Cathy, at 746 books, is hosting another 20 Books of Summer event. It will be my first. There are so many reasons why I shouldn’t do this. I don’t have a book blog (although you might be forgiven for doubting that); I already have numerous book reviews that I ought to be writing anyway (on the book blog I claim not to have) and I do have a propensity to drop out of blogging altogether for extended periods of time without warning. So really, it’s not sensible. But it involves lists and I love lists, especially book lists. Which raises another reason for not joining in: I already have a list of summer reading planned. At least, I did have. Since Cathy announced the start of the challenge I’ve been fiddling about with the original plan. Then other people began posting their lists which gave me ideas for how I might make my own even better and the selection changed again. Finally I think it’s ready.
Overall, I would like the list to be light-hearted and summery so that settled a few choices. And I seem to be woefully light on Cornish reads so far this year, so another tweak there. Not forgetting, of course, the Classics Club. Always good to squeeze in a few short and not-so-short classics. That means yet another tweak to the Classics Club list. And almost certainly there will be changes to the 20 Books of Summer List but change is good – and permitted.
The challenge begins on 3rd June and ends on 3rd September. I’m going for 20 but will probably have to drop down as the weeks pass. Worth a try though.
As things stand and in no particular order, here are my choices:
- A Persephone, hopefully Flush by Virginia Woolf. I’ll read this for Jessie’s Persephone Readathon which runs from 31st May to 9th June.
- Bookworm by Lucy Mangan. I’ve been wanting to read this for ages and I already have it here from the library. Should be a delightful read.
- The Tree of Man by Patrick White. Also here on loan and recommended by Rose Reads Novels White won the Nobel Prize in 1973; I read far too little Australian fiction and Rose speaks so eloquently in its favour that I know I will love it.
- The Cats Cradle Book by Sylvia Townsend Warner and …
- Lolly Willowes also by Sylvia Townsend Warner. I struggled so hard with Mr Fortune’s Magot and gave up eventually but I’m not prepared to give up on her as an author just yet. a gallimaufry is running a Sylvia Townsend Warner week from 1st to 7th July. Her blog is new to me so it seems a good time to get to know it and have another crack at STW.
- Night Waking by Sarah Moss. I read Signs for Lost Children last year and was bowled over by it. For Christmas I got the trilogy of which Lost Children is the final book. Now I’m keen to read from the start.
- A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny. I’ve also been reading happily through Louise Penny’s series with the wonderful Inspector Gamache in the idyllic Three Pines. (If you ignore the death rate of course.) I’m reading them in order, at the time of year in which they are set. This is the next one I’m due to read and it’s set in summer. Perfect!
- The Chicken Soup Murder by Maria Donovan. I had this one in my original plan for the summer and I’m even more keen to read it having read Cath Humphris’ review.
- Summer on the River by Marcia Willett. Most of Marcia Willett’s books are set in the West Country. They are light and easy but well-written. Ideal summer reading. This one is actually set in Devon rather than Cornwall but I’m not quibbling. A charity shop find which I can return to be resold.
- The Fate of Jeremy Visick by David Wiseman. This is a children’s book, totally new to me, set amidst the tin mining country in Cornwall. I heard about it from My Beautiful Things, a fellow Cornish blogger, who mentioned in passing ‘her father’s book’. I like such connections. And the book sounds compelling.
- The Salt Path by Raynor Wynn. Another recent addition; it’s only been waiting a short while but how can I not read this account of one couple’s life-affirming trek around the Cornish coast.
- Let Me Tell You About a Man I Know by Susan Fletcher. Another one I’ve been planning to read for ages. And complimented by…
- Drawing Lessons by Patricia Sands as recommended by Claire at Word by Word.
- The Greengage Summer by Rumer Godden. Because I love her books and Madame Bibi Lophile reminded me of this one in her excellent series, A Novella a Day in May. How can I resist that title in a summer list?
- Diving Belles by Lucy Wood. Short stories based in Cornwall. Why has it taken me so long?
- Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury. Last year I got halfway through Something Wicked This Way Comes and I loved it. I shall start it again this autumn. Dandelion Wine comes first.
- Cane River by Lalita Tademy. I’ve had this one on the shelf for so long. This is its year.
- The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. Another one that’s been waiting a while and has been recommended many times.
- Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi, recent winner of the International Man Booker Prize and available to download this morning. I couldn’t resist.
- A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler. Another of the novellas discussed by Madame Bibi Lophile. I’ve been intending read this one for a long time.
Will I really get through all these between 3rd June and 3rd September? We’ll see. If I do,I’ll have read 3 more Cornish titles and potentially 8 for the Classics Club. And my tbr will be just that little bit lighter!