Cathy of 746 Books has been running the 20 Books of Summer challenge since 2014, and after watching the first five rounds from afar, I’m jumping in.
The idea is to read *and review* 20 books over the summer (June 3 – September 3). Cathy is quite reasonable about swapping out books if needed, adjusting targets etc. That said, I shall try to stick to the list below, which was created with a random number generator and a list of my physical TBR (currently sitting at 80 books), and some executive decision making – I stacked the deck in favour of Women in Translation month in August. I may substitute library ebooks or audiobooks for the paper copies, but will try to stick to the list and read in order, too.
Here’s where I landed, with a brief note about how each book came into my house in the first place and how long ago that was (and reviews linked as they become available):
- Winter Journal by Paul Auster: Nabbed off the clearance shelf at Chapters last year, after reading & loving 4321
- The Watch that Ends the Night by Hugh McClelland: From the publisher, 6 years ago (sorry!)
- Little Reunions by Eileen Chang: Bought in Toronto a year ago
- Refuse: CanLit in Ruins by Various: bought at the book launch this year
- The Fishermen by Chigozi Obioma: Bought it on a whim 3 or so years ago – his new novel is making the rounds now!
- Norma by Sofi Okansen: bought during Women in Translation month last year, and strangely, found a signed copy here in Edmonton (Okansen is Finnish)
- The Road by Cormac McCarthy: bought at a library sale, maybe 5 years ago. Was not aware of it’s “bro lit” status at that time…
- The Prison Book Club by Anne Walmsley: bought at a literary festival 4 years ago
- Arlington Park by Rachel Cusk: library sale, 4 years ago?
- The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo: no idea!
- Me and Earl and the Dying Girl: book swap 3 or 4 years ago. I happen to know this was Rick’s copy, and he hated it so much, I need to see what the fuss is about.
- Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson: might have been my mom’s?? This book may have been with me for 15+ years if that’s the case!
- Near to the Wild Heart by Clarice Lispector: Can’t remember!
- The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey: Library sale 4-5 years ago
- Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin: Bought in a Folio Society sale after seeing this wonderful adaptation last year
- My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrente: Bought 3ish years ago, has the hyped died down enough yet?
- Meditations by Marcus Aurelius: It’s the summer pick for The Happy Reader, so this works out. Bought this year.
- Portrait in Sepia by Isabel Allende: Bought last year at the Fairmont Lake Louise bookstore, which has jacked up prices, FYI!
- Twin Studies by Keith Maillard: gift from The 49th Shelf crew, earlier this year. He was delightful on a recent episode of Can’t Lit.
- Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner: bough soon after my year of reading women, when I decided to give some dude authors a chance…
If I’m doing this, I’m probably not doing my usual summer read-along. But, if I actually write a review for all twenty of these books, you’ll see more of me around here than usual!
What kind of summer reading are you looking forward to? Many thanks to Cathy for continuing to host 20 Books of Summer, and since I’m back on Twitter, I’ll see you at #20booksofsummer!