20 books of summer (2022)

20 Books of Summer – 2022 edition

As per usual, I’m a bit late in announcing this, but I’m pleased to say that I am going to be participating in #20BooksOfSummer once again. (Mind you, it’s winter here, so I am using the revised logo that Brona created to reflect this.)

If you don’t already know, this annual “challenge” is run by Cathy, who blogs at 746 Books. The idea is to read 20 books (or a nominated amount less than this)  from your TBR between 1 June and 1 September.

I have previously found it an excellent way to tackle those books that have been lying on my shelves untouched for years. This year I’m hoping to use it as additional motivation because I’ve developed a library habit and around 65% of what I have read since January has been borrowed from Fremantle Library. While this has been good for my finances, it’s been terrible for my TBR — I have barely made a dent in it all year!

Here’s a pile of books I’d love to get stuck into:

  • ‘England, Your England’ by George Orwell (essays; British)
  • ‘My Brother Jack’ by George Johnston (literary fiction; Australian)
  • ‘Sean O’Beirne on Helen Garner’ (essay; Australian)
  • ‘Girl, Woman, Other’ by Bernardine Evaristo (literary fiction; British)
  • ‘Assembly’ by Natasha Brown (literary fiction; British)
  • ‘Grand Days / Edith trilogy’ by Frank Moorhouse^ (literary fiction; Australian)
  • ‘Ceremony’ by Leslie Marmon Silko* (literary fiction; American)
  • ‘The Luck of Ginger Coffey’ by Brian Moore (literary fiction; Irish)
  • ‘Midwinter Break’ by Bernard McLaverty (literary fiction; Irish)
  • ‘The Prophets’ by Robert Jones, Jnr (literary fiction; American)
  • ‘Suggie Bain’ by Douglas Stuart (literary fiction; British)
  • ‘The Sawdust House’ by David Whish-Wilson (literary fiction; Australian)
  • ‘Another Day in the Colonies’ by Chelsea Watego* (non-fiction; Australian)
  • ‘Son of Sin’ by Omar Sakr (literary fiction; Australian)
  • ‘The Fisherman’ by Chigozie Obioma (literary fiction; Nigerian)
  • ‘Metronome’ by Tom Watson (dystopian; British)
  • ‘Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray: River of Dreams’ by Anita Heiss* (literary fiction; Australian)
  • ‘One Day I’ll Remember This’ by Helen Garner (memoir; Australian)

^ I’m counting this as three books and will be reading it as part of Brona’s readalong.

* These are by First Nations writers so will count these towards my own Reading First Nations Writers project and Lisa’s Indigenous Literature Week (July 3-10).

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 as and when the mood strikes me. I hasten to say that I seem to have already started something on my Kindle — ‘A Woman’ by Sibilla Aleramo — which I am sure will be the first of many swaps over the months ahead.

I’ve been doing this challenge since 2017, and last year was the first time I actually read an entire 20 books from my TBR. Will I be able to repeat the feat again? Only time will tell.

You can find out more about 20 Books of Summer and see who else is participating at Cathy’s blog.

Have you read any of the books I’ve chosen? Any suggestions on which one to start with first? Are you participating in #20BooksofSummer?

43 thoughts on “20 Books of Summer – 2022 edition”

  1. Goodness, that’s quite a list. From which I have only (so far) read the Evaristo and the Chigozie Obioma. Good luck. I don’t join in challenges like this because they’re just a source of stress if I start ‘failing’. You’re obviously made of sterner stuff!

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  2. I’m in too, I will read books from the TBR too.
    I haven’t read any of the books on your list but I have The Fishermen on the shelf too.

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    1. I picked up The Fisherman second hand cos I remember hearing good things about it when it was long (short?) listed for the Booker Prize a few years ago.

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  3. Shamefully the only two of these I’ve read are My Brother Jack (Loved it. This will be a reread for you won’t it?) and the Evaristo (liked it a lot), though I have a handful of the others on my own TBR. I’m especially looking forward to seeing what you make of Grand Days – I’ve had the UK hardback of that on my shelves for years but have never got around to it.

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    1. Yes, My Brother Jack will be a reread. My 6th time (I think). Wanted to refresh my memory as I’ve been asked to talk about my favourite Australian book at a panel coming up in August.

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  4. I have Assembly on my list of 20 too, I find factoring in some novellas keeps the challenge do-able!
    I loved Girl, Woman, Other but was disappointed with Midwinter Break. I’m very curious about Metronome and Another Day in the Colony. And I imagine the Orwell will be interesting, well, just because it’s Orwell.

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    1. I think I had Assembly on last year’s pile but just never got around to it… I did swap out a lot of books last year and the pile I read did not look anything like the pile I planned to read at the start.

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  5. You have a lot of good books there Kim – probably by favourite would be a Girl Woman Other as I loved that book so much. Shuggie Bain was another favourite but there are many on your list that were good! Some I don’t know so I will look forward to your reviews. I would love to read 20 books from my shelf ……. Good luck

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    1. Well, I think it will be my sixth re-read of My Brother Jack. I have been asked to sit on a panel to talk about my favourite Australian book so figured I needed to refresh my memory! And last summer I read so much about Charmian Clift, it’s only fair I read Johnston now.

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        1. One of the local libraries is holding an evening based on the Books That Made US TV series and three people have been asked to talk, me, a local indie bookseller and Freo writer David Whish-Wilson. It’s was originally supposed to happen in March but got rescheduled because of covid.

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  6. Great list Kim! I enjoyed Girl, Woman, Other and Assembly is a short, powerful read. I thought Midwinter Break was stunning, but I know not everyone did, so I’ll be keen to hear what you think. Thanks so much for taking part again.

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    1. I’ve seen mixed reviews of Midwinter Break but he’s an author I want to read more of having read and loved Cal a few years ago.

      Thanks for organising the challenge again this year… it seems to keep growing and growing!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I can relate to your TBR “problem” because I’ve also been neglecting mine in favour of library acquisitions. The only one on your list I’ve read is The Fishermen. I know I enjoyed it at the time though now I can’t remember a thing about it..

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    1. LOL! So it wasn’t a memorable read, then. Not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing.

      I love my local library, especially as it has been moved into new premises within a short walk away. They have extended their hours so remain open until 7pm every weeknight which gives me time to pop down there after work if I need to.

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      1. I used to love doing that when I was working – sadly they had extended opening hours only one day of the week. I do wish libraries would open on Sundays – I know it puts pressure on the staff but it would make it easier for families to go together

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        1. My library is open 9am to 5pm on a Sunday. It is a university town, though, so always has a steady stream of visitors and there’d be an outcry if it was closed all weekend.

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          1. I live close to Cardiff which is a capital city and hosts three universities – even then the main library doesn’t open at all on a Sunday. Your government leaders are clearly far more enlightened

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  8. I’m sad not to be joining in this year but I can’t. The Bernardine Evaristo is the only one of these I’ve read and I really enjoyed it. I like the sound of Midwinter Break. I might have to add that to my TBR. Thank you. Good luck with the challenge.

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    1. Thanks for your comment, VolatileMuse (great name!) and apologies I’ve taken so long to respond. Been a bit busy! Thanks for the vote of confidence re: Bernardine Evaristo; everyone seems to have loved this book so I am looking forward to reading it this winter.

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  9. I think I have read three. Shuggie Bain is excellent! Girl, Woman, Other was pretty good. I guess I am not that big a fan of Chigozi Obiama, because I had problems with The Fishermen. My review is going to be coming out in the next few weeks.

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    1. Good to hear you loved both Shuggie Bain and Girl, Woman, Other as both were actually on my list for last year’s 20 books but I ended up swapping them out for others that suited my mood more at the time.

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  10. You’re brave including Grand Days (it’s a whopper!).

    I also use this challenge for clearing the shelves of books I’ve had for ages. Of your picks, I’ve read a few, and loved, loved, loved Shuggie Bain.

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  11. Ooh, you’re in for a treat with Girl, Woman, Other! And I have Another Day in the Colony but saving it for Brona’s Aus Reading Month in November. Enjoy! I only started my first book for mine yesterday (did you see my pile?).

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    1. I didn’t see your pile… been a bit pre-occupied of late – I started a new job and bought a new car, then I caught covid and last weekend my sister came to visit (first time I have seen a family member in two-and-a-half years!!) and it’s only now that I feel things are settling down a little. I need to go see what you’re planning to read.

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