20 Books of Summer – 2022

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 much more difficult than it sounds; I have taken part for the last five years and have never managed to complete it. I do usually read twenty books during the three month period – just not the twenty that were on my list! I should probably allow myself more flexibility and take advantage of the rule that says we can change our list halfway through.

This year’s 20 Books of Summer starts on Wednesday 1st June and finishes on Thursday 1st September. I have listed below the books I would like to read. These are a mixture of review copies from NetGalley, books from my Classics Club list, books for the Read Christie 2022 challenge (I’m planning to join in with the July and August Christies, but not the June one) and other books that have been waiting on my shelf for a long time.


1. Godmersham Park by Gill Hornby
2. The Colour Storm by Damian Dibben
3. Death on Gokumon Island by Seishi Yokomizo
4. At Bertram’s Hotel by Agatha Christie
5. Haven by Emma Donoghue
6. Pied Piper by Nevil Shute
7. Shadows and Strongholds by Elizabeth Chadwick
8. Death in the Andamans by MM Kaye
9. Summerhills by DE Stevenson
10. Fortune by Amanda Smyth
11. The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel
12. A Pin to See the Peepshow by F Tennyson Jesse
13. Destination Unknown by Agatha Christie
14. The Fortune Men by Nadifa Mohamed
15. Excellent Intentions by Richard Hull
16. The Rose of Sebastopol by Katharine McMahon
17. Fool’s Quest by Robin Hobb
18. The Wolf Den by Elodie Harper
19. Something Light by Margery Sharp
20. The Flight Portfolio by Julie Orringer


Have you read any of these? Which should I read first? And are you taking part in 20 Books of Summer this year?

36 thoughts on “20 Books of Summer – 2022

  1. Cyberkitten says:

    I haven’t read any of those (although I do have a few of them) but can only recommend Christie & Shute – naturally! Good Luck for this year!

  2. mallikabooks15 says:

    Great list Helen. I’ve read and really enjoyed Pied Piper, also the two Christie’s though Betram’s is not her best its enjoyable and Destination Unknown is as her thrillers are very good fun. Gokumon Island is on my TBR as well and I have been meaning to read Mantel, though honestly I’ve forgotten the first two since it’s been so long

    • Helen says:

      It’s been years since I read the first two Mantel books too, but I’m hoping that won’t be a problem! I’m glad you enjoyed Pied Piper – it’s one of the books on my list that I’m particularly looking forward to reading.

  3. Calmgrove says:

    Although I recognise a few authors I regret to say I’ve read none of these! As to where to start, can I suggest the age-old advice, “Begin at the beginning, and go on till you come to the end: then stop.” Hope that helps!

    • Helen says:

      That’s always good advice! I think I might actually start with a few of the shorter books on my list so that I’ll feel I’m making some progress early on.

  4. whatmeread says:

    I’ve read 5 of them. My favorites were The Flight Portfolio and The Mirror and the Light. I have also read At Bertram’s Hotel, The Fortune Men, and Destination Unknown.

    • Helen says:

      I started reading The Mirror and the Light when it was first published, then the pandemic started and I got distracted. I’m looking forward to trying it again!

  5. Lark says:

    It is hard to stick to just one list of books for the whole summer; if you’re like me, your mood changes, or you run across new books that you suddenly want to read. But I also like having a list of books that I hope to read over the summer…I’m still working on mine. Happy reading! 😀

  6. MarinaSofia says:

    I really want to read A Pin to See the Peepshow, so that would be my starting point. I am not sure if I can participate this summer – I always seem to be easily distracted…

  7. Liz Dexter says:

    A nice list! I’m known for reading 40 or so during the project but sometimes not the full 20 I list! I’m waiting till the end of the month so I know where in my TBR to start.

  8. piningforthewest says:

    I’ve read numbers 9,11 and 12 and enjoyed them all. I’m going to be joining in with this one too.

  9. whatcathyreadnext says:

    You’re brave to take on The Mirror & the Light given it’s such a whopper. I too got a copy when it was first published and still haven’t read it. I’ll be interested in your thoughts on Fortune and The Fortune Men. The latter was one I really enjoyed.

    • Helen says:

      I might regret putting such a long book on my list, but I really want to read it sooner rather than later! I’m hoping I can read Fortune before the Walter Scott Prize winner is announced on 17th June.

  10. FictionFan says:

    Lots of interesting looking books here! I’m impressed that you’ve included The Mirror and the Light – its million pages alone would take me the whole summer to read! 😉 Have fun!

    • Helen says:

      I’m planning to read some shorter books alongside The Mirror and the Light so I don’t get too bogged down with it. It’s been on my shelf since it was published and I feel if I don’t get on and read it now I probably never will!

    • Helen says:

      I’m planning to work slowly through The Mirror and the Light, breaking it up with some shorter books. It’s been on my TBR for such a long time now, I just want to get on with it and read it!

  11. BookerTalk says:

    The Mirror and the Light is superb though very long. It took me months to read it partly because I had the hardback version so it was heavy and I couldnt hold it for long and also because the prose is so beautifully written I didn’t want to rush it

    • Helen says:

      I started The Mirror and the Light when it first came out, but got distracted during the first lockdown and didn’t finish it. I’m looking forward to trying it again and will take my time with it, reading some shorter books alongside it. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it!

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