Summer 2023 Reading Challenge

Summer 2023 Reading Challenge

Ready for an adventure? We’re going on a road trip. Reading challenge style!

This summer, we’re hitting the road with a “choose your own reading adventure” challenge. Below, you’ll find eight different road trip decisions, each with three choices. It’s up to you to decide where you’re going, who you’re bringing along, and all the other fun road trip decisions like snacks, tunes, and sightseeing!

How it works:

1. Pick a book that matches one of the choices. For example, the very first thing we’ll have to decide is our destination! For this prompt, readers can choose a book set:

a) at the beach,
b) in the city,
or c) in the woods.

The books you pick don’t have to be summer or road-trip-themed. (Ex: You might choose option C above and decide to read Ruth Ware’s In a Dark Dark Wood.) As with all our challenges, readers are encouraged to get as creative as they’d like when interpreting the prompts.

2. Read the book!

3. Repeat for all eight road trip decisions.

There are eight unique decisions to be made for this challenge. Each decision comes with three unique prompts and readers can decide to complete one, two, or all three of the prompts for each decision.

This means that over the course of the next three months, you’ll read at least eight different books for this challenge — but you may read more. Maybe you want to stop at more than one sightseeing location, or you want a sweet snack and a spicy one! This adventure is entirely up to you. The more options you pick, the more books you’ll read. (There is the possibility of reading up to 24 books for this challenge.)

This reading challenge will run from June 1 – August 31, 2023.

Have more questions? Keep reading, or check out our summer 2023 challenge video — we walk through it all!

Other Challenge Tips:

  • This challenge runs for the months of June, July, and August and will be in lieu of any 52 Book Club mini-challenges during this time.

  • What if I can’t finish the challenge during this time span? Not a problem! As always, you’re welcome to complete any of our challenges at any time. Not in the Northern Hemisphere? Feel free to hold off on this challenge for a while, or join in and complete it now anyway! Winter road trips are fun too.

  • Do I have to complete this challenge in order? While the decisions are numbered 1-8, this challenge can be completed in any order. You may decide to work through it in order or bounce around — whatever works best for you and your reading style.


Don’t forget to share your road trip reads on social media! Use #the52bookclub2023 when sharing on Instagram or other social sites. You can also find this challenge on Goodreads or The Storygraph.

All our graphics are available for download below.

We’ve also teamed up with our sticker partner, PlanItWithStickers to offer Summer 2023 Challenge prompt stickers! These colorful stickers match our summer challenge and are perfect if you use a physical journal for tracking or logging your reads. You can purchase those here, at ($12 a set. Don’t forget to use the code 52BOOKS for 10% off!)

The Challenge:

All the decision cards are available for download at the bottom of this page. You can also choose a printable version for tracking your reads, or purchase stickers from

Ready for this road trip? Let’s go!

1) Choose your road trip DESTINATION

For this prompt, choose the destination of your road trip. Pick a book set either a) at the beach, b) in the city, or c) in the woods. This should be one of the primary settings for the book, but it may also include secondary locations.

Goodreads Lists:
Set at the beach
Set in the city
Set in the woods

2) Choose your road trip BUDDIES

Let’s pick our travel mates! For this road trip decision, choose between bringing along a) a best friend, b) a pet or c) the whole family. Pick a book that features one of these options as characters within the story.

It’s up to you whether the characters are primary or secondary characters. (For example, you might choose option c and decide to read a family drama written from the point of view of multiple members. Or, you might choose a book with a character whose large family only appears in a few scenes throughout the story.)

Goodreads Lists:
Books with best friends
Books featuring a pet
Books featuring the whole family

3) Choose your road trip VEHICLE

Which vehicle are you hopping into? We’ve got three options lined up for you: a) a 1960 camper van, b) a 1970 VW Beetle, or c) a 1980 Mustang convertible. For this prompt, choose a book published in the decade listed.

For example: If you choose the 1960 camper van, you’ll want to pick a book published in the 1960s. This means any book published from 1960-1969 counts toward this prompt.

Goodreads Lists:
Book published in 1960s
Book published in 1970s
Book published in 1980s

4) Choose your road trip SNACKS

If we’re going on a road trip, we’ve got to have snacks! So, what are you going to pick? A) Hot and Spicy, B) Light & Sweet, or C) Satisfy a Craving?

For this prompt, we’re looking at book themes. Your “Hot & Spicy” pick may be a romance story or a book with a plot that you think “sizzles.” “Light & Sweet” is the perfect sort of beach read book, something light and cute. Or, for a bit of a freebie, satisfy a craving! What book have you been meaning to read but just haven’t gotten to yet?

You might also choose to interpret these options with covers that have a “hot and spicy” or “light and sweet” feel, or with the words themselves appearing somewhere in the title. As always, feel free to get creative!

Goodreads Lists:
Hot & Spicy Reads
Light & Sweet Reads
Satisfy a craving (No GR list for this prompt)

5) Choose your road trip TUNES

What’s a road trip without music? For this prompt, we want books INSPIRED by the following genres of music: A) Classical, B) Rock & Roll, or C) Country.

For classical, you may choose a book that is considered a classic. You might also pick a book like Every Note Played about a famous concert pianist, or a book about a character who composes or plays classical music. It may also be a book somehow referencing classical music or art on its cover or in the title, like The Mozart Code.

Similarly, your Rock & Roll pick may include books about rockstars (fiction or non-fiction.) It might include a character who plays Rock & Roll music in their parents’ garage, or on a stage for hundreds of thousands. There may be a Rock ‘N Roll reference in the title or on the cover, or it may be an overall vibe for the story.

For option C) you may choose a book set in the countryside. You might pick a character who plays or loves country music, or a book set in a place known for its country music, like Nashville. As with the above two options, the word country or a reference to country music may appear in the book’s title or on its cover.

You may choose a more obvious reference for this prompt, or go with something more obscure like a general feeling: “If country music was a book, THIS is it!” etc. These prompts all have ENDLESS options, so get creative and have fun!

Goodreads Lists:
Inspired by Classical Music
Inspired by Rock & Roll
Inspired by Country Music

6) Choose your road trip SIGHTS TO SEE.

Stop! Did you see that sign for the World Famous Gopher Hole Museum? Or the World’s Largest Paper Cup? (Yep, those are both real places!) It’s time for a quick sightseeing stop. Or, two or three!

For this prompt, choose a book with either A) Famous artwork, B) A Historic site, or C) Mountains on the cover.

As with all our cover prompts, feel free to get creative! For example, let’s say you chose option A: famous artwork. You could pick a book that has famous artwork included in the cover design. It could also be the name of a famous painting or art museum in the title, or it could be an author who shares the same name as a famous painter or painting. The artwork could be referenced in a subtitle, or on the back cover in the blurb about the book.

The above ideas apply to both options B) and C) as well – just substitute historic sites or mountains.

What is a historic site? According to Wikipedia, “A historic site or heritage site is an official location where pieces of political, military, cultural, or social history have been preserved due to their cultural heritage value. Historic sites are usually protected by law, and many have been recognized with the official national historic site status.”

Goodreads Lists:
Famous artwork on the cover
Historic Site on the cover
Mountains on the cover

7) Choose your road trip MISHAP

Oh-no! We’ve hit a bump in the road. Like all road trips, things haven’t gone quite according to plan. Decide whether A) You’re out of gas! B) You’re Lost! Or C) You have to take a detour! Each option comes with its own unique prompt.

A) Out of gas – Pick a book from a series that’s not finished yet.
B) We’re lost! – Pick a book with the word “lost” or “missing” in the title.
C) Detour! – Pick a book that you’ve been avoiding.

Goodreads Lists:
Series that aren’t finished yet
The word “lost” or “missing” in the title
A book you’ve been avoiding (No GR list for this prompt)

8) Choose your road trip CONCLUSION

After countless bathroom breaks, a few traffic jams, and hours of open road, we’ve reached our destination! It’s time to decide how your road trip went. Each option comes with its own unique prompt.

A) It was a blast! Let’s do it again! – Choose a book you’ve read before. Time for a re-read!
B) I’ll never forget that journey! — Choose a memoir.
C) Ugh. Next time I’m going to fly. – Choose a book with an airplane on the cover.

Goodreads Lists:
A re-read (no GR list for this prompt)
A memoir
An airplane on the cover


Don’t forget, you can pick one, two, or all three choices for each road trip decision! This adventure is entirely in your hands! Use the options below to download the challenge graphics and start your reading road trip today!

Summer Stickers

Want to track your reads in a physical journal? Don’t forget you can purchase summer reading challenge prompt stickers from our official sticker partner, PlanItWithStickers! This two-page set contains all 24 prompts. Use our code 52BOOKS for 10% off your order!

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