Summer ’24 Reading Challenge

Summer 2024 Reading Challenge

*Note: This challenge is sport-themed but is not endorsed by or in any way
connected or related to any official sporting events or organizations.*

Are you ready for a new summer reading adventure?

This year, our summer reading challenge is inspired by sports! We’re celebrating competition, global community, and the dedication, hard work, and talent it requires to become the best of the best… with 24 sport-inspired prompts! And we invite you to “compete” for a bronze, silver, or gold medal — bookworm style, of course! (Note: No physical medals will be given out, but you will get the immense satisfaction of crushing your summer reading goals!)

How it works:

Our Summer ’24 Reading Challenge contains a total of 24 prompts. Depending on your personal reading goals, participants will read anywhere from 8-24 books for this challenge by choosing whether they’d like to complete the bronze, silver, or gold tiers.

Bronze Tier: To complete this bronze-level tier, readers will complete at least 8 prompts on this summer challenge. For added difficulty, readers can complete only the 8 bronze prompts. OR, for lesser difficulty, readers are welcome to pick any 8 prompts total from the challenge.

Silver Tier: To complete the silver-level tier, readers will complete at least 16 prompts from this summer challenge. For added difficulty, readers can restrict themselves to the 8 bronze-level prompts plus the 8 silver-level prompts only. OR, for lesser difficulty, readers are welcome to pick any 16 prompts total from the challenge.

Gold Tier: To complete the gold-level tier, readers will complete all 24 prompts from this summer challenge.

Once you decide whether you’ll be completing the gold, silver, or bronze tier — pick your prompts and match one book to each! Get creative and enjoy! (Remember that the only person you’re actually competing against is yourself! The goal is to have fun, try new books and authors, and read more! That looks different for all of us, and that’s okay!)

The prompts for this challenge are inspired by a variety of summer sports (with bookish twists, of course!) but the books you choose do not have to be sport-related. Books read for this challenge can be about any genre or topic. As long as you think the book fits the prompt, it does!

Important Details:

  • This challenge officially runs for the months of June, July, and August 2024. However, the prompts are timeless and you are welcome to participate and complete the challenge at any time.
  • This challenge is made up of 8 separate “events” ranging from opening ceremonies to swimming to team sports. Each event has three unique prompts built around a specific sport marked with a bronze, silver, or gold medal.

    The prompts are inspired by various sports but the books you choose do not need to be sport-related.

    For example, let’s look at the prompt, “Boxing: A strong opening hook.” This prompt has been inspired by the boxing term “hook” (a type of punch) but the book chosen for this prompt does not have to relate to, feature, or be about boxing. (Although you’re welcome to make that an added challenge, if you like!) As long as your book choice has “a strong opening hook” any genre or topic will fit this prompt.
  • Do I have to complete the challenge in order? Nope! You’re welcome to complete prompts in any order you like.
  • I need help with a prompt! We have tips and suggestions for each of the 24 prompts below. We also have specific Goodreads lists for each prompt and a separate Storygraph challenge for participants to share their book choices and recommendations. If you need further help, we invite you to join our 52 Book Club Facebook group or our 52 Book Club Goodreads group and join the conversation there!
  • Where can I download the Summer ’24 Reading Challenge graphics? All of our reading challenge graphics can be downloaded at the bottom of this page!

2024 Summer Journal

Since we know how much you love a customized challenge journal, as an optional extra, we’ve created a specific Summer ’24 Reading Challenge Journal! This journal contains review pages, planning pages, and summary pages for your 52 Book Club 2024 summer challenge. You can see exactly what’s inside by checking out the video on our YouTube channel, or the post on our website.

All our 52 Book Club journals are printed and shipped through Amazon. This means that the journals are available anywhere Amazon prints and ships (with some small regional exceptions.) Please note that journals ordered through Amazon Australia or Amazon Japan will have a black-and-white interior due to printing limitations in those Amazon regions. Journals ordered through all other Amazon regions will have a color interior.

2024 Summer Stickers

We’ve also teamed up with our sticker partner, PlanItWithStickers to offer Summer ’24 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. (They’ll fit in your Summer ’24 journal as well, or can be added to the note section of your 2024 journal!)

This sticker set includes 24 prompt stickers (one for each prompt on this summer challenge) and is printed on two 5×7 matte sticker sheets. You can purchase stickers at www.planitwithstickers.com. (International shipping available!)

The Summer ’24 Challenge

This summer 2024 reading challenge is made up of eight different “events” each comprised of three sport-inspired prompts. So, will you be going for gold, silver, or bronze? We can’t wait to see what books you come up with! Let’s go!

(Event graphics are available for download at the bottom of this page.)

Opening Ceremonies

It’s time for the 2024 Summer Reading Challenge opening ceremonies and for this first event, we have three new prompts for you to tackle!

1) Set in Paris Let the summer reading challenge begin! And, what better setting for the first read of this 2024 sport-inspired challenge than the site of the 2024 Olympic Games! For this prompt, choose any book set in Paris. This can be any genre (fiction or non-fiction), set during any time period, and either fully or partially set in Paris. (Remember that it doesn’t have to be set in Paris, France. Any Paris in the world will do!)

Goodreads list: Set in Paris

2) Flame on the cover — For our next prompt, choose a book with a flame on the cover. The flame may be a part of the cover design (either a literal or abstract interpretation of any fire) or it may be the word “flame” (or any variation of the word, ie: flames, flaming, etc.) in the title, series title, subtitle, or author’s name.

Goodreads list: Flame on the Cover

3) Go for gold — For this prompt, choose a book that is somehow related to gold or to the expression, “Going for gold.”

“Going for Gold” is an English idiom about setting and attempting to achieve goals, particularly trying to attain the highest possible reward or outcome. The book may feature a very goal-oriented character or someone striving to achieve a difficult or sought-after goal.

You may also choose a book with gold on the cover or featured within the plot. Gold may be a part of the cover design (graphics, color choice, word in the title, part of the author’s last name, etc.) It could also be an important part of the plot, setting, or theme. Other examples include books set during the gold rush, a bank heist, a greedy character, pirates, treasure hunters, etc. Get creative!

Goodreads list: Go for gold!

Athletics

4) 100M SPRINT: A short story collection For our first prompt in the athletics event, we’re doing some quick sprints and reading a short story collection. A short story collection is a book of short stories or novellas by the same author. The stories may or may not share the same theme, setting, or characters. (Remember that books chosen for this challenge do not have to be sport-related. This prompt was inspired by the 100m sprint but your short story collection can feature any genre, topic, or theme.)

Goodreads list: A short story collection

5) LONGJUMP: Audiobook is 15+ hours long — It’s on to the long jump! For this prompt, we’re looking for (you guessed it!) a long book. The audiobook version of the book you choose should be more than fifteen hours long. This doesn’t mean that you have to listen to the book on audio (although you’re welcome to do so!) As always, participants can complete prompts using any format of reading.

Need help? A quick web search using Audible or other audiobook sellers should reveal how many hours your book choice is on audio. As long as the audio version is more than fifteen hours long, you’re welcome to read that book as an audiobook, ebook, physical copy, live reading, etc!

Goodreads list: Audiobook is 15+ hours long

6) STEEPLECHASE: Character is a spiritual leader — Instead of jumping over water obstacles and racing around the track, for this steeplechase, we’re looking for a character who may (or may not) be associated with a different type of steeple – a spiritual or religious leader. Every religion has leaders and there are a lot of names to describe them. Some examples include (but are certainly not limited to): Chaplain, Deacon, Father, Imam, Guru, Master, Minister, Monk, Mullah, Nun, Pastor, Priest, Pope, Rabbi, Vicar, etc.

Any character who is a spiritual leader will fit this prompt. The character may be either a primary or secondary character. They may be a focus of the plot as a whole, or they may only appear for a small scene. The spiritual leader may be portrayed outside of their work and the book itself does not have to be about religion or spirituality. (For example, clergy members often appear in classic mysteries as amateur detectives or characters.)

Goodreads list: Character is a spiritual leader

Individual Sports

7) BOXING: A strong opening hook Watch out for your opponent’s right hook! It’s time for the individual sports and we’re starting with a boxing match. For this prompt, we’re looking for a book with “a strong opening hook.” A hook is a sentence or two that piques the reader’s interest and compels them to keep reading. (Think of it like an elevator pitch!) The hook may be written on the cover, it may be the first sentence in the book blurb or summary, or it may be the opening sentence in the book.

Goodreads list: A strong opening hook

8) WRESTLING: A heavy read We’ve entered the wrestling competition and we’re competing in a heavyweight bracket. For this prompt, choose a “heavy” read.

There are a variety of ways to interpret the word “heavy,” so get creative! For example, you may choose a physically heavy book. Or, you might pick an emotionally heavy read: a book that makes you cry, feel deeply reflective, or is about a difficult subject. Other interpretations could include a book with the word heavy in the title, something heavy on the cover, a character in a heavy metal band, a character who is a weightlifter or is physically very strong, a book about groundwater being polluted by a heavy metal like lead, a book about elephants, etc. Have fun with it! We can’t wait to see your creative ideas!

Goodreads list: A heavy read

9) FENCING: Dialogue with witty banter. Touché! Our final individual sport is fencing, which means that for this prompt, we’re looking for a book with witty banter. Witty banter is a lively, intelligent, and humorous, conversation technique often used in flirting. You may also decide on a book with a particular character who could be described as “witty,” a memoir by a comedian, an overall witty writing style by the author, etc.

Goodreads list: Dialogue with witty banter

Gymnastics

10) BALANCE BEAM: About finding balance in life — We’re opening the gymnastics competition with the balance beam! For this prompt, we’re looking for a book about finding balance in life. This prompt works equally well as either fiction or non-fiction. The definition of “finding balance in life” will look different for each of us but overall, the book you choose should tackle this topic in some form or another. Some examples may include a character who has an unhealthy work-life balance and wants to (or is forced to) change that, a book about setting boundaries, a character who is finally taking time for themselves, etc. Finding balance could be about any area of life.

Goodreads list: About finding balance in life

11) UNEVEN BARS: Series with an uneven number of books Moving on to the next element in this gymnastics event, it’s the uneven bars! To earn your silver medal in gymnastics, we’re looking for any book from a series with an uneven number of books. (Example: 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, etc.) The series doesn’t need to be complete but the current number of books published should be uneven. You do not need to read the entire series, simply one book from the series, and the book you read can be any number in the series.

Goodreads list: Series with an uneven number of books

12) RINGS: Jewelry on the cover — This cover-related prompt is inspired by the name of our next gymnastics event – the rings! For this prompt, we’re looking for a book with jewelry on the cover. Any type of jewelry counts (rings, bracelets, earrings, tiaras, etc.) It may be a prominent part of the cover design or more subtle. You may also choose a book with any jewelry-related words in the title, subtitle, or series title. (Examples of words in the title could be: jewelry (any spelling), rings, bracelet, earrings, necklace, crown, tiara, brooch, cufflink, pendant, etc.)

Goodreads list: Jewelry on the cover

Water

13) SYNCHRONIZED DIVING: A sports romance For our fourth sporting event of the summer, we’re diving into the pool – specifically starting with some synchronized diving. For this prompt, pick any sports romance novel. This is a sub-genre of the romance genre. Books may feature any sport at any level – college, professional, amateur, hobby, etc. but the sports element should be prominently featured within the book.

Goodreads list: A sports romance

14) WATER POLO: A book that made a splash Join us for this water polo-inspired prompt with “a book that made a splash.” The prompt could feature a book that received a lot of attention (positive or negative) when it was released, or a newer book that’s become an overnight success. You could also choose a book with a watery-themed cover, a used book that looks like it might have literally gotten splashed, the word “splash” or “splashed” in the title, etc. (As a creative twist, any book read on a waterproof Kobo or e-reader, or read in the bath could work too!) We invite you to get creative and think outside the box as there are many interpretations for this prompt!

Goodreads list: A book that made a splash

15) BUTTERFLY: Plot featuring the “butterfly effect” It’s the final of the 100m butterfly, the buzzer has sounded, and the swimmers are off! This third prompt in the water event is for a plot featuring the “butterfly effect.” The butterfly effect is the idea that a small, trivial choice can ultimately result in something with much bigger consequences. This could be something on a personal scale or a larger global scale (For example: The assassination of Franz Ferdinand triggering WWI.)

No need to dive too deep into chaos theory, though! Interpretations will widely vary for this prompt, so if you think a book fits — it does! Examples may include books that show multiple realities for a character based on different choices they make, a decision that sets off a chain reaction, a character who can pinpoint a specific action that brought them to where they are now in life, time travelers changing history, etc.

The book does not have to specifically mention the “butterfly effect,” but it may be featured in the title, description, or the book itself.

Goodreads list: Plot featuring the butterfly effect

Cycling

Grab your bikes! The sixth event in our Summer ’24 Reading Challenge is inspired by cycling!

16) ROAD CYCLING: Time period without modern transportation — We’re hitting the road! For our “road cycling” inspired prompt, we’re looking for a book set in a time period without modern transportation. Modern transportation can include (but is not limited to): automobiles, airplanes, spaceships, trains, etc. Books for this prompt will likely be set several hundred years or more in the past but may also be set in alternate universes, fantasy worlds, or dystopian futures without modern transportation. It is up to individual participants what they define as “modern.”

Goodreads list: Time period without modern transportation

17) TEAM PURSUIT: Featuring a group of friends It’s time for a team pursuit! For this prompt, choose any book featuring a group of friends. The book may be told from multiple perspectives or not. Their friendship and group dynamics / individual relationships with each other will likely play into the plot and story as a whole but may or may not be the core focus of the story.

Goodreads list: Featuring a group of friends

18) CROSS-COUNTRY: Related to the word “endurance” Cross-country is a cycling event that severely tests participants’ skill, stamina, and endurance. That’s why, for this prompt, we’re choosing books that somehow relate to the word “endurance.” Miriam-Webster defines endurance as, “the ability to withstand hardship or adversity; especially, the ability to sustain a prolonged stressful effort or activity.”

This may relate to the theme of the book as a whole, a specific character who endures an event, or a non-fiction read on what it means or looks like to endure. The word “endurance” or “endure” may be featured in the title, subtitle, or series title. As long as the book somehow ties to the word endurance, it fits! (For example: Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic expedition was on a boat called the Endurance.)

Goodreads list: Related to the word “endurance”

Team Sports

19) HANDBALL: Author who shares the same last name as an Olympian For this first prompt in our team sports event, we’re looking for an author who shares the same last name as an Olympian. This could be any Olympic or Paralympic athlete from any year, summer or winter Olympics, medal-winner or not. As long as the author and Olympian share at least one surname, it counts toward this prompt. The author’s last name may be a pseudonym.

Creative interpretations: You may use part of the Olympic athlete’s name within the author’s name, or vice versa. (For example: Olympian: Usain Bolt, and author: Sharon Bolton.) As another creative interpretation, you may choose a book written by the Olympic athlete themselves.

Goodreads list: Author shares same last name as an Oympian

20) VOLLEYBALL: Set in a country that wins a 2024 Olympic gold in Volleyball Bump. Set. Spike! We’re playing volleyball in this next team sport, and this is the one prompt that you won’t be able to complete until at least mid-August 2024. (Your last prompt of the summer challenge, perhaps?)

For this prompt, we’re looking for a book set in a country that wins a 2024 Olympic gold medal in volleyball. This could be for any of the following events: Men’s or Women’s Volleyball (indoor court, 6 players), Men’s or Women’s Beach Volleyball (sand court, 2 players), or Men’s or Women’s Sitting Volleyball (Paralympics, 6 players). Once the 2024 gold medal match has been played, pick a book set in the winning country.

2024 Men’s Gold in Volleyball Winner: TBA August 2024
2024 Women’s Gold in Volleyball Winner: TBA August 2024
2024 Men’s Gold in Beach Volleyball Winner: TBA August 2024
2024 Women’s Gold in Beach Volleyball Winner: TBA August 2024
2024 Women’s Gold in Sitting Volleyball Winner: TBA Sept 2024
2024 Men’s Gold in Sitting Volleyball Winner: TBA Sept 2024

If you want to prepare some choices in advance, you can check out the list of past winners here and try to place your bets!

Goodreads list: Not available until mid-August 2024

21) FOOTBALL / SOCCER: A double letter word in the title We may call this sport by different names depending on where we live, but regardless, both football and soccer are double-letter words — and that’s where the inspiration for this prompt comes from! Double letter words are words that contain at least one set of letters used twice consecutively. For example: football, soccer, bottom, gloomy, school, savvy, pretty, killer, keeper, deep, aardvark, etc.

As long as at least one word in the title has a double-letter word, it fits this prompt! The word can be in any language. Books may have alternate titles in other regions, but as long as at least one edition has a double-letter word in its title, you can read any edition of that book.

Goodreads list: A double letter word in the title

Closing Ceremonies

Our summer reading challenge is drawing to a close, but we’ve got three final prompts to wrap up with!

22) At least four Olympic ring colors on the cover — For this bronze-medal prompt, choose any book with at least four Olympic ring colors on the cover. The colors of the Olympic rings are: blue, black, red, yellow, and green.

The colors must appear on the cover somewhere, either as part of the cover design, title work, etc. They may be as prominent or subtle as you like. Keep in mind that covers vary depending on region and edition. As long as at least one edition has a cover with at least four of the colors blue, black, red, yellow, or green on it, you may read any edition of that book for this prompt.

Goodreads list: At least four Olympic ring colors on the cover

23) Author who hasn’t released a book in the past four years — Traditionally, the summer Olympics happen every four years. For this prompt, we’re looking for an author who hasn’t released a book in the past four years.

For those completing this challenge in summer 2024, choose an author who hasn’t published a book since 2020 or earlier. You can read any book in that author’s body of work. The author may or may not be currently working on another book. You may also choose an author who is deceased or who stopped writing decades ago.

Goodreads list: Author who hasn’t released a book in the past four years

24) Memoir / Biography about an Olympian — For our final gold-medal prompt of this 2024 summer reading challenge, we’re looking for memoirs or biographies about an Olympic athlete. This book may be about any Olympian or Paralympian, past or present, from either the Summer or Winter Games. You may also choose a book that highlights multiple Olympians from a specific sport, scandal, or event.

Goodreads list: Memoir / Biography about an Olympian

DOWNLOADS

Want to share your reads on your social sites? You can download each of the 8 event graphics, a free reading tracker printable, and a 24 book covers shareable below! (The event cards each include space to add book covers, book titles, and a star rating. We recommend downloading the graphics and then using a free online editing tool (like Canva) to edit and add your book choices.)

Happy reading, bookworms! Be sure to comment below and let us know which tier you’re planning on reading this summer, and which prompts you’re most excited for!

7 thoughts on “Summer ’24 Reading Challenge”

  1. I’m so excited! I was feeling a little at odds as I’m 10 books from finishing the main challenge. I’m so excited to have this abundance to juggle.

  2. This si going to be SO much fun! I’m hoping to go for Gold, though the Finding balance was a tricky one. I’m hoping that “I Love The Bones of You” by Christopher Eccleston will work for that.

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