Addendum to the #20BooksofSummer

I admit it: I am a terrible cheat! But no sooner had I listed my 41 choices for the 20 books of summer, when I received a couple of new books in the post and a few more jumped out at me from the bookshelves. Positively assaulted me and clung to me, I’m telling you! So I’ve added to the inchoate pile on the carpet, ready for me to honour them with my final selection. I feel quite excited about this latest bunch, so I’m more likely to start with them than with some of the ones mentioned earlier.


The reason I like them is because, with two crime fiction exceptions, they are all pushing me a little outside my comfort zone. City of Stairs is a sci-fi/fantasy novel, a genre I very rarely read (although many of my favourite films are in that genre). Petit Pays and Evening Is the Whole Day are about the immigrant experience but from cultures that I know very little about (Burundi, India and Malaysia).

David Peace is always challenging stylistically and never more so to me than when he is talking about Japan in the immedate aftermath of the Second World War. Marian Engel’s Bear is more talked about (in prurient fashion) than read, since it talks about a woman having sexual fantasies about a bear. Shirley Hazzard is excellent at making expats squirm in recognition, while Olga Tokarczuk may have won the Nobel but has not endeared herself to the Polish government for her outspoken stance against right-wing views. Her book (and the film based on it) has been denounced as ‘deeply anti-Christian film… promoting eco-terrorism’ and I’ve been saving it for far too long for ‘a rainy day’.

That rainy day is now.

26 thoughts on “Addendum to the #20BooksofSummer”

  1. Well, what can people do when books ambush them like that, Marina Sofia? You had no choice at all, as I see it. Those are some good choices, and I’ll look forward to what you think of them.

  2. It is a conspiracy, I took ages determining my strategy – based on the fact that I hadn’t received any books in the post for 6 weeks or more. What happens? The very next day …. not one, not two, but 5 books arrive! (Not that I am complaining.)

    1. I really think they do this on purpose. Maybe at the post office they keep all the book parcels and then release them in one go, to save on journeys! (No, I’m joking!)

    1. I am such a Shirley Hazzard fan – and haven’t read nearly enough of hers. It’s quite hard to find here in the UK, although she lived here most of her life.

  3. LOL! I can understand why you wanted to add them on! I loved both Crossed Skis and Drive Your Plow (such different books!) so I hope you get to them. We gifted City of Stairs to my Eldest Child on his birthday, but I’ve yet to hear what he thought of it!

    1. Yes, those two tempt me most. And I’ve heard great things about Divine Cities trilogy – plus, I am beta-reading the science-fiction/fantasy book of a friend from my writing group and I feel woefully unprepared…

  4. I don’t think you’re cheating. Good luck with 20 books of summer. I have bowed out this year, I’m too hopeless at sticking to lists. I read and loved Drive your Plow… hope you enjoy it. I also have Crossed Skis tbr it looks fun.

    1. Yes, maybe I was too optimistic to sign up for it, but we’ll see how it goes. It’s not like Cathy is going to crack the whip, will she? Will she?

    1. You are sooo wise to clear your Netgalley list. I wish I’d thought of that. Maybe I’ll do a Netgalley challenge from September onwards.

  5. I read Evening is the Whole Day many years ago and remember liking it a lot. Of the others on your list, I have Drive Your Plow and The Bay of Noon, which I have yet to read, so looking forward to what you think of them.

  6. I didn’t realise that the Tokarczuk had been made into a film. Is it available to view anywhere? Sounds like the kind of thing that might pop up on MUBI at some point…

  7. Love the fact that we are only six days into summer officially and you’ve already changed your mind about what is on your 20 books list. Thats why I always fail with book challenges involving lists – the minute the list is done, I find other books i would much rather read.

  8. I have the same issue as you! With the new books I bought, I will certainly switch some books.
    Oh well, it has to remain something fun to do.
    Who’s gonna control us? The book police? (God, these two words don’t go well together)

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