20 Books of Summer Wrap Up!

Well, that’s it for another year folks, 20 Books of Summer is officially over.


So how did you all do?


Better than me I hope!

20 books

This has been my most disastrous year yet – I only managed to read a dismal 12 books and only managed to review a handful of them!

In my defence, I did read 8 books that weren’t on my original list (and some that aren’t even in the 746!) so to some extent I managed to complete my challenge….just not with the books I said I would!

Some of the books I read, but didn’t manage to review were Duplicate Keys by Jane Smiley, which for me, started out well, but my interest trailed off mainly due to the fact that I didn’t like any of the characters.

No One Belongs Here More than You was a sharp, witty collection of stories from Miranda July which were imaginative and heartfelt but suffered slightly from a lack of distinction in the narrative voices.

I was blown away by Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson, which I read twice while on holiday this year. I thought this was a stunning book, beautifully written and deeply moving. I really look forward to reading more of her work.

I’m halfway through three of my 20 books – A Goat’s Song by Dermot Healy; Theft by Peter Carey and the amazing Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout. This is my first encounter with Strout and I am really loving it. Inter-connected short stories are a favourite of mine and the writing in this is just beautiful.


So, given that I can’t even complete my own challenge, should I do it again next year? Would it be a bit much to host it and not take part? Maybe I should just go for 10 next year – at least I know I’ll finish it!

A big thanks to all of you for taking part, there were over 80 of us completing the challenge which is fantastic and I love the buzz over the summer months.

But, the back to school vibe is here, so time to get the head down and keep ploughing through the TBR! I’ll try and get to some of the unread books from my summer list but I may just let my reading go where it takes me.

Sticking to a list clearly doesn’t suit me!

20 Books of Summer The 746

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. Like you Cathy, I read more than 20 books but only 18 of them were on my original list (half way through one of the last remaining two – so close!). I did manage to keep up with my reviews.
    I will say that this year, Belfast fared better than Melbourne in the summer/winter contrast. Last year I think Melbourne had quite a few winter days that were warmer than your summer days – not the case this time. Melbourne has had a cold winter and I think you got quite a nice stretch of sun in July.
    Lastly, have just finished Strout’s latest and it was as good as Olive. You have some great Strout-reading ahead of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed this challenge and got books read I probably wouldn’t have if not for it. Thanks! It seems to have spurred me on to dig into older books I have on the shelf instead of grabbing newer additions. I read Gilead by Marilyn Robinson and really enjoyed it, haven’t got to Housekeeping yet. Olive Kitteridge is one that has been on my shelf for several years now and I should get to soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You are so flexible with the “rules” for this event and it’s so fun to see everyone’s lists and progress, that I think you should host again next year, even if you don’t read the books you pick. Give yourself a break and simply enjoy that you read some really good books this summer. I think most of us veered off our initial plans, but that’s part of it, don’t you think?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am almost finished with 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. It’s almost 1000 pages long. So it should count as four 250-page books. Good book but there are moments when it slows down. But Murakami then throws the reader off by changing directions.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I altered my list a bit and read 18 books, but only reviewed 17 in time. What if the challenge had some sort of reward at the end? What if the challenge was 1 book per week from an unchanging list that we each make to get certain books under our belts? Then we could read other books off list if we have more time. What if we had commenting buddies for this challenge that we were assigned to, so we could meet new people?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I didn’t manage to finish my list either – I did read more than 20 books during the summer, but only 16 that were on my original list. I still enjoyed taking part, though, and will have another try next year if you do decide to host it again!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I read and reviewed 14 out of 20 but I swapped out about 4 or 5… clearly sticking to a list doesn’t suit me either! 🙂 I enjoyed the challenge, though! If I participate next year I will be sticking with the 10 Books, since I am more successful at that. Thanks for hosting!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I really enjoyed taking part – I read 35 books in the period, 20 for the project, and I did finish the last one yesterday so a little late, but I know you’ll be OK with that. Here’s my list with links to the reviews https://wordpress.com/page/librofulltime.wordpress.com/7814 – I only swapped one out this year, so that’s an achievement for me.
    Please run it again next year – I love it! And well done, everyone, whatever you read!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am with you, I do not do well with a list. I always have one, it seems just so I don’t follow it. I forced myself to stick to the 20 list just to see if i could do it. I finished the last book just after midnight on the last day. I actually stayed up to finish it. I tend to be competitive even if it is just with myself, so when I decided to complete this challenge, I did it. I will do it again next year as it did help me to finish some books I wanted to get to and I did enjoy them all, some better than others. Thanks for hosting.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Like you Cathy, I read my target amount of books but not all off my list! However I read 9 of the 10 books off my list, which is more than both of my previous years taking part. So overall I am really pleased and I really hope you will host this again next year…if I continue with the same progress I will read 10 out of 10 next time 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I only managed 7 of my 20, but I love making the list & joining in all the commentary and adding to my Wishlist. That’s the fun part for me 😊
    Thanks for hosting such a fun & uniting meme.


  12. I didn’t take part in the challenge this year – I had a feeling it wouldn’t work out… and I would have been right! 🙂 My blogging really slowed down this summer. But I always have fun following everyone else!
    I absolutely love Olive! When I read it last year, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t read it sooner.

    On a completely different note, I love your blog’s new look. That, in itself, is a major achievement. I altered mine last summer (maybe?), but not nearly as much as you have, and it still took a long time!
    I hope you had a great summer. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m impressed you read any towards your goal and say kudos! I had to stop doing challenges after a while because I just couldn’t read with the limitations and found myself struggling to read them when I didn’t want to.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. You did read 20 books, not just the ones that you had planned and that is even better. Thanks for the mini-reviews, I think Housekeeping will be on my TBR pile very soon. I have just taken a look at it on Goodreads, and no wonder you read it twice. It sounds fantastic.

    Liked by 1 person

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