20? 15? 10? books of summer 2019

It’s officially summer in the northern hemisphere so time once again for the 20 Books of Summer challenge hosted by Cathy of 746books.com.

15 books of summerI’ve never yet managed to complete this challenge despite Cathy’s ultra flexibility with the “rules’. I suspect 2019 will be no different so there’s no point in going the whole hog with a list of 20 books. I’m going for the option of 15 books of summer and if I manage to read even 10 of them I’ll be dead chuffed.

Half of the fun of this challenge is putting together the list of books to read.  Since I’m not likely to be taking a summer holiday I shall use my reading to do my travelling for me. I’ve chosen 15 titles that will take me to different parts of the world.  Of course every journey has to start from home so the first book on my list comes from Wales. I may read the books the order below, travelling through Europe, crossing the Atlantic and then making my way east before dropping down to the southern hemisphere where by  September 3, when  this challenge finishes , it will be Spring…

So, my suitcase is packed. The tickets have arrived. My passport is up to date.  My journey begins on June 3.

Wales: Ghostbird by Carol Lovekin

France: Hotel Tito by  Ivana Simić Bodrožić.

Austria: A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler

Germany: Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada

Finland: The Midwife by Katja Kettu

Canada: One of Louise Penny’s detective novels  – not sure which yet

USA: Breakfast at Tiffanys by Truman Capote

Jamaica: The Long Song by Andrea Levy

South Africa: A Dry White Season by Andre Brink

India: A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

Indonesia: Twilight in Djakarta by Mochtar Lubis

Malaysia: Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo

China: Frog by Mo Yan

Australia: Shell by Kristina Olsson

New Zealand: Ships by Fiona Duigan










About BookerTalk

What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

Posted on May 21, 2019, in 20 books of summer and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 73 Comments.

  1. Selecting books from across countries – a very interesting idea!

  2. Thank you for choosing Ghostbird!

  3. What a brilliant way to organise your list – enjoy your travels!

  4. I loved putting my list together too, but I don’t think I was as creative as you!
    Happy Reading!

    I’m joining in too – https://onemoreword.uk/2019/06/02/20-books-of-summer-2019-20booksofsummer-amreading-books-summer/

  5. Interesting take on the challenge! I love the idea of hopping across countries. Breakfast at Tiffany’s is one of my favorites by Capote – the writing’s so sharp.

  6. What a fun idea! I loved A Fine Balance, and Louise Penny’s series is always comforting and fun. Good luck with the challenge…or should I say, bon voyage?! 😉

  7. All the best with your list, Karen and happy summer reading/travelling 😀

  8. This is so exciting! Best of luck. I’m Indonesian but never read Mochtar Lubis oops hahaha! Hope you enjoy it. Yangsze Choo is also really high in my TBR.

  9. What a great list! I’m having lots of fun playing with my list. Louise Penny and A Whole Life are definites already. Just the last few that keep changing. It would help if I knew how many I want to aim for!

    • You mean in terms of how many books? You can always change your mind part way through. I do enjoy the process of creating the list (more than reading the books sometimes….)

  10. What an amazing theme for your list! I took forever to choose my list! I have not heard of any of these books bar one. So quite excited to see what you think!

  11. What a great idea to go on a virtual trip – the best kind! You’ve got some great looking choices too. I loved Yangsze Choo’s Night Tiger, so would really like to read Ghost Bride sometime, and Alone in Berlin is hovering somewhere on my wishlist. I’m in the minority that didn’t love A Fine Balance, though – hope it works better for you. Enjoy your trip!

  12. What a fun idea! It makes me want to go with you. I hope you enjoy your trip to Quebec! If I remember correctly, you’ve already read some Louise Penney, is that right?

  13. I think the travel theme is a great idea. And , I am so jealous of your having A Fine Balance to read for the first time; it is one of the truly great books.

  14. Judy Krueger

    Fun with lists! You made a great one. Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a favorite of mine. I have always meant to read A Fine Balance. I own a copy. Perhaps I will join you.

  15. What a good idea to use it to travel around the world! I haven’t made my Pile yet as I am mithering over whether to include review books or not – I’m thinking not, to make myself read other books, too, and I’m thinking print only so I can make a Lovely Pile!

    • I’ve stuck to print versions too and all books that are already in the house so I can make some dent in the TBR and feel very smug when I see the gaps appearing

  16. Like the idea so enjoy the journey. Most of your book/countries are new to me but I’ve read and liked Alone in Berlin and absolutely loved A Fine Balance ( make sure you put tissues next to your passport for that one!)

  17. Ghost bride better be good, if either of us get to it!

  18. Ghost Bride better be good- if either of us get to it! Have to say, I didn’t care for the Louise Penny book I tried, but I’m in the minority.

  19. Love your journey approach to this year’s list Karen – I think my theme will have to be the slimmest books on my TBR pile 🙂

  20. ooh, I need to look into this challenge, and at your titles. As for Louise Penny, they really need to be read in order, to get most of them – evolution of characters and relationships

    • I think that’s true with the later L Penny novels. the first few can be read in isolation but once the scheming against Gamache gets underway you do need to go with the sequence

  21. I love this idea! I’m in the process of putting my list together, so hopefully, I’ll have it nailed down in the next few days.

  22. What a great idea! I love your travel theme. I’ve got several countries too but I didn’t think of taking a ‘trip.’

  23. I loved Hotel Tito, my first book by a Croatian writer, and Ghost bird is lovely I think you will enjoy it. A fine Balance is just wonderful, an unforgettable book.

  24. Now I’ll have to research most of these! Good sound list.

  25. What a great idea! I hope you enjoy your summer travels. I’ve read Alone in Berlin and will have to disagree with Edward – I loved it and didn’t want to put it down! The Long Song is good too, but I haven’t read any of your others.

  26. Oooh, very globetrotting list – good luck! 😀

  27. I loved both A Whole Life and A Fine Balance. Enjoy your literary travels, Karen.

  28. Edward Colley

    Alone in Berlin will not offer very cheery holiday reading I’m afraid. It’s a dark tale set in Nazi Germany with, I found, a rather plodding narrative. The principal characters are not one bit engaging and thus it’s difficult to sympathise with their (obviously doomed) crusade.

  29. I love your travel theme Karen! You are in for a real treat with A Whole Life – it’s wonderful. Thanks so much for joining in.

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