I’m a week late in announcing my intention to join this year’s #20BooksOfSummer challenge, but I have a good excuse!
If you follow me on Instagram you will already know I’ve embarked on a more personal challenge — after 20 years of living and working in London, I’ve decided to seek a better work/life balance and a much more relaxed lifestyle by moving back to Australia. I’m setting up home in the state of Western Australia, a part of the country I have never lived in before, so it’s all very new and exciting and a little bit petrifying too! (Mr Reading Matters will follow later once I’ve found somewhere to live and a new job etc.)
In any case, with just 40kg of checked luggage allowed on my flight last Wednesday (and that was a 10kg upgrade because I’m a Qantas Bronze member), I had to choose which books to pack very carefully. It was a rather frought experience and in the end most of the books were hefted into my hand luggage (10kg limit) because I ran out of room in my two suitcases!
The books I hope to read this
summer winter are a good mix of novels and a handful of non-fiction books (an essay collection, an autobiography and a book about the Stasi).
Most have been on my shelves for a year or more, with the exception of Joseph O’Connor’s Shadowplay, which I ordered from Ireland to read before I left London only I ran out of time and had to make room for it in my hand luggage, and Trent Dalton’s Boy Swallows Universe, which I bought in Australia on my last trip a few months ago. Oh, and the Patrick Hamilton trilogy has already gone on a voyage Down Under (and to Cambodia) when I bought it for my six-week trip at the start of the year but never quite got around to reading.
Here’s my pile, arranged in size order from smallest to biggest, which makes it slightly more steadier to photograph!
- ‘The Railway Man’ by Eric Lomax (autobiography, British)
- ‘The Good Soldier’ by Ford Madox Ford (novel, British)
- ‘The Gorse Trilogy’ by Patrick Hamilton (three novels in one book, British)
- ‘Nemesis’ by Philip Roth (novel, American)
- ‘Milkman’ by Anna Burns (novel, Irish)
- ‘The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart’ by Holly Ringland (novel, Australian)
- ‘Stasiland’ by Anna Funder (non-fiction, Australian)
- ‘The Imposter’ by Damon Galgut (novel, South African)
- ‘The Watch Tower’ by Elizabeth Harrower (novel, Australian)
- ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’ by Thomas Hardy (novel, British)
- ‘The Debt to Pleasure’ by John Lanchester (novel, British)
- ‘Where You Once Belonged’ by Kent Haruf (novel, American)
- ‘Notes to Self’ by Emilie Pine (essays, Irish)
- ‘The Vegetarian’ by Han Kang (novel, Korean)
- ‘The Night Book’ by Charlotte Grimshaw (novel, New Zealand)
- ‘Boy Swallows Universe’ by Trent Dalton (novel, Australian)
- ‘Shadowplay’ by Joseph O’Connor (novel, Irish)
This “challenge” is run by Cathy, who blogs at 746 Books. The idea is to read 20 books from your TBR between 3 June and 3 September. Last year I managed to read 19, but this year I want to see if I can read the full 20.
Note that Cathy’s pretty flexible with her “rules”, so I reserve the right to swap books out and read others from my electronic TBR — I’ve got about 200 on my Kindle! — as and when the mood strikes me. Note, that if I read The Gorse Trilogy I am going to count that as three books! And I’m not going to technically start until today, so will aim to finish the challenge on 9 September.
I’m hoping this should dovetail nicely with my existing TBR40 challenge in which I’m attempting to read 40 books from my TBR over the course of the entire year. So far I’ve read 20, so I’m half way there already!
Have you read any of the books I’ve chosen? Any suggestions on which one to start with first? Anyone else participating in this challenge?