I’m so happy it’s finally summer! This year, I’ve been avoiding TBR lists and trying to take some of the pressure off of what and how I read. But I’ll make an exception for the 20 Books of Summer Challenge, hosted by Cathy at 746books.com, because it’s a pretty laid back challenge and summer feels like a good time to set some reading goals.
I enjoy this challenge because summer and reading have always felt intertwined. As a child I loved the freedom of summer, the long hours spent reading on a sunny day or in a hammock under the trees in our backyard. I loved tracking my books, trying out books that were too old for me, and summer reading challenges at the library. I loved the longer days and not having to go to school. As an adult (without kids), summer isn’t that different from the rest of the year, but it still feels different. Summer is also for traveling, for outdoor movies, for beaches or pools, for grilling with friends — but this summer, not so much. Maybe more this year than ever, summer is for reading.
My list is a combination of book club reads (Vox, Troublesome Creek), ARCs (Mexican Gothic, Utopia Avenue), library holds, and physical books that are sitting on my shelf. A few, like Queenie and Weather, are on the list because they are on the Women’s Prize longlist. A few are new releases from favorite authors (Paulette Jiles, Elizabeth Acevedo, David Mitchell) and a few are science fiction novels I’ve been wanting to read (The City in the Middle of the Night, The City We Became). And a few will count towards challenges, like Read Harder, Reading Nonfiction, Mount TBR, and Reading Around the World.
I’m cheating a teeny bit because there are a few books I recently started, that I know I won’t finish before June 1. For now, I’m counting them.
- The Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips
- Vox by Christina Dalcher
- The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
- Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
- Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell
- Craigslist Confessional by Helena Dea Bala
- Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
- Weather by Jenny Offill
- Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
- Simon the Fiddler by Paulette Jiles
- The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez
- Where the Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson
- The Blackbird Girls by Anne Blankman
- My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris
- The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders
- The City We Became by NK Jemisin
- Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
- The Only Plane in the Sky by Garret M. Graff (currently listening)
- The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See (currently listening)
I’m averaging about 10 reads a month, so reading 20 over 3 months won’t be difficult – it’s sticking to the list that’s the challenge. But this is meant to be a NO STRESS challenge, so I’m not going to worry if I don’t read this exact list. I never do.
Will you be participating in 20 Books of Summer? If so, please share a link to your 20 (or 15 or 10) books list. And if not, what are your summer reading plans?