The end of 20 Books of Summer…and the start of R.I.P XVII!

This year’s 20 Books of Summer (hosted by Cathy at 746 Books) is over now, so let’s take a look at how I did. The rules were very simple – just make a list of 20 books and read them during June, July and August. In previous years I’ve never come close to finishing my list, but this time I’ve been much more successful!

Here are the books I’ve managed to read and review from my list, in the order I read them:

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

I’ve also read this one but not had time to review it yet:

19. Something Light by Margery Sharp

And I’m reading this one now:

20. Shadows and Strongholds by Elizabeth Chadwick

I could probably have completed all twenty by the deadline, but didn’t want to rush the last few books. I’ve also read several others that weren’t on my list, so I consider this summer’s reading to have been a success – particularly as it included some very long books!

If you’ve been taking part, how did you do?


This is also the first day of another of my favourite reading challenges, R.I.P., which is back for its seventeenth year! This used to be one of the biggest events in the book blogging calendar but seems to take place mainly on Instagram and Twitter now. I still like to join in, even if it’s in a more casual and flexible way these days.

The idea is to read, watch or listen to anything that fits one of the following categories:

Dark Fantasy

After reading from my 20 Books of Summer list all summer, I don’t want to make another long list of R.I.P. reads as I would prefer to be spontaneous and just read whatever I feel like reading. However, there are a few books that I would definitely like to get to during this year’s challenge.

Two mysteries on my NetGalley shelf:

The Twist of a Knife by Anthony Horowitz
Blue Water by Leonora Nattrass

A book of short stories I would like to dip into throughout the event:

Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things by Lafcadio Hearn

I have plenty of other books on the TBR that would also be perfect for R.I.P., so watch this space to see what else I decide to read!

If you would like to join in with R.I.P. XVII, more details can be found on the Readers Imbibing Peril blog or by following @perilreaders on Twitter or Instagram.

29 thoughts on “The end of 20 Books of Summer…and the start of R.I.P XVII!

  1. Calmgrove says:

    Well done you, I’m sooo impressed – and what a lot of quality stuff too! I’m so glad that I choose to see challenges as prompts, not unachievable goals as I only read four of my listed 10 Books of Summer. Still, I managed 16 books officially reviewed and have five books simultaneously on the go…

    I too won’t list selections for #RIPxvii but have a few titles in mind which conveniently, might include one or two from my Summer reads which I hope to finish soon, such as Gormenghast. 🙂

    • Helen says:

      Thank you! Yes, I think viewing challenges as prompts rather than goals is a good idea. We don’t need any more stress in our lives! I’ll look forward to seeing what you read for RIP XVII.

  2. Jane says:

    Your 20 books are amazing, The Mirror and the Light just tucked away in the middle! I only did 10 but that’s good going for me and unlike you I did rush out my reviews all at the last minute, so desperate was I to finish a challenge! I hope you have fun with the RiP challenge

    • Helen says:

      The Mirror and the Light took half the summer, but I was reading some of the shorter books alongside it. I enjoyed it, but was pleased to reach the end! Congratulations on reading your 10 and getting the reviews done as well!

  3. whatmeread says:

    Good job! You’ve got some good ones there. I especially loved Flight Portfolio, which I read last fall but will be reviewing in few weeks. I also just recently read A Pin to See a Peep Show, which means it won’t be showing up on my blog for months.

  4. FictionFan says:

    Well done! Considering the length of The Mirror and the Light I feel you’ve over-achieved this summer! I don’t usually take part in R.I.P., but always look forward to some crime and spookiness at this time of year. Have fun! 👻

    • Helen says:

      Thanks! Yes, if it hadn’t been for The Mirror and the Light I could easily have finished my list this year, I think! I hope we both enjoy our spooky autumnal reading now.

  5. CLM (@ConMartin) says:

    A nice assortment! I have only read a handful:

    Death in the Andamans by M.M. Kaye
    Summerhills by D.E Stevenson
    At Bertram’s Hotel by Agatha Christie
    Destination Unknown by Agatha Christie

    but am reminded that I keep buying Elizabeth Chadwick’s books but forget to read them. I did like the first two Mantel books in that series but the second was so sad and I knew what was going to happen so got kind of not in the mood to read the third one.

    • Helen says:

      I have three unread Elizabeth Chadwick books on my shelf, so decided it was time I started reading them! I understand how you feel about the Mantel trilogy. The third book was very sad, knowing what was coming – I was dreading reaching the end!

  6. Liz Dexter says:

    Well done! I got mine done a day early because I had a day where I had a work pause and could sit in the garden finishing Book 20! I’m pausing general challenges now while I work on my own TBR challenge, then I’ll be back in November for Aus Reading Month / Novellas in November / Nonfiction November. Hopefully I can make some overlap!

    • Helen says:

      Yes, November is such a busy month in the book blogging world, isn’t it! I’m hoping to take part in some of those events too. It’s always good if you can make them overlap!

    • Helen says:

      Thanks – I’m happy with my result this year! I think 16 was the most I’ve ever read until now. I hope you enjoy reading some mysteries and classics soon – it’s the perfect time of year for them.

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