20 Books of Summer 2016 – how did you do?

Well, that’s it – 20 Books of Summer is officially over!


Did I do it? Just about. I’m two thirds of the way through book 20, so I’m calling this one a win!

It’s been a hectic summer and it has flown by and if the reviews weren’t so plentiful at least the reading was great. I picked 20 really fantastic books this year and that made my challenge much, much easier. I didn’t really read any that I didn’t enjoy and while I had some issues with My Lover’s Lover, Sister and Blue Nights, I’m still glad I read them.

On the plus side, I really loved quite a few of my summer books. Stand outs were MJ Hyland’s mesmerizing This Is How and the heartwarming charm of The Republic of Love by Carol Shields. A quick search has told me that I have a couple more of her novels in the 746, so I can’t wait to read those. Honourable mentions should also go to A Crime in the Neighbourhood, The Keep and The Age of Innocence, all of which were great and I’m glad I made one swap, as Belinda McKeon’s Solace was a quiet gem.

So how did you all do? I know a few people finished all 20 a few weeks ago, which is fantastic, but as long as we all had fun, that’s the main thing.

I’d really like to thank you all – all 82 you! – for taking part and making it a great summer challenge. I was overwhelmed by how many of you got involved. A particular shout out must go to our Australian friends, for taking part in 20 Books of Summer during the midst of their winter – although often their temperatures were better than mine in Northern Ireland!

Every year I say I’m never going to do this challenge again, and then summer rolls around and I go for it. We’ll see how it goes next year, but if I do it again, I will have to do some serious planning!

So, what’s up next for the 746? Well, I have A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf lined up next for Heaven Ali’s Woolfalong and I also hope to take part in Jacqui Wine’s Reading Rhys – a week devoted to the work of Jean Rhys starting next Monday and I have Wide Sargasso Sea lined up for that.


I also have a bit of a back log of recent Irish books to review which will keep me pretty busy, but there are some gems in this little pile that I’m really looking forward to!


I’m also tantalizingly close to getting the TBR into the 500s – only 10 to go, so I hope to do that by the end of the year.

But the main thing I hope to do over the coming months is catch up with reading and commenting on all your fabulous blogs. I’ve been so very slack and I am looking forward to reconnecting with you all.

Thanks again for all the support and I hope you all had a great summer.


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!

56 Comments Leave a comment

  1. I’d say 20 Books of Summer was a raging success! I have to warn you, though, that it might unofficially still be going on over on my blog a little longer. 😉
    Looking forward to hearing more about that stack of books in the picture. Also, I’ve also got Wide Sargasso Sea on the go for Reading Rhys week. And, unlike Mrs. Dalloway, I think I’m going to finish it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, count that as Challenge Complete.
    I finished with a day to spare. A few reading highlights – The Enchanted April; Asking For It by Louise O’Neill, and All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like a you had a hectic summer, Cathy! I really hope the new job is going well – I can imagine how exciting and challenging it must be to settle into a new role.

    Thanks for the link to #ReadingRhys – delighted to hear you’ll be joining in. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 82 of us? Wow! I’ve done it and my update post will be coming out later today, as I did a review post yesterday evening and want people to see that first! Thanks for keeping us on track and for the impetus to do it – all great!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well done you for completing this at a time when you are just bedding into your new job. I managed 10 – the first time in my life I have completed a reading challenge!!! Still haven’t done all the reviews though

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Well done you! Glad that the books were mostly great – such a bonus! I haven’t read most of the books on your list but I did enjoy The Age of Innocence. Loved The House of Mirth though.
    I just saw today that Tana French has a new one out soon! I really enjoyed The Secret Place but haven’t felt the same about most of the others. I’m conflicted about going for The Trespasser. Maybe I will wait to see what you think of it!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Well done 🙂 I finished 8 books and I’m reading my ninth book off of my 10 Books of Summer list. I beat last year and read some great boos so I am really pleased with this result. I hope you are able to host this event again next year.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I say that’s definitely a win! I’ve just stumbled across your blog now, but I’ve had a pretty good summer of reading, so I must see if I’ve come anywhere close to making the challenge accidentally!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My far less ambitious reading challenge was a bit of a flop, but in my own defence I’m more of a winter reader (maybe because Big Brother isn’t on then). Congratulations to everyone who managed it, that’s most impressive. On the subject of Carol Shields, can I offer a recommendation for Happenstance? It’s the simple, quiet tale of a housewife who goes to a quilting convention, and is told from both her perspective and the husband back at home. What’s unusual is that it has two front covers (ie. front and back) so you can choose which version to read first. I loved it, she was amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I haven’t been following you very long, but I’m really looking forward to collecting some recommendations from you; it seems like we have similar taste (I’m not sure just how often readers who enjoy Hyland also enjoy Shields, for instance!). Congrats on finishing your summer reading list; if you do decide to host again next year, I would probably join as I enjoy reading on the porch in the summer, when it’s too hot to watch TV or be on the computer very much indoors with all the machinery heating up the place. Hope you find lots of good reading in the autumn too!


  11. I am glad you had fun! I really enjoyed last year ‘s challenge but then I went and got myself a job where the busiest months are precisely summer ones so I didn’t get much reading done.

    Really glad you finished!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. You must do it next year Cathy!! Although I didn’t complete all my planned reads this challenge really helps me make time for some of my own books – I chose pretty well and had a good variety – thank you so much for hosting, it was truly great to see everyone else’s progress over the summer months 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Congrats on your successful #20booksofsummer read this year. I went for #10booksofsummer and managed 12 (I haven’t finished all the reviews but will do over the next couple of weeks). However, I have read more books over the timescale but they weren’t on my list so not counted. I had a list of 10 with a reserve list of a further 10 in case I needed to swap out (hence the recording of 12 books). It’s been fun, thanks for hosting, enjoy the rest of the years reads.

    Liked by 1 person

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