Summer Book Reading Challenge


Cathy is hosting the annual 20 Books of Summer reading challenge again over at 746 Books. The eagle eyed among you will have spotted that the image I’ve chosen from Cathy’s selection isn’t for twenty books. There are three reasons for that.

Last year was the first time I took part in the challenge, and I confidently lined up twenty books to read. I managed to finish nine. Partly because I got sidetracked by library books coming in on reservation. I’m being more realistic this year. Maybe I’ll surprise myself.

Spring 2020 has been unlike any I’ve ever experienced in my time on the planet, and I have no doubt that this summer will be the same, how about you? My reading rate has roughly halved, thanks to not having a morning and evening bus commute to read in this past 75 days. I’ve read a little at breakfast, but other things have taken my attention, from virtual jigsaws to baking and, of course, the inevitable fall into social media’s wormhole. I’m averaging a book a week, though, devouring the pages at the weekend.

I’ve also made a decision to read as many of my hardbacks as I can while I don’t have to think about carrying a heavy book around with me. Some of the hardbacks I’ve read recently have been hefty in content as well as form.

This year’s list sees two returnees from last summer. The rest are recent acquisitions, through birthday and Xmas gifts and my own weak will in the face of pleas from the world of independent publishing to support their continued existence. I already know that one of my subscriptions will deliver a book in the next couple of weeks that I’ll want to read instead of another on this year’s list.

1. The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House, Audre Lorde (review here)

2. Ghosts on the Shore: Travels Along Germany’s Baltic Coast, Paul Scraton (read and reviewed later)

3. Common People: An Anthology of Working Class Writers, edited by Kit de Waal (review here)

4. Attrib: And Other Stories, Eley Williams (Review here)

5. Imaginary Cities, Darran Anderson (read and reviewed later)

6. Mortimer and Whitehouse Gone Fishing, Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse (Review here)

7. The Grasmere Journal 1800-1803 (Folio Society edition), Dorothy Wordsworth (Review here)

8. Hit Factories: A Journey Through the Industrial Cities of Pop, Karl Whitney (read and reviewed later)

9. Barn 8, Deb Olin Unferth (Review here)

10. British Forests: The Forestry Commission 1919-2019, edited by Ian Gambles (review here)

Now, I just need to finish my current book so I can start a fresh one tomorrow.

Possible substitutions

1. Imperial Reckoning: Britain’s Gulag in Kenya, Caroline Elkins (review here)

2. The Space Between Black and White, Esuantsiwa Jane Goldsmith

3. Under Solomon Skies, Berni Sorga-Millwood (read and reviewed later)

4. Boy Parts, Eliza Clark (review here)

5. The Deptford Trilogy, Robertson Davies

6. Unbowed: One Woman’s Story, Wangari Maathai (review here)


17 thoughts on “Summer Book Reading Challenge

    1. Oh, me too! I’ve borrowed a couple of hardbacks from the library recently, and carried them around with me during the day. They felt really big reading them on the bus, trying to squeeze them into the space above my work bag. Paperbacks and ereaders are much easier to read in small spaces.

      Liked by 1 person

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