PopCulture Readathon | 90’s Nostalgia Meets Books

So, if you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know I do not do readathons. Historically I’ve never finished one out, and as a chronic mood reader, readathons—long, short, and in between—have been the bane of my blogging existence. I also have a bit of a rebel streak when it comes to what feels like required reading, and regardless of the structure of most readathons, my brain always defaults to ‘nope, not gonna do it.’

However, as a 90’s kid who’s easily susceptible to nostalgia, I would only be doing myself a disservice for not participating in the PopCulture Readathon. Hosted by Whitney (a damn delight on the TL with her reading live Tweets and overall Book Badass) and Lorryn (sweetest of beans and co-founder of the Pages & Prose Book Club) the PopCulture Readathon brings together a love of iconic 90’s movies, bingo boards, and books. Featuring four themed boards, of which you can read the prompts from one, some, or all, it makes for a good excuse to reconnect with some old faves while trekking through those July TBRs.

The Boards

Gorgeous boards, right? There are also two sets of variants (blank with the movie caps as backgrounds, and one with the movie caps removed) you can get a hold of from the PopC Readathon Discord (as well as connect with the rest of the community of participants) or from the official Twitter account. You don’t have to fill all the prompts; like regular bingo, the idea is to get a line vertical, horizontal, or diagonal by reading books that fulfill the prompts (but if you want to be a try-hard, you can definitely attempt reading for the entire board.)

The TBR

Being the aforementioned mood reader, I decided rather than choosing four books to make bingo on the Adult Table board ahead of time, I’d select a book for each prompt (minus two that I genuinely did not have books for) and see if my mood lets me win bingo. Since the readathon goes on for the month, this is probably the best way for me to hit bingo without dipping out under the pressure of required reading.

  • Titanic: A historical fiction novel(la.)
    The Murmur of Bees by Sofia Segovia
  • Poetic Justice: A book written in verse.
    The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
  • The First Wives Club: A book in your favorite genre.
    The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter
  • B.A.P.S Black American Princesses: A book with royalty.
    A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole
  • Pretty Woman: A book with a gorgeous cover.
    Freshwater by Akwake Emezi
  • Death Becomes Her: A backlist book.
    The Black Veins by Ashia Monet
  • It’s Friday, Craig: A book with 150 pages or less.
    Waiting on a Bright Moon by J.Y. Yang
  • Romy & Michelle: A book with a colorful cover.
    Everlasting Rose by Dhonielle Clayton
  • Sister Act: The first book in a series.
    The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin
  • Sister Act II: Back in the Habit: The second book in a series.
    The Shadowed Sun by N.K. Jemisin
  • Never Been Kissed: A romantic comedy.
    Pride, Prejudice, & Other Flavors by Sonali Dev
  • Soul Food: A book with a dysfunctional family or relationship.
    Swing Time by Zadie Smith
  • The Best Man: A book with a wedding.
    Unmarriagable by Soniah Kamal
  • Bad Boys: Pick up an action-packed read.
    War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi

Top Three Picks

While I’m going to leave my reading up to my ever-changing whims, there are a few choices on here I’ve been eyeballing for the longest time, either for being by a favorite author or the premise sounds really damn good. I’ll likely be prioritizing or leaning more towards:

Book cover image of the novel 'Freshwater' by Akwake Emezi

Freshwater by Akwake Emezi
An extraordinary debut novel, Freshwater explores the surreal experience of having a fractured self. It centers around a young Nigerian woman, Ada, who develops separate selves within her as a result of being born “with one foot on the other side.” Unsettling, heartwrenching, dark, and powerful, Freshwater is a sharp evocation of a rare way of experiencing the world, one that illuminates how we all construct our identities.

Full description on TheStoryGraph

The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter
The Omehi people have been fighting an unwinnable fight for almost two hundred years. Their society has been built around war and only war. The lucky ones are born gifted. One in every two thousand women has the power to call down dragons. One in every hundred men is able to magically transform himself into a bigger, stronger, faster killing machine.

Full description on TheStoryGraph

The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin
In the ancient city-state of Gujaareh, peace is the only law. Upon its rooftops and among the shadows of its cobbled streets wait the Gatherers – the keepers of this peace. Priests of the dream-goddess, their duty is to harvest the magic of the sleeping mind and use it to heal, soothe…and kill those judged corrupt.

Full description on TheStoryGraph.

Wrap-Up

The PopCulture Readathon is running all through the month of July, so feel free to hop on whenever you want! There’s a thriving community Discord where we’re sharing TBRs and recommendations, and once again don’t forget to check out and follow the official PCR Twitter as well as Whitney and Lorryn, who are masterfully running this readathon.

Happy July reading~


You can add all books mentioned in this post on TheStoryGraph, a Black-owned online book catalog comparable to Goodreads but completely independent of Amazon affiliation.

Annnd, if you’re enjoying the blog, you can leave me a tip over on Ko-Fi or if you’d like two months of free reading, you can sign up for Scribd with my link; I get a fancy one-month free kickback when you do and you can cancel anytime before your two months ends with no payment commitments.

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