What an eventful three months it has been! A new city to explore! A new flat to move into! New furniture purchased! A new bike to ride! A new job in a new industry begun! And 15 books from my TBR read!
You may remember that back in June I wrote a post signing up to Cathy’s #20BooksOfSummer challenge. I signed up a week later than most people, because I had just relocated to Australia with nothing more than 40kg of luggage and a lot of nervous excitement.
Between 9 June and 9 September my plan was to try to read the 20 books I packed with me, with the option to switch out ones on my Kindle if I felt so inclined. What actually happened was that I switched out quite a few with books I borrowed from the library that I already owned but were still in my TBR back in London.
All up I read 15 books from my TBR (plus 9 others that were new, so didn’t count). These were as follows (arranged in alphabetical order by author’s surname):
- ‘The Lebs’ by Michael Mohammed Ahmad (novel, Australian)
- ‘No Friend but the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison’ by Behrouz Boochani (memoir, Iraqi-Kurdish)
- ‘The Good Soldier’ by Ford Madox Ford (novel, British)
- ‘The Imposter’ by Damon Galgut (novel, South African)
- ‘The Night Book’ by Charlotte Grimshaw (novel, New Zealand)
- ‘Where You Once Belonged’ by Kent Haruf (novel, American)
- ‘The Vegetarian’ by Han Kang (novel, Korean)
- ‘Dustfall’ by Michelle Johnson (novel, Australian) REVIEW COMING
- ‘The Debt to Pleasure’ by John Lanchester (novel, British)
- ‘The Railway Man’ by Eric Lomax (autobiography, British)
- ‘The Moon and Sixpence’ by W. Somerset Maugham (novel, British)
- ‘The Château’ by William Maxwell (novel, American)
- ‘Shadowplay’ by Joseph O’Connor (novel, Irish)
- ‘See What I Have Done’ by Sarah Schmidt (novel, Australia)
- ‘Last Stories’ by William Trevor (short stories, Irish)
My favourite book from this lot has to be Joseph O’Connor’s Shadowplay, a wonderful historical romp set in London’s theatreland, which was filled with brilliant characters — Bram Stoker! Henry Irving! Ellen Terry! And cameo appearances from Oscar Wilde! Jack the Ripper! George Bernard Shaw! — densely packed scenes, rich, vivid language and cracking one-liners. Honestly, it was such a treat I eked the book out for as long as possible because I simply didn’t want it to end.
The weirdest book I read has to be The Vegetarian — I mean, WTF, was it even about? — and the most disappointing was See What I Have Done, which didn’t sustain my interest even though I’d been looking forward to reading it for more than a year. The most memorable —and thought-provoking — was, without a doubt, No Friend But The Mountains.
So, that’s it for another year. I didn’t quite achieve what I set out to do, but it was fun trying. Thanks again to Cathy for hosting.
Did you take part in #20BooksOfSummer? How did you do? Care to share your favourite read of the summer (or winter)?