20 Books of Summer (except that it’s winter)

Cathy at 746 Books is hosting the 20 Books of Summer reading challenge again this year. I’m joining in, with a particular effort to read from my stacks of hard copies. The challenge is straightforward – read twenty books between June 1st and September 3rd.

Of course, it’s winter in Melbourne. So while Cathy et al. is enjoying the Irish sunshine, I’ll be rugging up. Last year, I compared the Irish summer with the Melbourne winter on the day I finished a book. I’ll do it again this year. *spoiler alert: a lot of those days, Melbourne was warmer than Belfast…*

Here is my Summer (Winter) reading list (with a couple of spots free for whatever takes my fancy):

01. Our Magic Hour by Jennifer Down
02. The Mothers by Brit Bennett
03. The Ice Storm by Rick Moody
04. The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney
05. The Light of Day by Graham Swift
06. Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison
07. The Family by Chris Johnston & Rosie Jones
08. 100 RMP One Hundred Short Stories by Caroline Smailes
09. The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
10. Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout
11. Questions of Travel by Michelle de Kretser
12. Lion by Saroo Brierley
13. Conrad & Eleanor by Jane Rogers
14. Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
15. Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney
16. Sisters by Lily Tuck
17. Greatest Hits by Laura Barnett
18. Berlin Syndrome by Melanie Joosten
19. Mrs Fletcher by Tom Perrotta
20. Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks

53 responses

    • I’ve been keeping Glorious Heresies for winter – I know that sounds made but it just didn’t seem like a beach read when I got it toward the end of last year! Really looking forward to it.

    • I picked those because I saw the doco of The Family earlier this year (with a talk by the film makers, the police involved in the investigation and one of the children) and it was fascinating. Berlin Syndrome because it’s been in my TBR stack for eons and I think there’s a film coming out?? I have a friend who loves those kind of movies but knows I always read the book first, so figured I best get on it!

      • I watched the documentary too. A bit soporific but an intriguing case. And I did feel for that poor detective! I’ve benn getting a lot of hits for my review of Berlin Syndrome; I wonder if it’s anything to do with the film? The author did Triple Choice Tuesday for me back when the book was first released…

    • Glourious and Homegoing are probably the two big-hitters in my list – had to make sure I had some books in there that all my blogging buddies have raved about.

  1. I think Cathy may have a wry smile on her face when she reads the phrase ‘Irish sunshine’! Great list, Kate. I hope you enjoy Our Magic Hour as much as I did, one of the best books I’ve read this year. And what a good idea to leave two blank slots blank.

  2. Thanks for joining in! Look forward to hearing what you think of The Blood Miracles and Conversations with Friends – I enjoyed both. Fab list! If you saw the weather here today you’d feel my pain!!

  3. The only book I’ve read from your list is ‘The Glorious Heresies’ – if the others are anything like as good I’ll be swiftly adding them to my own TBR pile … very much looking forward to your reviews to guide me!

  4. The Mothers is so amazing! Was one of my top 3 books of last year. And I’ve been meaing to read Bastard out of Carolina forever.

  5. A good list of books. Laughed at the comparison of Melbourne weather vrs. Ireland. I should join this challenge if only to compare Hobart to the rest of you though not unusual for Melbourne to be colder than us, lol.

  6. I read #6 when I was fourteen- I think I need to reread it, as the only seen I really remember is one dealing with… self pleasure. Haha! I am tempted to play along with 746 Books but I am worried I will set myself up for failure. I get rebellious when I set lists up like this. But I also have FOMO, so we’ll see…

    • I’ve had #6 on my shelf for eons…

      I feel a bit the same about lists but the satisfaction of clearing some books from the long-standing TBR pile usually outweighs it.

  7. I haven’t heard of several of those books, but I can certainly recommend Questions of travel. Love your temperature comparison, between your winter and Belfast’s summer!

      • I don’t know why you didn’t either! Oh but, wait, I do, because I have many books like that in my pile! I’m glad you’ve decided to start with it now. I reckon you start with the longer ones and then if time is getting short, go for broke with the shorter ones!

      • Agree – if I leave it until the end of the challenge its 480 pages will seem insurmountable (I think it’s the longest book I picked for the challenge, offset by a couple of shorter ones).

  8. I’ve only picked slim volumes for my #20book list this year in the hope I might actually read them all 🙂

    We will share Anything is Possible this winter.

    We have been enjoying a glorious autumn in Sydney, but a very cool change blew in yesterday. It had to happen I guess *sigh*

    Happy wintry reading!

    • I have a lot of reading to do for uni over the next few weeks so will get off to a slow start – will be relying on my semester break to make up ground!

      Good luck with the challenge.

  9. Like many other readers, I loved The Glorious Heresies! Bastard Out of Carolina was also very good. I also have Homegoing on my list. I wasn’t so crazy about The Mothers, but I know it’s gotten rave reviews. Enjoy your winter reading!

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  12. I’ve only read The Glorious Heresies – wonderful. Clever thinking on your part to leave some room for spur of the moment decisions. Wish I’d thought to do that….

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