20 Books of Summer (Finally!)

20-booksI’m still playing catch-up from May, where my blogging zest seemed to have left me. Thankfully it has returned and once again I’m taking part in Cathy’s annual 20 Books of Summer challenge. This time I’m once again going for 20 books, despite not completing my list either year I’ve participated. I guess I just look at the number 20 as more of a suggestion than a rule, ha ha! I’m not worried about whether or not I finish all of them, mostly I just want to get some books crossed off my TBR list and enjoy myself!

Here is my list:

  1. Last Night in Montreal – Emily St. John Mandel
  2. Shadowshaper – D.J. Older
  3. The Crossing Places – Elly Griffiths
  4. Little Fires Everywhere – Celest Ng
  5. The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race – edited by Jessmyn Ward (my book group’s pick for June)
  6. The Power – Naomi Alderman
  7. The Radium Girls – Kate Moore
  8. The Enchanted April – Elizabeth Von Arnim (a Classics Club list choice)
  9. CivilWarLand in Bad Decline – George Saunders
  10. The Bird’s Nest – Shirley Jackson (Classics Club)
  11. Ongoingness: The End of a Diary – Sarah Manguso
  12. Wizard and Glass (Dark Tower #4) – Stephen King (I abandoned this in the spring because it’s huge and it had library holds on it. I’m determined to get it again and finish it!)
  13. Giovanni’s Room – James Baldwin (Classics Club)
  14. Dear Martin – Nic Stone
  15. Binti– Nnedi Okorafor
  16. READER’S CHOICE  The Janus Stone (Ruth Galloway #2) – Elly Griffiths
  17. READER’S CHOICE  Kitchens of the Great Midwest – J. Ryan Stradal
  18. READER’S CHOICE Gather Together in My Name – Maya Angelou
  19. July Book Group Pick: The Best We Could Do – Thi Bui
  20. August Book Group Pick: The First Bad Man – Miranda July

The last five open slots on the list give me the flexibility I need as a mood reader. Plus, I’m a good book group member and almost always read the book, whatever it may be.

Have you read any of my picks, or are any of them on your TBR lists?

52 thoughts on “20 Books of Summer (Finally!)

  1. I loved Little Fires Everywhere. Ongoingness isn’t my favorite of Sarah Manguso’s books, but it’s a nice quick read 🙂 I read Enchanted April a little while back (I made a point of starting it in April, though I didn’t finish it until recently) and was underwhelmed, but I think you’ll like it. I’m told there’s a lovely film version.

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  2. The only one I’ve read is Little Fires Everywhere – which was a page turner. I have The Power on my bookshelf, but have been put off a bit because I think it’s a sci-fi (not even sure if that’s true??!). But I can’t wait to see what you think about all of these books – or whatever you end up reading!

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  3. As you know (because you commented on my review) I loved The Power. I’m tempted by the thought of going back to read an earlier Emily St John Mandel book because I loved Station Eleven so much.

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  4. Wonderful list, Laila! It’s a great idea to include some empty spaces so you can read something that you’re in the mood for. The Radium Girls is phenomenal, The Bird’s Nest is gripping, and I adore The Enchanted April. I hope to read The Power later this year too. Hope you have a fantastic 20 Books of Summer!

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  5. Great list! I loved Little Fires Everywhere. Excited about the rumors that they are making the TV Series adaption soon. Dear Martin and Binti are also books that I’d love to read. I hope that you will enjoy all these titles. Happy reading 🙂

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  6. Great list! The Power is super good. Enchanted April is one of the most charming and delightful books I have ever read. Ongoingness is really good too. I have Radium Girls on my reading list. Not sure I will get to it this summer but I am ever hopeful!

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  7. I’m pretty sure i’ve read the Emily St. John Mandel-that was her first book, wasn’t it? It was so long ago that I can’t remember LOL

    I could never do these challenges because I would take them too seriously and then stress myself out. So, good for you for doing this on your own terms! I’m probably missing out because of my anxiety haha

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  8. The only two I’ve read are Enchanted April (which I adore) and the Elly Griffith’s mystery (which I really liked), but almost all the rest are on my TBR (except for 2 – I should probably check out those 2). Our reading taste collides quite often it seems! I laughed out loud when I saw your insistence on making the rules your own: I don’t know what the rules are, but I like your version, as a super-moody reader.

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    1. I’m so glad to get your recommendations on those two – I’m reading the Griffiths one right now and am LOVING it! It’s nice that we have a lot of overlap! Cathy at 746 Books is so good to allow for lots of leeway in making our lists, so I knew she would approve of me leaving some space for mood reading!


  9. I just read Shadowshaper recently & adored it. I actually have the sequel from the library right now & I’m hoping to get to it soon. I also really liked Dear Martin. It’s format is a bit different at times, but I actually loved the way it was told–I hope you do too! I want to get to Binti someday soon, I hear such good things! Happy reading!

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  10. The Bird’s Nest is not my favorite of Shirley Jackson’s books, but I will be very interested to hear what you think of it! And I will also be QUITE curious as to your response to The Power — I couldn’t stop reading it but then when I was finished I had several notes on how I would have done things differently. Which I feel like can be the mark of a really interesting book!

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  11. I think those empty slots might be cheating… 😉 I haven’t read any of these – hmm! as I type that I’m suddenly thinking that maybe I have read the Elly Griffiths. Is it the first in her Ruth Galloway series? If so, I enjoyed it. Have a great summer of reading! 😀

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  12. I am consistently in awe that you participate in this reading challenge, Laila. It’s daunting! What I love about it is that you don’t take yourself too seriously with it. I mean, you do, but you don’t hold yourself to ridiculous expectations. 16-18 are my favorites. 😉

    Each year you post this I consider whether I want to participate. However, I’m far too much of a mood reader. Can I just claim 1-20 as “Reader’s Choice”? Or perhaps, 1-10 as reader’s choice and 10-20 as book club selections? XD XD XD

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    1. The “rules” for the 20 Books of Summer are very loose! I think you could practically pick your books are you go along and it would be fine! I know many bloggers who swap out books from their original lists based on mood. We’ll see how far I get. So far I’ve read six books. That Stephen King one, it’s the longest, even though I started reading it back in the Spring – I think I’m saving that one for the end! LOL.

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