October 2023 Mini-Challenge
How do you celebrate the month of October? Depending on where you live, you may or may not be tossing back pumpkin spice lattes or have a jack-o-lantern sitting on your front step, but we all love cozy nights spent cuddled up with a good book. And this month’s mini-challenge embraces just that — giving you room to cross the thrilling, the mysterious, or the spooky off your October TBR!
Earlier this week, we tried something brand new and shared three clues to our October challenge. We wanted to see if you could guess the prompts before we released them. (Be sure to sign up for e-mails so you don’t miss out on any future fun!) The clues were:
1) This genre is often set in Victoria-Era England
2) The opening line of a famous children’s novel. Newbery Medal Winner.
3) A setting that may give your character goosebumps.
I can confirm that the correct answers were definitely floating around the Facebook group this week! Well done! Think you guessed them? Keep scrolling to see this month’s prompts!
What is a mini-challenge:
Mini-challenges are small, month-long reading challenges. They usually contain two or 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 and anticipation are part of the fun!)
Keep in mind that books do not have to match the theme. Any book or genre that fits the prompts will work!
October 2023 Mini-Challenge:
2. “It was a dark and stormy night”
3. Has a graveyard scene
Match one book to each of the prompts (for a total of three books). Share your picks in our Facebook group, Goodreads group, or on Instagram using the hashtag #the52bookclub2023. You can also find these listed as bonus prompts on our StoryGraph challenge.
You can choose to read these books in addition to your regular 52 Book Club reads (this mini-challenge makes 67 prompts for the year so far, not counting our summer challenge), or you can combine them with prompts still left on your 2023 list. As always, get creative and have fun!
Need some help interpreting these prompts?
- Steampunk: “Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction that incorporates retrofuturistic technology and aesthetics inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery. Steampunk works are often set in an alternative history of the Victorian era or the American “Wild West”, where steam power remains in mainstream use, or in a fantasy world that similarly employs steam power.” (Wikipedia)
Steampunk may incorporate elements from fantasy, horror, historical fiction, or alternate history genres. This genre came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s, but is influenced by authors like H.G Wells, Mary Shelley, Jules Verne, etc.
Examples: Leviathan, Boneshaker, The Golden Compass, The Time Machine
Goodreads List: Steampunk
- “It was a dark and stormy night:” This prompt is open to a wide range of interpretations. While this is not at all an exhaustive list, here are a few ideas to get you started. For example, you may choose:
– A book that starts with the sentence, “It was a dark and stormy night.” (Ex: A Wrinkle in Time, Paul Clifford)
– A book that has the words “dark” or “stormy” in the title.
– A title with a pun on “A dark and stormy night.” (Example: A Dead and Stormy Night)
– A book with a stormy setting
– A book that makes a perfect read for a dark or stormy night (cozy, horror, whatever that looks like for you.)
– A cover with a storm on it
– A story featuring hurricanes, snow storms, wind storms, etc.
Have other creative ideas or interpretations? Don’t forget to share them in our Facebook group or in the comments below!
Examples: A Wrinkle in Time, This is How We End Things, It Was a Dark and Stormy Night, A Dark and Stormy Tea
Goodreads List: It was a dark and stormy night
- Has a graveyard scene: For this prompt, we’re looking for books that have a scene set in a graveyard or cemetery. This does not need to be a spooky, scary, or mysterious read — although it may be if you wish. The book could have a large portion of the plot set within a graveyard, or the setting could simply be featured in a small scene.
Examples: The Phantom of the Opera, The Graveyard Book, Lincoln in the Bardo, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Goodreads List: Has a graveyard scene
Other Mini-Challenge Tips:
– Do I have to complete this challenge in October?
Nope! You can complete this mini-challenge whenever you like! If you don’t finish this mini-challenge this month, feel free to carry the prompts over into the coming months. Some members also prefer to complete their full 52 book challenge first and then go back to complete the mini-challenges after. Do whatever works for you!
– Is this a part of the main 52 books challenge?
Mini-challenges are related to our full 52 books in 52 weeks challenge but they’re also completely optional. You can choose to add it to your main challenge or not. If fifty-two books already feels like a stretch, feel free to skip the mini-challenges or double up the prompts. (Some members use one book to cross off a 52 prompt and a mini-challenge prompt. Your challenge, your rules!)
What books will you be picking this month?