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Farewell to #20booksofsummer

Covers of five novels that made perfect summer reading

This year’s #20booksofsummer reading event hosted by Cathy @746books, has come to an end. I’ve had a wonderful time travelling the world through the books I listed back in June but now it’s time to unpack my suitcase and put the passport away.

I knew there was no way I would read 20 books — in all the years I’ve joined in this event, I’ve never managed more than 15. So I deliberately set my sights at the low end, thinking that anything over 10 would be a bonus.

I’m feeling rather smug that I actually read 9 from the 15 on my original list plus two that were substitutes for titles I abandoned. So 11 in total (even I can manage that level of arithmetic !!).

Now if I were to also count books I read that were not on my 20booksofsummer list, I could push my total up to 17 but I’ve decided that might be pushing the “rules” too far. Anyway a tally of 11 is not to be sniffed at, particularly given my usual inability to stick to any reading lists.

More important than the numbers however is the level of enjoyment. I got to travel around some Celtic nations, paid a fleeting visit to continental Europe before heading further afield to Africa and even further afield to New Zealand.

And I read some superb novels. It’s impossible to choose an overall favourite so I’ll mention three that were particularly memorable: This Mortal Boy by Fiona Kidman, The Cone Gatherers by Robin Jenkins and The Hiding Place by Trezza Azzopardi.

Books Read

Links take you to my reviews — I still have two that I need to write.

EnglandA Perfectly Good Man by Patrick Gale — read

Belgium: Maigret Goes To School by Georges Simenon

Ireland: The Rising Tide by Molly Keane

New ZealandThe New Ships by Kate Duigan 

New Zealand: This Mortal Boy by Fiona Kidman

NigeriaDele Weds Destiny by Tomi Obaro

PolandChasing The King Of Hearts by Hanna Krall

ScotlandThe Cone Gatherers by Robin Jenkins

Uganda: Kololo Hill by Neema Shah

WalesThe Hiding Place by Trezza Azzopardi 

ZimbabweThe Book Of Memory by Pettina Gappah

Books Abandoned

Australia: Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton. I wasn’t in the right mood for a coming of age tale of a boy growing up with a drug dealing, user mother .

Brazil: I Didn’t Talk by Beatriz Bracher. The recollections of a man arrested and tortured by a military dictatorship proved too relentlessly dark.

France: Revenge Of The Translator by Brice Matthiessent. My brain failed to cope with a novel written entirely from the footnoted annotations of a French translator who is translating a fictional work back into its original language.

Postponed Until Another Time

Germany: The Vanishing Sky by Annette Binder

Israel: About The Night by Abat Talshir

Japan: A Man by Keiichiro Hirano

So that’s it for 2022. See you all again same time next year.

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