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Looking for help with the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge in 2024? Here, you’ll get book recommendations for each of the fifty prompts from a full-time book blogger to help you crush your reading goals with the best books that meet the free reading challenge.

woman holding printout with prompts for the popsugar reading challenge 2024.

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge 2024

While perusing the 2024 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge prompts, I realized that SO many books were coming to mind that I should help others struggling to find not just any book that matches the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge prompts, but rather the BEST books for each category.

As someone who reads 100+ books every year, writes about books every day, and follows the publishing industry regularly, below are all my top picks for each of the prompts in the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge in 2024.

What is the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge?

The POPSUGAR Reading Challenge is a reading challenge for adults hosted by the popular digital media outlet of the same name each year. It contains a list of 45 prompts and 5 advanced prompts, for which readers select a themed book to read throughout the year. Readers can get support on Twitter and in their Facebook group.

2024 Prompts with Book Recommendations

1. A book with the word “leap” in the title: If you’re in business, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t by James C. Collins was my favorite non fiction read of 2023.

2. A bildungsroman (“a novel about the moral and psychological growth of the main character”): A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens feels like the prime example of this. It’s well worth the read, and you can listen to several audio versions narrated by famous actors.

3. A book about a 24-year-old: Into the Wild by John Krakauer is a pivotal American story set at this age, with all the trappings of a quarter-life crisis.

4. A book about a writer: Reese’s Book Club pick Yellowface by R.F. Kuang was GoodReads Best Fiction book of the year, and it’s a modern suspense novel about a struggling author “stealing” the work of her successful author friend after her death.

5. A book about K-pop: I’m honestly not familiar with any I found. PopSugar recommended Fireworks by Alice Lin.

6. A book about pirates: This isn’t really in my wheelhouse either. If you want to read a classic, Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson comes to mind.

7. A book about women’s sports and/or by a woman athlete: What Made Maddie Run by Kate Fagan is a thought-provoking non fiction narrative about the pressure placed on college athletes. Maddie, in particular, was a local student runner near me who committed suicide.

8. A book by a blind or visually impaired author: The Story of My Life by Helen Keller offers a quick and interesting perspective from this famous, historically significant woman.

9. A book by a deaf or hard-of-hearing author: True Biz by Sarah Novic is fiction, but it’s a Reese’s book club pick that details the people at a school for people who are deaf. The author is an instructor of Deaf studies, so given her experience and the content, in my humble opinion, this book “counts.”

10. A book by a self-published author: The Martian by Andy Weir always comes to mind here because it became such a massive sensation.

11. A book from a genre you typically avoid: Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros (a romantasy) was not at all in my wheelhouse but I, like everyone else, am now addicted to dragons.

12. A book from an animal’s POV: Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt is an insanely popular Read with Jenna Book Club pick about a woman’s friendship with an octopus.

13. A book originally published under a pen name: The first one that came to mind is Riley Sager. I enjoy all his thillers and especially loved his 2023 release, The Only One Left.

14. A book recommended by a bookseller: @TimTalksBooks from Nantucket Book Partners keeps recommending Oprah’s Book Club pick The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese, and I am going to pick it up in 2024.

15. A book recommended by a librarian: I consulted my friend Christine at The Uncorked Librarian here. She said her best literary travel moment was meeting Wayan from Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert in Bali.

16. A book set 24 years before you were born: This one will be different for everyone. I’m going to pick the year 2000 because if it doesn’t match your year, you still get another option that matches prompt 25 below. If you haven’t finished Harry Potter yet, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the one that was published then.

17. A book set in a travel destination on your bucket list: I placed Ruth Reichl’s new release The Paris Novel on my 2024 reading list because I love her very culinary books and we hope to head to Paris soon.

18. A book set in space: Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir is a really popular choice.

19. A book set in the future: I read Ray Bradbury’s banned book about banned books, Fahrenheit 451, three times in 2023, so that’s my best recommendation here.

20. A book set in the snow: Kristin Hannah’s The Great Alone, set in Alaska, was so utterly immersive.

21. A book that came out in a year that ends with “24”: I’m going to cheat (sort of) and pick one of my most anticipated 2024 book releases, The Women by Kristin Hannah.

22. A book that centers on video games: Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin was Book of the Month’s (and my own) best book of 2022.

23. A book that features dragons: Easiest prompt ever — Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros.

24. A book that takes place over the course of 24 hours: Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney is a nostalgic historical fiction narrative that takes place on New Year’s Eve. I recommend it every holiday season.

25. A book that was published 24 years ago: Gasp, this was actually the year 2000! Here, I’ll recommend my husband’s favorite book, the mega-bestseller The Tipping Point, a popular Malcolm Gladwell book.

26. A book that was turned into a musical: Two words: Alexander Hamilton.

27. A book where someone dies in the first chapter: One of my all-time favorite books, The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, is both a thriller and a family drama about grief at the same time.

28. A book with a main character who’s 42 years old: I was excited to see PopSugar recommend The Good Part by Sophie Cousens here because it’s on my reading list. Love her books!

29. A book with a neurodivergent main character: The Maid by Nita Prose is a popular Good Morning America book club pick with a quirky and charming protagonist who finds herself in the middle of a death investigation at the hotel where she works.

30. A book with a one-word title you had to look up in a dictionary: Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw immediately came to mind. The dictionary says it’s “a king of Cyprus who makes a female figure of ivory that is brought to life for him by Aphrodite.” I know it as the original theater version of My Fair Lady.

31. A book with a title that is a complete sentence: Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson is a popular locked room mystery on my 2024 reading list.

32. A book with an enemies-to-lovers plot: The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren is my favorite book for this trope, and it’s light, comedic, and escapist as well.

33. A book with an unreliable narrator: The mega-bestselling thriller The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is always the first one that comes to mind here.

34. A book with at least three POVs: Pulitzer Prize Finalist There There by Tommy Orange is the first one that comes to mind because I worked so hard to keep track of the stories of twelve modern Native American characters in Oakland. It was worth it.

35. A book with magical realism: One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle brings a woman’s mother “back to life” at age 30 in this stunner narrated on audio by actress Lauren Graham.

36. A book written by an incarcerated or formerly incarcerated person: The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton is an Oprah’s Book Club pick that’s always popular with readers of The Literary Lifestyle.

37. A book written during NaNoWriMo: I absolutely adored With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo, a diverse young adult novel with the most charming protagonist.

38. A cozy fantasy book: The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune will remind you of Shrek in all the right ways.

39. A fiction book by a trans or nonbinary author: Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender is a popular book that fits this prompt. I’ve heard a lot about it in banned book discussions.

40. A horror book by a BIPOC author: Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a social media favorite.

41. A memoir that explores queerness: Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe is a popular book that fits this prompt. I’ve heard a lot about it in banned book discussions.

42. A nonfiction book about Indigenous people: The Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann details the Osage murders that started the FBI. (You can watch the new movie adaptation too.)

43. A second-chance romance: Every Summer After by Carley Fortune is one of the most popular titles in this trope, and it has Summer lake vibes too.

44. An autobiography by a woman in rock ‘n’ roll: Just Kids by Patti Smith was the winner of the National Book Award detailing the rocker’s relationship with her photographer.

45. An LGBTQ+ romance novel: Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston is all the rage on social media, and there’s a recent adaptation you can watch too. The basic premise is America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales.

Advanced Prompts

1. A book in which a character sleeps for more than 24 hours: The only one I can think of is My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Otessa Moshfegh. I know some people who liked it and others who have said it’s weird.

2. A book with 24 letters in the title: Finlay Donovan Is Killing It by Elle Cosimano completely “kills it” as a light and somewhat comedic murder mystery.

3. A collection of at least 24 poems: Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman’s Call Us What We Carry is excellent (and quick!).

4. The 24th book of an author: I picked Elin Hilderbrand here because she’s publishing her final novel in 2024. Her 24th book was Winter in Paradise, which is a St. John’s Island mystery that can be read any time of year. 

5. A book that starts with the letter “X”: I’m going with Sue Grafton’s X because the title says it all.


The 2024 PopSugar Reading Challenge has fifty unique book prompts with lots of diversity and unique categories that will get you out of your reading comfort zone. I’ve shared my top pick for each prompt based on my vast reading experience and my full-time work in the book industry so you can make the most of the challenge.

I tried to pick a unique book for each prompt, but there’s one book I couldn’t help but recommend twice: the most popular book of 2023, Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros. So, if you only pick one from this list to read, make it that one!

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One Comment

  1. From what I’ve heard, the body positivity community is trying to make the word “fat” neutral so I’m pretty sure the popsugar team is using it correctly:)