20 Books of Summer

…aka Failure Guaranteed…

Since I’m already so far behind in all my challenges for 2021, it makes absolutely no sense to take part in Cathy’s 20 Books of Summer challenge, so obviously I’m going to do it – sense is so over-rated, don’t you think? I usually have some kind of theme for this, and this year it’s to read twenty books I’ve received for review, either at my own request or unsolicited from some of the lovely publishers out there. I currently have 40 review copies outstanding, which is the highest it’s ever been, but loads of them are crime – contemporary, vintage, historical and thrillers – and a sprinkling of science fiction. Quick reads, in other words – so I’m going for a high octane, murderous summer!

So here’s what my initial list looks like, though there’s a good chance other review books will arrive over the summer and I may swap them in if the fancy takes me!

            1. Spaceworlds edited by Mike Ashley
            2. Two-Way Murder by ECR Lorac
            3. Bullet Train by Kotaro Isaka
            4. The Killing Kind by Jane Casey
            5. The Pact by Sharon Bolton
            6. Mother Loves Me by Abby Davies
            7. Scorpion by Christian Cantrell
            8. False Witness by Karin Slaughter
            9. The Drowned City by KJ Maitland
            10. Due to a Death by Mary Kelly
            11. Worst Idea Ever by Jane Fallon
            12. The Disappearing Act by Catherine Steadman
            13. Yesterday’s Tomorrows by Mike Ashley
            14. Letters from the Dead by Steve Robinson
            15. The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins
            16. The Goodbye Man by Jeffery Deaver
            17. The Final Twist by Jeffery Deaver
            18. Risk of Harm by Lucie Whitehouse
            19. The Twisted Wire by Richard Falkirk
            20. Don’t Let Go by Harlan Coben

Well, I think they look pretty appealing! It’s a fairly even split between authors I’ve enjoyed before and authors who will be new to me, so I may even find some new favourites. I’m currently tired of massive novels and factual books, so an immersion in lighter reading sounds like a perfect way to spend the summer even if I’m almost guaranteed to fail!

Do any of them appeal to you? Are you joining in the challenge?

(PS Apologies for disappearing again – life keeps getting in the way of blogging at the moment. I’ve given myself a serious talking-to and should catch up with comments, etc., over the weekend and be back in the swing next week!)

Here’s to a great summer of reading! 😀

81 thoughts on “20 Books of Summer

    • Thank you! yes, that’s what makes Cathy such a great hostess – she lets us do whatever we like! my final list is rarely exactly the same as the one I started with – three months is a long time in book world… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • My adrenaline levels are going to break all records! 😉 Haha, I always think planning the list is the best part of any challenge – hope you find loads of books that inspire you! 😀

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  1. I love how every year you say you aren’t going to do it and then you do it anyway! That’s the way to live! Great list, would love to read the Jane Casey and Bullet Train is on my radar. Enjoy! THIS IS OUR YEAR 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, I didn’t bother to struggle too hard this year, since I know I always give in eventually! Plus it gives me a great excuse to throw all the heavyweight stuff into a corner for a while and indulge my murderous instincts… 😉 We can do this!! 😀

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  2. Excellent selection. I’m currently working on mine but the pile gets higher not lower! I always fail so I’m not expecting a success this year. I usually cheat and have wildcards so I can read what my mood dictates. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, yes it’s odd the way that book pile grows no matter how hard we all work away at it! My final list is almost never the same as the one I start with, but that’s the fun of this challenge – breakable rules! I succeeded last year by reading the twenty shortest books I had, so I’m hoping going for a lot of quick crime and thriller reads will work this year…. we’ll see! Looking forward to seeing your list… 😀

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  3. From what I remember, you managed to read all of your 20 books last year, choosing shorter titles seemed to work for you, so hopefully the same strategy will pay off this year too. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did indeed! I looked to see if I had twenty short books on my TBR again this year but there weren’t quite enough of them, so I’m hoping going for genre stuff will work just as well – I always read crime and SF much more quickly than “proper” fiction for some reason.

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  4. I think your logic makes perfect (bookish) sense! I hope you enjoy your summer reading as we move into colder months on the other side of the globe. I haven’t read any of these books, though some authors are familiar and favourite. The review I will be particularly curious to read is for The Drowned City, I think I might end up reading this one. Have an interesting challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, I usually try to resist this challenge but I always break down in the end, so this year I didn’t put up too much of a fight! 😉 The Drowned City sounds very appealing, and I quite fancy a historical crime set in the Stuart era rather than the Tudors for a change, although my grasp of Stuart history isn’t as good, so I hope she explains it well!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m working on my selection. I’ve never managed to read 10 or 15, let alone 20. I have one of yours on my list – The Killing Kind – looking forward to reading that. Good luck with your 20!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha, I’ve failed a few times on this one too, but it’s still always fun trying, and I’m hoping sticking to genre fiction will help – I always read them more quickly than “proper” fiction for some reason. But my final list rarely looks the same as the one I start out with. Looking forward to seeing what’s on your list… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You’ve got some excellent choices there, FictionFan! There are some authors (like Casey) whose work I’m fairly sure you’re going to really enjoy. And it’s always fun to explore some new-to-you authors, even if you end up putting them on your not-again list. I give you credit for doing this challenge; it’s not one I’ve dared to take on…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m looking forward to the new Casey, and there’s an ECR Lorac in there too! Sometimes the ones I get sent at random by publishers quietly disappear from my list after the first couple of chapters, but I’ve had some really excellent surprises among them too – it’s like a game of roulette! Let’s hope these ones all land on a winning number… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Some of these look really good and I have confidence you’ll complete the challenge! What’s the worst that can happen? You’ll fail and we’ll forgive you. 😉
    FYI, I finished Way Station by Clifford D. Simak last night and really enjoyed it! I might try another of his.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, but will I forgive myself? I may have to punish myself and that means no chocolate… too awful to contemplate! I shall simply have to succeed… 😉
      Oh, that’s great to hear! I’m so glad you liked it – you must tell me if you do try another and if it turns out to be just as good. Did you spot Yesterday’s Tomorrows in my list? It’s going to do terrible things to my sci-fi TBR, I suspect… and maybe yours too… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I know what you mean. I probably won’t be successful reading (and definitely not reviewing) a list of 20 books, but I have to try anyway. I am working on my list now and have whittled it down to 23 and don’t want to leave off any of them.

    Yesterday’s Tomorrows: The Story of Science Fiction in 100 Books sound very interesting. Right now it is too expensive for me but I will wait and see how long I can put off reading it. My husband is a fan of Steve Robinson, but I don’t know if he is that far along in the series.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s the reviewing that always causes the problems for me too – the last few are always extremely rushed! But making the list is so much fun. 😀 Looking forward to seeing what books you end up with!

      I have a feeling something has gone a bit wrong with the publication date for Yesterday’s Tomorrow – lockdown related maybe. It was supposed to come out a while ago, but I don’t think many copies hit the shelves. So I’m hoping the price drops when it comes out properly – and there’s bound to be a Kindle version of it too at some point. It does look great – going to be a killer for my poor TBR… I haven’t read any of Steve Robinson’s books – this is one I got years ago from NetGalley and never got around to reading, so I’d like to clear it off my conscience!

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  9. Looks like an interesting list, FF, but I know what you mean about “life” interfering with reading challenges! I’ve got the same problem, and it doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon. And now that things are opening up (gee, we’ve got the pandemic solved already??), things promise to be even more crazy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha, yes, sometimes I go for ages in a routine and then somehow everything gets all out of kilter and it seems to take ages to get back to normal! We were supposed to move to Level 2 tomorrow (which means nearly free) but there’s been a slight uptick in cases again so we’re back on Level 3 – still no bookshops for poor FF… 😥

      Liked by 1 person

        • I know, and it feels like a lifetime since I was in a shop other than a supermarket! I’m not usually the world’s most enthusiastic shopper so I’ve been surprised at how much I’ve missed it.

          Liked by 1 person

    • I noticed it’s been getting pretty mixed reviews so I’ve lowered my expectations a bit. But I need a train journey for one of my challenges, so I’ll just have to grit my teeth and struggle through… 😉

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  10. I don’t know why I had the urge to do this, but here goes:

    My scorpion Mother Loves Me and assures me There’s No Risk of Harm, but The Wife Upstairs is the Killing Kind. Together, they’ve written The Pact for committing a Two-Way Murder, using a Bullet Train and The Twisted Wire. I’m trying to sleep on the train, feel a jerk, but cannot yell out. I hear them saying Don’t Let Go before they give it a Final Twist. And then Good-bye Man. But this is their Worst. Idea. Ever. Due to a Death (mine), I’ll send them Letters from the Dead. Their Disappearing Act (of me) won’t work, as my Yesterday’s Tomorrows will haunt them from the Drowned City where my soul has landed. I swear I bear no False Witness, as this saga plays out in Spaceworlds: Stories of Life in the Void. Stay tuned for more of my revenge…….

    Happy Summer Reading!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hahahaha, superb!! I bet this is a more exciting story than most of the ones in the books will be! 😀 Now just imagine if I’d picked twenty romances rather than crime novels – your story would have either been hot and steamy or sickly sweet… I prefer the murderous kind myself, though I’m so sorry you turned out to be the victim. Keep those Letters from the Dead coming – I’d love to know what happens afterwards… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ha, I can never resist making booklists so these challenges have a fatal attraction for me! A few of these should fit into some of my other challenges, but I’m feeling rebellious anyway, so I don’t care if I achieve my targets anymore… 😉

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    • Haha, I used to be driven to achieve any target I set myself but I’ve realised that success is optional! Since I always enjoy making booklists, then I win even if I end up only reading half the books… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  11. This looks like the perfect summer read list! I haven’t read a single one of them, so they will all be new to me too. I hope to pick up some books I’m more excited about as the weather grows warmer too, it feels like the season to indulge 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. If you are already behind in your other challenges, perhaps this challenge can overlap the others? Or just give up on the others and take on this one?

    I’m hoping to read twenty of my 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A few of these should feed into my other challenges, and anyway it’ll clear the decks of outstanding review copies a bit, which will let me concentrate on other stuff afterwards without feeling guilty!

      Ha! That sounds like fun! And it’s nice to know that if we haven’t read them all we can’t be adults yet – very liberating! 😉

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    • Ha, I think you’re very wise! I spent last evening sorting out my reading schedule for the summer to fit all these in, and I’m now having my usual summer panic attacks! Bah – that Cathy!! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  13. it’s not an easy task you undertake and you seem to be doing it with consistency and commitment. special thanks coming your way to let you know that you’re doing a great service to the tireless authors, writers, readers and the entire fraternity. stick with it. blessings. will be following your posts and hope you follow mine and share a thought sometime.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Where would life be without a challenge? There are some interesting looking books on your list. I have just finished The Drowned City and really enjoyed it. Hope you get round to reading at some point over the Summer.

    Liked by 1 person

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