20 Books of Summer

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. 

  1. The Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips
  2. Vox by Christina Dalcher
  3. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
  4. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  5. Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell
  6. Craigslist Confessional by Helena Dea Bala
  7. Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
  8. Weather by Jenny Offill
  9. Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
  10. Simon the Fiddler by Paulette Jiles
  11. The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez
  12. Where the Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson
  13. The Blackbird Girls by Anne Blankman
  14. My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris
  15. The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders
  16. The City We Became by NK Jemisin
  17. Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
  18. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  19. The Only Plane in the Sky by Garret M. Graff (currently listening)
  20. 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? 

  20 comments for “20 Books of Summer

  1. May 26, 2020 at 11:36 pm

    Great recommendations thanks!

  2. May 27, 2020 at 1:53 am

    I read VOX and it was great. I’m reading the Troublesome Creek book right now! Good luck with your challenge. I could never do it – I read way too slowly!

    • May 27, 2020 at 7:27 am

      Thanks, I’m glad to hear you liked Vox! It’s a book club read, so I didn’t choose it. Same with Troublesome Creek. Let me know how you like that one.

      • May 27, 2020 at 9:35 am

        So far… it is fascinating.

  3. May 27, 2020 at 4:55 am

    While I like your setup, I don’t understand why replacing one tbr with another one changes anything.

    • May 27, 2020 at 7:26 am

      You make a fair point! The truth is, summer reading just feels different to me, and I enjoy this challenge, maybe because it’s more about sharing summer reading rather than just tracking it on my own.

  4. May 27, 2020 at 2:06 pm

    I’ve got 3 of those on my list–we’ll have to compare notes. Good list.

  5. May 28, 2020 at 8:03 am

    I get excited for this reading challenge for the same reasons you outlined above – I’ve always associated summertime with reading, particularly because I participated in my local library’s summer reading program throughout grade school too. 🙂
    The City We Became and Mexican Gothic are two of the newer additions to my main TBR, and I think I’m going to have to add Disappearing Earth – it sounds so consuming.
    Happy summer reading!

    • May 29, 2020 at 5:13 pm

      Thanks! I’m really looking forward to Mexican Gothic because I liked Gods of Jade and Shadow so much. I’ll let you know how Disappearing Earth is.

  6. May 28, 2020 at 8:09 am

    I add a big yes to Simon the Fiddler and Only Plane in the Sky.

    • May 29, 2020 at 5:14 pm

      Thanks Deb! I’m listening to Only Plane right now, it is devastating but so informative. And I just love Pauline Jiles.

  7. May 28, 2020 at 2:56 pm

    Lots of exciting books on this list. I’ll look forward to hearing about them.

  8. May 31, 2020 at 5:55 am

    Thanks for taking part! I am busting to read the David Mitchell so look forward to hearing what you think about it. Happy Reading!

  9. June 1, 2020 at 4:59 pm

    Queenie is on my list too 🙂 Happy reading this summer!

  10. June 3, 2020 at 5:34 pm

    Great list – I loved Vox and I can’t wait for my pre-order of Mexican Gothic.
    Happy reading!

    Here’s my list – https://onemoreword.uk/2020/06/03/20booksofsummer-or-the-big-netgalley-catch-up-amreading-books/

  11. June 4, 2020 at 5:12 am

    Lovely list, I had the same thinking process, that summer isn’t really much different for me, but this year I won’t be spending my vacation days for traveling, so better to enjoy the sun at home with some goo books! Best of luck, I really enjoyed The Night Circus so I hope you like it too 😉
    Here is my list: https://ayundabhuwana.wordpress.com/2020/06/03/20-books-of-summer-2020-tbr/

  12. JaneGS
    June 7, 2020 at 10:02 pm

    Ten books a month is a lot by my reckoning! Sounds like a fun way to spend the summer. I’ve been thinking about reading The City We Became—I like the premise a lot.

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