May 2024 Mini-Challenge

May 2024 Mini-Challenge

Have you been missing the May minis? One of our moderators, Tara, recently pointed out that we haven’t had a May Mini-Challenge since 2021. It’s been far too long. So, let’s rectify that by bringing back the May!

What is a mini-challenge?

Mini-challenges are small, month-long reading challenges. They usually contain three prompts built around a specific theme. Match one book to each prompt, getting as creative as you like. If you think the book fits the prompt, it does! These mini-challenges are released sporadically and not every month will have one. (The surprise is part of the fun!)

The May Mini:

Since we haven’t had a May mini-challenge in three years (that wasn’t intentional, just how the schedule shook out) we’re excited to finally put this MAY theme to use! The majority of our mini-challenges are made up of three different prompts. Since “May” is the only month that is three letters long, we knew we wanted to play around with this. For this mini, our prompts correspond to each of the letters in the word, “May.”

May 2024 Mini-Challenge:

1. M — Author’s last name starts with the letter “M”

2. A is for Alpha

3. Y — An interrogative word in the title

Match one book to each of the prompts (for a total of three books). Share your picks in our Facebook groupGoodreads group, or on Instagram using the hashtag #the52bookclub2024. You can also find these listed as bonus prompts on our StoryGraph challenge.

Graphics & Printables:

Need some suggestions?

1) Author’s last name starts with the letter “M:” This first prompt on our May mini-challenge is super straightforward. Find an author whose last name begins with the letter M and dive in! Any book, format, or genre will work for this prompt — as long as it’s written by an author whose surname begins with M!

If you’re choosing an author who writes under a pseudonym, the “M” name can be the author’s legal last name or any M surname they publish under. This also applies for books written by ghostwriters or books with more than one author — as long as at least one author has a surname beginning with M, you can use it for this prompt.

Examples: Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery, Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A Milne, Life of Pi by Yaan Martel, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Beloved by Toni Morrison, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez, A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

Goodreads list: Author’s last name starts with the letter “M”

2) A is for Alpha: For this prompt, we’re looking for any book related to the word “alpha.” This is another opportunity to get creative as there are a lot of ways to interpret and play with this prompt. Here are just a few examples to get you thinking (this is not an exhaustive list!):

– Greek Letter: You may base your choice on the Greek letter, Alpha. You could interpret this as “Greek Life” with a character in a sorority or fraternity. You could also decide on a book set in or about ancient Greece. Greek letters may also be featured on the cover or tie into the story plot.

– Phonetic Alphabet: “Alpha” is the first letter in the phonetic alphabet, often used for radio communication. Therefore, you could interpret this prompt as a military thriller (Alpha team) or a character who works as a pilot, police officer, or in other emergency services or careers that use the phonetic alphabet.

– Characters: You might decide on a main character with an alpha personality — someone who is strong, powerful, and in charge. This may be a key part of the book (such as an alpha relationship in a romance or fantasy novel) or involve a secondary character or plot point. An alpha personality could also connect to the animal kingdom and feature an alpha animal (a dominant male or female at the top of their pack’s social hierarchy.)

– Theology: You may decide on a theology book based on the title for God, “Alpha” or “Alpha and Omega.”

– Alpha is a common term in mathematics and sciences (alpha radiation, alpha carbon, etc) so you may choose a book featuring these topics or a character who works in these areas.

– Alpha may also refer to something “first” or “primary.” You may choose the first book ever published by an author or the first book in a series.

– Any book with the word “Alpha” in the title or the phrase “A is for…” in the title will also work toward this prompt.

There are LOTS of options for this one, so get as creative as you like!

Examples: The Sorority Murder, The Song of Achilles, Space Case (Moon Base Alpha), The Alpha Female Wolf, A is for Alibi, West with the Night

Goodreads List: A is for Alpha

3) An interrogative word in the title: Interrogative words are used to ask questions: who, what, where, when, why, whose, which, and how? They are sometimes called “wh-words” or “question words.” For this prompt, choose any book with an interrogative word in the title or subtitle.

The title does not have to be a question, it just has to have an interrogative word in it. (For example: I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban.) Books may have alternate titles based on regions or translations but as long as at least one edition has an interrogative word in the title, it will work for this prompt. Interrogative words in any language can be used to fit this prompt.

Examples: Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?, The Girl Who Played With Fire, How to Win Friends and Influence People, What Alice Forgot, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Where the Wild Things Are, Where’d You Go, Bernadette, When in Rome

Goodreads List: An interrogative word in the title

Mini-challenge tips:

1) Do I have to complete this challenge in May?
Nope! You can complete this mini-challenge whenever you like. Some members prefer to focus on finishing the main 2024 challenge first, and then go back to complete all the minis afterward. Others enjoy the added challenge of completing mini-challenges in the month they’re released. If you start the May challenge but don’t finish this month, feel free to carry it over into the coming months. Do whatever works for you!

2) Is this a part of the main 52 books in 52 weeks challenge?
Yes and no. Mini-challenges are related to our 52 books in 52 weeks challenge but are also completely optional. Some members may decide to complete the full challenge and all the minis. Other members may choose to skip mini-challenges or to complete some of the minis but not all of them. Some challenge participants might only be joining in for the minis. It’s up to you how (or if) you’d like to participate.

3) Can I use the same books as my 52 book challenge?
It all depends on your personal reading goals! You can choose to read these books in addition to your regular 52 Book Club reads (this mini-challenge makes 61 prompts for 2024), or you can double up and combine them with prompts still left on your 2024 list. Your challenge, your rules!

Comment below and let us know what you’re reading this month!

6 thoughts on “May 2024 Mini-Challenge”

  1. Of course, I have been obsessing over when this Mini-Challenge would drop so I am thrilled to see another fantastic Mini-Challenge. Can’t wait to check the Goodreads lists and hunt my bookshelves.

    Liz-Thanks so much to you and your team for creating so much bookish joy!

  2. I have two books that fit the bill for all three prompts, and fit the 52 book challenge. I am very excited for this mini challenge.

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