Reading challenges are always fun: the choosing, the list-making, the reading… But that’s where I get stuck. It’s not that I dislike writing about the books; I’m just very bad at producing posts of any type to order.
Thus it is with trepidation that I take the plunge and sign up for not one but two challenges. Next month sees the inaugural Jazz Age June challenge hosted by Laurie at Relevant Obscurity and Fanda of Fanda Classiclit. Books, films… anything from the 1920s is de rigueur throughout the month of June. Even I ought to be able to write one Jazz Age post next month.
And once again Cathy at 746 books is hosting the 20/15/10 Books of Summer event which runs from 1st June to 1st September. Last year was my first attempt and I rashly dived in with a list of twenty books. It is within the rules to make changes to the list or adjust the numbers and I did both, finishing with a total of 15 books read. But looking back, I only managed to review three! What can I say? But epic fail on reviewing notwithstanding, it was a great summer of reading. And who knows, I may surprise myself this year!
With the faint hope of achievement beyond just reading the books, I shall attempt a conservative 10 Books of Summer in 2020, several of which will combine with Jazz-Age June and also with my much-neglected Classics Club list. I’m hoping that being able to tick off books from multiple challenges will be an added incentive. There’s a good variety here, though almost all fiction. I’m favouring shorter books plus books I know I’m going to read anyway and books that were on last year’s 20 BoS list that I’m still every bit as keen to read now as I was then. I’m also pushing the envelope when it comes to Cathy’s generous conditions for her challenge. Rather than just listing 10 books, I’m producing a rather longer list from which I shall choose as the weeks pass. Anything that may help!
Jazz Age June Books will be drawn from:
A Room of One’s Own Virginia Woolf (1929)
To the Lighthouse Virginia Woolf (1927)
Bliss & Other Stories Katherine Mansfield (1920)
The Mysterious Affair at Styles Agatha Christie (1920)
A Farewell to Arms Ernest Hemingway (1929)
The Velveteen Rabbit Marjory Williams Bianco (1922)
The Painted Veil W Somerset Maugham (1925)
A Passage to India E M Forster (1924)
10 Books of Summer Any of the above plus a selection from:
Under Milk Wood Dylan Thomas (1954)
Dandelion Wine Ray Bradbury (1957)
The Summer Book Tove Jansson (1972)
A Month in the Country J L Carr (1980)
Cane River Lalita Tademy (2002)
The Shell Collector Anthony Doerr (2003)
The Elegance of the Hedgehog Muriel Barbery (2006)
Celestial Bodies Jokha Alharthi (2010)
Let Me Tell You About a Man I Knew Susan Fletcher (2016)
Drawing Lessons Patricia Sands (2017)
The Redeemed Tim Pears (2019)
Diary of a Young Naturalist Dara McAnulty (2020)
On my shelves
So I’m choosing ten from twenty. Within these twenty there are:
3 definite reads
3 previously started and not finished
11 which could count as Classics Club reads
16 already owned (there may be a couple more!)
To be found!
I do admire the purists who have the strength to put out a list and stick with it. I am not of that order. But at the end of the day, it’s all about the reading isn’t it. And maybe for me, just a little bit about setting a target and meeting it!