Can I keep up my winning streak and complete my 20 Books of Summer challenge this year?
From 3 June until 3 September I will be attempting to read my 20 Books of Summer. Why not join in with your own 20 (or 10, or 15!), read along with some of the books or just cheer me on as I try and get that dreaded 746 down by another 20 in just 3 months.
If you are joining in with the challenge, link your post with your choices to the Linky below so we can all cheer each other on!
This year, all my reads are physical books and all are from the 746.
As always, I’ve tried to go for a broad range of genres, eras and styles so that there is always something I’m going to want to read! You’ll see there is a biography , some non-fiction, a play, some short stories and a sneaky little novella in there, all to help move the challenge along.
So, without further ado, here are my 20 books!
Blackeyes by Denis Potter
I have only previously read Denis Potter’s plays, so it will be interesting to see how I get on with his prose work, and how much I remember from the BBC adaptation of this novel from the 1980s!
The Electric Michelangelo by Sarah Hall
I’ve been meaning to read this for a long time, mostly because it is the favourite book of Naomi over at The Writes of Woman. Can’t go wrong there then!
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
If I remember rightly, this novella has been on my 20 Books of Summer before so hopefully this will be the year I get to it!
Justice: Crimes, Trials and Punishments by Dominick Dunne
This is a series of writings by Dominick Dunne, originally published in Vanity Fair, where he explores high-profile ‘celebrity’ trials of the Menendez Brothers and OJ Simpson. Sure to be fascinating.
The Mortgaged Heart by Carson McCullers
This collection of selected writings by the fantastic Carson McCullers, features essays, poems and short stories, mostly written before she turned 19. Yes, 19!
Night Waking by Sarah Moss
Not sure why I hadn’t read this before, but I enjoyed Ghost Wall so much, that I can’t wait to read this novel about motherhood now.
The Inheritance of Loss by Kirin Desai
I read and loved a lot of novels from Indian writers last summer and am looking forward to this award-winning epic.
Hangover Square by Patrick Hamilton
I had quite forgotten that I owned this book (in fact, I think it might have originally been my Dad’s) until I read a rave review of it over at Jaqui’s blog. Her enthusiasm made me want to read it sooner rather than later!
Amongst Women by John McGahern
This is a book that I have meant to read EVERY time Reading Ireland Month rolls around, but have never quite managed. It’s an absolute classic of Irish literature so time to get reading it!
The International by Glenn Patterson
Throughout the 20 Books of Summer, I’ll still be continuing my monthly look at literature from Northern Ireland – Northern Exposure. The first of three books by Northern Irish writers on my list, this novel by Glenn Patterson explores life here just at the very start of the Troubles.
Carry Me Down by MJ Hyland
I read This is How by MJ Hyland a few years ago and was really blown away by it. Carry Me Down is told from the point of view of a young boy whose belief that he can tell when people are lying will have devestating consequences.
Fame by Daniel Kehlmann (translated by Carol Brown Janeway)
I genuinely have no recollection of buying this novel by German writer Daniel Kehlmann but I would imagine the fact that it is a collection of nine interlinked short stories was the main reason for the purchase. My catnip!
The Group by Mary McCarthy
I have always been a sucker for these Penguin Modern Classic covers from the early 90s which may explain how this came to be in my possession. The Group follows the lives of eight female graduates in 1930s America.
Truth or Fiction by Jennifer Johnston
I have long bemoaned how overlooked Jennifer Johnston’s quiet, beautifully written novels are and am looking forward to this tale of a mysterious and reclusive famous author who has secrets to hide.
Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? by Lorrie Moore
I’ve read a lot of Moore’s short stories, but never her novels, so am looking forward to this story of childhood friendship. It also helps that it is short!
Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters
This is one of those books that I thought I had read, just because I’ve read everything else by Sarah Waters! Turns out, I’d missed her debut. I haven’t seen the TV adaptation either, so this tale of lesbian love in the music halls of London is going to be a treat.
Hotel California by Barney Hoskyns
I always try to include a biography or non-fiction title relating to music in my 20 Books of summer and this year is no exception as I plan to dive into this tale of the music scene in LA in the 1970s.
Secrets and Other Stories by Bernard MacLaverty
My third and final choice for Northern Exposure, this is, I think the only book of MacLaverty’s I’ve yet to read. I read his short stories before I ever read his novels and he is a master.
A Number by Caryl Churchill
I’ve been a fan of Caryl Churchill’s since my theatre days, when I performed in the Irish premiere of her play The Skriker. I’ve seen a production of this tale of cloning and parenthood, but am looking forward to reading it.
Carol by Patricia Highsmith
I’ve read a few of the Riley series, but am reliably informed that Carol is a very different kind of book. I’m planning to read it and then watch the movie adaptation!
So, any thoughts on my choices? Have you read any of my 20? Any I should start with straight away, or save for later? Any I’m going to regret putting on the list? I’d love to hear what you think and I can’t wait to see your lists.
If you are joining in, grab the image for your blog and don’t forget to tweet along at #20booksofsummer – here’s to a great summer of reading!
I am a 40 something book buying addict trying to reduce the backlog one book at a time!