20 Books of Summer 2015: Sign Up

I saw Cathy746books’s 20 Books of Summer reading challenge on FictionFan’s site. Happily, she provided a lovely graphic to share for the challenge, because I lack the tech skills to create one myself. I know, I know… the thought of my posting regularly over the summer is laughable as I just took a two month break from this page, but time to read/post comes more easily in the summer. The challenge officially runs from June 1 thru September 4. The last couple weeks will be sticky, but it’s technically possible. I’d originally planned to spend a fair chunk of the summer with Infinite Jest, but I wouldn’t have time for 19 books after. Rumor has it that IJ‘s density is more serious than it’s length. I don’t usually fret book length, but it was the first thing I checked when all 20 books were in a pile.

Sorry to disappoint by not including anything new or “hip”! This seems like a good chance to move some books around on my bookcase and get through some that I’ve been meaning to pick up for a while.

In alphabetical order (who can predict reading order?):
1. Ballad of the Sad Cafe, The — Carson McCullers (140 pages)
2. Black Swan Green — David Mitchell (294 pages)
3. Brief History of the Dead, The — Kevin Brockmeier (252 pages)
4. Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, The — Junot Diaz (335 pages)
5. Catcher in the Rye, The — J.D. Salinger (214 pages)
6. Coraline — Neil Gaiman (162 pages)
7. Cosmopolis — Don DeLillo (209 pages)
8. Drown — Junot Diaz (208 pages)
9. Ender’s Game — Orson Scott Card (324 pages)
10. General in His Labyrinth, The — Gabriel Garcia Marquez (268 pages)
11. Gilead — Marilynne Robinson (247 pages)
12. Grendel — John Gardner (174 pages)
13. Handful of Dust, A — Evelyn Waugh (308 pages)
14. Imperfectionists, The — Tom Rachman (272 pages)
15. Jurassic Park — Michael Crichton (399 pages)
16. Martin Dressler — Steven Millhauser (293 pages)
17. Separate Peace, A — John Knowles (204 pages)
18. Shipping News, The — E. Annie Proulx (335 pages)
19. Unnamed, The — Joshua Ferris (310 pages)
20. White Noise — Don DeLillo (326 pages)

That’s a total of 5,274 pages, which seems… doable. Surprisingly so. 😀

I hope it’s not cheating that I’ve sorta read Catcher in the Rye before. I say “sorta” because frantically skimming a book in high school is not the same as reading it.

June 1 isn’t here yet. Anyone else want in?
Happy Reading, All!

16 thoughts on “20 Books of Summer 2015: Sign Up”

  1. Yay! So glad you’re joining in! It looks like this challenge will be fun, especially the huge range of books everyone is reading. I’m never so keen on the challenges that concentrate on one author or just one genre. Your list looks as if there’ll be lots of good reads there. I’ve made it a bit easier on myself by having several crime reads, which are generally quicker to read than lit-fic, but somehow it still feels quite challenging, even though I usually read far more than 20 books in three months! We’ll see… 🙂

    1. I agree… I don’t like focusing on just one author or genre. I didn’t put much logic behind my selection so much as I grabbed the first 20 books to catch my eye. There are a few on the list that I’ve been putting off for a while and need a push to pick up. I put in a few light picks, but now I wonder if I should have added a couple more…

      Here’s to a good summer! 😀

  2. This is such a great list, there are 4 books on here that I ADORE – Sad Cafe, Black Swan Green, Oscar Wao and White Noise. I have The Imperfectionists in the 746 so I look forward to hearing what you think about that one. Thanks so much for joining in x

    1. I read Sad Café for a college course about a decade ago. I used to not enjoy re-reading books, but if you wait long enough, it doesn’t feel like a re-read. I remember loving McCullers’ smooth style and being confused by the ending—not much else. It turns out that I read some great things back in school, but was so busy pulling quotes and writing papers that I couldn’t appreciate them properly and they haven’t stuck in my memory.

      I’m glad to hear Black Swan Green is one to look forward to! Have tried some of Mitchell’s others and have mixed feelings about them. Am hoping to have 20 good books ahead of me or it’s going to be a long summer. 🙂

  3. That’s a nice mix. I should have put Grendel on mine – it’s been hanging around for ages and it’s so small it keeps getting pushed back behind the other books. I absolutely loved Jurassic Park. The sequel too.

    1. Thanks! When I was looking for books that I’ve meant to read for far too long, Grendel was at the top of the list. I may need a quick refresher on Beowulf first…

      I’ve read The Lost World, but not Jurassic Park. I don’t understand the second movie… Crichton gave them a perfectly plausible follow-up story and they tossed it out the window. His books are always so much fun.

  4. I loved The Shipping News when I read it about 20 yrs ago (yikes, is it that long since it came out? surely not??)
    The rest are all new territory to me – so I look forward to your reviews of them 🙂

    1. The Shipping News is up first. I’ve heard such good things about it that I’m excited to pick it up!

      In the interest of time management this summer, picking a longer book to start feels like a good strategy. 🙂

  5. What a fantastic selection of books, I loved Black Swan Green when I read it too – I have listed my first ten books as I wasn’t sure I could decide on the whole twenty in one go. So looking forward to seeing how everyone’s reads go and hoping I don’t add too many books to my TBR in the process 😉

    1. But if you don’t have lots and lots of books on your TBR, how will you ever know what to read?

      I used to keep a stack of a half dozen books by my bed to have a short list close at hand. I still have not read any of the six. Instead, I go to my bookshelves and pull something different or trawl the Internet for something new. My current TBR is around 125—It’s so hard to predict what I’ll be in the mood to read after finishing a book!

  6. Black Swan Green is my favourite of Mitchell’s books, I hope you enhiy it. Good luck with the challenge, I’ll be doing my #OneSummerChunkster that’s about all I can commit to for the summer, to lug one of those big ones with me and finish it, this year its going to be Roberto Bolaño’s 2666, I might have to resort to getting a e-book as the book I have weighs a tonne!

    1. Good luck to you too! I look forward to hearing what you think of 2666; I’ve heard it mentioned here and there, but I don’t know anyone who has gotten all the way through.

      I’m still looking at my schedule to see if I can fit Infinite Jest anywhere…

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