back over my choices this year and none really stand out, which is rather disappointing. Must try and finish the year on a high.


message 40: by Jess (new)

Jess Penhallow | 427 comments I've not finished the year yet so this may change but I'm putting my hat on...

Title/author of a favorite book you read for this year's challenge: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Prompt you used it for: Book with an LGBT protagonist

Two to three sentences on why you loved it:

I can't quite express my thoughts about this book only that it was perfectly formed. Every sentence was so carefully crafted it was like the author just chose every single word perfectly to propel the story and provoke introspection. And the story, It was so wrought with emotions, worries and consequences and brilliantly painted how the actions of the different characters affected and formed the other characters in the story.


message 41: by Tara (new)

Tara Nichols (tarajoy90) | 167 comments Title/author of a favorite book you read for this year's challenge: Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver

Prompt you used it for: Book with an ugly cover

Two to three sentences on why you loved it: It had an amazing sense of place, it was emotional without being manipulative, it had characters who weren't perfect but who I felt I could root for, and it was just so beautifully written. And I love that I had been resisting reading it for years because the cover is so boring, and it perfectly proved why we're not supposed to judge a book by it's cover. (Though you know I still do.)


message 42: by Teri (new)

Teri (teria) | 1335 comments Tough call, but my other choices have previously been mentioned.

Title/author: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Prompt you used it for: Favorite Prompt from previous challenge (2017 - recommended by a librarian)

Two to three sentences on why you loved it: I love a good dystopian novel, but I really loved this one for the more hopeful tone it had at times. I loved the characters and the world that was created by the author.


message 43: by Christine (new)

Christine McCann | 491 comments The Supernatural Enhancements, by Edgar Cantero

Prompt: A book about death or grief

This was a good call on my part - instead of choosing something realistic that would depress me, I went for a ghost story. It turned out to be a ghost story / mystery / adventure with creepy dreams, found "footage," Lovecraft references, a loyal dog, and plenty of snarky comedy. Perfect.


message 44: by Margaret (new)

Margaret (igem36) Trace: Memory, History, Race and the American Land by Lauret Savoy

Prompt 14: author of a different ethnicity than you

I read to learn about new things, and this book contained many: a family trip to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon along a nearly-impassable road; a forgotten book (Alien Land by Willard Savoy) found serendipitously in a library; Paul Sluby, first certified black genealogist, and the Woodlawn Cemetery in Washington, DC. Most wonderfully, the epilogue described the author's thrill of finding a fossil specimen that turned out to be a new genus and species.


message 45: by StefanieFrei (new)

StefanieFrei | 63 comments Beartown
A very different Backman, I initially picked it rather for "a book about or involving a sport" as I saw nothing else coming my way for that.
I found it deep, surprising, emotional and hope no review will waste this feeling for other readers by telling the twist.


message 46: by Julie (new)

Julie | 12 comments A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of the Columbine Tragedy

Prompt: True crime/ mental health

I really enjoyed this book because it gave a look at the tragedy from a different perspective which often gets forgotten about or villanized.


message 47: by Pauline (new)

Pauline | 10 comments Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor

Prompt: A book about time travel

I like time travel to begin with, but the challenge was finding one I hadn't already read that sounded good. This was was great - good story, good humor, lots of fun to read. And as a bonus, it gave me a book to read for the prompt "the next book in a series you started" which was A Symphony of Echoes.


message 48: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Woodman York | 31 comments This is HARD! And I haven't finished the challenge in full yet! But, my choice for now:

Exiled to Freedom

Prompt: A book set in a country that fascinates you

Since I am fascinated by all countries, I didn't have to look too far for a book. But this book really thrilled me. Lyrical writing, history of the partition of India and Pakistan (which I didn't know about)... It was emotional, and just beautiful writing.


message 49: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Gone with the Wind

Prompt: A book made into a movie I have seen

The writing style was easy to read, draws you into the characters lives. Love or hate Scarlett O Hara I had respect for her courage. This is also a great historical fiction story on the Civil War. Told in the perspective of the southerners who lived through the war and its aftermath.


message 50: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 1888 comments Just one, it has to be the one that comes first to mind when anyone asks if I've read any good books lately:

Title/author of a favorite book you read for this year's challenge:
The Last Watchman of Old Cairo by Michael David Lukas

Prompt you used it for: Twins

Two to three sentences on why you loved it: Compelling storylines in 3 different time periods kept me reading long into the night while beautiful writing gave much to savor. And certain assumptions that suddenly were turned on their head at the end have left me thinking more deeply about this novel than I first expected. I did not want it to end.


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