It’s that time again! Cathy at 746 books is hosting 20 Books of Summer from 3rd June until 3rd of September, and I am participating (with a full twenty-book list this year). I have yet to succeed at 20 books of summer, but now that my PhD is mostly done, I have an entire thesis-free summer stretching ahead of me. I always enjoy making these lists, anyway, and maybe this year I’ll actually stick to it?

My Post

  1. The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien. Despite my well-documented love for Lord of the RingsI have never actually made it past the first chapter of The Silmarillion. However, I have been promising myself for years that I would treat myself to this book once my thesis was done, and I think it’s finally time. I imagine that this will take me all three months to read, so I will be chopping and changing with some of the other books on this list as well.
  2. Death in the Spotlight by Robin Stevens. This is the seventh in a series of middle-grade detective novels set at an English boarding school in the early 20th century. They are extremely ridiculous and not very good, but I love them immensely and recently read two in a single day.
  3. The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon. This is the upcoming book in the Life’s Library book club, so I will be reading this towards the start of June. – DNF’d in the end, and switched with The Home-maker.
  4. The Beautiful and Damned by F Scott Fitzgerald. I actually started reading this last year, but at the time I was not able to give it the attention it warranted. I was enjoying it, though. Time for another go.
  5. The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro. Ishiguro wrote one of my very favourite books, The Remains of the Day, and this is sitting on my shelf waiting for me to pick it up.
  6. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin. I inadvertently bought a later book in the Earthsea series, and only realised when I started reading it and it didn’t make any sense. I would like to start out with this one.
  7. My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier. This is another book that I recently started reading, but put down because I wasn’t in the mood. It seems like exactly the type of book I might want to read in long summer evenings.
  8. Old Baggage by Lissa Evans. This novel, written from the perspective of an ageing suffragette who misses her militant past, sounds amazing. I picked it up impulsively but I’m really looking forward to reading it.
  9. Black Powder War by Naomi Novik. I reviewed Temeraire last year as part of #SFvsFBingo. This is the third book in the series, and having read and really loved Novik’s Spinning Silver recently, I am ready to get back into these books.
  10. Howard’s End by EM Forster. I liked A Room With a View well enough, but I feel like I have yet to understand why people who love Forster love him as much as they do. I’ve read that this is his masterpiece, so I want to give it a try.
  11. The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett. Although I am gradually working my way through the Discworld novels (carefully rationing them because I know there are no more coming), I’ve never actually read the first one.
  12. The Riviera Express by TP Fielden. Strangely, I’ve had an uncorrected ARC of this murder mystery sitting in my room for ages. I don’t accept ARCs for review any more, and I have no idea how I acquired this, but it’s time to read it or get rid of it, so it’s going on this list.
  13. Lila by Marilynne Robinson. Gilead is another one of my all-time favourite novels, and I have been hesitant to read the companion novels because reading Gilead was such a special and remarkable experience. I think it’s time, though.
  14. Viking Britain by Thomas JT Williams. Picked this up as a birthday treat, and I think I am going to try and read it over the summer.
  15. Animal Farm by George Orwell. Another book that’s been on my shelf for a long time – I think it was a birthday present a couple of years ago – that I want to finally get to this summer.
  16. To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Booth. Doomsday Book is yet another of my all-time favourite novels, and this is a follow-up (though I don’t think it’s a direct sequel). I’m looking forward to it.
  17. Rosewater by Tade Thompson. This has been sitting on my to-buy list for ages, and I’ve decided to give it a go this summer.
  18. The Last Unicorn by Peter S Beagle. One of my friends really loves the film adaptation of this novel. The original text has been on my TBR for years as a result. It’s also just been picked as the next Sword and Laser read, and I always like to join in with those if I can.
  19. Death Comes as the End by Agatha Christie. Gradually, I am working my way through all of Christie’s novels. This one is up next.
  20. The Chosen Ones by Scarlett Thomas. Dragon’s Green, which I read last year, is one of the most wonderful children’s books that I’ve ever read – certainly that I’ve read as an adult. The sequel is finally out in paperback, and I am thrilled about the opportunity to read it.


Here’s to a long and happy summer of great books!