It’s 20 Books of Summer Time

It’s two days until June 1, and that means the start of 20 Books of Summer, hosted annually by Cathy at 746 Books. Many of you know summer is absolutely my favorite time of year. And putting some thought into what I’m reading makes it even better. Here’s how I did last year.

Why make a summer reading list? I guess it depends whether you want summer reading to be a time to challenge yourself versus a time for easy or spur of the moment reading. The nice thing about 20 books over three months is that it’s challenging, but not impossible. I read about 10 books a month, so there’s certainly some room for light reading. But I totally respect the decision to read without any list at all.

I wish summer was like when I was a child – hours and hours of free time. Unless you’re a teacher or a student, your life probably doesn’t change that much in the summer. For me, I listen to audiobooks while I’m gardening or walking, and I read more when I travel, especially if there are long flights or train rides involved. And I love the heat, so I do seek out times I can sit outside and read. When I was going into the office every day, I had a “secret” outdoor lunch spot where I could grab a sandwich and steal away for an hour. Now that I’m working from home, it’s actually harder to carve out those times to get away and read, since there are always things at home that need doing.

It’s worth noting that this challenge is very low-key. The rules are simple: make a list of 20 books you’ll read between June 1 and September 1. My goal is to read all 20 without making substitutions, but the reality is that some of these books may not work for me or may not be easily attainable. Or life may intervene. I also know I won’t review all 20 books, but I will try to read them (I’d be happy with 20 read, 10 reviewed).

I’ve listed ARCs, books for challenges, next in series I’m reading, and books in categories I don’t get to that often, like classics and graphic novels. I’m also trying to read at least a few of the books that are sitting in physical form on my shelf.

So here’s my 20 Books of Summer list:

  1. The Inheritance of Orquidea Divina by Zoraida Cordova (on loan from the library)
  2. The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson (on loan from the library)
  3. The Scent of Burnt Flowers by Blitz Bazawule (ARC)
  4. Haven by Emma Donoghue (ARC)
  5. The Fortunes of Jaded Women by Carolyn Huynh (ARC)
  6. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (TBR Challenge)
  7. The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair (TBR and Nonfiction Challenge)
  8. The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan (TBR Challenge/on my shelf)
  9. The River by Peter Heller (TBR Challenge)
  10. The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui (TBR Challenge)
  11. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh (classic)
  12. Cannery Row by John Steinbeck (classic)
  13. Passing by Nella Larsen (classic/on my shelf)
  14. O Jerusalem by Laurie R. King (next in series)
  15. Fevered Star by Rebecca Roanhorse (next in series)
  16. Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty (Nature and Nonfiction Challenge)
  17. How to Give Up Plastic by Will McCallum (Nature and Nonfiction Challenge)
  18. Don’t Overthink It by Anne Bogel (Nonfiction Challenge)
  19. The Pilot’s Daughter by Meredith Jaeger (historical fiction/on my shelf)
  20. Far Sector by N.K. Jemisin (graphic novel/on my shelf)

Thanks to 746 Books for hosting this challenge, and here’s to a summer of great reading.

  13 comments for “It’s 20 Books of Summer Time

  1. May 30, 2022 at 7:25 am

    Excellent list! I’m reading Haven right now via Netgalley–so far, so good at the 1/4 mark. Passing was good–I read and reviewed it a year or so ago. And, Brideshead! Watch the Anthony Andrews/Jeremy Irons version when you are done reading it–it is amazing.

  2. May 30, 2022 at 11:20 am

    Great list and good luck! I’ve named 10 and will mood read the other 10!

  3. May 30, 2022 at 2:08 pm

    Nice list! Hope you enjoy Diary of a Young Naturalist – Dara is a superstar!

  4. May 31, 2022 at 2:43 am

    Happy Reading. I really enjoyed both Brideshead Revisited and Passing.

  5. June 1, 2022 at 5:16 pm

    Oh for those long days of summer. I remember the summer I finished some major exams, just lounging in the garden all day reading; I was on a “foreign fiction” kick that year so worked my way through Sartre, Dostoevsky, Camus and Tolstoy. Probably didn’t understand most of it!

  6. June 2, 2022 at 11:47 am

    Nice list! I’ve read Brideshead and Passing. Even though I work from home, I do try to get out in the garden for a read in the summer – more tricky now husband is at home all week, too, though!

  7. June 2, 2022 at 5:20 pm

    This is SUCH a cool idea! I am loving your list.

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