Today marks the end of the 20 Books of Summer reading challenge, hosted by Cathy at 746 Books. After a slow start, I romped it in with days to spare, although haven’t written detailed reviews of my final two books – Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller and Whiskey and Charlie by Annabel Smith. It was a strong finish.
Our Endless Numbered Days has attracted a lot of attention although I bought it knowing nothing about it. I quickly became engrossed – it’s a beautifully written page-turner and although I predicted one element of the ending, there was still a sucker punch in store. It’s delicate, terrifying and the kind of ‘suspense’ that grabs me.
4/5 If you’re in search of a holiday read, devour this.
I am going to write a more fulsome review of Whiskey and Charlie but for now I’ll mention the aspects of the story I loved – the use of the phonetic alphabet; the small details about time and place that gave the story texture and authenticity; and for its honest look at a sibling relationship.
3.5/5 A moral thriller?!
So, to my challenge wrap-up:
Best book I read as part of the challenge? Probably The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison – I’m still thinking about aspects of what Jamison had to say. But I also loved Days of Awe by Lauren Fox for its dark humour; Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal for it’s memorable characters; The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett for its amazing complexity; and The Green Road by Anne Enright because it’s beautifully written.
The books that I’ve been pressing on people? Life Moves Pretty Fast by Hadley Freeman because it is such fun, and In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume and Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller because they’re both books that will have you up late reading.
So, after the frenetic pace of 20 Books of Summer, what’s next? I’m reading A Little Life – all 720 harrowing pages of it. And considering following it up with Purity, to make September my month of The Big American Novel.