My 20 Books Of Summer 2021: Progress Update #20booksofsummer21

20-books-of-summerWith just under a month left to go I’m continuing to make good progress but I still have some chunky books left on my list. The Mirror & the Light, I’m looking at you…

The annual 20 Books of Summer challenge is run by my namesake, Cathy at 746 Books.  This year it takes place between 1st June and 1st September 2021.  As (the other) Cathy explains, the rules are simple.  Take the Books of Summer image, pick your own 10, 15 or 20 books you’d like to read and add your link to Cathy’s master post here so she knows you’re taking part.

The rules are accommodating as well.  Want to swap a book? Go for it.  Fancy changing your list half way through? No problem.  Deciding to drop your goal from 20 to 15? She’s fine with that too.

I decided to aim for the full 20 once again. In putting together my list, I concentrated on blog tour commitments I had from June onwards, books on my NetGalley To Read shelf that published in June, July and August, and books I’ve received as Readers First giveaways but still haven’t read. My thinking was the first category contains books I need to read soon anyway, the second category will help me maintain my 80% plus NetGalley feedback ratio and the third will assuage any guilt at my tardiness in posting the expected reviews. So far that strategy seems to be working, as you can see below!

Links from the titles will take you to the book description on Goodreads or to my review when I’ve read them.


Read and reviewed

This Is How We Are Human by Louise Beech (Orenda Books)
The Serpent King by Tim Hodkinson (Aries)
The Fort (City of Victory #1) by Adrian Goldsworthy (Head of Zeus)
Scandalous Alchemy by Katy Moran (Head of Zeus)
Everything Happens for a Reason by Katie Allen (Orenda Books)

One Last Time by Helga Flatland (Orenda Books)
Two Women In Rome by Elizabeth Buchan (Corvus)
Mrs England by Stacey Halls (Manilla Press)
Yours Cheerfully by A J Pearce (Picador)

This Shining Life by Harriet Kline (Doubleday)
Those I Have Lost by Sharon Maas (Bookouture)
Cecily by Annie Garthwaite (Viking)
Three Little Truths by Eithne Shorthall (Corvus) Review coming soon

Yet to be read

In A Time of Monsters by Emma Sky (Atlantic)
Gallowstree Lane (Collins & Griffiths #3) by Kate London (Corvus)
A House of Ghosts by W. C. Ryan (Zaffre)
The Unfortunate Englishman (Joe Wilderness #2) by John Lawton (Atlantic)
Hammer To Fall (Joe Wilderness #3) by John Lawton (Atlantic)
Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller (Fig Tree)
The Mirror & the Light by Hilary Mantel

Wish me luck! If you’re taking part too, enjoy your summer of reading.

My Classics Club List Is Completed! @ourclassicsclub #ccspin

The Classics ClubThe Classics Club was founded in March 2012 with the aim of encouraging more people to blog about classic literature.  Members are invited to create a list of at least 50 classic titles they intend to read and blog about within a maximum of five years.  With characteristic over-enthusiasm, when I first enrolled in the challenge in January 2017, I set out to read the 50 classics on my list by 31st December 2018.   I soon recognised that was way too ambitious and revised it to 31st December 2021.

In putting together my list, my personal definition of “classic” was a book published more than 40 years ago, i.e. anything published before 1976. I also decided to concentrate on two categories: women writers and the works of John Buchan, one of my favourite authors.

I’m pleased to say, having just read the final two books on my list as part of the latest Classics Club Spin event, I’ve completed the challenge with a little under five months to spare. As well as reading some wonderful books I might not have otherwise read, I now qualify for a place on The Classics Club Wall of Honour! You can view the list of books I read with links to my reviews here.

And before you ask, since I’m already signed up to quite a few other reading challenges, I don’t intend to attempt another fifty classics. What I will do is continue to follow The Classics Club blog as well as read and share the reviews of other Classics Club members.