Sunday, May 30, 2021

20 Books of Summer

Since the pandemic-caused work-from-home began on 3/17/20, I have moved my laptop and self from the den (too hot in the summer although adding a bird feeder to the window provided entertainment and extended my loathing of the squirrels trying to access the birdseed) to the dining room (too cold in the winter, I had to remove the tablecloth lest the space heater set it on fire) and finally to the small office (which the realtor pretended was a bedroom), which first had to be massively tidied. 

In February, I separated the piles of books on the floor into three piles: to be read, to be given away, and to be shelved.  I always have many library books waiting to be read (and this year several papers to be written) so the only book from this assortment I have read so far was The Goldfinch (admittedly 771 pages but mostly worth it) so why not incorporate this TBR box of books into the 20 Books of Summer Reading Challenge being hosted by 746 Books 

The goal is to list 20 books of your own choosing and see if you can read them between June 1 and September 1. There aren't many rules, you can drop a book if you like, or reduce your number from 20 to 15 or 10, whatever suits you.  I decided I would pick 17 books from my TBR box with my eyes closed and see what I get, plus three library books:

While Justice Sleeps # by Stacey Abrams (2021) my review

Never Jam Today by Carole Bolton (1971) my review

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center (2019) my review

The Only Black Girls in Town # by Brandy Colbert (2020) my review

Quieter Than Sleep by Joanne Dobson (1997)

Their Finest by Lissa Evans (2017)

Love Always by Harriet Evans (2011)   my review

Fast Girls: A Novel of the 1936 Women's Olympic Team by Elise Hooper  (2020)  my review

Haven Point by Virginia Hume (2021) interview with the author  

The Light Over London by Julia Kelly   (2019)  my review

The Innocents from Indiana by Emily Kimbrough (1950) my review

Gale Force * by Owen Laukkanen  (2018)

The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood (2012)  my review 

The Vanishing Point * by Val McDermid (2012)  my review

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes (2020)  my review

The Venetian House by Mary Nickson (2004)

The Midshipman and the Rajah by Marjorie Phillips (1963) my review

The Long Way Home by Robin Pilcher (2010)  my short review

Rooftoppers # by Katherine Rundell  (2013)  my review

Eden Falls by Jane Sanderson (2013)

Have you read any of these?  Here are Cathy’s list, Tracy’s list, Liz D's listCath’s list, and Katrina's list, all of whom I follow.  It's fun to see what others plan to read over the next few months.  Is anyone else I know participating?  The issue for me is not whether I will read 20 books this summer but if I will have time to blog about them.  Although this new suspense novel by Stacey Abrams has 685 holds in various formats at my library so it might take the entire summer for my copy to appear!  I am possibly more curious about that book than anything else on the list.

After I started writing this post, my department got the news we have to go physically back to work.  Managers have to go back on June 14th (presumably to be role models? that is two weeks away!) and staff on July 6th.   It takes me nearly an hour on public transportation to travel less than 6 miles but normally I can read on the bus and subway.  However, no one wants to be on the subway right now so I will be driving to work and will need audiobook suggestions because traffic has resumed in a big way.

* Autographed

# Library books


TracyK said...

Thanks for linking to my list, Constance. Are you ready to go back to work at the office, or were you hoping to continue working at home?

I am not familiar with a number of your books but...
I have read Their Finest by Lissa Evans and I liked it a lot. I have read one other book by her (Crooked Heart) and have a copy of Old Baggage.

I have one book by Owen Laukkanen but I haven't read it yet. I am also curious about the Stacey Abrams book, so I hope it comes soon and you have time to review it.

Cath said...

Loads of book I haven't heard of there so whatever you read will be an adventure for us too, reading about them. I have the Jojo Moyes on my list too. Thanks for the link to my list.

Lisa said...

The Innocents from Indiana is my least favorite of all Emily Kimbrough's books (and I have read almost all of them by now). I saw your updates on Goodreads and wondered what you thought of it.

CLM said...

I thought I was ready to go back now that I am vaccinated but two weeks doesn't seem like enough time, especially when we don't know if we can require masks or regulate the number of city residents who come into the office. But they have promised us a security guard so I hope that will calm down my colleagues. I think we will all adjust.

I read Crooked Heart too, Tracy, but picked up Their Finest several years earlier and didn't make the connection until recently. I think I recommended that Laukkanen series to you but you may have already owned book 1. I recall listening to it on audio and not wanting to get out of my car.

Cath, I added the Jojo Moyes when I saw it on your list. I know that one book of hers was very sappy but I like her others.

Lisa, I have to admit I have never read Their Hearts Were Young and Gay but so many people love it that I think I picked Innocents from Indiana up when I recognized the author's name. I started reading it, then realized I had a library book due tomorrow that could not be renewed so had to switch. Have you given up on blogging? Whenever there is a blogger problem, I am tempted to stop. Dealing with Feedburner has annoyed me all weekend, but I think I figured it out.

Isn't it ridiculous that someone is criticized for saying to enjoy the long weekend just because it is Memorial Day? I have been to the cemetery twice already (planting, etc.) and will return this afternoon but I am also enjoying the long weekend and am quite sure my father would want me to do both. Why is everyone so mean-spirited except us?

Cathy746Books said...

Thanks so much for taking part! Good luck and happy reading x

Lark said...

I really loved Things You Save in A Fire, and I thought Quieter Than Sleep was a good one, too. Haven't read any of the rest. Good luck heading back to work in July! And good luck with your summer reading. :D

Lex @ Lexlingua said...

Quieter than Sleep and The Innocents from Indiana caught my eye from this list. I'm also thinking of Their Finest, which I think was also turned into a movie? Some really wide ranging books in here. Hope you'll get the most out of these!

JaneGS said...

My condolences on having to go back to a physical office. I started working from home about 10 years ago and the only thing I missed about my 40 minute commute was no longer listening to NPR or audio books--I figured out other ways to do both! I am basically on the phone and email and zoom meetings with colleagues around the world so going to a physical office makes literally no sense for me.

I haven't read anything from your stack, but the JoJo Moyes is on my audio wish list. I really like her style and stories so much!

In terms of audio recommendations, I just finished Ken Follett's 20th century trilogy on audio and thought all three novels were just great. I think you share my enjoyment of Georgette Heyer--I can heartily recommend Richard Armitage's audio of a few of her novels. Another Heyer audio that I love is An Infamous Army. I also love listening to Bill Bryson read his books--I've listened to most of them, and some multiple time--At Home, A Walk in the Woods, In a Sunburnt Country are my favorites. I also tend to listen to new books on audio, checking them out from the library online--I'm listening to The Rose Code, by Kate Quinn, right now and it is absolutely fantastic. Elin Hilderbrand's novels are also great on audio--Erin Bennett is the narrator, and she is terrific. She makes me want to pack my bags and head to Nantucket.

Have fun reading your way through summer!

LyzzyBee said...

Thank you for linking to mine! What a lovely pile (I'm envious of the Emily Kimborough!) and I hope you enjoy them.

Tricia Murray said...

I enjoyed Things You Save in a Fire (bonus that it's set in MA), Light Over London and The Giver of Stars (on audiobook)

Ellie said...

I enjoyed The Giver of Stars, I loved the idea of horseback librarians and would jump at the chance to be one if they still existed!

My work decided to switch to remote working permanently and I do not miss my commute. Although it was handy for getting through audiobooks. I hope your return to the office goes OK.