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#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 Wifeby 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.

What’s Next?

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.

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