20 Books of Summer 2018 is over! I read 19 of my 20 books, with two planned substitutions, and reviewed all 19 of them. This compares favourably to my previous attempts:
In 2016, I managed to read 18 of my 20 books, but only reviewed 11 of them. (Apologies to A Brief History of Seven Killings, The Eustace Diamonds, The Prime Minister, Closure, J, Eligible and Go Set a Watchman!)
In 2017, I also managed to read 18 of my 20 books, and reviewed 17 of them (Mrs Dalloway was the one that missed out, and I doubt I’d have had anything new to say about it anyway!).
What did I think of the books I read? [Links are to my reviews]. There were some absolute stand-outs. The Heart’s Invisible Furies, Asymmetry, The Growing Season and Let Go My Hand will all be strong contenders for my books of the year.
There were a number of books that I enjoyed but about which I had reservations, ranging from more to less serious. These were Sick, The Trauma Cleaner, Everything I Never Told You, Negroland, How to Survive A Plague, Exit West, and Built.
Finally, there were the outright disappointments: American War, Places I Stopped On The Way Home, Painter to the King and Rosewater – although, of these, I would argue that only Places I Stopped… is genuinely bad.
(I also read 22 other books between June and September, with a similar-ish hit rate of good and bad!)
I’m not sure I’ve yet cracked 20 Books of Summer. The first year I did it I tried to demolish my TBR pile, only to discover there was a reason many of those books had been there so long. In the second year, I tried a mix between old and new, but didn’t put enough thought into choosing the new titles. This year has probably been the best in terms of quality – but as I picked titles that were almost all recently published or not actually out yet, I had difficulty getting hold of the books, which is probably why I didn’t complete the challenge.
I’ll have to do it again, though – if only to get all twenty.