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.