There are almost as many individual ways of participating in Cathy’s annual 20 Books of
Summer Winter as there are participants!
Obviously, one of my points of difference is seasonal.
I usually have no difficulty reading 20 books in 3 months, but I am very fast and loose with the whole idea of a static list that I must stick to for the entire season.
Yes, I will give you 20 fabulous book options below, that I would love to read this winter, but chances are, by next month, another 20 books will have come into my possession, clamouring just as hard for my attention. So I will swap books in and out as the mood takes me.
20 books will be read.
The chances of them being the 20 book listed below is, however, rather slim.
For my own amusement, I will list each book with it’s opening sentence.
3/20 – 12th July 2020
Shortlisted for this year’s Women’s Prize and my next book club read.
The first time our father brought Andrea to the Dutch House, Sandy, our housekeeper, came to my sister’s room and told us to come downstairs. “Your father has a friend he wants you to meet,” she said.
10/20 – 24th August 2020
Longlisted for this year’s Miles Franklin Award & the book I plan to nominate to be our following month’s book club read.
Odette Brown rose with the sun, as she did each morning.
7/20 – 13th August 2020
Will it live up to the hype?
This is a book about a radical idea.
11/20 – 26th August 2020
Comfort read the first.
I’m pretty sure that Maisie will not be bumped from this list.
One cold, miserable weekend in June or July, she will be the answer to all my woes.
Tonight I joined the women of the London Auxiliary Ambulance Service as they rushed to the aid of civilians caught in the relentless bombing of this brave city.
The Animals in that Country | Laura Jean McKay
Sadly this cover gets lost on the shelf on work.
Up close it looks intriguing, but on a crowded shelf it simply doesn’t pop.
I will have to read this to help hand-sell it.
Everyone wants to see the wild ones.
The Dickens Boy | Tom Keneally
At some point in recent history, Thomas Keneally became Tom Keneally.
I usually find his novels a bit hit or miss.
I’m hopeful, however, since this one highlights the last book of his that I enjoyed on the cover. That has to be a good sign right?
A long ocean voyage seems plentiful in small incidents when you are on it, but is remembered as a blur when it ends.
The Dictionary of Lost Words | Pip Williams
Good word-of-mouth bestseller at the moment at work.
Before the lost word, there was another.
Friends and Rivals | Brenda Niall
I cannot tell you how excited I am about this one. Two of my favourite Australian women writers together with two more I’d like to get to know better.
‘All over the country, brooding on squatters’ verandahs, or mooning in selectors’ huts’, so A. G. Stephens wrote in the Bulletin in 1901, ‘there are scattered here and there hundreds of lively, dreamy Australian girls whose queer uncomprehended ambitions are the despair of the household. they yearn, they aspire for they know not what…’
Fire Country | Victor Steffensen
After our horrendous fire season this past summer, I’ve been wanting to read more about the Indigenous approach to caring for country. The timing for publishing this book was perfect in March…until Covid-19 arrived, and pushed the urgent environmental story off the top shelf.
Through my childhood I was always interested in learning whatever I could about culture and the bush.
Latitudes of Longing | Shubhangi Swarup
Industry buzz around this one. Sounds promising…but I’ve been there before!
Silence on a tropical island is the relentless sound of water.
Sisters | Daisy Johnson
I’ve been meaning to read one of Johnson’s books for a while now…this could be it.
A house. Slices of it through the hedge, across the fields.
Perveen Mistry #2 The Satapur Moonstone | Sujata Massey
Comfort read the second.
Perveen Mistry sighed, adjusting her hat on her sweating brow.
The Porpoise | Mark Haddon
Wasn’t going to read this…but then I heard it had an Ancient Greek myths and legends angle.
Maja is thirty-seven weeks pregnant.
Great opening line!
The first time I saw him, I thought he looked like a lion.
12/20 – 28 August 2020
Comfort read the third.
The doors which led out to the suite’s balcony were open to the brewing storm outside.
Love | Roddy Doyle
Haven’t read any Doyle for years. This looks lovely.
He knew it was her, he told me.
Hag-Seed | Margaret Atwood
I read Shakespeare’s The Tempest earlier in the year, so that I could fully appreciate this book.
It’s time I got to it.
The house lights dim. The audience quiets.
A Thousand Ships | Natalie Haynes
Shortlisted for this year’s Women’s Prize.
Sing, Muse, he says, and the edge in his voice makes it clear that this is not a request.
The Closed Circle | Jonathan Coe
I read book three of this trilogy at the beginning of the year, quickly followed by number one.
I felt like I was done with Benjamin Trotter and his family and friends, until Mr Books read them all recently, in correct chronological order, and insisted that I finish the series because book two was the best of the lot. In his opinion!
Sister Dearest, The view from up here is amazing, but it’s too cold to write very much.
6/20 – 3 August 2020
Comfort read the fourth.
And one of my Paris in July options.
For the first time since they had been going for dinner with the Pardons once a month, Maigret had a memory of the evening at Boulevard Voltaire that was almost painful.
I guess part of the thrill now, is to see which of these twenty titles will make it all the way to September?
Which books will be bumped for something newer and shinier?
Let the games begin!
1/20 – 11 June 2020
4/20 – 14 July 2020
5/20 – 20 July 2020
8/20 – 19th Aug 2020
9/20 – 22nd Aug 2020
13/29 – 30 August 2020