20 Books of Summer- an apology (and an announcement!)

It’s hard to believe, but that is the first month of 20 Books of Summer nearly over!

So, how are we all doing?


I need to apologise to everyone taking part as I have been very slack the last few weeks and haven’t been managing to keep up with all the brilliant blogs and tweets. I haven’t even kept up with my own reviews. I’ve been doing great on the reading front though and I am way ahead of schedule.

I’ve read, but yet to review:

  • This Is How – MJ Hyland
  • Blue Nights – Joan Didion
  • A Spell of Winter – Helen Dunmore
  • Sister – Rosamund Lupton

I’m also half way through Apple Tree Yard and Special Topics in Calamity Physics, so that is A LOT of reviewing to catch up on. It does mean though, that I’ve read about 9 books in the first month, so I must be able to do this, right?

I may have to do a round up post with mini-reviews instead, but that would be a shame, particularly as I LOVED the MJ Hyland and am looking forward to raving about it to anyone who’ll listen!


The main reason I haven’t been able to give 20 Books my full attention is that I have been preparing for a job interview, which I am happy to say I got! As of August, I am the Arts programmer for the brand new Seamus Heaney HomePlace Arts Centre which is opening in his hometown of Bellaghy in September 2016. I am so excited for this opportunity – it’s like the best bits of my current job, with added books! What could be better? If any of you are in Northern Ireland in the autumn, please come and visit!

Hopefully though, from here on, I’ll be able to devote a bit more time to keeping up with you all and getting my reviews up to date. I’ll get back to reading and commenting and sharing on all your great blogs, I promise!

So, how is everyone else doing? Are we swapping books? Keeping on target? Throwing in the towel?

Do let me know, even if I have been a bad challenge host so far 🙂

20 Books of Summer

Cathy746books View All →

I am a 40 something book buying addict trying to reduce the backlog one book at a time!

99 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Full speed ahead here in The Netherlands….this challenge is a great impetus to keep reading! Many, many congratulations on the new job! I’ve never read Seamus Heaney but his poems are on my ‘stay focused’ reading list!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations on your new job Cathy – it sounds amazing. As for the challenge I am not doing so well. Out of my list of ten I have finished one book, The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris, and I have nearly finished my second book, The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. I just don’t understand where this month has gone?!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations, Cathy! My work is the reason I can’t read as much as I would like.
    I adore Seamus Heaney’s poetry, especially those written about the ‘bog people.’ Good luck with this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am on number 9 of #20booksofsummer. I started off really well, then busyness and Brexit ground my reading to an almost halt last week. Might take a break to read an amazing review copy that arrived.
    Congratulations on the new job. That is so exciting.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Congratulations on the new job! That sounds like a wonderful opportunity!
    And you’ve still totally managed to kick ass at the challenge! I’m dying to know what you think of the Marisha Pessl – Night Film was one of the most unique reading experiences of my life. And it kept me up at night to boot!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Congrats!!! The new job sounds fantastic – isn’t it great when we get to do something we enjoy? Brilliant news!

    I’ve completely ground to a halt with 20 books I’m afraid – in fact, I’m not really reading at all at the moment. Hoepfully I might get back to it soon, but I’ll never catch up. I hope the punishment isn’t too severe… *quakes*

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yay for the new job!!
    And, yay for all the reading! I’ve already added This Is How to my list – all you had to say was that you loved it. 🙂
    No need for apologies – there are so many people taking part in your event, I can’t even imagine keeping up!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Congratulations on the new job, Cathy! As to how the challenge is going, I am enjoying myself. I’m reading my 2nd book for the 10 book challenge I set myself. I am purposely choosing books with crime elements in them or other social thems. Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow that is an exciting job – I’ve always loved being the first person to take a role because then you can make it what you think it should be. No-one is looking over your shoulder and commenting on how your predecessor did it. Bet you’ll have a ball…..
    As for the challenge I’ve done way better than I expected. Four read towards my list of 10 and I’ve started number 5….Like you though I’m struggling to find time to do the reviews

    Liked by 1 person

    • Something weird has happened to me: while I used to take days to write a review, now I’m writing them all rather quickly, and in about 2 drafts (I used to do many, many drafts). However, they haven’t changed in length, I haven’t changed the way I review (lots of evidence, showing goods and bads, etc.), and (my own opinion) they haven’t reduced in quality. I think Cathy’s challenged has helped me get on with reviewing faster and more efficiently! Give it a try — just go for it!


  10. I hope you don’t don mini book reviews. I never get anything out of those when people write them. I’m so glad you got a new job that you find fulfilling! That’s so exciting, Cathy! So far, I’ve read 7 books and will start #8 today. My goal was originally to A) read all of Anne of Green Gables, B) read The Brothers Karamazov, and C) get all of the ARCs out of my house. I almost immediately did a swap because I realized I had 4 books by one author and don’t want to read them all this summer. I’ll need to do another one because I forgot some book club books I’ll be reading; my husband and I have our “bedtime novel”; and I need to prep for a new class I’m teaching in the fall, which requires reading 2 books that fit with the challenge (they’re not textbooks). Basically, if I don’t do some swapping, I’ll be reading well over 20 books!


  11. Oh! I was also talking to someone else who is doing the #20BooksofSummer challenge (Liz Dexter, maybe?) and I was saying that I have time to do almost nothing else! I wondered if maybe one summer you could do 10 books + their films! I was thinking of this as I was reading Rebecca (because it also has the Hitchcock film). Or, the movie+book idea might be a good one for winter, when we’re all busy but want to keep reading. Maybe 5 books + 5 movies or something.


  12. Well done on the new job, sounds fab! I’ve had a reading slump for a week because I’ve been depressed and anxious and only able to read Easy Books. There were a couple in the TBR, thank goodness, but not all in the 20books list.

    Anyway, I’ve just updated my master page with the links and the info on the two swapsies I’ve made – you can see the list here https://librofulltime.wordpress.com/about/20-books-of-summer/ I’m up to number 6 so far, with 7 and 20 (it will take me the summer to read a children’s book in Icelandic) currently on the go.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Congratulations Cathy, that’s fantastic.

    And, I’m thrilled to bits you loved the Hyland as I was one of those who voted for it for you! I am very glad you are not going to just do a mini-review, and am happy to wait for a “proper” one.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Somehow I missed this post last week – but congratulations!! Best of luck in your new job. And I’ve only read 3 of my #10BooksofSummer, but I’m well into number 4 and have procured #5 and #6! I will do this! (But I may do some mini-reviews of some of them.)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Well done with the job. I know the feeling of not enough time to read and blog though… I am so looking forward to your reviews, as I have read a few on the list, and interested in some more.


  16. Just started book #10. I will have to swap two titles in my previous list so as to accommodate a blog tour and my book club. Think I will meet the #20booksofsummer challenge. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…

    Liked by 1 person

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