Plans for 20 Books of Summer

This is my second time taking part in Cathy’s 20 Books of Summer project. Once again I plan to focus solely on books that I own to try to get through a respectable number of them. For 2019 I’ve decided to read books that are about animals or have an animal in the title. I’ve set aside a few back-ups (the ones standing upright in the photos), and if I’m struggling I can cheat a bit by including books that happen to have an animal on the cover.

In the interest of statistics … last year I read eight nonfiction titles and 12 fiction – so that’s exactly what I’ve pulled out for this year. (For the record, I only intend to read the first of Updike’s Rabbit novels at this stage.) I have two re-reads set aside this time (Julian Barnes and Abigail Thomas) versus one last year. Last year I read one doorstopper; this year I don’t have any on the docket. In 2018 I was particularly proud of getting through two short story collections, so this year I’ve chosen one animal-themed one to read. Randomly, three of last year’s books were review copies from publishers or the author, and three were signed copies. This time I have none of either, unless I do some substituting.

Also interesting to note is that this year three of the books I’ve picked are by Canadian authors (André Alexis, Michael Crummey and Mary Lawson), and another has a Canadian setting (The Tenderness of Wolves). Canadian readers, rejoice!

Another project I might join in with this summer is the Robertson Davies reading week – I own his Deptford trilogy, and would at least read one of the books, if not attempt all three.

 

What are your summer reading plans?

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25 thoughts on “Plans for 20 Books of Summer

  1. I’m so impressed you’ve managed to find so many animal books that you already own! I’ve not read any of these, but I’ve been intrigued by the John Updike trilogy since Ann Patchett raved about it at a talk I heard her give a few years ago. I’ll be interested to see how you get on with the first one.

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    1. Patchett and Updike is not a natural pairing that would have come to my mind! Her book recommendations are usually very sound. I’ve only ever read Updike’s poetry, so I’m intrigued to try his fiction and hope I don’t find him too macho.

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  2. Your choices are very well thought out! My focus is mostly on clearing some ARCs and some books that have been on the TBR stack for a while – basically, reading from what I own!

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  3. Good choices! I’m doing 20 books without any review books or my Iris Murdoch project ones – eeps! But looking forward to it. I would LOVE to do the Robertson Davies week but realistically I need to get through more of my TBR first. But I love him, so we’ll see! Happy reading!

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      1. That would be a good place to start. Although there is a tiny animal link with the second book in that trilogy too (The Manticore)! You really can’t read them out of order though: there’s just no way to connect to the characters in the last two books if you haven’t understood their backgrounds from the first book. Good luck with your plans!

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  4. I am a fan of Julian Barnes, and read Flaubert’s Parrot for the first time last year and though it was “unique” (I really never use that word) I prefer The Sense of an Ending. Summer began for me with Crawdads. If you can suspend belief as I can with novels, I found it thoroughly engaging – a cross between Educated and Island of the Blue Dolphins) Also a fun read in an unusual format was Daisy Jones and The Six for which I am the right age to appreciate it. Last week I read The Underpainter by Jane Urquhart which is beautifully drawn. Work like that inspires me while writing my current work in progress. Bryn Greenwood just sent me an advance copy of her new release,The Reckless Oath We Made, which I’m starting today. I really loved her novel All the Ugly and Beautiful Things.

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    1. I loved Where the Crawdads Sing — that would be an interesting animal choice for someone who hasn’t already read it! — and Daisy Jones and the Six. I also had a good experience with my latest Jane Urquhart novel, Away.

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  5. I like your animal theme, very clever. Crow Lake is very good, and I enjoyed The Mammoth Cheese and People of the Book is brilliant. I’m reading something for the Robertson Davies week too.

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    1. What an intriguing collection of books! Love Barbara Pym. My plan is to carry on with my non-fiction jaunt including reading more of Jon Ronson’s books.

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    2. I find that projects like this are one of the only ways to force myself to read the books I own rather than getting caught up in library books and review copies. But I do tend to be fickle — last summer I substituted out most of the titles, only reading 7 of my original 20 planned.

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  6. I love the animal theme! And I’m SO excited that you’re reading Galore!! (Fifteen Dogs and Crow Lake, too, but especially Galore!) And the Robertson Davies week. I’m so excited about it all! *takes a pill*

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