One of the things I’m planning to do this Summer

746 Books has set up a Summer Reading Challenge for 2019, that has sufficient flexibility to entice me. Starting from today, the 3rd June, readers can join the 20 Books of Summer challenge, and set themselves a number of books by September 3rd.

Okay, so resolutions wise, I’ve not got a good record. But, despite that title, 746 Books has generously promised to be flexible. Not only do we have the option to choose our own number, we can make changes to our list.

Ambition aside, I’ve decided to be realistic, so I’m halving the original and aiming to name 10 books for my summer read. That should clear a little space.

Which books to choose, though? The beauty of this challenge is in the planning. There may be time for a little random side-reading along the way, but the ten books need to be listed at the start. How else will I set a measure for my progress?

I’ve put some effort into working this out. I’ve looked at the lists other, better-prepared people have already posted, and I’ve made notes. Some are planning to go with a theme. Interesting, but I don’t think that will work for me. I like random.

Another tip I picked up on is to include some children’s or Young Adult books, to provide variety of tone and length. That does appeal. There are several books I missed reading at the appropriate age.

As I gathered some of them, I found other books that have been waiting. Soon I had a dangerously leaning tower of reading. I resisted the twenty, though, and reverse my gathering process. That took time, too. It was tough, but here are my final choices.

Here’s my list (so far):

  • Coraline by Neil Gaiman
  • Pastors and Masters by Ivy Compton-Burnett
  • Pelagia and the White Bulldog by Boris Akunin
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
  • The Thing Around your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche
  • The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide
  • Once Upon a Time in the North by Phillip Pullman
  • Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
  • Charlotte’s Web by EB White
  • The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett

All I’ve got to do now is decide which order to read them in…

31 thoughts on “One of the things I’m planning to do this Summer

    • Thanks, Darlene. I’m looking forward to getting started. I’ve this idea that once I finish the first one the rest will naturally flow after, and I’ll make it through the whole heap. Fingers crossed.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi Cath
    I think choosing a number and choosing the titles is tough. Well done but I think I’ll pass on this one. I completed my Goodreads challenge of fifty books for the year in three months. And they are the ones I listed. Others I read which I decided didn’t deserve a place.
    Interesting titles. My list would be very different. Hmmm. I might try to pick ten to see if I can.
    Thanks for the idea.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hi Lynda. Yes, the choosing was a challenge, but actually, I found it rewarding. I’m very impressed by fifty books. Did you really get through them in three months?
      It occurs to me that if you read fifty books, you must have also chosen them, so you know how tricky it is to decide. It you do opt to take this up I’ll be interested to see your choices.

      Good luck.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Fifty books in three months is truly impressive. I often need a break between the end of one and the start of another. I think they call that a book hangover. Maybe if they are greatly contrasting it works? Eg fiction to non-fiction.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like your mix of serious and light reading, Cath, and of novella and full length novels — much as I’d chosen to do. The Philip Pullman is a neat little read, and I’d be interested in what you think of the Gaiman. A couple of your titles are ones I’ve previously added to my wanted list, like the Achebe. Looking forward to your reviews now!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks, Chris. I confess here that reading your list was part of my research on how to approach this. In fact, the choice between Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer was settled after seeing a recommendation from The Wife of Bath in your comments section that decided me on which Mark Twain novel to opt for, so I’ll be interested to compare my response to Huck with yours on Tom.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I do hope so, Jacqui. I’ve a list of other reading I have to do for work, so this is intended to contrast with those novels. All I need now is to create a realistic timetable… I think that’s your territory. I’ll have to check back through some of your recommendations.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting choices. Enjoy and Happy Summer. I’m disappearing for a while to clear out the detritus accumulated over 5 and a half years and prep. the house for sale. Not sure if there’ll be much reading time.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks, Sheila. I’m looking forward to the reading.

      I do hope the clear-out goes well. Everyone needs some downtime, especially after making momentous decisions about detritus. Perhaps you’ll find some worthwhile words to keep you motivated… Good luck.


    • Thanks, Sandra. It looks like you had an interesting time working your own list out. I’ve already gathered a few ideas from it. I’m in awe of all those who are opting for twenty. You look like having a very happy reading time.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, I have selected ten books but I intend to look at the Irish list on the Summer Book site. As I’m in Ireland it behooves me to read the literature, or more of it than I have already.
    My List:
    A Room with a View EM Forster
    On the Road Jack Kerouac
    The Next Person you Meet in Heaven Mitch Albom
    Ghost Light Joseph O’Connor
    Cheerful Weather for the Wedding Julia Strachey
    The Return of Mr Campion: 13 collected stories Margery Allingham
    Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore Robin Sloan
    Confessions of a Conjuror Derren Brown
    The Unpleasantness at Baskerville Hall Chris Dolley
    Death at Hungerford Stairs J C Briggs

    Others on my list, like Muriel Sparks The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie will remain until such times as. I have one on my list which isn’t published until September. By the same author as Dreaming in Starlight (a novella which I adored) by the chief editor of the Irish Magazine Into the Void.

    I’ll write my blog in a day or two and include this list.
    Thanks for the idea, Cath. I enjoyed choosing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Look forward to reading the post, Lynda. I’ve failed to read ‘On The Road’ more than once. The Forster is on my shelf, waiting – loved the film so much I watched it several times, and will happily do so again, don’t know why I haven’t done the book, yet. Of the others, the only one I’ve read is Julia Strachey. You look to have a nice mix of styles.


  5. I have joined the U3A group in three areas – one of which is the reading group. A book on the list which I have just finished and I recommend it to you is ‘The Song of Achilles’ by Madeline Miller. It takes the reader through many of the gods in the Greek Myths spectrum so one is learning about a Greece of long ago; but the story itself is modern. We meet periodically to discuss our reading.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Ooooo, what a lovely list! I’d love your thoughts on Coraline. Blondie just finished reading Huck with Bo and…well, kinda liked it. I’m trying to mix up my reading list, too, a mix of MG, YA, and adult fantasy. I hate feeling burned out of a genre, so hopefully age diffs will help with that. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Jean. I’ve been feeling quite smug about creating a broad cross-section of styles and genres, and then my friend Lynda announced her list, and I realised I’ve got no non-fiction, so I’ve hesitated, but decided to stay with first thoughts. I’ve been trying to fit most of these into my reading time for so long that I’m quite excited about making time to enjoy them. I don’t know whether I have a ‘usual’ read, but I’m anticipating being stretched – in some way, by all of them.

      Are you setting out with a list, or browsing new shelves every time you need a new title?

      Liked by 1 person

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