Cathy is once again encouraging us to blast through our TBR piles with her annual 20 Books of Summer Challenge (winter if you are in the southern hemisphere). Her rules are fairly relaxed, so it should be do-able for anyone. You can find out more about it on Cathy’s blog. The challenge runs from 1st June to 1st September, and I always try to incorporate the Women in Translation Month (August) into the challenge as well.
However, I have to admit that each year I succeed (if I suceed) only thanks to some very creative accounting, i.e. cheating. I pick a huge list of books to choose from, or I swap halfway through. This year I have set myself the additional challenge of clearing my very large pile of Netgalley requests. So all of my 20 books will be e-books. Bear in mind that I don’t like reading on a Kindle very much, so I may intersperse the 20 books with other physical books.
Anyway, here is the plan (I give myself roughly 10 per month, so I have plenty to choose from):
June – the oldest books on my list
A lot of crime fiction that I thought I couldn’t live without at the time, as well as books everyone was talking about back in 2014/15.
- Miljenko Jergovic: The Walnut Mansion
- Jean Teule: The Poisoning Angel
- Sarah Jasmon: The Summer of Secrets
- Sarah Leipciger: The Mountain Can Wait
- Claire Fuller: Our Endless Numbered Days
- Karl Kraus: The Last Days of Mankind
- Maxime Chattam: Carnage
- Stuart Neville: Those We Left Behind
- Caro Ramsay: The Tears of Angels
- John Banville: The Blue Guitar
July – most quirky books on the list
Well, they might not be quirky for anybody else, but they are not my usual reading matter (or, in the case of poetry, not the sort of thing I would read on a Kindle). This could be a bit of a hit or miss month of reading, but at least I have plenty to choose from.
- Essential Poems (10 American poets, including May Sarton, Nancy Willard, Alice Walker)
- Joyce Carol Oates: The Doll Master and Other Tales of Terror (unusual for me, because I don’t usually read horror)
- Rudyard Kipling: Brazilian Sketches (travelogue)
- Odafe Atogun: Taduno’s Song (because I don’t read enough fiction from the African continent)
- Zana Fraillon: The Bone Sparrow (children’s book, about refugees)
- Melissa Lee Houghton: Sunshine (poetry)
- Jeffrey Sweet: What Playwrights Talk About When They Talk About Writing
- Petina Gappah: Rotten Row (short stories, which I don’t read very often, and set in Zimbabwe)
- Rachael Lucas: The State of Grace (children’s books, about autism)
- Sue Moorcroft: Just for the Holidays (romance)
August – Women in Translation
- Minae Mizumura: An I Novel (Japan)
- Mieko Kawakami: Heaven (Japan)
- Daniela Krien: Love in Five Acts (Germany)
- Dulce Maria Cardoso: Violeta Among the Stars (Portugal)
- Marie NDiaye: The Cheffe (France)
- Valérie Perrin: Fresh Water for Flowers (France)
- Samanta Schweblin: Fever Dream (Argentina)
- Şebnem İşigüzel: The Girl in the Tree (Turkey)
- Niviaq Korneliussen: Crimson (Greenland)
Will I stick to this plan? I can already see some books on my shelves really tempting me for the Women in Translation Month especially. However, if I can make at least a bit of an inroad in my 215 Netgalley collection (don’t you just hate how easy they are to count – at least with my shelved books I live in blissful ignorance of the true number of unread ones).