Thursday, 31 May 2018

20 Books of ... whatever season it is wherever you are!

Where did that time go? 
It really feels like I was preparing my 2017 list just the other day.
And it still feels summery here in Sydney.
Tuesday was a balmy 26℃, although today has turned decidedly cool.
Perhaps winter is coming after all!

Like Cathy, I have failed miserably at this challenge every year, but the fun is in the compiling, not the completing!

In 2017 I read 10 and a half books from my list.
In 2016 I ticked off all 20 books, but I cheated by changing my list halfway through.
2015 was my first foray into #20books and I read 11 out of 20.


So what have I learnt about myself and #20books over this time?

I love any excuse to browse through my TBR piles.
I love wondering about which books I might feel like reading over the cold winter months.
I love thinking about which books I have already committed to reading for readalongs.
I love imaging the unknown new releases and spontaneous reading challenges that might tempt me in the next 3 months.
I love ticking things off lists.

My attention span wanders off to other things by August.
I'm a mood reader & it's impossible to predict my mood 2 months down the track let alone 2 weeks.
I hate being dictated to - even when it's a list of my own making.

Obviously the pro's outweigh the con's, so without any further ado here is my list of 20.

I can't believe it's now the 4th September and winter is supposedly over.
It did actually get to 19℃ today but the wind chill factor made it feel cooler.

August saw one magnificent day of 25℃, but the average daytime temp was only 19. Sydney even had a few 5℃ nights which is quite unusual. 
July had a very similar tale to tell. 
Whereas June was cold with our best temp only reaching 20℃. 
I'm sick and tired of being cold and wearing my winter clothes!
I know that those of you who experience much colder winters will laugh at me, but most Sydney homes are not designed with cold winters in mind. 

I read 23 and a half books this year - YAY me!
But I only read a handful of the books from my list on to see what happened.


I've just started this so I'm going to sneak it into #20books to guarantee at least one tick!

Shell by Kristina Olsson

I loved Olsson's memoir, Boy, Lost a few years ago & was thrilled to recently receive a lovely hardback ARC of this October release set in Sydney during the 60's & 70's.

This is very close to the top of my TBR pile & I really want to read it BEFORE it hits the shelves in October, but not yet.


The Child in Time by Ian McEwan

A book/movie combo that was very intriguing.

My June book club read.


A Rightful Place edited by Shireen Morris

Very thought provoking.


My August book club read.



The Annotated Persuasion by Jane Austen and David M. Shapard

Read but not yet reviewed.


Meanjin A-Z Fine Fiction 1980 to Now edited by Jonathan Green

Maybe later....

Some fine Australian short stories to tide me over the slow reading days.

Maisie Dobbs #14 In This Grave Hour by Jacqueline Winspear

Can't believe I didn't get to this winter comfort read!
Actually, now that I remember how dry our winter has been, I can believe it.
No rainy weekends this year to curl up in bed with a cosy book.

Because everyone needs a winter comfort read.

Maigret's First Case by Georges Simenon

Officially a Maigret convert now!

They're nice slim volumes, perfect for a quick, easy read and a quick, easy tick!


Tokyo Local by Caryn Liew and Brendan Liew

I browsed through the pictures, but the rest is for later....

A recipe book full of delicious looking recipes, street photography and tips for travellers.


Warlight by Michael Ondaatje

An ambitious inclusion since this book has yet to make it's way onto my TBR pile.
It's just a matter of time though!

It is now on my TBR pile, but all the reviews I've read suggest I need to be ready for a slow, thoughtful read. I'm not ready just yet....


We currently have this exhibition on at the Art Gallery of NSW.
I'd like to read the book before popping into see the tapestries again.

I did!
And also picked up a copy of Iris Murdoch's The Unicorn at the same time (see below).


South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami

A new Murakami is due in October.
These short stories will hopefully tide me over until then.

Looks like I will get to new Murakami before this one after all.


Last Stories by William Trevor

I've read over half the stories to date, so may get this finished in the next week or so.

The master of the short story form, William Trevor's final 10 stories are here in this final volume for me to savour.


The End We Start From by Megan Hunter

A cli-fi verse novel with a gorgeous cover.

My first book read and reviewed for this challenge.


Rice, Noodle, Fish by Matt Goulding

It might be cheating a little to add 2 cook books to my list, but this one is more a travel guide with food as it's raison d'être.

Like the other cookbook/travel guide above, I've flicked through the pictures, but the rest is saved for later.


Northbridge Rectory by Angela Thirkell

For when I need a bit of light, easy fluff.

WARNING: Many more Thirkell books will begin appearing on this blog.


Cold Spring Harbor by Richard Yates

For when I want to feel annoyed about spelling harbor without it's 'u'!!

The missing 'u' annoyed me every time I picked up the book.
Fortunately the characters were equally as annoying!


Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto

A modern, contemporary Japanese author who gets rave reviews.
I'm curious to see why she is so popular.

Still curious....


The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

I've never read this or seen the movie, but it sounds so appealing and heart warming.
It could be the perfect choice one cold, dull, wintry weekend.

Loved parts of this, but not so much the second half.

Have you read any of my choices?
Which one should I read next?

The Drop-Ins

What To Do When I'm Gone by Suzy Hopkins & Hallie Bateman
Calypso by David Sedaris
I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O'Farrell
Things A Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls
Taboo by Kim Scott
Smile by Raina Telgemeier
Sisters by Raina Telgemeier
Clock Dance by Anne Tyler
The Unicorn by Iris Murdoch
A Walk in the Bush by Gwyn Perkins
Lenny's Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee
My Purple Scented Novel by Ian McEwan  (read but not reviewed yet)
Just A Girl by Jane Caro (read but not reviewed yet)

I read 10 and half books off my list from the beginning of the challenge.
It seems that I'm reasonably good at planning ahead about 6-8 weeks for what I might like to read, but after that, anything can, and will, happen!

The main thing is I read lots of great books :-)


  1. Oh, I love the Neverending Story! And also Angela Thirkell books, though I can't remember which one that is off the top of my head. That looks like a great list!

  2. Brilliant list and I do love your captions! Good Luck

  3. Good luck with your list. I'll be interested to know what you think of Sugar Money as I've read it recently too. I haven't read any of your others, but I do have The Lady and the Unicorn on my TBR.

  4. I was thinking of you when I did my 20 books of "Summer" list yesterday! I loved Kitchen and yay Thirkell. Have fun! It's also not cheating to swap out books, right? I've done that every year so far!

  5. Great choices Brona - enjoy the William Trevor, I am dying to read that one!

  6. This is my first time taking part in the challenge, and I definitely had a lot of fun compiling my list for the summer. Good luck, and enjoy your reads!

  7. I'm a mood reader also, so my "list" is a bit different from most. Good luck and I hope you can stop by:


  8. Now the hard part: It has taken me almost 2 weeks to decide if I will do @20BooksOfSummer this year. The die is cast...."Alea iactsa est"...the Rubicon is crossed. I'm in. Now the fun part: ...making a list!

    1. Ohhhh I look forward to seeing what you pick!

  9. What a great mixture of books. I'm keen to see which Austen you pick. I've just read Persuasion for the second time this year. I've another couple of readings of it in me before the year is out I think. Have fun reading :-)


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