20 Books of Summer 2016: Sign Up

It’s summer! Writing has been going well and it’s time to kick back with some books (and G&Ts). I’ve been looking forward to the 20 Books of Summer reading challenge hosted by Cathy746books since it ended last year. The challenge is to read 20 books (or 10 or 15) between June 1 and September 5. Visit Cathy’s blog for more information if you’d like to sign up!

I enjoy reading on my Kindle, but this kind of challenge calls for a big stack o’ books piled by the bed. There are some great titles on my Kindle, but I’m pushing them all down the queue in favor of the Great (and Slightly Leaning) Stack of Summer Books:

20books2016

Americana — Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (588)
Alias Grace — Margaret Atwood (460)
Baudolino — Umberto Eco (521)
Bone Clocks, The — David Mitchell (624)
Brideshead Revisited — Evelyn Waugh (402)
Crystal World, The — J.G. Ballard (210)
Drowned World, The — J.G. Ballard (198)
Double and The Gambler, The —  Fyodor Dostoevsky (329)
East, West — Salman Rushdie (211)
From the Earth to the Moon — Jules Verne (188)
Four Books, The — Yan Lianke (338)
Heart is a Lonely Hunter, The — Carson McCullers (349)
How Right You Are, Jeeves — P.G. Wodehouse (206)
In the Garden of Beasts — Erik Larson (364)
Luka and the Fire of Life — Salman Rushdie (218)
Memoirs of a Geisha — Arthur Golden (428)
My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier (288)
My Uncle Oswald by Roald Dahl (264)
Secret History, The — Donna Tartt (559)
Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves — P.G. Wodehouse (221)
Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights — Salman Rushdie (286)
You Don’t Love Me Yet — Jonathan Lethem (224)
Zero K by Don DeLillo (274)

Total Page Count: 7,464 Hrm. Let’s hope these are some good books.

I included three alternates; is that cheating? I also haven’t decided which of the above are the alternates yet. It’s so hard to prevent queue jumpers. Is that Animal Farm on the shelf right there?

I look forward to seeing what the other participants are reading! If you haven’t signed up, you should!

Happy Summer!

18 thoughts on “20 Books of Summer 2016: Sign Up

  1. Glad to see you’re also taking part in 20 Books of Summer – and with such a great list of books! Brideshead Revisited is delightful, although I do tend to prefer Waugh’s more sarcastic works over it. I was also contemplating on adding The Secret History and one of Ngozi Adichies’ books on my summer TBR, but decided in the end against it. Maybe in the autumn then…

    • I’ve been excited about Brideshead Revisited since reading A Handful of Dust last summer. I know very little about it, though I am a bit sorry to hear it has less sarcasm.

      Americanah and The Secret History were two that I hesitated to add (hence the alternates). I don’t expect either of them to read quickly, but as I wanted to read Americanah back in January, I’ve put it off too long already. Now that I’m thinking about it, Americanah may be a good place to start. I can’t save all the long reads for the end!

      Good luck with your summer reading! 🙂

  2. Pingback: 20 Books of Summer 2016! | 746 Books

    • Thanks! I’m finishing Larson’s Dead Wake right now and it’s very well-written and paced.

      Baudolino has been on my queue for a while. I’ve never read anything by Eco so I’m glad to hear this is a good one!

  3. Great list, you’re going all out with the long ones in the beginning! With Americana, Baudolino, and The Bone Clocks on there I don’t think you have to worry about finding good reads. Good luck with the challenge! 🙂

    I’m going to read The Blind Assassin during the challenge, how are you liking if so far?

    • Thanks! I recently read (and loved) Slade House so I’m excited about The Bone Clocks. 🙂

      I still have mixed feelings about The Blind Assassin. I just looked back at my review of TBA and it may be my most ambiguous, disjointed review. (I’m still not entirely sure whether it makes sense to anyone who hasn’t read the book. Ha.) Sometimes, I’m limited in what I can say here since I try to avoid spoilers, but some elements of the ending changed my view of the book and cheapened sections I’d previously enjoyed. Overall, I would say that I enjoyed it and, if I were to read it again, would appreciate it much more the second time through.

      I hope you enjoy it! It’s beautifully written, but I did find it a slow read. It’s not a book that can be skimmed or read quickly. I wouldn’t recommend saving it for the last day. 🙂

        • When I did this challenge last year, the hardest decision was where to place the slow reads. I didn’t want to save them for the last minute, but I didn’t want to start with them and fall behind schedule…

          This year, I’ve decided to knock a few quick ones out of the way, get “ahead,” then read some slow stuff (e.g. Atwood’s Alias Grace). Hopefully, this will work. 🙂

  4. Some chunksters on your list, but some terrific reads all the same!
    Alias Grace is one of my favourite Atwood’s and The Bone Clocks turned me onto Mitchell’s writing big time.
    I really must read more Rushdie too – your list is very tempting to me 🙂

    • Thanks! Alias Grace is the one making me most nervous in terms of timing. While I enjoyed Atwood’s The Blind Assassin, I couldn’t read much of it at a stretch and this seems true of her other books as well. I’m not sure when to start it so I’ll finish it (and all the others too).

      Just picked up The Bone Clocks this morning! Can’t wait to see how it fits in alongside Slade House. So far, it’s really good. I love how well Mitchell writes different voices. 🙂

  5. Fabulous, challenging list. I had very mixed feelings about the Bone Clocks – love Mitchell as a writer, but some reservations about his themes – look forward to seeing what you make of it. The Slade House is in my TBR pile, but I think I have read most of his other work.

    • Thanks! I’m about halfway through The Bone Clocks now and I’m developing mixed feelings for it as I read. It started strong, but I’m starting to question whether the tangents will resolve into anything cohesive or interesting. Slade House was so direct and suspenseful (and creepy!) that it makes The Bone Clocks feel like homework in comparison. At least it’s well-written?

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