20 Books of Summer (Winter) 2019 – Challenge Complete

The 20 Books of Summer reading challenge drew to a close on Melbourne’s first distinctly-Spring-like day (it was 21 degrees here yesterday and glorious). I don’t have trouble reading 20 books in the allotted time (this year I read 20.5 hard copies and listened to six audiobooks) however I am a bit behind on reviews…

My final list was quite different to what I started with – the Maher, Sneed, Whitehead, Tarkington and King that were on my original list were swapped out for books that grabbed my attention. Lists are made to be broken, right?

The challenge delivered some excellent books that will be amongst my favourites for 2019 – Normal People by Sally Rooney and Putney by Sofka Zinovieff. Also good was The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook.

My list included five memoirs, the standouts being The Prettiest Horse in the Glue Factory by Corey White and Denial by Deborah Lipstadt – both very different (and coincidently, I’m seeing both writers at the 2019 Melbourne Writers Festival).

There were some disappointments – City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert and An American Marriage by Tayari Jones didn’t quite live up to all the hype for me. Mischling by Affinity Konar has the dubious honour of being the worst book I’ve read this year. In contrast, there were some unexpected surprises – Meg Wolitzer’s ode to feminism, The Female Persuasion, and Eleanor Anstruther’s gripping story about her family, A Perfect Explanation.

And how did the weather compare in Belfast and Melbourne? I haven’t tallied the figures and worked out an average but I reckon this year, Belfast’s summer was warmer than Melbourne’s winter – Melbourne had a few particularly cold spells, during which I was bunkered down reading books!

Thank you again to Cathy for hosting this challenge.

5 responses

  1. I really struggled with An American Marriage, too. But it did have a lot of messages about the unfair justice system in our country and how it makes relationships so difficult.

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