20 Books of Summer: An Update

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My original 20 Books of Summer list has kind of been shot to h – e – double hockey sticks. It’s just that the library holds started pouring in and then other books have created distractions too!  I have, however, read two (and working on the third) of the books originally listed (that counts as a positive right?) (and can you believe we’re into July already?!).

The two I’ve read are: A Student of Weather and The Heaviness of Things That Float.  And our book club chose The House at the Edge of Night for our (now turning into an annual event!) Cottage Book Club! There are still a number on my original list that I WILL keep there, but here’s an update on changes and potential changes coming to my 20 Books of Summer list:

There are a couple of books I read in June that I won’t actually count toward this challenge – I suppose I could, but I do hope to stick to the original list as much as possible, and if the books were no great shakes then I don’t really feel like adding them. (For instance, I read Ecstasy by Mary Sharratt and it was just meh okay so I’m not going to count it.) Some of the books on hold at the library were listed here in What’s On Hold at your Library? so I’m knocking a few from this list! (Actually, I’ve read almost every one of them, there are only two I have not. Hurray!) Some original books listed are going to have to swapped out obviously, and so far, those were swapped with these books:

  1. An Unremarkable Body by Elisa Lodato
  2. In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills by Jennifer Haupt (I will be writing up something for this one because it really was a beautiful debut, just like An Unremarkable Body.)
  3. The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai (no great shakes here at all, I won’t write up anything about it – only to say it wasn’t all that great for me.) 🙁


Other books that have come onto my radar and means I’m swapping even more out from my original list:

  1. Lear’s Shadow by Claire Holden Rothman (this book is gorgeous – french flaps, deckled edges and a gorgeous cover, I cannot wait to read it!)
  2.  Ohio by Stephen Markley
  3.  Harry’s Trees by Jon Cohen
  4. maybe It Begins in Betrayal by  Iona Whishaw?


I’ve also just finished reading The Birdwatcher by William Shaw and really enjoyed it, and later tomorrow the next in the series, Salt Lane, will be coming in for me, so those two will also now become part of my 20 Books of Summer reading. (So….you can see….it’s been shot all to hell hasn’t it? 🙂 )


Now the decision will be which ones do I take off the original list? I plan on keeping The Essex Serpent, The Wind is Not a River and I do really want to read The Other Side of the Bridge – fingers crossed I can get to those three. If I add up the books mentioned above, I’m sitting at 15 of the 20 but it also means I’ve already swapped out 9 from the original 20. Oops.

How’s your 20 Books of Summer coming along? Have you read any great ones so far? I have to say, with the exception of The Great Believers, I’ve been on a wonderful roll as all of my recent reads have been fantastic! I’m so happy about that after experiencing those strings of duds earlier this year. I hope you’re able to be outside enjoying the summer reading from your favourite spot and that you’re not suffering from this awful heat wave gripping my part of the world right now.

Thinking the 9 I’ll remove from the original list? (gah this is a lot to remove!)

  1. The Book of Lies, Mary Horlock
  2. 300 Days of Sun, Deborah Lawrenson
  3. Arctic Summer, Damon Galgut (sorry buddy, this is the 2nd year in a row you’ve made the list only to be cut again!)
  4. One Thousand White Women, Jim Fergus
  5. The Book of Lost and Found, Lucy Foley
  6. The Zoo, Christopher Wilson
  7. Where the Line Bleeds, Jesmyn Ward
  8. Stony River, Tricia Dower
  9. A Country Road, A Tree, Jo Baker
  10. Uh oh, I may be removing a 10th book since plans might be in place to read Elizabeth Hay’s Late Nights on Air, since A Student of Weather was such a wonderful book….