Last year, we at Page and Prose decided to do The 52 Book Club’s annual reading challenge. Although we didn’t actually finish the list of prompts, we had a ton of fun in the process, and you can see how far we got right here. As such, we have resolved to do this year’s reading challenge as well!

 

We are going to follow the same rules as we did last year:

  • Hailey’s listed books will not be the same as my listed books, because where is the fun in that?
  • We are not counting any of the books we reread within this calendar year. Hailey and I reread books a lot, so it would be an unfair advantage on our part. That is right, Hailey, we are not getting rid of this rule! It would be WAYYY too easy otherwise!
  • We are also not counting books that we end up DNFing, because obviously.
  • On the other hand, we are allowed to interpret questions as creatively as we like. If we can defend how a book fits one of the prompts, it counts!
  • If either of us fails to complete the challenge, we will face an as-yet-undetermined Dire Consequence.

Warning! The titles listed below are not necessarily books we loved, or even books that we would recommend; we are just completing the requirements of the prompts. However, we will definitely steer people away from any truly egregious books below.

 

And so, here are our responses for the 2022 Reading Challenge:

 

  1. ✌ A second-person narrative
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  2. πŸ“• Featuring a library or bookstore
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    • Nightchaser, by Amanda Bouchet. Features a bookstore with a secret stash of banned books, and a whole underground book trade that is spreading information under the evil Emperor’s nose. – S
  3. E Title starting with the letter “E”
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    • Ethan of Athos, by Lois McMaster Bujold. Um…self-evident. – S
  4. F Title starting with the letter “F”
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    • Freedom’s Landing, by Anne McCaffrey. Um…also self-evident. (PS: I do not recommend the book, though. It has…issues, to say the least.) – S
  5. πŸ“‘ Chapters have titles
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    • Iron Widow, by Xiran Jay Zhao. My favourite of said titles was definitely “My Ever-Growing Hit List”. – S
  6. 🍽 Household object on the cover
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    • The Midnight Bargain, by C. L. Polk. The cover page shows a lovely, old-fashioned pocket watch. – S
  7. πŸ₯‡ A non-fiction bestseller
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  8. 🎨 Involving the art world
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    • The Cinderella Deal, by Jennifer Crusie. Daisy is a struggling artist, hoping to display her work in a professional gallery. – S
  9. πŸ˜ƒ A book that sparks joy
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    • Waiting for the Flood, by Alexis Hall. I mean, almost everything by Alexis Hall sparks joy, so it’s not surprising. – S
  10. πŸ‘©πŸ½ A book based on a real person
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    • Matrix, by Lauren Groff. Relates a fictionalized account of the life of Marie de France, a medieval scholar and poet about whom very little is known. The author also drew inspiration from other historical figures such as Hildegard of Bingen and Clare of Assisi. – S
  11. πŸ“‰ A book with less than 2022 Goodreads ratings
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    • The Jade Temptress, by Jeannie Lin. This book has a shockingly low 724 ratings on Goodreads, as of the typing of this message. Why?? Read more Jeannie Lin, people! She writes good stuff! – S
  12. 🌎 Set on at least two continents
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  13. πŸ‘­ Includes a club
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  14. πŸ¦Έβ€β™€οΈ A character with superhuman ability
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    • Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust. Soraya is cursed, such that her touch will poison any living thing. – S
  15. 5️⃣ A five-syllable title
    • Magic for Liars, by Sarah Gailey (Confirmed in second-grade fashion, by clapping while repeatedly muttering the title to myself.) – H
    • The Lotus Palace, by Jeannie Lin. (Gotta say, Hailey’s clapping-and-muttering method really works!) – S
  16. β›± A book you’ve seen someone reading in a public place
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    • The Trojan Women, by Pat Barker. Instagram is a public place, isn’t it? Because I don’t leave my house anymore, what with the plague and all. – S
  17. πŸ“š A book picked based on its spine
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  18. 🎩 Jane Austen-inspired
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  19. 🎭 A book that has an alternate title
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  20. πŸ’° Related to the word “gold”
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    • Glitterland, by Alexis Hall. “Not all that glitters is gold”, and whatnot. Or, if you want to go Tolkienian, “All that is gold does not glitter”. – S
  21. πŸ“ Published by Simon & Schuster
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    • Yellow Wife, by Sadeqa Johnson. – S
  22. πŸ•΅οΈβ€β™€οΈ An unlikely detective
    • The London Eye Mystery, by Siobhan Dowd (Ted, a 12 year old on the Autism spectrum, and his elder sister Kate, attempt to solve the mystery of their cousin’s disappearance.) – H
    • The Girl Who Knew Too Much, by Amanda Quick. Irene is a Hollywood gossip columnist in the 1930s, and gets caught up in the murder of a glitzy starlet. – S
  23. XYZ Author with an X, Y, or Z in their name
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    • Rose Cottage, by Mary Stewart. – S
  24. πŸ“’ Addresses a specific topic
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    • A Rogue of One’s Own, by Evie Dunmore. The whole series focuses on the 1880s British suffragette movement, and particularly the fight to reform the Married Women’s Property Act. – S
  25.  πŸ’΅ A wealthy character
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    • Breath of Fire, by Amanda Bouchet. Most of the main characters are royals with piles of accumulated riches in their treasury. (Book 2 of 3) – S
  26. πŸ–‹ Has an “Author’s Note”
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    • The Ghost Bride, by Yangsze Choo. The author’s note describes the Malaysian setting, as well as the real-life phenomenon of “ghost brides”. – S
  27. πŸ—Ί Includes a map
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    • A Promise of Fire, by Amanda Bouchet. Includes a map of the fictional land of Thalyria at the start of my e-book version. (Book 1 of 3) – S
  28. πŸ† Award-winning book from your country
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  29. 🌏 Over 500 pages long
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  30. 🎧 Audiobook is narrated by the author
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    • The Anthropocene Reviewed, by John Green. – S
  31. πŸ”¬ Technology-themed
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    • Hunt the Stars, by Jessie Mihalik. Set in the distant future, with planet-hopping, spaceships, cybernetic implants, and other such technologies. – S
  32. 😨 A book that intimidates you
    • Verity by Colleen Hoover (This book had a lot of hype on social media but there were also quite a few people horrified by the subject matter so I was on the fence about reading it for a few years.  It was the March selection for one of my book clubs so I was finally given the push.) – H
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  33. πŸ—¨ πŸ’¬ A bilingual character
    • Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley (Daunis speaks English and Anishinaabemowin throughout the novel.  It is also mentioned that she knows French and Italian) – H
    • Dial A for Aunties, by Jesse Q. Sutanto. Meddie’s her mother and all three aunties can speak Indonesian, Mandarin, and English, and assorted other characters are also bilingual. – S
  34. πŸ“Έ An author’s photo on the back cover
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  35. 😈 From the villain’s perspective
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  36. 😘 Recommended by a favourite author
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    • Seven Days in June, by Tia Williams. This book appeared on several recommendation lists, including K. J. Charles’ Goodreads list. – S
  37. 🏞 Set in a rural area
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    • The Prince and the Pilgrim, by Mary Stewart. Set in Arthurian England, the story involves a LOT of travelling through forests and along lakes. – S
  38. πŸ“– Don’t judge a book by its cover!
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    • A Lady for a Duke, by Alexis Hall. The cover page is lovely, but it doesn’t advertise how FRICKIN’ AMAZING the story is. Viola is a transgender woman in 1800s England, and Alexis Hall relates her story within a sensitive, emotional love story. – S
  39. πŸ›΄ A middle-grade novel
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  40. πŸ–Ό A book with photographs inside
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    • Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov. The author included portrait photos of his family through the ages, as well as later casual snapshots of himself. – S
  41. ⭐ Involves a second chance
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    • The Night Mark, by Tiffany Reisz. Faye gets a second chance to live out her life as a 1920s girl. And I guess Carrick gets a second chance to be with Faye/Faith? I dunno, this was a weird book. – S
  42. πŸ’» An indie read
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  43. πŸ§™β€β™‚οΈπŸ§›β€β™‚οΈ Author who’s published in more than one genre
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    • My Fair Concubine, by Jeannie Lin. The author has published in romance, mystery, fantasy, and steampunk — talk about over-achieving! – S
  44. πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦ An anthology
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  45. πŸ™‹β€β™€οΈ A book with illustrated people on the cover
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    • The Silence of the Girls, by Pat Barker. The cover of the version I read had this lovely, Greek vase inspired artwork, and the illustration prominently focused on three women moving across the foreground. – S
  46. πŸ”¨ A job title in the title
    • Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller (Piracy is a job … perhaps not a reputable job but people did make their living by plundering ships on the high seas, so definitely it counts!) – H  (I agree! – S)
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  47. πŸ‚ Read during the month of November
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  48. β™» Redo one of this year’s prompts but with a different genre
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    • (#41: Involves a second chance) Heart on Fire, by Amanda Bouchet. The main character gets a second chance after **spoilers** ending up in Tartarus. (Book 3 of 3) – S
  49. H/S Book title starts with the same letter as your first name
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    • She Who Became the Sun, by Shelley Park-Chan. – S
  50. πŸ‘¨πŸΎ A person of colour as the main character
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    • A Dance with Danger, by Jeannie Lin. Set in medieval China, during the Tang Dynasty! – S
  51. πŸ€ The word “game” in the title
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  52. πŸ“† Published in 2022
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PS: Reader, feel free to play along with this challenge. Let us know what you are reading in the comments, or by email! Let us know of creative ways you would complete one of the prompts, or what you think of some of the books we ended up reading!

 

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