#20BooksOfSummer is a nice, simple reading challenge hosted each year by Cathy from 746 Books: you can see her list here and she also has images you can download for the challenge (I’m doing 20 books, but there are also 15 book and 10 book options).

The reason I like this challenge is that it’s simple – read 20 books between 1 June and 3 September and share them on Twitter using the hashtag, or alert Cathy to what you’ve read on her blog. You’re allowed to swap in and out books and it doesn’t matter if you don’t complete all 20. I use it to find other interesting blogs to read and to find new readers for my blog.

You can read my round-up posts from 2015 and 2016 and find lists with links of all the books I read then over on my 20BooksofSummer page – scroll down, as I’ve added my list for this year there already.

So, what’s on the list for this year? I don’t have to add books from The Pile because I have got rid of most of The Pile already with my massive batch of May reading. So here are the paper books I have chosen (I say chosen; most of them are from the first half of my TBR) and a note on two additions below.

So …

Mitch Prinstein – “Popular” [not pictured] – a NetGalley book about social media likes and popularity in the digital age.

Stuart Maconie – “Long Road from Jarrow” [not pictured] – another NetGalley book in which he follows the path of the Jarrow marchers.

If I am approved for any more NetGalley books, they will have to be ADDITIONAL to these. Gulp. And I’m going to try to read these two by the end of June to give me lots of room for All Virago / All August.

Susie Dent – “How to Talk Like a Local” – one of her little books on language, this time on regional dialects and idioms.

Farahad Zama – “Mrs Ali’s Road to Happiness” – the fourth in the Marriage Bureau for Rich People series which I’ve been reading for a while. Should be light but with a bite of social conscience.

Miriam Toews – “A Boy of Good Breeding” – from the wish list, I like her novels about small town Canada although this seems very whimsical indeed.

By the way, I’m not necessarily going to read them in this order …

Scott Jurek – “Eat and Run” – to some of us, he’s a famous vegan ultrarunner and quite a lot of my running friends have read this. I love reading stories about how runners have achieved great feats.

Adam Nicolson – “When God Spoke English” – as regular readers know, I would read a re-writing of the phone book if it was done by Nicolson, and this is about the King James Bible.

John-Paul Flintoff – “Sew Your Own” – he goes looking for the meaning of life and ends up sewing his own clothes. Reviewers have not loved this as it’s quite disjointed and theoretical rather than explaining how he did things – I suspect I may end up swapping this out!

Francis Brett Young – “The Black Diamond” – rural and urban and industrial history mixed with violence, sex and football. As you do.

Eric Newby – “Something Wholesale” – the only book of his I haven’t read, about his adventures in the rag trade. Might be a good contrast with the Flintoff book.

Natasha Solomons – “The Gallery of Vanished Husbands” – novel I know nothing about but recommended by my friend Luci, who passed it to me originally.

Jane Gardam – “Old Filth” – her book centred on a male character which I have ignored all these years in favour of her female-centric ones. We’ll see.

Barbara Taylor – “Eve and the New Jerusalem” – feminism and socialism rising in the 19th century.

From here for a bit are reserved for All Virago / All August (which includes Persephones) which I do with the LibraryThing Virago Group. Not as many this time as last year.

Gladys Huntingdon – “Madame Solario” (Persephone) – a great big novel set in Cadenabbia on Lake Como, where we have stayed!

R.C. Sheriff – “Greengates” (Persephone) – I love his quiet observation of family life and this looks lovely, the tale of a man and his wife finding a building project in their retirement.

Amber Reeves – “A Lady and Her Husband” (Persephone) – what would you do if you found your husband was scrimping on the wages of the women who work in the tea rooms he owns?

Mollie Panter-Downes “One Fine Day” (Virago) – I’ve enjoyed her short stories and now it’s time for this novel set just post the Second World War, which many friends have admired.

Zora Neale Hurston – “Their Eyes Were Watching God” (Virago) – a classic of course, though a lot of dialect in it.

Dorothy Whipple – “Every Good Deed and other Stories” (Persephone) – I know these short stories will be wonderful.

Nick Baker – “ReWild” – another review copy, for Shiny New Books, about reclaiming our life in the wild places of our immediate world. This will need to be read soon for review.

So, what do you think of my list? 11 fiction and 9 non-fiction, no travel but going to the US and India and around the world on ultramarathons. A book on tech and a book on running and a book on nature. Mid-century women’s writing, the Midlands and a fair dose of feminism. That gives quite a good picture of my reading in general!

Have you read any of these? Are you doing 20BooksOfSummer this year?