Posted in Books, Reading Challenge, Winter

2020 Reading Challenges Done!

We are in halfway through December and I made it with the two Reading Challenges I wanted to get done this year: the Finnish (Helsinki Metropolitan Area Libraries) Helmet Reading Challenge and also the Popsugar Reading Challenge. If there was anything good about the year 2020, more time for reading was it. ❤

These are the books I read for the Helmet Reading Challenge.

So far I’ve read 69 books this year, which has to be a personal record! I read some amazing books, some ok books, and some not so impressive books. But overall this year brought many books that again I wouldn’t have read without the Reading Challenges.

Favorite books this year? Now that’s a tricky question. I gave many books 5 star ratings and some of the ones with 4 stars were really good too! But if I would have to pick my top 6 books I read in 2020, these would be the ones:

The top 6 books of this year took me very far into the past, the future, other countries and deep into the universe itself. I think the books reflect this year quite well: the longing for travel, the Black Lives Matter movement, need for escapism, the importance on mental wellbeing, getting perspective through the history and how very little we are in the scale of the universe (and what kind of obstacles we humans have already overcome to come to this moment).

Here are the Prompts and Books for the Helmet Reading Challenge:

1. The book is older than you:
Peril at End House by Agatha Christie
2. A happy book:
Paris for One and Other Stories by Jojo Moyes
3. A book that you have prejudice against
Astrophysics For People In A Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson
4. There are many people on the cover or in the description of the book
Huipputuloiset by Anu Kantola, Hanna Kuusela
5. A book by a Sámi author
Varjonyrkkeilijä by Inga Magga
6. The book’s title begins and ends with the same letter
Suuri Ravintohuijaus by Pirjo Saarnia
7. Someone breaks the law in the book:
Third Girl by Agatha Christie
8. A book that someone else chooses for you:
The Affair by Gill Paul
9. Someone faces their fears in the book:
Maybe You Should Talk To Someone by Lori Gottlieb
10. The book is located in a country that has fewer residents than Finland:
In the Woods by Tana French
11. An alternative history:
An Easy Death by Charlaine Harris
12. The book has been made into a play or an opera:
Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie
13. Someone gets lost in the book:
The Time of Contempt by Andrzej Sapkowski
14. A book that is related to sports:
Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie
15. A work of fiction that includes a real person:
Love and Death Among the Cheetahs by Rhys Bowen
16. A book plays an important role in the book:
The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan
17. A book written by a researcher:
The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold
18. A book on a subject you are unfamiliar with:
Mehiläisten Historia by Maja Lunde
19. A book that you read together with someone:
Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
20. A book on biodiversity:
Life Stories by Sir David Attenborough
21. You like the first sentence of the book:
More Than A Woman by Caitlin Moran
22. The book has an unreliable narrator:
The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
23. The book has also been published in plain language:
Yösyöttö by Eve Hietamies
24. A book by an author who has published more than 20 books:
Lord Edgware Dies by Agatha Christie
25. In the book, someone is on an island:
The Guest List by Lucy Foley
26. The author’s last name begins with the letter X, Y, Z, Å, Ä or Ö
Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn
27. A story written in verse, narrative poetry or a verse novel
Inside Out And Back Again by Thanhha Lai
28. A book about the future:
Skyward by Brandon Sanderson
29. A book or a comic book related to Japan
Ikigai by Hector Garcia Puigcerver
30. In the book, someone’s life is saved:
Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth
31. The book depicts life in the countryside:
Dying in the Wool by Frances Brody
32. A book originally published in a language that you do not know:
Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski
33. A transformation happens in the book:
Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
34. The title of the book contains a word related to nature:
Taken at the Flood by Agatha Christie
35. Someone in the book uses social media:
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
36. A book recommended by someone famous:
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
37. The era in which the book is set plays a key role in the book:
Westend by Suvi Vaarla
38. There is a tree on the cover or in the description of the book:
On Living by Kerry Egan
39. Someone flies in the book:
Naparetki by Bea Uusma
40. A book by an author who passed away in the 2010s:
Steering the Craft by Ursula K. Le Guin
41. Someone cooks or bakes in the book:
Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie
42. There are grandparents in the book:
Summer Book by Tove Jansson
43. A book published as part of a publisher’s series:
Voices from Chernobyl by Svetlana Alexievich
44. The book contains correspondence:
Cat Among the Pigeons by Agatha Christie
45. The first published book of an author:
Murha Maalaisidyllissä by Marie Bengts
46. There is a sauna in the book:
Yön Sydän on Jäätä by Virpi Hämeen-Anttila
47. Two books with very similar titles – book 1:
One Day by David Nicholls
48. Two books with very similar titles – book 2:
One Day In December by Josie Silver
49. A book published in 2020:
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
50. A book recommended by a member of the library staff:
Talven Henki – Anna Joulun Tulla by Ilona Pietiläinen

As always I enjoyed being able to push myself to read more books and different books. The best part of reading challenges is that they ancourage you to discover books outside of the books you’d usually read. Next year I will again try to read a bit more in my native language Finnish, even though I still prefer to read in English. 🙂 Here are some stats of the genres I read, and the home countries of the authors of the books I read:

Thank you Helmet Reading Challenge 2020, it has been a pleasure! I will see you again for the 2021 Reading Challenge!

And here are the books I read for the Popsugar 2020 Reading Challenge. There were a few different books read for this challenge but mostly the books are the same for both Helmet and Popsugar Reading Challenges. It was fun to participate in both Reading Challenges so I think I will continue to do so in 2021. 🙂


I love books, games and the coziness of our house (currently it's the kingdom of me and my husband). My work in a game studio as a Senior HR Specialist keeps me busy and social, but I am an introvert in my core. Navigating life between my very social work and my introvert, less social personality can be tricky and it goes hand in hand with my interest in overall personal well-being.

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