20 Books of Summer – 2017

For the last few days I’ve been trying to make up my mind whether or not to take part in this year’s 20 Books of Summer, hosted by Cathy at 746 Books. The rules are simple – to make a list of twenty books (or fifteen or ten) you want to read this summer and then read as many of them as you can between 1st June and 3rd September – but as I’m not usually very successful at sticking to lists, that’s why I’ve been hesitant about joining in. It always looks fun, though, so I’ve decided to give it a try this time!

My list is a mixture of review copies (NetGalley and physical), the remaining books I need to read for the Classics Club, library books – I’ll have to read those first – and some that I’ve simply been looking forward to reading. I probably won’t read all of them and will almost certainly find myself drawn to other books as well, but I’ll see how it goes.

Here are my twenty books, in no particular order:

1. The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

2. To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey

3. Long Summer Day by RF Delderfield

4. The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb

5. Beneath a Burning Sky by Jenny Ashcroft

6. The Fortune of War by Patrick O’Brian

7. Heartstone by CJ Sansom

8. The Light Years by Elizabeth Jane Howard

9. The Last Son’s Secret by Rafel Nadal Farreras

10. The Silk Merchant’s Daughter by Dinah Jefferies

11. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (re-read)

12. A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley

13. The Wicked Day by Mary Stewart

14. Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton

15. For the Winner by Emily Hauser

16. Shadow of the Moon by MM Kaye

17. The Reckoning by Sharon Penman

18. Crimson and Bone by Marina Fiorato

19. The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

20. By Gaslight by Steven Price


What do you think? Have you read any of these? Will you be taking part in 20 Books of Summer this year?

40 thoughts on “20 Books of Summer – 2017

  1. jessicabookworm says:

    Brilliant to have you on board too this year 🙂 I have only read Rebecca, but on the whole your list looks great. Good luck with your goal and happy summer reading 😀

  2. Carmen says:

    I think it is a wonderful idea to make this list and stick to it if you can. I wish! I’ll probably be reading 6-7 books this summer if I keep up my going rate.

    I, too, will be reading Rebecca fairly soon, as well as The Glass Blowers. I have added To the Bright Edge of the World to my wishlist upon Judy’s (and/or Dorothy’s) recommendation, so I’m waiting for Amazon to make its move.

    • Helen says:

      I’m not sure if I’ll be able to stick to it, but I’ll do my best! And yes, I remember that Judy liked To the Bright Edge of the World – I can’t wait to read that one. 🙂

  3. FictionFan says:

    Great mix on your list! The Sansom is brilliant, but then I think all his books are. And I loved Dead Woman Walking. And of course you already know Rebecca is fabulous – have a great summer of reading! 😀

    • Helen says:

      Thank you! I’ve loved all of the first four Shardlake books, so I have high hopes for Heartstone. And I remember that you loved Dead Woman Walking! I was hoping to have had a chance to read it before now, but I will definitely get to it this summer.

    • Helen says:

      Yes, that probably would have been a good idea. I’m not going to worry about it too much if I end up not sticking to the list, but I will definitely try to read as many of these books as I can.

  4. Naomi says:

    I think you’ll enjoy The Wonder. And I’ll be curious to hear your thoughts on By Gaslight, as I’ve had it in my pile for a while but haven’t managed to get to it yet.

    • Helen says:

      I’m looking forward to The Wonder as I’ve enjoyed some of Emma Donoghue’s other books. By Gaslight sounds interesting, though it looks very long. I might need to start it now if I’m going to be finished by September!

    • Helen says:

      I’m looking forward to taking part for the first time, Cathy! I read Rebecca years ago and loved it, so this will be a re-read for me – I’m hoping I’ll enjoy it just as much this time round.

  5. piningforthewest says:

    I’ve read The Light Years, Rebecca (several times) and The Wicked Day and loved all of them. You have some good authors there, I would be interested in reading RF Delderfield, Susanna Kearsley and MM Kaye. I’m still trying to decide whether to join in or not, I’m not great at sticking to lists.

    • Helen says:

      I’m not sure whether I’ll manage to stick to this list, but I couldn’t resist making one anyway. I’m glad to hear you loved The Light Years and The Wicked Day as I’ve been really looking forward to reading those two. I don’t know much about the RF Delderfield book but I think it sounds interesting – and has ‘summer’ in the title, which is quite appropriate. 🙂

  6. Lark says:

    I’m not good at sticking to lists either. 🙂 But you have so many good books on this one I bet you end up reading them all. Good luck!
    (I really want to read Sharon Bolton’s newest, too.)

    • Helen says:

      I definitely want to read everything I’ve included on my list, even if I don’t manage to get to them all before September. I love Sharon Bolton and can’t wait to read her new one. 🙂

  7. cirtnecce says:

    Very impressive list and I love the way you have blended genres! You know my take on Shadow of the Moon but I think you will also really really enjoy Heartstone by CJ Sansom and The Light Years by Elizabeth Jane Howard. Happy Reading! 😀

    • Helen says:

      Thank you! I loved the first four books in the Shardlake series, so I’m expecting to enjoy Heartstone. And I’ve heard so much praise for The Light Years! I’m looking forward to reading that one too.

    • Helen says:

      Yes, it’s interesting to see the huge variety of books on everyone’s lists! I’ve included a lot of review copies on mine as I have a bit of a backlog I would like to clear over the summer (probably wishful thinking as I’m sure to have added more by September).

    • Helen says:

      Yes, I’m trying to read them in order. I read Desolation Island a few months ago and loved it, so I’m desperate to read the next one as soon as possible!

      • Brona says:

        They are highly addictive! Although some are stronger storylines than others. I wish they had done a few more movies of the books as I thought the first one was pretty true to the spirit of the books.

  8. Judy Krueger says:

    I am the same with lists. I make one each month but rarely stick with it entirely. I hope you read The Leopard soon. I think you will be the only blogger I follow who has read it.

  9. curlygeek04 says:

    I thought The Wonder was great, as so many of Donoghue’s books are. Other than that I’ve only read Rebecca on your list, but you’ve got a lot of authors I like or I’m interested in hearing about. Enjoy your summer reading!

    • Helen says:

      I’ve included some favourite authors on my list, but there are others I’ll be reading for the first time. I can’t wait to get started!

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