My 20 Books of Summer List

I love that Cathy keeps the rules for her annual challenge on the loose side; it fits my Mood Reader personality. And as an mentioned in my last post, I’m back to work, so my reading time is definitely cut short. In fact, since the last time I posted, I’ve read only 100 pages of Barbara Pym’s Excellent Women – all week! My brain feels like oatmeal with all the new procedures and spatial configurations that our library is enacting in the name of safety. On my work breaks, when I would normally read, I’m watching episodes of Bosch on my phone.

But I’m gonna trust that eventually I will get back on track, so I’m putting out my 20 Books of Summer list. I have fifteen hard copies on hand right now, and I’m gonna leave my last five books open, so I can choose some at whim. (I do have a list of options made, of course!) I’m fairly certain one of my extra five will be Michael Connelly’s latest book, Fair Warning, which is not a Bosch book but is about reporter Jack McEvoy instead.

Here we go.

  1. The Secret Adversary – Agatha Christie
  2. Poirot Investigate – Agatha Christie
  3. Weather -Jenny Offill
  4. Quartet in Autumn-Barbara Pym
  5. The Right Swipe – Alisha Rai
  6. A Murder is Announced – Agatha Christie
  7. The Blue Castle – L.M. Montgomery
  8. The Reckoning – Jane Casey
  9. Swimming Lessons – Claire Fuller
  10. How to Be An Antiracist – Ibram X. Kendi
  11. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd – Agatha Christie
  12. The Chalk Pit – Elly Griffiths
  13. New Waves – Kevin Nguyen
  14. The Blackhouse – Peter May
  15. A Dark and Twisted Tide – Sharon Bolton
  16. TBD
  17. TBD
  18. TBD
  19. TBD
  20. TBD

I have some romances on my TBR but just don’t have physical copies of them so I will probably choose many of those to round out the list. I’d like to read The Bromance Book Club, A Hope Divided, The Unhoneymooners, and Get A Life, Chloe Brown.

Since the aim of this challenge is to clear a bunch of books from your TBR, then I will win no matter how many of these I actually finish. Good luck with your list if you’re participating, and let me know if you’ve read any of the books I’ve listed. Have a good weekend and Happy Reading!

41 thoughts on “My 20 Books of Summer List

    1. After the murder of George Floyd this week I’ve decided to support more black authors with my money. So in addition to that title which I purchased a month ago, I just ordered So You Want to Talk About Race, Hood Feminism, and Stamped. I may mix in some of those to this list this summer.

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  1. What a gorgeous stack of books for the summer. I love all of the Agatha Christies!

    I hope things settle for you at work soon and you find some quiet reading time again. Take care, Laila!

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  2. That’s a very diverse list, Laila, which I would imagine is the best way to go about this particular challenge. I tried last year but got absolutely nowhere with it and as you know I am foreswearing challenges for the moment. Good luck.

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  3. What a great pile! I would join in this except I am well aware that I respond to challenges by wrathfully rebelling against them. 😛 So I am going to try to read, maybe, five books from my personal TBR shelves this summer. I think I can do that!

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  4. Wow! Great list! All those Christies, a Casey, a Bolton and a Griffiths! Should be a delightful summer filled to the brim with gruesome murders – the best kind… 😉 Have a great summer’s reading – you can do this! 😀

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  5. The Blue Castle!!! You will love it!

    And you’re back to work – yay! Our library is also starting the process of opening up. My first day back is the 13th. I’m sure you’ll soon be back in the swing of things!

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  6. Going back to work right now would be a huge transition, so don’t be hard on yourself. When I was working full time and blogging, I watned to read on my lunch breaks, but also felt like my brain needed an even bigger break, ya know? I totally get just wanting to zone out and watch something during a break, it’s what your brain is calling for/asking for I think.

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  7. Both Quartet in Autumn and The Blue Castle are real favourites of mine (but I’m guessing TBC is more up your street right now, there is a melancholy to QiA). And Ibram X. Kendi’s book is so good: it should be essential reading, and it reads in a very accessible way, whereas I’d been expecting it to be a little academic in tone. Peter May’s series was really enjoyable too – the setting was outstanding (i’ve yet to read the third one). And I’ll be curious to see what your other TBDs turn out to be. I ordered a book a couple of weeks ago based on your recommendation, and picked it up today, but it’s in quarantine in the hall so I’ll have to tell you about it another time (a YA title) but I hope to get to that one this summer!

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    1. I am reading the Kendi book right now and it’s wonderful. I love how he starts and ends each chapter with a personal anecdote that relates what he’s talking about to his own experience.
      Oh, I wonder what the book is that’s in quarantine? I read so little YA that I bet I can guess what it might be – Renee Watson Piecing Me Together?

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      1. YES, that’s the one! They were out when I called in my order so it, and a book of short stories that Mel @TheReadingLife recommended, were the ones that I was waiting for.

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  8. I am so happy you are able to work again! I miss my library so much. They have just opened the book drop so they can start processing the months of books people have had out. I dropped off 6! I hope you realize how important you are to the people in your community!

    I love this reading challenge. I think I should do it in November when there are fewer new releases. I look at my shelves and there are books that I remember wanting to read, but then I look away. I’m way too easily distracted these days…

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    1. Thank you Catherine. It has been nice to hear so many people tell us they’re grateful that we’re open again, even with some reduced services.

      I am very easily distracted as well! I have only completed one title from my list so far, so I am almost positive I won’t complete all 20 in three months. But it’s fun to try!

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  9. What a diverse reading list! I love how you post this every year– it’s fun to compare your list to what I’ve read and aspire to read. The only book on your 20 Books of Summer list I’ve read is The Murder of Roger Ackroyd — I’m that person who’s only read the most well-known Christie novels. Oops. I hope to read more some day.

    Of the rest of your list, I have many on my own TBR! How Not To Be Racist is high on my own, but acquiring a copy without purchasing it will be difficult for a while. Our library has 120 copies and they are all checked out! Even with all the crazy library-restrictions going on! Madness.

    The Blue Castle and The Right Swipe are both the sort of read I could get into this summer, easily. I am with you on that aspect — my brain feels like oatmeal. Concentration is hard again. I don’t have the same sort of library things to contend with, but just the protests and the riots and the state of the Union are enough to make my brain mushy.

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    1. I am reading How to be Anti Racist right now and it’s awesome. I did purchase it back in April. I have emailed our head of collection development to let her know that I would like for my location to add more books by Black authors, nonfiction and fiction. We aren’t purchasing anything until the new fiscal year but I wanted to put that bug in her ear anyway.

      Today my brain feels especially like oatmeal. It’s all too much.

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      1. That’s a great idea! Okay, as a library patron who has no idea how to get a hold of the head of collection development in my own library system, who do you recommend I reach out to in order to share a similar opinion? I don’t like waiting this long for such important books! 😉

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      2. Our library website has a “suggest a purchase “ section you can fill out. Perhaps yours does too? If not, then maybe you have a “chat with a reference librarian” function? You could use that to let them know you’d like them to purchase certain titles.

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      3. We have “Suggest a Purchase” through Libby, but you can only suggest 5 books at once and then your suggestion either needs to expire or they need to purchase the book before you can suggest another one. It’s… shockingly limiting. Also, I didn’t realize it’s limitations until I’d used all my recommendation slots. If I had known, I would have been more discriminatory!

        Oooh, we totally have a phone number of call a reference librarian. I’ll use that and chat with them a bit about the sorts of titles I’d love to see in the future. Thanks for the help!

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