Time for what has become one of my favourite traditions of the blogging year – planning my 20 Books of Summer list (hosted once again by the wonderful Cathy @746 books)! Except that I am not even going to pretend that there’s a chance of me reading twenty books this summer – or, rather, reviewing them all – so I’m keeping my ambitions to the more modest 15. I’m still working hard on my allotment, and that will only get busier in June and July – plus I’m going to Peru for two weeks, which won’t exactly be the kind of gentle sitting-by-the-pool holiday that would lend itself to a lot of reading. Also, I’m organising a conference for work in late June, which is a new thing for me and one I’m very excited about (but also a tonne of work). Basically, this summer is going to be stuffed full to make up for the past two, and I don’t want to make myself stressed by biting off more than I can chew.

I’ve therefore focused on three categories of book: murder mysteries, which for the most part are fairly quick reads; my extensive Kindle backlog*, since I’ll be spending quite a lot of time on planes/boats/trains/coaches; and novellas, which can be read during any summer storms where I can’t get out into my plot.


The Girls of Slender Means – Muriel Spark
Madame de Treymes – Edith Wharton
Slow Boat – Hideo Furukawa
Passing – Nella Larsen
Bonjour Tristesse – Francoise Sagan

Murder mysteries

Postern of Fate – Agatha Christie
Miss Pym Disposes – Josephine Tey
The Conjure-Man Dies – Rudolph Fisher
The Widows of Malabar Hill – Sujata Massey
The Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco

Kindle backlog

The Clockwork Girl – Anna Mazzola
Civilisations – Laurent Binet
Conversation in the Cathedral – Mario Vargas Llosa
To Cook a Bear – Mikael Niemi
Rose Nicholson – Andrew Grieg

I have an alternate for each category in case I need to make changes – The Old Man and the Sea (Ernest Hemingway); Monk’s Hood (Ellis Peters); The Pasha of Cuisine (Saygin Ersin) – but hopefully I’ll be working my way through all fifteen of these this summer! Okay, yes, there are a few books on here that don’t completely fit the “quick and easy” theme I’ve gone with – The Name of the Rose may be a murder mystery, but I doubt I’ll finish it in one or two sittings, and there are a few books on my Kindle that may take some time. Still, I’m very excited about all these books. Is it time to start yet??

*For those who expressed concern for the ongoing welfare of my kindle: no I have not yet found it. This is why people used to believe in pixies. Anyway, if I haven’t found it by the end of the month, I will give in and get a replacement. I’m going away for the long weekend at the start of June, including a 4-hour ferry each way, and having to go without an ereader would be very distressing indeed.