20 Books of Summer 2020: A Retrospective

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20 Books of Summer 2020 is over, and I read all of my 20 books – helped a lot this time by choosing books that I needed to read anyway!

What did I think of the books I read? [Links are to my reviews]. I’ll group them in the same way as I did in 2018 and 2019. This time, the absolute standouts were The Mercies, Swamplandia! and New Waves. All will be strong contenders for my books of the year.

In the second tier are Summerwater, Brixton Hill, The Vanishing Half, Tiamat’s WrathSurfacing and The Maths of Life and DeathNone of these absolutely blew me away, but they’re still very good books that I’d strongly recommend.

As before, there were a number of books that I enjoyed but about which I had reservations, ranging from more to less serious. These were The Terror, Blue TicketYou Will Never Be Forgotten, A Children’s Bible, If I Had Your Face, Drive Your Plow Over The Bones of the Dead and The Fens.

Finally, there were the outright disappointments: The Road Home, The Disaster Tourist, Home Remedies and Notes From The Bottom of the World.

These divisions are pretty much identical to 2019, making me wonder if they would hold true for any given set of 20 books I might read! I found the challenge easier this year, though, than any previous year, because I picked books I already owned but not books that had been sitting in a TBR pile for a long time already (went on a bit of a book-buying spree at the start of lockdown, not helped by publishers sticking everything on NetGalley!)

Will I do 20 Books of Summer again next year? Yes, but I really want to do what I’d planned to do this year, and make it a re-reading challenge. Next year, I’m hoping to have moved into a bigger place and finally be reunited with all my books, making this plan much more possible 🤞

Did you do 20 Books of Summer this year? How did it go?

13 thoughts on “20 Books of Summer 2020: A Retrospective

  1. That’s an interesting question: would any 20 books from one’s TBR fall into rough divisions like that?! I had a few duds this summer, but most were 3.5-4 star reads. I still have lots of books in boxes in the States. I’ve been bringing them back some at a time (sometimes paying for an extra suitcase on the flight), but it could be years before they’re all with me. And where I’d put them all I’m not sure, as we’re currently at bookcase capacity! I hope you’ll have your collection back together soon.

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  2. It’s impressive that you finished the challenge. I wanted to participate in this one, but 20 books seems too many for me. If only there was a general challenge to read 10 books so as to ease the pressure (not that I cannot read 20 books in three months, but there is this psychological pressure which I can never handle well). I have my own challenge to read 10 books from Latin American authors in 2020 and I can barely handle this one 🙂 Pity also to see Notes from the Bottom of the World turning out to be a disappointment. I am really interested in Chile and that part of the world, and always on the lookout for good books or non-fiction set in that region.

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  3. I have a goal in my mind to reread the books I own that I read before I started blogging. I can’t remember what I think about them (many were read pre-Goodreads) and I don’t want to keep them simply because I bought them. If they aren’t great or I feel “meh,” I’d like to donate those books.

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    • That makes a lot of sense! I use my blogs (I also have an old archived one that goes back to 2011) as a reference for myself, so I always feel a bit lost when it comes to books I read before I started blogging!

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  4. How exciting to get all your books in one place! I had to sacrifice having all mine in one ROOM when we moved here, but they’re all pretty well accessible. I’m planning some re-reading next year too but only if I get the TBR down to one shelf, where it’s not been for years … hm …

    I did my 20 Books off my TBR as usual, not allowing review books or my annual challenge. It’s a good way to get the project done as it’s books I would be reading anyway, and to get the TBR down! Well done on completing yours!

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