20 Books of Summer – 2020

20 Books of Summer, hosted by Cathy at 746 Books, is a very simple idea: make a list of twenty books (there are also ten and fifteen book options) and read them during the summer months. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds, and although I’ve taken part for the last three years I have never managed to read all twenty books on my list. I don’t expect to succeed this year either, especially as I’m still struggling to concentrate and not reading as much as I normally would. I’m hoping that making a list of potential reads will help me to focus, even if I don’t end up reading many of them.

This year’s 20 Books of Summer starts tomorrow (Monday 1 June) and finishes on Tuesday 1 September and here is my list of books. 1-10 are review copies from my NetGalley shelf. The others are a mixture of re-reads, the next books in series I’m working through, long anticipated reads, books for other challenges and projects – and my Classics Spin book from April which I really did mean to start reading but never got round to!


1. Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz
2. A Time to Die by Hilda Lawrence
3. The Silver Collar by Antonia Hodgson
4. The Honey and the Sting by EC Fremantle
5. Tsarina by Ellen Alpsten
6. The Sin Eater by Megan Campisi
7. The Land Beyond the Sea by Sharon Penman
8. When We Fall by Carolyn Kirby
9. Katheryn Howard, the Tainted Queen by Alison Weir
10. The Silken Rose by Carol McGrath
11. Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie
12. City of Dragons by Robin Hobb
13. The Surgeon’s Mate by Patrick O’Brian
14. The Green Gauntlet by RF Delderfield
15. Confusion by Elizabeth Jane Howard
16. Greenwitch by Susan Cooper
17. The Wheel of Fortune by Susan Howatch
18. These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer
19. Daniel Deronda by George Eliot
20. The Horseman by Tim Pears

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

36 thoughts on “20 Books of Summer – 2020

  1. setinthepast says:

    I’m waiting for Amazon to deliver Tsarina next week 🙂 . The Land Beyond The Sea’s on my Amazon wishlist, but I’m hoping that the price’ll come down! Anything by R F Delderfield is great.

  2. Sandra says:

    You have some great choices, Helen! I am reading The West Country trilogy at the moment and the final book, The Redeemed is on my list. I do hope you enjoy The Horseman – I loved it. I also enjoyed Delderfield’s trilogy – I can’t remember where The Green Gauntlet sits in that one! Greenwitch has been suggested as the weaker book in the sequence. I don’t agree. And I love all the Cazalet series; couldn’t possibly rank them! Good luck!

    • Helen says:

      Thank you. Yes, I’ve tried to include a mixture of heavier and lighter books as I have no idea what I’m going to be in the mood for!

  3. cirtnecce says:

    I have read none of the books in the list, though I have read other works of these authors; except of course These Old Shades. There is hardly a Georgette Heyer I have not read! LOL!I am very intrigued by Tsarina!

  4. Café Society says:

    Well, you know how much I enjoyed the Hobb books and Daniel Deronda is my favourite Eliot. I go back and re-read it at fairly regular intervals. I’m really interested to see the Susan Cooper novel there. Have you read the two preceding ones in the series? You might find it a bit difficult to place if you haven’t.

    • Helen says:

      Yes, I always try to read a series in order if I can. I enjoyed the first two books in the Dark is Rising sequence so I’m looking forward to reading Greenwitch.

  5. Calmgrove says:

    What a lovely range of genres and periods! Looking forward to your assessments in due course. And no, I’ve not read any of them though I have dipped into a handful of the authors’ works mentioned.

    • Helen says:

      I tried to include a good mixture of genres as I’m not sure what I’ll be in the mood for. I don’t expect to read all twenty of these, though!

  6. Alyson Woodhouse says:

    From your list, I’ve read the Agatha Christies, Daniel Deronda, and the Cazalets, all very good in different ways. You have quite a broad list there, I hope you enjoy them.

  7. lark says:

    I have a couple of Agatha Christie books on my unofficial list of summer reads. And that book about Katherine Howard intrigues me. I hope it’s good. And happy summer reading! 🙂

  8. Judy Krueger says:

    Every time I finish a book these days, I go into dithering with the planned list I have. My routine now is to get out three books, look at each, read some pages, and if one does not please me right off I find another. Worked great for me in May. Good luck and best wishes.

    • Helen says:

      I tried to include a good range of books, so hopefully I should always be able to find something to fit my mood. I doubt I’ll read all of these, though.

  9. Karen K. says:

    From your list I’ve only read Confusion, which I loved, and These Old Shades, which I remember liking but all the Heyers seem to run together in my head. I did once attempt Daniel Deronda but somehow got distracted. I should give it another try as I loved Middlemarch.

    I’m not doing 20 Books of Summer as I know I’ll never stick to the list! My goal is to just read as many long books off my own shelves as I can, though I’ll squeeze in some shorter ones as well. I’m sure I’ll finish at least 20 in the next three months!

    • Helen says:

      Heyer’s books can be quite similar, but I always enjoy them and can’t wait to read These Old Shades. I loved Middlemarch too, so I’m hoping for good things from Daniel Deronda.

  10. jessicabookworm says:

    Helen, this year I am taking part in the lower level of 10 Books of Summer in Cathy’s reading challenge. I haven’t read any of the books on your list, but I do have copies of The Honey and the Sting and Katheryn Howard, the Tainted Queen on my TBR. Happy summer reading! 🙂

    • Helen says:

      The Honey and the Sting and Katheryn Howard, The Tainted Queen are two of the books I’m particularly looking forward to from my list. I hope we both enjoy them.

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