My 20 Books of Summer

Cathy at is once again hosting her 20 Books of Summer event. It’s a low-key challenge that I enjoy because it helps me organize my summer reading and pushes me not to just reach for the latest “beach read” (however you define that). You can also choose a 10 or 15 book challenge, and she’s very flexible about swapping books.

Reading 20 books over the summer is fairly easy for me. The harder part is sticking to this particular list. I know I may not get through the entire list, and I certainly won’t review every book. A realistic goal for me is to read 15 of the 20 books on this list (without swapping) and to review at least 10 of those. The books need to be finished between June and August. 

As it is every year, my list is made up of books from my TBR Pile Challenge, book club books, and ARCs I’ve committed to.  I’ve also put on a few books I’ve been wanting to read for a while. 

From the TBR Pile Challenge:

  1. Hum if You Don’t Know the Words by Bianca Marais
  2. Butter Honey Pig Bread by Francesca Ekwuyasi
  3. The Choice by Edith Eva Eger
  4. The Outrun by Amy Liptrot


  1. Aloha Vietnam by Elizabeth Nguyen
  2. And Then He Sang a Lullaby by Ani Kayode
  3. Dreams of Arcadia by Brian Porter
  4. The Deep Sky by Yumi Kitasei
  5. Family Lore by Elizabeth Acevedo
  6. The Blue, Beautiful World by Karen Lord

From the Fantastic Strangelings Book Club:

  1. Killing Me by Michelle Gagnon
  2. The House is On Fire by Rachel Beanland

And other books I want to read:

  1. What My Bones Know by Stephanie Foo
  2. Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley
  3. The Monsters We Defy by Leslye Penelope
  4. Happy Place by Emily Henry
  5. The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery
  6. Under a Veiled Moon by Karen Odden
  7. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
  8. Excuse Me While I Disappear by Laurie Notaro

That’s my summer reading list! Will you be joining 20 Books of Summer? If so feel free to share a link to your list. And if you’ve read any of these books, let me know what you liked.

  13 comments for “My 20 Books of Summer

  1. May 21, 2023 at 6:56 am

    What a great list Deb! I really loved Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, it’s a fantastic read. Good luck and happy reading x

    • May 23, 2023 at 7:40 am

      Thanks Cathy! I’m looking forward to summer. I wasn’t initially interested in Tomorrow and Tomorrow but I’ve heard only great things. I’m glad you recommend it.

      • May 23, 2023 at 8:55 am

        I really enjoyed it – such a fun read.

  2. May 21, 2023 at 10:01 am

    Me too, reading 10-20 books is no problem, sticking to a list is. But I chose 10 books I really want to read, and I’ll feel free to swap at will. Your list looks great, I don’t know the ARCs but lots of the others are favorites or have come highly recommended. Enjoy the summer!

    • May 23, 2023 at 7:42 am

      Thanks Lory, I hope you have a great summer too! Ten books probably makes more sense than 20, but I don’t mind reaching for it and not getting there. The books I push myself to read are often my favorites.

  3. May 21, 2023 at 12:21 pm

    I’m not doing the challenge, since as soon as I make a list, I start feeling boxed in. 😦 But, I do love seeing everyone else’s lists! I just finished Happy Place, and loved it, and you have two other books on your list that I loved as well — Tomorrow & Tomorrow & Tomorrow and The Blue Castle. Hope you enjoy all of these. Good luck!

    • May 23, 2023 at 7:43 am

      I totally understand about lists and feeling boxed in. I make an exception for summer because otherwise I’ll just grab new releases all summer long. Thanks for the recommendations, I’m glad to hear you loved Happy Place. I really loved Book Lovers, sometimes writers start to feel stale after a few books but that doesn’t seem the case with Emily Henry.

  4. May 21, 2023 at 2:02 pm

    Oh dear, I’ve only heard of one of these!

    • May 23, 2023 at 7:46 am

      A lot of these are ARCs so that’s understandable – I signed up for too many this summer! And also I’m trying to read more authors from different countries. Karen Odden is a favorite if you like historical mystery, and I’ve heard Stephanie Foo’s book recommended many times. Happy summer reading!

  5. May 21, 2023 at 5:03 pm

    Lovely! Looking forward to seeing your reviews.

    • May 23, 2023 at 7:47 am

      Thanks Jean! I’m doing better this year reading books about other countries, so I included some of those on my list. Happy summer reading!

  6. June 1, 2023 at 12:58 am

    This list is amazing!

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