Every year, the lovely Cathy at 746Books runs the 20 Books of Summer challenge, and I’ve taken part every year since 2015, though I certainly haven’t completed the challenge every year (my master 20Books page is here). The challenge starter page is here and there are over 85 people taking part at the moment, which is astounding and lovely, including lots of bloggers I read already.

I usually create my pile out of my print TBR, taking the earliest books on it although also adding some Viragoes and the like in at the end for All Virago / All August. This year, I’m being even more strict, and only the two Dean Street Press books I have coming up are slotting into August, although maybe I’ll be able to fit more in if I finish early.

What’s NOT included in my 20 Books pile?

  • Ebooks whether NetGalley or downloaded from Amazon
  • Review books sent by the publisher or author specifically for review on Shiny New Books or my blog
  • Books for other challenges I might do along the way (I don’t think I have anything falling into that category this time)
  • Books I am reading along with my best friend, Emma
  • Books I’m part-way through at the turn of the month

What IS included in my 20 Books pile?

  • The oldest 20 books on my print TBR that don’t fall into the above categories.


And here they are!

Ruth Pavey – A Wood of One’s Own – all about owning a bit of woodland and I think rewilding

Helen Ashton – The Half-Crown House – mid-20th century novel

Stella Gibbons – The Bachelor – another mid-20th century novel

Jeffrey Boakye – Black, Listed – the experience of Black men in the UK

Elton John – Me – the autobiography

James Ward – Adventures in Stationery – something we probably all like, right?

Anna McNuff – The Pants of Perspective – solo running the length of New Zealand

Alex Hutchinson – Endure: Mind, Body and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance – what it says on the tin

Martin Yelling and Anji Andrews – Running in the Midpack – running and improving when you’re not a new runner and you’re not an elite (might get promoted up the pile as reading with Wendy)

Mikki Kendall – Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women White Feminism Forgot – required reading for White feminists

Angie Thomas – On the Come Up – novel set in America by the author of The Hate U Give

Candice Braithwaite – I Am Not Your Baby Mother – Black women’s experience of maternity

Anna Aslanyan – Dancing on Ropes – translation and why it’s important

Nicholas Royle – White Spines: Confessions of a Book Collector – he collects a particular imprint

Rob Deering – Running Tracks: The Places and Playlists that Made me a Runner – running and music in this Unbound book I subscribed to

Sue Anstiss – Game On: The Unstoppable Rise of Women’s Sport – finally we’re seeing more coverage, and this is another Unbound book I subscribed to

Lucy Delap – Feminisms – a history that aims to cover worldwide, not just White developed nations feminism

Edward Hancox – Every Last Puffin – he visits puffin sites in this book I took part in a crowdfunder for

Carola Oman – Nothing to Report / Somewhere in England – two Dean Street Press reprints of WW2 novels.

So, four mid-20th century novels, two nature books, three running books, two general sports books, two books on feminism, three books on Black people’s experiences, two books on music, book on books and words and one on stationery. Five fiction and fifteen non-fiction (a bit unbalanced but I will read other fiction during the summer). Twelve by women, seven by men and one by a man and a woman, sounds about the usual ratio. Will I do it? I really don’t know. But I’ll enjoy trying.

Are you doing 20 Books of Summer this year?