Cathy746 hosts #20BooksofSummer annually, and I have participated for the last two years. This is the most chill challenge ever, which is one of the reasons that I love it. You choose how many books you want to read (10 or 15 or 20 or whatever), you choose your books, you decide if you hate half your books and want to switch them other books… it’s honestly kind of a free-for-all in which participants try to read whatever books they’ve put on their summer reading list! The challenge already started (beginning of June), and the goal is to have all the books on the list completed by September 3. Be sure to check out Cathy’s blog for more details!!
I’ve been watching other blogs I follow choose their books, and have been trying to decide if/how I want to join this year. Here’s the thing – and I’m not trying to brag here because it’s just the way it is – but unless something catastrophic happens in my life, I know I’ll read more than 20 books this summer. I’ve read over 130 books just this year alone already. The truth is, I have a serious reading problem. It’s basically a compulsion with me, and I read at pretty much every moment that can be spent reading (and a great many that shouldn’t be). And since my mom taught me to read at almost the same time I learned how to talk, I’m weirdly fast at it. Actually, part of the reason I started this blog back in the day was to help me work on reading retention/analysis, because otherwise I sometimes tend to just go into overdrive and let the words blur past. And, of course, there’s the fact that I don’t work full-time. While I keep plenty busy with house, garden, Etsy shop, chauffeuring family, etc., it’s obviously a lot easier to sneak in a chapter here or there when I’m at home all day than it is when I’m at work!!
ANYWAY. Point being, I think the way that I’m going to challenge myself is by listing 20 books that I own that I would like to read by the end of summer – but I’m going to continue reading all the other books like I usually do as well. Basically, I’m always working on books on the TBR that I don’t own (aka library books), a series of books, a mystery series of books, a nonfiction book, and a book that I own. So I’m going to keep reading all the others like usual… and also try to achieve the 20 that I own! To help make it slightly more doable, I’m sticking with fiction only. So, without further ado, the list (chosen via random number generator!):
1. The Vanishing Shadow by Margaret Sutton – this is actually the first book in the Judy Bolton series. I own a bunch of these books, but haven’t read them in years. Actually, there are several I’ve never read, because I’ve purchased them since I originally read what I owned at the time. I’m looking forward to revisiting these and seeing if I enjoy them as much as I remember from 15 or so years ago.
2. Ring of Truth by Jaclyn Weist – this is a free Kindle book I’ve had for a while. Looks like a happy lil chick lit, but it’s also the first in a series, so if I like it, I’ve actually set myself up for six more books!
3. Frederica by Georgette Heyer – I read this one back in 2012 (when I was blogging on Tumblr) and enjoyed it so much that I purchased my own hard copy. I’m excited to revisit it.
4. Scotty by Frances Pitt – I picked up this book, subtitled “The Adventures of a Highland Fox” all the way back in 2001 – and have never read it! You now basically know everything I know about this book! Aside: This is the ONLY picture of this book I can find, and it isn’t listed on Goodreads. This may actually be a picture of the copy I own…
5. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle – I know I read this book back in the mists of my childhood, but I remember basically nothing about it except the bit with a thread and the ant. I don’t even remember whether or not I liked it! But it’s sort of a classic, and I feel like I need to reread it, even if it’s to discover that I actually think it’s lame. I’ve had my paperback copy since 1999, when I did a 4-H presentation at the library with my rabbit and was rewarded with a book!
6. The Enchanted Castle by E. Nesbit – I love Nesbit so much and can’t believe that I haven’t read every single one of her books!
7. Everblue by Brenda Pandos – another free Kindle book from goodness-knows-how-long-ago. Also another first in a series… I never know whether or not I should hope to like those… anyway, this one is about mermaids or something, so we’ll see what happens.
8. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell – I realize I just read this one in 2016, but I enjoyed it SO much that I’ve been wanting to reread it.
9. Mystery Over the Brick Wall by Helen Fuller Orton – this is a children’s mystery published by Scholastic. I’ve collected a lot of these over the years and have been trying to actually read all of them and make a hard decision as to whether or not they are worth the shelf space.
10. When Patty Went to College by Jean Webster – this is by the author of two my favorite books: Daddy-Long-Legs and, even more beloved, Dear Enemy. Somehow, although I’ve owned this book since 2004, I’ve never actually read it!
11. Kilmeny of the Orchard by L.M. Montgomery – I love so many of Montgomery’s books, and yet it’s been years since I’ve read any of them! This one probably hasn’t been visited since high school, so although I remember the basic premise, I’m a bit foggy on the details.
12. Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins – although I enjoy some chick lit now and then, I’ve somehow never gotten around to reading something by the prolific Higgins. This book showed up in a box with all those crazy Love Inspired books via Aunt Darby, so I’ll give it a shot.
13. Elizabeth Bennet’s Deception by Regina Jeffers – since I obviously haven’t read enough P&P variations lately, let’s add one to the summer list, too! Thanks, free Kindle books!
14. Young Pioneers by Rose Wilder Lane – another one I haven’t read in YEARS. All I really remember from this one is the story where it was so cold that when she threw the water out, it froze before it hit the ground!
15. Utah Lion by James Ralph Johnson – another crazy animal story from my crazy animal obsession childhood! I think this one was inherited from my great-grandma, but if I have ever read it, it was back in middle school.
16. Saving Mars by Cidney Swanson – another free Kindle book that is also a start of a series. (This is how they trick you into actually BUYING Kindle books, by getting you hooked on a series opener!) Sometimes I literally have no idea what I was thinking when I got a book, even if it was free…
17. Collie to the Rescue by Albert Payson Terhune – it’s been a while since I picked up a Terhune! I’m always up for some outrageously heroic collies.
18. Early Candlelight by Maud Hart Lovelace – I loved the Betsy-Tacy books soooo much when I read them a few years ago. I found this book by the same author but haven’t gotten around to reading it yet.
19. Smoky by Will James – because who doesn’t love a good story about a cowboy horse?
20. Brown Sunshine of Sawdust Valley by Marguerite Henry – I loved a lot of Henry’s books as a child (and have revisited several of them in recent years), but don’t remember this one clearly, other than that it was one of her later books, written after Wesley Dennis died and so illustrated by someone else.
So there you have it! I’m determined that there will be no substitutions unless I decide to DNF a book, in which case the book will only count if I”ve read at least half of it. (Don’t you like the way I make up my own rules??) Who knows how far I’ll get on this list, and you’ll definitely see plenty of reviews for non-20 Books of Summer books, but I’m curious to see if my challenge works for me. Stay tuned!