My Twenty Books of Summer

summer

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:

  1. A Persephone, hopefully Flush by Virginia Woolf. I’ll read this for Jessie’s Persephone Readathon which runs from 31st May to 9th June.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. The Cats Cradle Book by Sylvia Townsend Warner and …
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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…
  13. Drawing Lessons by Patricia Sands as recommended by Claire at Word by Word.
  14. 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?
  15. Diving Belles by Lucy Wood. Short stories based in Cornwall. Why has it taken me so long?
  16. 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.
  17. Cane River by Lalita Tademy. I’ve had this one on the shelf for so long.  This is its year.
  18. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. Another one that’s been waiting a while and has been recommended many times.
  19. Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi, recent winner of the International Man Booker Prize and available to download this morning. I couldn’t resist.
  20. 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!

summer

59 thoughts on “My Twenty Books of Summer”

  1. Thank you for the mention – I really hope you enjoy both the novellas 🙂 I’m planning on joining in with the Perspephone readathon too. Celestial Bodies looks great, I’m really keen to read it. Happy summer reading!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ooh… er. I hate lists. They terrify me and make me feel inadequate. As for a List in Which I Have To Read All 20 Books. Noooooooooo. But this one. I am convinced Lucy Mangan had me in mind when she wrote her book. It’s my childhood. It’s my children’s childhood. Good heavens, she was brought up a stone’s throw from where my son is now living. Wonderful book. Louise Penny? She came to Ripon to talk , a couple of years ago, with Ann Cleves. What a great team! Their respect and liking for one another was palpable. Patricia Sands writes a great blog – we follow one another. So I ought to read this too. Apart from that, the only other one I’ve read is ‘A Whole Life’. Another great book. So I like the look of this list. The trouble is, if it were mine, I’d get distracted by other great books, and feel doubly inadequate that the twenty books never got completed. No, lists worry me…..

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ha ha, sorry, Margaret! I love making lists; lists give me a framework for everything. And besides, it’s ok if I don’t read them all. Which is just as well – partly because there’s a lot of other stuff going on in life and partly because I, too, am so easily –tempted– distracted by other titles. I had heard that Louise Penny and Ann Cleves are good friends; I’d love to see them one day. Penny’s book and Bookworm are two that will definitely get read over the summer, Bookworm very soon. I know I will love it. I must look at Patricia Sands’ blog. So many blogs, so little time 😀

      Like

  3. Hi. I’m pretty sure my little East Bumkick library doesn’t carry many Cornish writers or tales, but along with du Maurier, you’ve given me some suggested names above that it must surely carry — Rumer Godden, Lucy Mangan, Ray Bradbury.. I’m looking forward to getting to the Library!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A very good question, Elizabeth. I don’t like rushing through books unless they are obviously best-selling page-turners intended to have the pulse racing and make you want to just keep going. I plan to be quite careful and not rush. I would much rather read fewer but read them fully than meet the target but miss some of the pleasure of the books. The challenge is meant to be fun above all 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It looks as though you have a great summer of reading ahead of you, Sandra. Flush is the only one of those books I have read (and I loved it) but most of the others sound very appealing to me. Good luck!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. That’s an interesting list. I didn’t love Lolly Willowes as much as other readers have, but I loved the Rumer Godden and of course Louise Penny.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m looking forward to Lolly Willowes, mostly because I’ve heard so much good stuff about it. It’s good to know that not everyone loved it – I may well feel as you do, Katrina.

      Like

    1. I shall certainly try to highlight the favourites, Flower. I have some prior expectations; you’ve made me think that I might note down for myself which ones I expect to like the best and see if I’m proved right!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for this list. I’m so happy to learn about the Sylvia Townsend Warner week in July — One of my favorite authors, so I’ll definitely be participating. And however successful you are with meeting your summer reading goals, you’ve certainly collected a great list.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I’ve seen this summer reading challenge on many posts recently. It seems like a fun way to tackle your TBR. I hope you have fun with your summer reading! And you can make changes to your list at any point along the way which is nice. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I am also not one for lists. I need to do one at a time (and am currently very slowly rereading the excellent ‘Fugitive Pieces’ by Anne Michaels, partly inspired by a previous post of yours even though you didn’t mention the book but such convolutions happen!). Anyway, thanks for your summer reading list bringing such interesting titles to my attention.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I do find your list inspiring! And re Fugitive Pieces, gosh, I can’t remember as I read it some time back not long after it first came out. I think it’s likely I read a reviews in literary mags that alerted me to the book. Have you read it?

        Liked by 1 person

    1. What can I say, Rose – I never dreamed there were all these amazing blogs out there specialising in books! 😀 I’m really still wanting to prioritise life in Cornwall on mine. But these pesky books just keep turning up here! 😉 Tree of Man is sitting here, ready and waiting. Although I very much doubt I shall read all 20 books, that one will definitely get read. I’m very much looking forward to it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 😀😀😀
        It’s a pleasure to get a look at life in Cornwall, too. It’s a place that is known of (or imagined and dreamed of) from all over the world, in my case because of the authors who are from there or have set their books there, so it is great that a few book reviews creep in to your Corner.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m fascinated with your approaches to reading–the lists, the matching books to seasons, etc. I’ll be interested to see what you think of the Penny–it was not my favorite but it has its moments. And Dandelion Wine–I used to love Bradbury.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I am a little weird, I accept 😉 But I do get a huge amount from reading a book at the appropriate time etc. I know plenty of people who prefer the opposite. I shall let you know about the Penny and I can’t wait for Dandelion Wine. I was staggered by Something Wicked This Way Comes – a Hallowe’en book ready to be picked up again as Hallowe’en draws close! 😉

      Like

  10. Always find it oddly satisfying to delve into others’ reading lists. What a delightful collection to get through. I’ve heard particularly good things about the salt path and intend to get my hands on that myself. Hoping to spend some time on the Corniche coast in late summer so that might be the perfect accompaniment.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. How marvellously disciplined you are! Apart from my Book Group read, I lurch greedily from genre to genre on whims and fancies and reviews posted by friends! xxx

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ha ha, Pat, you know I am not at all discplined! I just can’t resist making a list. Which will no doubt end up looking very different come September!

      Like

  12. I’ve seen one or two other bloggers undertaking this challenging now too, also tweaking their plans a little. Your selection looks really interesting, a good variety! I’ve not actually read any of them, but there are a couple I quite like the sound of. Happy reading! 🙂
    xx

    Liked by 3 people

  13. What a great list! I’m happy you got your wish about Flush. I haven’t read any of these, but so many are on my TBR. I’m especially interested in Night Waking, Bookworm, The Salt Path, and Lolly Willowes, and look forward to hearing your thoughts about them if you pick them up. Best of luck and happy summer reading, Sandra!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. That’s a cracking list and you are tempting me with many of them though my TBR pile is already bigger that I can contemplate. I hope you enjoy Jeremy Visick. That will only take you an evening to give you more time for all the others on your list.
    I have a couple more for you! My Dad wrote historical romances set in Cornwall as Jane Julian and I have just finished an amazing story, Guernica by Dave Boling. For your next list perhaps!
    Happy reading and thanks for the mention. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m looking forward to Jeremy Visick, the book is here and waiting. Thank you for the other recommendations. Guerinca does look good! And I’ve tracked down 3 Jane Julian books so that’s something to look forward to!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Fantastic, you have one of the best books I’ve read this year – The Salt Path. And you have one that is on my own books of summer list . A Whole Life. That was just wonderful too……

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a real testament for The Salt Path! I’m looking forward to it. (Progress is slow at the moment!) I have wanted to read A Whole Life for a long time; it sounds like it won’t disappoint 🙂

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.