20 Books of Summer – 2020 edition

It’s hard to believe that it’s #20BooksOfSummer time once again — or, as I call it #20BooksOfSouthernHemisphereWinter (The altered logo is by fellow Australian book blogger Brona from Brona’s Books — thanks  for letting me use it Brona!)

This time last year I still in London, packing my suitcases and getting ready to fly out to Perth to repatriate after almost 21 years in the UK! I can happily report that was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and now here I am trying to pick which books out of the very many I’ve amassed in the past 12 months to read as part of this challenge (I live in the same street as a massive secondhand book warehouse and there’s a superb indie bookstore just a short 10-minute walk from my flat, so is it any wonder I’ve bought dozens of tomes since my arrival?)

This is the fourth time I’ve participated in the challenge. This year I’m mainly reading Australian fiction, with a focus on local writers, but I’ve also chosen a handful of Irish books, and one apiece from Wales, USA, New Zealand and Mexico for good measure.

Here’s my pile, arranged in size order from smallest to biggest, which makes it slightly more steadier to photograph! The eagle-eyed among you may recognise several books from last year’s challenge that I never actually got around to reading.

  • ‘Milkman’ by Anna Burns (Irish)
  • ‘A Difficult Young Man’ by Martin Boyd (Australian)
  • ‘Dry Milk’ by Huo Yan (New Zealander)
  • ‘Shell’ by Kristina Olsson (Australian)
  • ‘Shallows’ by Tim Winton (Australian / local writer)
  • ‘The Watch Tower’ by Elizabeth Harrower (Australian)
  • ‘Stillicide’ by Cynan Jones (Welsh)
  • ‘No One’ by John Hughes (Australian / local publisher)
  • ‘The Incendiaries’ by R.O. Kwon (American)
  • ‘You Have to Make Your Own Fun Around Here’ by Frances Macken (Irish)
  • ‘Night Lessons in Little Jerusalem’ by Rick Held (Australian)
  • ‘Hurricane Season’ by Fernanda Melchor (Mexican)
  • ‘Love’ by Roddy Doyle (Irish)
  • ‘Damascus’ by Christos Tsiolkas (Australian)
  • ‘The Yield’ by Tara June Winch (Australian)
  • ‘Cherry Beach’ by Laura McPhee-Browne (Australian)
  • ‘Wolfe Island’ by Lucy Treloar (Australian)
  • ‘True West’ by David Whish-Wilson (Australian / local author)
  • ‘A Week in the Life of Cassandra Aberline’ by Glenda Guest (Australian / local author)
  • ‘Heaven Sent’ by Alan Carter (Australian / local author)

This “challenge” is run by Cathy, who blogs at 746 Books. The idea is to read 20 books from your TBR between 1 June and 1 September. Note that Cathy’s pretty flexible with her “rules”, so I reserve the right to swap books out and read others from my physical and electronic TBR — I’ve got about 200 on my Kindle! — as and when the mood strikes me.

You can find out more about 20 Books of Summer at Cathy’s blog and see who else is participating on this share your links page.

Have you read any of the books I’ve chosen? Any suggestions on which one to start with first? Are you participating in this challenge?

21 thoughts on “20 Books of Summer – 2020 edition

    • I’m really looking forward to reading all these… I can’t tell you how lovely it is to be able to get my hands on so much Australian fiction after decades of being deprived of it!

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  1. That’s a great pile! It never looks as impressive when it’s all on your Kindle, does it… Have read Milkman and enjoyed it, looking forward to discovering lots of new books via everyone else’s lists too. Good luck!

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    • Thanks … and yes…. as much as I love my Kindle, I always forget what’s on it. That virtual TBR is a LOT bigger than my physical one.It was certainly easier to bring those books with me when I repatriated.

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    • I’m reading it at the moment… It’s excellent… really enjoying it. And yes, I was one of those country kids who couldn’t wait to escape to the city, in my case that was Melbourne.

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  2. The only one I’ve read is Milkman, which I thought was excellent, I hope you do too. I’ve only recently discovered Cynan Jones but I was so impressed, so I’ll be really interested to hear how you find Stillicide.

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    • They’ve both been in my TBR since they were published. I don’t know why I rush out and buy books and then take months and months (and sometimes YEARS) to get around to reading them.

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  3. Welcome to the winter version of this meme 🙂
    I’ve just finished A Cardboard Crown for the Classics Club Spin – rather keen to read the next 3 books now.
    Also read and enjoyed Cherry Beach and The Watch Tower. The Yield was my favourite book of 2019, so I hope you prioritise it. And well done for putting the Milkman on your list again. It’s still waiting patiently on my TBR pile too. Another customer returned with a rave review of it recently, so I really must get to it.

    Happy reading and stay warm!

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    • Thanks, Brona. It’s a lovely 23C here today so doesn’t feel much like winter…BTW, I tried to leave a comment on your blog, but I never have any luck with blogger – my comments seem to disappear into the ether

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      • It’s so frustrating Kim. I’ve had so many conversations with blogger & the assure me there is no problem…🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️

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  4. Such an interesting list, Kim. I’m especially keen to see how you get on with Stillicide. I think it was serialised on Radio 4 at some point last year. Not sure if it’s still available to listen to, but I’ll take a look.

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    • I’m looking forward to Stillicide. Really loved The Long Dry and The Dig, so expecting more of the same lyrical pared-back language I’ve come to associate with his work.

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  5. Pingback: 20 Books of Summer 2020 recap – Reading Matters

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