20 Books of Summer [Winter] 2021

Please feel free to use my Southern Hemisphere badge if you’re also reading 20 books over the winter months.

It’s that time of the year again, when we share 20 books we hope/plan/wish to read over the next three months. Cathy @746 Books is our wonderful host, with the most relaxed house rules you can possibly imagine.

We all know that much of the pleasure contained in this meme is the compiling of the list.

I’ve had a lovely weekend perusing and rearranging my TBR stacks, searching out the slim books, the books that fit upcoming readalongs and the books I really want to read sooner rather than later.

We all know that I will fail.

I WILL read 20 books over the next three months, but will it be this 20? Probably not.

However, to make it more likely that I will read to the list, I have collated it by author this year. A number of authors have a number of books on my TBR stacks – for instance, I have at least 10 Maigret’s waiting to be read. This way I’m not tied down to specific books, but can read the one that best suits my mood at the time.

My 20 Books of Winter:

  1. Jhumpa Lahiri – Whereabouts
  2. Robert Seethaler – The Field | A Whole Life
  3. Shirley Hazzard – Collected Stories
  4. Kim Scott – Benang
  5. Heather Rose – The Butterfly Man
  6. Stan Grant – With the Falling of the Dusk | Talking to My Country | Australia Day
  7. Maki Kashimada – Touring the land of the Dead
  8. Georges Simenon – Maigret and the headless Corpse | Maigret Sets a Trap | Maigret and the Tramp
  9. Larissa Behrendt – After Story | Home
  10. Patrick O’Brian – Post Captain
  11. Anne Tyler – Ladder of Years
  12. Victor Hugo – Hunchback of Notre Dame
  13. Kathleen MacMahon – Nothing But Blue Sky
  14. Charles Dickens – David Copperfield
  15. Sujata Massey – The Satapur Moonstone | The Bombay Prince (reading)
  16. Mihail Sebastian – Women
  17. Banana Yoshimoto – Moshi Moshi
  18. Julian Barnes – Staring at the Sun | Levels of Life
  19. Delphine de Vigan – Nothing Holds Back the Night
  20. Steven Conte – The Tolstoy Estate

The Ring-ins:

  1. Common Ground – Naomi Ishiguro
  2. Virginia Woolf – The London Scene
  3. Michelle de Kretser – On Shirley Hazzard
  4. Gwendoline Riley – My Phantoms
  5. Richard Flanagan – Toxic
  6. Mette Jakobsen – The Wingmaker
  7. Angela Thirkell – Wild Strawberries

Have you read any of the books on my list?

Which ones should I prioritise?

39 thoughts on “20 Books of Summer [Winter] 2021

  1. Ha! Strike out the word ‘fail’ and substitute the word ‘adapt.’
    Because you cannot ‘fail’ reading for pleasure.
    I would prioritise The Tolstoy Estate over absolutely everything else because I so loved that book.


    1. You are, of course, correct Lisa. Reading for pleasure is never a fail, which is why I’m so happy to dnf a book that’s not working for me. I tried to start The Tolstoy Estate after finishing Zola a month ago, but after the lush language of The Sin of Abbe Mouret, Conte was too prosaic & felt flat by comparison. I’m hoping some time apart will change that.


  2. Benang is challenging / confronting but worth the effort. I adored The Butterfly Man and don’t know anyone else who has read it! Ladder of Years I read pre-blog; can’t remember the details of the story but I know I liked it.


    1. I’ve been wanting to read Benang for years, & I promised myself to read it this year for Lisa’s Indigenous reading week.

      The Butterfly Man is my June book club book, so thrilled to hear that you adored it. It will have to be first cab off the rank as soon as I finish The Mirror and the Light, to get it read in time for our next meeting.


        1. Whereas I know nothing about it! Apparently my book group read another Lord Lucan book before I joined them. Like you, they are also rather obsessed 😅 It has left me very curious – will I also become obsessed?!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. My obsession stems from living in London… I explored all the landmarks etc… plus, there’s been numerous docs on British TV and countless articles in print media… it’s hard to escape.

            Liked by 1 person

              1. The Plumber’s Arms, the pub down the road where Lady Lucan raised the alarm, and Berkeley Square, where the Clermont Club (gambling den) was based.


  3. Love the list…and you have inspired me to scanvanger through my TBR and finally
    read some ‘forgotten’ books.
    I sound like an old record…but isn’t time to read Delphine’s Nothing Holds Back the Night?
    And Victor Hugo’s Hunchback of Notre Dame….is a classic and so good!
    Stan Grant impressed me with “Talking to My Country”…thanks for mentions more books by this writer!


    1. I read Delphine’s latest novella, Gratitude, recently (reviewed a couple of days ago). I loved it & want to read more by her. You were on my mind the whole time 😊


  4. David Copperfield is pretty good, but I’m sure you knew that… 😉

    Otherwise I haven’t read anything on your list–there’s some pretty fun looking things there. Having read my first Shirley Hazzard recently (Transit of Venus) I’m definitely wanting to read more of hers.

    And…list, shmist!


  5. An intriguing list! You are not the only one with Quo Vadis — you should all start a club. I’m interested to hear what you think of Women — I just finished For Two Thousand Years and, should I read Women too?? Good luck! 🙂


  6. I’m in for The Hunchback of Notre Dame too and my Dickens is Nicholas Nickleby. Yay, Georges Simenon! I have the first Maigret and I’m envious of your triple-decker read but I have to stick with Christie for now. Have a wonderful time with your list!!


  7. You’re on WordPress! I hope it’s working for you!

    I haven’t read any of these books. I’d love to try Banana Yoshimoto, but our libraries don’t have her books. Not yet, anyway…


  8. A nice list and hooray for Ladder of Years! Of course I’ve been a massive fool and not included loads of other books I will need to read during these months, too! I have one placeholder author myself as I’m not sure which Maya Angelou I’ll be up to by August!


    1. I’m looking forward to getting into an Anne Tyler again after all these years. I’m also mulling over a Tyler recap post about the ones I’ve already read, since I’ve faced up to the reality that I will not have time for rereading any of them with you this time around.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. What a good idea to have multiple books by one author from which to choose. I’ve gone with a list that gives me maximum flexibility too – I loathe being tied down too much as Ive learned in my first attempts at 20books….

    I’ll put in a word for A Whole Life. A tiny book but it has real depth


    1. I’ve been wanting to read Seethaler ever since A Whole Life was first published, but between the unruly TBR & the constant temptation of new release at work, means that so many good books get lost on the bottom of the pile (or in a cupboard!)
      It’s one of the reasons I love challenges like this – for reminding me of the goodies I have to hand if I were to only prioritise them!


  10. I hope this works…have had trouble commenting 😩I think I’m up for this challenge & will borrow your badge. I like your idea about listing by authors. Mmm Ellis Peters, Nevil Shute…


  11. I hope this works…have had trouble commenting 😩I think I’m up for this challenge & will borrow your badge. I like your idea about listing by authors. Mmm Ellis Peters, Nevil Shute…


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