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. By Cathy’s own admission, she doesn’t have a great track record with her own challenge… But I do! As I’ve done in previous years, I’m using this challenge to read from my to-be-read stack (with a particular focus on 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 each 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 and book group picks):

01. Beloved by Toni Morrison
02. My Movie Business by John Irving
03. Quicksand by Malin Persson Giolito
04. Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson
05. Mary & O’Neil by Justin Cronin
06. The Rich Part of Life by Jim Kokoris
07. Educated by Tara Westover
08. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
09. Albert Einstein Speaking by R.J. Gadney
10. Smile by Roddy Doyle
11. Eggshell Skull by Bri Lee
12. Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
13. The Clasp by Sloane Crosley
14. Music & Silence by Rose Tremain
15. The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka by Clare Wright
16. The Party by Elizabeth Day
17. Written on the Skin by Liz Porter
18. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
19. The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac by Kris D’Agostino
20. Staying by Jessie Cole

58 responses

  1. Educated and Florida are amazing — my nonfiction and fiction books of the year so far! I’ve also read Adebayo, Cannon and Irving, and I have a copy of the Tremain on the shelf. Enjoy all the (winter) reading.

      • I know who that was 😉 Yeah, all I can say is try the first couple of stories and see what you think. Most of the characters are nameless and there are no speech marks — I don’t know if such literary techniques irk you?

      • 😀
        I’m usually okay with those literary/ editorial techniques once I get into the swing of it.
        Have you read the Sittenfeld collection, You Think It I’ll Say It? One of the best short story collections I’ve read.

      • I really enjoyed Sittenfeld’s stories too. Groff’s are also very much about relationships and parenting, but in tone/style they’re a world away from Sittenfeld’s.

  2. Good idea to leave those gaps – I find that the minute I put a list like this together, I go off the books I’ve selected and keep wishing I had chosen something else.

    • I did notice that Cathy has made the ‘rules’ very loose this year – no problem switching books out, not even starting with a list…. I do find the list (and this challenge) a useful way to ‘remind’ myself of books I’ve been meaning to read/ finishing reading challenges / clearing some ARCs.

  3. I’ve read Quicksand from your list and liked it. However, I’ll watch for what you think of the others and also what you slip into the vacant spots. Good luck!

  4. Great choices! I really enjoyed The Party (read it in a day) and My Movie Business. Are we comparing temperatures this year? It’s 23 degrees here today and I bet it doesn’t get warmer all summer 🤣🤣

  5. I’m reading Albert Einstein Speaking right now!!
    I love your list and the idea of keeping a few open to include new options! Very smart!
    Loved Educated and The Trouble with Goats and Sheep is an absolute favourite of mine! I’m looking forward to reading your Australian winter forecasts along with the books. 🙂 ~ Penny

    • There seems to be lots of love for Goats and Sheep so I’m really looking forward to it.

      Even though I keep spots open, I end up having to switch a few around but I try to change like-for-like (so instead of switching a book from the TBR pile with a new release, I try to choose another from the TBR pile).

    • Tanks for the reblog.
      Of course, we could set ourselves theses challenges any time but I do like the mid-year focus after a few months of Stella reading (and uni study!).

  6. You’ve got some great options! I loved The Trouble with Goats- completely charmed by it. Cannon has a new novel coming out in August- very excited about that.

    And Educated? Great reading, but left me rage-y about both men and religion. Inspired to see what she does next because she is one talented and determined young woman.

    Good luck with your challenge!

    • It seems of all the books on my list, Educated and Goats & Sheep are the ones that other bloggers universally love. Didn’t know Cannon has a new book coming out… will get onto Goats early so that I can catch up on the Cannon canon 😉

    • 18? Pfft. We had 3 degrees this morning (cue Canberrans telling us about zero and below!)

      Currently my TBR stack has not changed since the start of the year. How does this happen?! (Stella, ARCs, library books…). Anyway, I’m determined to knock thirty books off it by the end of the year, so this challenge is a good place to start.

  7. Can we trade? It’s summer here and just too hot – I love winter! I haven’t read anything on your list except for Stay With Me and it’s really, really good. I hope you like it!

  8. Quite the mix on your list – I’m really keen to read Educated, so I look forward to your thoughts on that title over the coming months. Also, I’m definitely not surprised to hear Melbourne was hotter than Belfast most days, even with the season difference. Haha! Good luck with the challenge!

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