#20booksofsummer: It’s A Wrap For 2021
Drum roll please. Stand my for an important announcement!
This year has seen my best ever performance in 20 booksofsummer. I didn’t reach the heights of 20 books but i was so, so close. If there’d been just one extra week in summer I’d have made it.
As it is I’m dead chuffed to have read 18 books.
It required a bit of jiggery pokery because, despite starting with a list of 30 books instead of the usual 20, I still felt the need to go off piste for four books, partly to accommodate Women in Translation month.
Even so I did cross off 14 titles from my original list. They took me around the world from Africa (four times) to India (four visits), France. (twice) and South Korea. They also introduced me to many authors: 11 of the books were by authors i’ve not read before.
The stand out reads for me were Lean, Stand Fall by Jon McGregor (why oh why is this missing from the Booker Prize longlist???) and A Burning by Megha Majumdar , a deeply affecting tale of a young Muslim woman accused of helping terrorists attack a train in Kolkata.
Unfortunately I was so busy reading that I fell way behind with the reviews. They’ll all get written in due course but until then, here’s the list of books I read, in alphabetical order by author’s surname. Links will take you to my reviews where they exist.
From original list
Stone in A Landslide by Muriel Barbal — review to follow
Bitter Fruit by Achmat Dangor
The Mission House by Carys Davies — review to follow
The Hill Station by J G Farrell
The Spire by William Golding
Sunlight On A Broken Column by Attia Hossain — review to follow
Tangerine by Christine Mangan
His Only Wife – by Ado Medie
Lean Stand Fall by Jon McGregor
Family Album by Penelope Lively — review to follow
The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny
Breach-by Olumide Popoola and Annie Holmes
Pot Luck by Emile Zola
The Happy Family by Jackie Kapler — review to follow
The Disaster Tourist by Yon Ko-eun
A Burning by Megha Majumdar — review to follow
in The Company of Men by Véronique Tadjo — review to follow
We Are All Birds of Uganda by Hafsa Zayyan — review to follow
The Long Journey of Poppie Nongena by Elsa Joubert : his novel has been voted as one of the hundred most important books published in Africa during the last millennium. Importance doesn’t necessarily mean enjoyment however. The sudden jumps between third person and first person narration were irritating but there was also too much reliance on “telling” a story.
The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney by Okechukwu Nzelu: This was far too much of a YA novel for my tastes.
The summer project is officially over but there are still a few books from my original list that are calling to me. But I’m going to take a breath before I embark on any of them and just read whatever takes my fancy. I’m feeling the need for a long immersive read.
32 thoughts on “#20booksofsummer: It’s A Wrap For 2021”
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Well done on reading 18 books for your 20 Books of Summer list! I was also pleased with my holiday reading, as I managed to read 9 books off my 10 Books of Summer list! Success all round it seems! 😎
Just caught up with the post you did on your 10booksofsummer. With the amount you read of Count of Monte Cristo you could also claim that couldn’t you and get to the 10 – a quarter of that novel is equal to most novels 🙂
That is very true, Karen! 😁
Well done! I had two substitutions and only managed it because of them, as they were non-fiction to a memoir and a novel!
What a journey!! You’ve actually inspired me to read a little more in accordance with my mood/preference, with your 30-options tactic – I’ve got a list of books that I want to read or I’ve committed to reviewing by the end of the year, but rather than forcing myself to read them “in order” (according to deadline), I’ve just put them in one big stack and I’m picking whichever one calls to me at the time. It’s working well!
It’s that feeling of “having” to read a particular book that I find saps all my interest. Hence why I rarely commit to book tours. Hope your strategy continues to work for you.
There was an interesting discussion on the Teo or Books podcast recently about the benefits of planned versus spontaneous reading. Worth a listen http://www.stuckinabook.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/tea-or-books-episode-97-online-audio-converter.com_.mp3
An achievement is an achievement, but it’s clear from your list (and I recognise so many of the titles like the Farrell and the Yon Ko-eun from those you reviewed) that it’s quality more than quantity that matters. And I’d be interested in what you have to say about the Lively as I’m toying with reading that myself soon.
So very true, if my list was just crime fiction I could probably have completed the whole 20 with time to spare – I read these very quickly whereas the more literary novels I like to spend more time with.
Almost finished the Lively – it’s good fun, a lot lighter than I expected.
Well done! I think I scraped in, if I count audios (which I haven’t done in past years). Lockdown should mean more reading time, but really, I haven’t had the headspace!
Honestly I don’t think it’s a problem to include audio versions. I know there are some purists who don’t class them as reading but I don’t understand why not
well done! 😀
Congrats! 🎉🙌 I just finished Cloud Cuckoo Land which is a very long read if you’re looking for long!
I have plenty of long reads on my shelves. They are the ones that often get pushed to the back …
Well Done you – You did everything so much better than me!
I wasn’t even sure that this year I would join in but I took the pressure off by choosing a very long long list of books. I’ve learned that if I have just 20 on the list, I lose interest
ell done! I also read Louise Penny’s last book, finished it on August 30! So loved it
I didn’t love it as much as some of her other books – the pandemic connection felt a bit artificial to me.
So technically the official end of summer isn’t until September 21, so really you have four more weeks. 😉
If only Cathy who runs the 20booksofsummer project would let us go until 21st but sadly she says its just for June, July and August. sigh
Well done! Thanks so much for taking part x
Considering I wasn’t sure until the last moment whether to take part, I’m amazed I got this far
Thanks Rosie. This was the first year when I didn’t get stressed about whether I was going to complete the project
Well done, you! And hurrah for Jon McGregor, Booker or not.
I thought you’d be pleased to see him mentioned 🙂
An impressive list
Some of the books were much better than others. But I now have a little more space on the bookshelves
Way to go! Well done! Jon McGregor had been added to my to read list!
It’s such a powerful book Liliane. Going to be one of my favourites of the year