I’m in the mood for a celebration.
This is the first year I’ve completed the #20booksofsummer reading project! Actually in my case it was the 15 books of summer.
I had dithered and wavered about whether to join the event this year having said at the start of 2020 that I would avoid any projects/challenges that involved reading from a list. But at the eleventh hour I came up with a cunning plan that would enable to take part yet avoid having to make a reading list.
I chose, instead of a list of specific books, to read 15 books from four categories of books all on my TBR shelves.
- Review copies
- World of literature
- Non Fiction
And it worked. I read 15 books – more than I’ve managed in any other year.
Here’s what I read with links to my reviews where I’ve managed to do them (still a few to be written)
- Rather To Be Pitied by Jan Newton : a crime novel set in rural Wales, giving me the perfect excuse to indulge in memories of visiting the places mentioned.
- The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd: a strange tale of a woman who forms such a strong attachment to a man on death row she believes is innocent.
- West by Carys Davies: beautifully crafted novella of a widower on a quest to find the huge creatures whose gigantic bones had been discovered in Kentucky.
- Review copies
- The Waiting Rooms by Eve Smith: a chilling novel based on a premise that antibiotics have failed to work.
- They Came Like Swallows by William Maxwell: a new edition of a slim novel focused on a middle-class family in a small town in Illinois, at the end of the First World War.
- The Midnight Library by Matt Haig: Welcome to a library where every book is a version of your life. Each version shows what would have happened if you’d only taken a different decision.
- The Covenant by Thorne Moore : a family saga where a determination to hold on to a birthright has tragic consequences.
- Dear Reader by Cathy : a moving account of how books changed the course of her life, giving her confidence in herself and helping to deal with the trauma of her brother’s young death. Will be published by Picador on September 17.
- World of Literature
- In Order To Live by Yeonmi Park: A memoir from a young North Korean girl about her dangerous journey to escapes from a brutal regime.
- Love by Hanne Ørstavik: for such a small book, this has a huge emotional pull.
- Maigret And The Headless Corpse by Georges Simenon: Another outing for the French detective who is more interested in why someone commits a crime, than how.
- Non Fiction
- Slatehead by Peter Goulding: the abandoned slate quarries of North Wales are a magnet for climbers. Goulding shares his love of the caverns and fissures and the physical and mental challenges they present.
- My Name Is Why by Lemn Sissay: a memoir that is a damning indictment of a social care system that went disastrously wrong and left a young boy feeling alone and unloved.
I allowed myself to indulge in a few books that didn’t fit any of these categories.
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness: a gloriously illustrated book of a child who has to cope with a personal loss
The Small House at Allington by Anthony Trollope: book number 5 in Trollope’s Chronicles of Barsetshire. Over long unfortunately and lacking the wit and satire I’ve experienced with the previous titles in this series.
20#booksof summer is always a fun experience but I’ve enjoyed this year more than ever. I’ve travelled far and wide and read some excellent books. My 3 favourites are West by Carys Davies, My Name is Why by Lemn Sissay and They Came Like Swallows by William Maxwell.
Thanks as always are to Cathy at 746books who hosts the event. Here’s to next year….