Cathy at 746 books runs a challenge every year to read 20 books from 1st June to 5th September. This year, mostly because I like writing lists, I’ve decided to join in. I mean, I’m cheating a little bit, because I’ll be reading a couple for my book club already and I’ve included those. Even so, here is my fairly ambitious TBR (links are to the relevant Goodreads page):

  1. Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
    I’ve heard only good things about this memoir by a prominent botanist. In recent months, I’ve become more interested in reading about the lives of other female scientists, and this looks to fit the bill.
  2. All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
    I have this checked out of the library at the moment. It feels like my kind of book, but I’m really struggling with the lack of quotation marks. I’m going to give it a fresh go this summer.
  3. Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life by Bryan Lee O’Malley
    This was one of my favourite films for a while, but I’ve never read the original book. I even reserved it at the library, but I couldn’t get there in time to pick it up and it was immediately checked out by someone else.
  4. Thunder and Lightning: Weather Past, Present, Future by Lauren Redniss
    I absolutely loved Redniss’ graphic biography on the life and work of Marie Curie, Radioactive, and this looks to be equally stunning.
  5. The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson
    A book club pick. I’m looking forward to it.
  6. Why the Reformation Still Matters by Michael Reeves & Tim Chester
    I’ve loved everything I’ve read by Michael Reeves to date (The Good God and Rejoicing in Christ). I can’t wait to read this.
  7. The Robots of Dawn by Isaac Asimov
    I loved the previous two novels in the Robot series, and I’m impatient to get to this one.
  8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K Dick
    This is another one that we’ve picked for book club, though this one was my request. I rarely pick up classic science fiction, but I almost always enjoy it when I do.
  9. Paradise Lodge by Nina Stibbe
    Stibbe’s previous novel Man at the Helm was one of my favourite books of 2014. This is a semi-sequel (companion novel?), which catches up with Lizzie Voegel when she’s 15 and working in a nursing home.
  10. Taliesin by Stephen Lawhead
    This has been on my TBR, more or less, since I was 11. I think it is high time that I read it. (I’ve even leant it to two other people, both of whom liked it).
  11. The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
    Graham Greene is one of my favourite authors, but I haven’t read anything of his since The Heart of the Matter, which was devastatingly good. This is the next one on my shelf.
  12. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
    Virginia Woolf seems intimidatingly intellectual, but I’ve heard that this is a good place to start.
  13. A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon
    I haven’t read anything by Mark Haddon other than The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, which was one of my favourite books as a teenager.
  14. The Hidden Staircase by Carolyn Keene
    My mum moved house a few months ago, and one of the childhood treasures I saved from the loft was a big stack of my old Nancy Drews. Working my way through them as an adult is such a pleasure.
  15. Die Verwandlung by Franz Kafka
    I have already read this in English, but I was using an old (public domain) translation, which I suspect was a bit clunky. I want to read more in German this year, but so far that has amounted to exactly one clinical review paper, and no novels.
  16. The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien
    The Tolkien section on my bookshelf is well-stocked, but other than The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, I’ve barely read any of it. Time to amend that.
  17. I, Claudius by Robert Graves
    will make it through this. I am determined. I’ve bought myself the BBC miniseries now, which I’ve seen before and loved, so I’m going to read a section and then watch the accompanying episode.
  18. The Small Bachelor by PG Wodehouse
    This was an unexpected secondhand treasure, found in the pleasingly large Wodehouse section in Any Amount of Books in London. (It’s one of the best places in the world and you should go there if you can).
  19. Die Leiden des jungen Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    Here’s the thing, the German publishing house Reclam makes these tiny, beautiful yellow editions of classic German literature, and they look totally manageable, and I buy them compulsively whenever I see them. Then I get home and I remember that it’s been a really long time since my A-levels and that my German isn’t that good any more. I have a small stack of these now, and I’m very keen to get through them.
  20. Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
    Even though I didn’t initially fall in love with Code Name Verity, it grew and grew on me. It ended up becoming one of my favourite books of 2015. I’m apprehensive about reading the sequel because I’ve heard mixed reviews, but I still think that I want to give it a go.

Anybody else participating? I’m curious to know about everybody’s plans 🙂