Upcoming: 20 Books of Summer!

 It's time to prepare for what has become an essential summer event: the 20 Books of Summer, hosted by Cathy at 741 Books!  As a summer event, the rules are practically non-existent, and I've tried to pick out a nice mix of TBRs, international reads, and books about WWII.  And of course it's important to include a title or two for WIT Month in August!

So here are my picks -- 20 titles, plus two alternates:

  1. The White Witch, by Elizabeth Goudge
  2. I'm Not Leaving, by Williams
  3. The Heart of the Hunter, by van der Post
  4. Travelling In, Travelling Out, by Namita Gokhale
  5. The Summer Tree, by Guy Gavriel Kay
  6. The Lady of Godey's: Sarah Josepha Hale, by Ruth E. Finley
  7. The Midnight Folk, by John Masefield
  8. The Little Grey Men, by BB
  9. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, by Mark Twain
  10. On Foot to the Golden Horn, by James Goodwin
  11. A Place to Belong, by Fluhman and Olson
  12. The Inscrutable Americans, by Anurag Mathur
  13. Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, by Olga Tokarczuk
  14. The Ring of Bright Water trilogy, by Gavin Maxwell
  15. The Greatest Urdu Stories Ever Told, ed. Muhammad Umar Memon
  16. Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?  by Franz de Waal
  17. Harlequin's Millions, by Bohumil Hrabal
  18. The Third Reich in Power, by Richard J. Evans
  19. Last Hope Island, by Lynne Olson
  20. Millions Like Us, by Virginia Nicholson
  1. Zoo Station, by Ian Walker (there are like five books with this title)
  2. Island of Blood, by Anita Pratap
Improvised, sort of pathetic summer reading station
Why yes, I have already swapped a title

I'm really pretty excited about my pile, though I have a hard time thinking that I'll need those alternates.  Maybe if The Summer Tree turns out to be a dud -- it's the first in a fantasy trilogy I've never heard of (The Fionavar Tapestry??), and the covers are very early 80s.

Summer here is very hot, so it's important to have lots of books to read in the shade! 


  1. I liked the Fionavar Trilogy--it's very Toronto, at least at the start--though I've liked Kay's other books even more. There's a bunch of these I'm curious about. Connecticut Yankee is a lot of fun!

  2. Great list! I also have Millions Like Us on my TBR pile, I should read it this summer. It would count for both my WWII challenge and the Big Book Summer Challenge (assuming it's on again).

  3. Hey, that's good to know, Reese! I visited Toronto in about 1985 so I'll be able to imagine it just right. :) I'm excited about Connecticut Yankee too -- I have read it before, but a good 25 years ago, and I have the edition with Trina Schart Hyman's illustrations. I love TSH so much.

    Karen, join me! We could pick a summer month and both read it in June, or July!

  4. Thanks so much for joining in this year! It's a bit mad but I know Namita Gokhale as I organised a fedtival with her in 2019! Look forward to hearing what you think of her book.

  5. You have lots on here that I’ve never heard of! But that’s the fun part of 20 books of summer - seeing so many new books. Hope the bushfires stay away for you this summer & that’s it not too hot.

  6. Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead is an amazing book, and maybe a good one to read in the summer, when the atmosphere will be less fraught (at least I think so, as I love summertime). https://necromancyneverpays.wordpress.com/2020/02/14/drive-your-plow-over-the-bones-of-the-dead/

  7. Jeanne, thanks! That's a really helpful review! (I actually have very little idea of the book's plot...)

  8. I wish I had a guaranteed hot summer, I'm just hoping for a few dry weekends so I can sit outside and read! Good luck with the challenge.

  9. I don't know where you live, Ellie (Ireland??) but if you want to do an exchange and spend the summer here, we can work something out... ;)

  10. Oh, Ring of Bright Water made my cry. I would vote for The White Witch but there are many here that I haven't read. Looking forward to your thoughts on them.

  11. Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, by Olga Tokarczuk is on my TBR. I LOVED Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? Hopefully I'll have my 20 Books of Summer posted by the end of the week.

  12. I have quite a number of alternative titles, and I think that's okay. Who wants to read a book they are not enjoying/appreciating?

    I'm hoping to read twenty of my 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up.

  13. I really liked Drive Your Plow - and the author herself is pretty fascinating. I hope you enjoy your books of summer! I'm debating joining this challenge; I enjoy it but I'm avoiding book lists this year just so I can be a little more relaxed about what I read.

  14. You always have such interesting lists! It reminds me I've never read Goudge, though, something I should rectify. I understand needing good books for hot weather reading - I don't believe it gets as hot in my area as yours, but I don't tolerate the heat well, so a good book in the summer is always appreciated. Enjoy!

  15. One of the great things about this challenge is its summer-appropriate loosey-gooseyness. Do whatever you want! So you should all join me.

    Amanda, I bet you would enjoy a Goudge novel. She wrote some amazing children's books as well, and The Little White Horse is quite easy to find; I'd recommend it as a starting point.

  16. Thanks for the recommendation, Jean - I'll have to look out for it.


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