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Challenge accepted! Challenge completed!

And it was a bit of a challenge this year wasn’t it? I struggled with reading at first, instead was spending more time binging on TV shows/series (and on a whole lot of food, something that I need to get under control! ;-)). I’m still watching more TV for the most part, but have found more of my reading mojo returning. The mojo may have returned too because I read a great many fantastic books this summer! So many 5-star reads were landing in my lap.

This year I went completely organic with my 20 Books of Summer list, meaning I just read whatever arrived and towards the end of the challenge, shifted most of my reading to books for the Shadow Giller project.

Here are the 20 books I read, in order of how I read them, and grouped into 4.

First 4:The Operator, The Paris Hours, The Eighth Detective and The Book of Longings

The Paris Hours and The Book of Longings were absolutely fantastic! My first two 5-star reads!

Next 4: The Deep, An Elegant Woman, Washington Black and Exile Music

In this set, another two 5-star reads! Washington Black and Exile Music. I was on a serious roll with the fantastic books!!

Next set of 4: Poetic License, Evvie Drake Starts Over, What’s Left of Me is Yours and Five Little Indians

In this set, Five Little Indians marked the start of my reading for the Shadow Giller and was a 5-star read! What’s Left of Me is Yours was also quite excellent and Evvie Drake Starts Over was for our book club and it was a great book for our summer book club reading!

4 more: How to Pronounce Knife, The Inquirer, Florence Adler Swims Forever and A Quiet Tide

How to Pronounce Knife was for the Shadow Giller and is a fantastic collection of stories. If this doesn’t appear on the Longlist, I’ll be shocked. A Quiet Tide was also a wonderful book. A fictitious look into botanist Ellen Hutchins. This was a book I believe was mentioned by Cathy – the creator of 20 Books of Summer actually!

The final 4! A Family Affair, Daughters of Smoke and Fire, The Certainties and Universe of Two

I ended my 20 Books of Summer with a serious bang! Universe of Two was another and my final 5-star read of the year so far. Nothing has come close recently after reading it in terms of complete and total enjoyment. A review still needs to come for it. I absolutely loved it.

So I read 6 books that were 5-star reads this summer. Amazing. Those are good numbers don’t you think?

I quite loved the “organic” approach I took too! Will I continue that way in future challenges? Perhaps. (I still have not read Middlemarch though! That must be remedied!)

I hope you had a wonderful summer filled with excellent books. Thank you again to Cathy at 746 Books for running the challenge again this year. I think it was hugely needed in these weird times! It was nice to have a shift in focus on reading 20 books over the summer and helping to turn the gaze away from world events in the news, if even just for a little bit. Sadly, we’re still in for a wild world ride so hopefully excellent books continue to fall into my lap to distract from it all.