It's Almost Time For 20 Books of Summer! (Plus Bonus Update)

Despite the fact that time has slowed to a crawl under lockdown, I'm still capable of being surprised that June is in a couple of weeks and it's time for Cathy's 20 Books of Summer event.    As usual, it runs from the first of June through the first of September, and the hashtag this year (which I will forget to use) is #20booksofsummer20

My preference is to pick 20 books and put them in a pile -- Cathy has no serious rules.  This year, I have two summer readalongs of giant tomes, so those count in the list.  And I gave myself a couple of alternates, in case.  So here are my titles -- some fun, some classics, some challenge titles, all from my two TBR piles since new books aren't really a thing right now:

  1. The Golden Bough, by Sir James Frazer
  2. The Mysteries of Udolpho, by Mrs. Radcliffe (readalong #2)
  3. The View From the Cheap Seats, by Neil Gaiman
  4. The Spy and the Traitor, by Ben McIntyre
  5. Edward Lear biography, by Vivien Noakes
  6. Age of Anger, by Pankaj Mishra
  7. The Forest of Enchantment, by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
  8. Thames, by Peter Ackroyd
  9. Beside the Ocean of Time, by George McKay Brown
  10. The Children of Hurin, by JRR Tolkien
  11. The Inland Sea, by Donald Richie
  12. Crossings, by Melissa Inouye
  13. White Guard, by Mikhail Bulgakov
  14. Forest of a Thousand Daemons, by D. O. Fagunwa
  15. Seeing Red, by Lina Meruane
  16. Oroonoko, by Aphra Behn
  17. Black Renaissance, by Miklos Szentkuthy
  18. The Return, by Walter de la Mare
  19. The Anvil of the World, by Kage Baker
  20. Uncommon Traveller, by Charles Dickens
  1. The Scapegoat, by Sophia Nikolaidou
  2. Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard, by Kiran Desai
Join us!  It's a fun, low-stress event.

In other news, I finished this quilt!  I've been having a good deal of fun sewing.  I've done a bunch of masks for the local hospital too, don't worry, but I can't always sew masks.  I've had this top sitting around for a while and somehow didn't get around to quilting it, so I decided to do that.  I'm really pleased with how it came out and I think I might enter it for judging in the 2021 quilt show.

Everything else is pretty much the same.  We're all working from home, my poor teenager can only see her friends on Zoom and is undoubtedly sick to death of her parents, and I take a lot of walks.  Our county has actually been very quiet, with not very many known cases...but then, testing hasn't been all that available either.  The county got approval to open back up a bit, so we'll see how it goes.

The schools certainly aren't planning to get back to old ways anytime soon.  The colleges (mine too) are planning to be almost entirely online in the fall, except for things like welding where students have to do some work in person.  The high school is still thinking about it.

I have been learning to use video editing software to make videos about librarianly things like accessing ebooks and getting citations from databases.  It's kind of fun, and I'm using my new skills to make my mom's picture book about local history into a read-aloud video for the 3rd and 4th grade teachers.  I'd better hurry up and finish it, or school will be over!

That's my news.  Would love to hear how you all are doing ....


  1. Beautiful quilt! What do you do with them once you finish them, besides entering into a contest?

    Curious...what is The Children of Hurin about?

    Victorville must have too much CV testing bc we have several sites where testers just sit around looking least from what I have seen.

    Other than that, I miss the library and the gym, my teenager misses volunteering at the library, and all three of my younger ones are becoming experts in Mindcraft.

  2. I'm not sure what the Children of Hurin is about. I *think* it's some stories out of the Silmarillion? I'm going to find out! :D

    This particular quilt will hang on the wall sometimes. I do various things with the quilts I make -- they go on beds, or I give them away to people, or decorate with them. I'm no good at home decor stuff so I just scatter quilts and books around and hope nobody looks too hard.

  3. LOL!!! Well, you do beautiful work, and anyway, quilts and books make excellent decor in themselves.

  4. That's what I think! :) Thanks.

  5. So glad you are taking part Jean, what a great list. Happy Reading!

  6. Wow, you've been posting up a storm! Looking at your list I now feel kind of bad that I didn't add an Indian author to mine. Perhaps another Taggore?? Oh well! Yours looks fun and eclectic as usual. Have a fun summer with lots of reading! Can't wait for Udolpho!

  7. Awesome list! I was just assembling mine earlier today. I'm not even going to dare to put The Golden Bough on mine--at the moment it's collecting dust by my reading chair & I haven't even started it. (Though your post on it was encouraging or something.)

    The only one of yours I've read is the Tolkien. I liked it, but all the posthumous Tolkien I've read (not all by any means) I find a bit dull. I've got Bulgakov on my list, though it's The Master & Margarita for me.

  8. This sounds like a great list, I really need to read more Charles Dickens. I've been slacking on the classics the last few years. I've also never heard of the Neil Gaiman book on your list. So many interesting choices! Enjoy your summer reading.

  9. I still need to make my list! I like The Children of Hurin but I prefer The Silmarillion. CoH can stand alone but I'm not sure it entirely makes sense out of context. I'd love to see what you think!

  10. You are such an amazing reader. Good luck.

    And what a quilt!

  11. The Neil Gaiman book is a collection of non-fiction things written over the years.

    I really, really have to get around to the Silmarillion. Luckily my husband has turned himself into a walking Encyclopedia of Arda so if I get confused I'll just consult him.

    And Deb Nance, thanks so much! I was so excited about finishing it.

  12. Well done for including The Golden Bough! I decided not to. 1. I've already started it and 2. I'm confident of finishing it (again!) so didn't want a DNF to muddy my list :-D

    PS Love the quilt - very creative of you.
    Our schools started back full-time this week, so we will see how that pans out...

  13. Yeah, I decided I'd have to cheat a bit and put the Golden Bough in, since it's a good 800+ pages and I'm barely started. I feel slightly guilty, but not very! :)

    I am so envying your winter weather, Brona. We've had a heat wave and it's awful. If only we could go swimming it would be OK...

  14. Beautiful quilt!

    Udolpho is a tough one. It's a good thing you have back-ups. I vaguely remember counting the number of times the word sublime was used. But I look forward to seeing what you think of it.

    Always meant to read more Bulgakov.

  15. Now I won't be able to NOT count 'sublime,' and I know it's going to occur about a zillion times!


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