Last year, a number of the book blogs I follow participated in 20 Books of Summer hosted by Cathy of 746 Books. The idea is to read 20 books from your TBR between today (June 1) and the end of summer on September 3 (also known as Labor Day in the USA).
While I typically try to read by whim, I’ve noticed that more and more of the books I reading are selections for my book club(s). Which is fine when I convince everyone to read a book I have on my TBR, but not so great for my groaning shelves when I don’t. Hence why I decided to give the challenge ago this year.
For my twenty selections (pictured above and listed below), I tried to give myself an assortment of short and long reads as well as an assortment of genres (i.e. mystery/crime, literary, nonfiction, classics, graphic memoir). I didn’t pay attention to gender when I pulled my selections. Although as I look them over, it appears to be pretty even as 11 female writers and 9 male.
Mainly, though, I tried to pick the books that I’ve been promising friends and family for months (or, years) that I would read. Or, in the case of Talking to My Country by Stan Grant and the two published by Peirene Press, books that I special ordered and then promptly shoved onto the bookshelves where they were obscured by yet more books.
For those that don’t want to squint and play guess the title, the twenty books I hope to read — arranged in alphabetical order by title — are:
- An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
- Breach by Olumide Popoola and Annie Holmes
- City of Thieves by David Benioff
- The County Ahead of Us, The Country Behind by David Guterson
- The Cut by Anthony Cartwright
- The Drowned and the Saved by Primo Levi
- Edith’s Story by Edith Velmans
- The End of the Wasp Season by Denise Mina
- Fidelity by Susan Glaspell
- The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
- The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
- The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
- The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
- Niccolo’s Rising by Dorothy Dunnett
- Rolling Blackouts by Sarah Glidden
- The Silver Lady by James Facos
- Some Luck by Jane Smiley
- The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
- Talking to My Country by Stan Grant
- William — An Englishman by Cicely Hamilton
For those who want to learn more about the challenge, you can visit Cathy’s blog. For those who are participating, best of luck with your twenty!