10 Books of Summer 2023

Cathy at 746books.com announced the annual 20 Books of Summer reading challenge a few days ago and I’ve been giving some thought to what I might read from the 60 books I’m trying to knock off my To Read pile this year.

Excitingly for me, I start a new job at the beginning of June and my commute will mean plenty of time for reading. Because I’ll be travelling by tram instead of bus and finding a seat might be difficult, I’ve decided to prioritise books on my e-reader for the summer challenge. Reading standing up might be easier that way.

I’m playing it cautiously again this year and have chosen ten slim titles from the electronic stash. Perhaps I’ll rattle through them and will need to up my target. Only time will tell.

My chosen books on my LibraryThing account

The books I’ve chosen are:

  • Wasteland by Keith Crews – I’ve had this on my e-reader since I got it; it came as a freebie.
  • Babbit by Sinclair Lewis – another freebie, downloaded from Project Gutenberg.
  • The Red Queen by Margaret Drabble – this is from the 1001 Books list; I love Margaret Drabble but haven’t read anything by her in a long while.
  • Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville – another Project Gutenberg freebie and a book I’ve chosen because I’ve only read Melville’s Moby Dick.
  • Parade by Shūichi Yoshida – I read Yoshida’s Villain nine years ago and enjoyed it. I’ve had Parade for a while and I’m in the mood for some disturbing Japanese fiction.
  • The Sound of the Mountain by Yasunari Kawabata – I’ve read Thousand Cranes and Snow Country by Kawabata, both beautiful books. I’ve got high hopes for this one.
  • A Cruel Bird Came to the Nest and Looked In by Magnus Mills – Mills is another author I love but haven’t read anything by in a while. Time to return to his whimsy.
  • The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock – someone recommended this to me and I can’t remember who. Give me a wave in the comments if it was you.
  • Winterhill 3: Bad Company by Iain Martin – this series is by an author I encountered on Twitter when I shared my review of The Portable Veblen prompting a conversation. I enjoyed the first two and have had three and four for years. There are apparently three more volumes but the link to buy them on the author’s website doesn’t work. As far as I know, the books were only available on Kindle. I’ll never know how the story ends.
  • The Heart Goes Boom by Alex Green – this was recommended to me on Twitter by the lead singer of Del Amitri, of all people. Green is a music journalist and as far as I can see this is his only novel.

So that’s my list. I’m confident I’ll get through them all. I’ll add links to my reviews here as and when.


9 thoughts on “10 Books of Summer 2023

  1. Good luck with your challenge (and new job) Jan. That’s a great list with some titles I will especially eb looking out for your reviews on like the Kawabata and Yoshida. Also Babbit since I have been meaning to read Sinclair Lewis for a while.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Mallika! I’m keen to read the Kawabata and Yoshida. I’m reading the final volume in David Peace’s Tokyo Trilogy and hankering for some more Japanese literature. I’ve never read anything by Sinclair Lewis and Babbit seems like an interesting one. A precursor to John Updike and Philip Roth, perhaps.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Not read any of these, but I still have Sinclair Lewis’s It Can’t Happen Here to finish, which was too close to Trump’s career when I began it in 2016… But good luck with all these!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m thinking of doing a 1,001 Books theme this year, which will limit me a bit because I don’t actually own a ton of unread books from that list! Del Amitri, now that is a blast from the past…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll be interested to see what you choose, Laura. I’ve got 14 from the 1001 list on my To Read, three of them on this year’s hit list, but the other two are chunksters that would slow me down over the summer. And yes, Del Amitri! I was following him because I like his solo stuff and somehow a book conversation started. Social media is a strange place!


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