Wednesday 29 May 2019

20 Books of Winter

Cathy @746 Books is once again hosting her marvellous 20 Books of Summer Winter challenge. 

Every year I almost never read the 20 books I set out to read, but I do read 20 books, so that is something. However I do love the chance to wander through my TBR stacks, piles and shelves to search for my 20 possibilities.

This year, I'm dead keen to read as many of the Women's Prize shortlist as possible.
I have five of them on my TBR pile:

1. Circe by Madeline Miller

2. The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

3. My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

4. Ordinary People by Diana Evans

5. Milkman by Anna Burns

I've also learnt to be realistic and opportunistic.
I factor in reading challenges like Paris in July and Austen in August as well as listing my current pile of unfinished books.

6. Maigret's Anger by Georges Simenon

9. The Best Short Stories of Guy de Maupassant

10. Becoming by Michelle Obama

11. Jokes For the Gunman by Mazen Maarouf

12. Mirka and Georges by Lesley Harding & Kendrah Morgan

I will be starting this year's challenge with a brief holiday in northern Queensland, chasing the sun!
I've already planned my (themed) holiday reads.

13. The Overstory by Richard Powers

14. City of Trees by Sophie Cunningham

The rest of the list will be all the slimmest books on my TBR pile that I can find!

15. Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami

16. All Happy Families by Herve le Tellier

17. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie

18. If Cats Disappeared From the World by Genki Kawamura

19. At Dusk by Hwang Sok-yong

20. A Cat,  A Man, And Two Women by Junichiro Tanizaki

How about you?

The Ring-Ins

Everything is F*cked by Mark Manson
Strong in the Rain by Lucy Birmingham & David McNeill
Blakwork by Alison Whittaker
The Yield by Tara June Winch
The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey
The Real Jane Austen by Paula Byrne
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin


  1. I'm obviously out of the loop when it comes to new/international books. But hope you enjoy Maigret (and your week in the sun).

    1. A Maigret in July has become one of my not so secret guilty pleasures :-)

  2. Let's see. This is quite a lofty list. Good winter books. I've read BECOMING. Loved it. And I've read BALZAC. It gave me a lot to think about. CIRCE is on my list for an upcoming book club. OVERSTORY is on my TBR because of its Pulitzer Prize. I'm going to look into THE REAL JANE AUSTEN. I haven't heard anything about it.

    1. The chapters I have read so far of The Real Jane Austen are a real delight! I think you'll love it too. I can't, for the life of me, think why it has taken me so long to read such an interesting book.

  3. Brona, I always have to let your lists....sink in.
    If your are looking for 'slimmenst reads'...try a play (..keep it 20th C plays, no need to get bogged down in Shakespeare in the winter.. 3 hours tops reading time and some great literature!
    Your holiday choices (nr 13-14) I read Orfeo by R. Powers...and that put me off his books. I'll await your comments on the new book. Trees? I had that one on my list.
    Paris and Austen? ...skipping both of these challenges this year so I'll have some extra reading time this summer (...your winter)
    Reading shortlists: that is such great motivator to keep book after another. No searching for the next just follow the list. Now time for coffee and finishing one of the funniests plays I've read in a long time!

    1. I struggle to read plays, unless I've actually seen an adaptation or production of one. I can't seem to make the dialogue on the page come to life in my head. But I do enjoy seeing how much pleasure you get from them :-)

  4. Your list is delightful! Enjoy.

  5. So many terrific choices! Circe and Milkman are both absolutely terrific. Milkman especially knocked my socks off. And I tore through Becoming. I have The Overstory on my TBR to read somewhere down the line...Good luck with the challenge!

    1. The Overstory was quite extraordinary. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn't that. Review to come....

      I'm looking forward to Milkman but trying to find the right window to do it justice though. Just read Song of Achilles, so very keen to get to Circe soon.

  6. Thanks so much for joining in Brona - there are a lot on your list that I'm keen to read too. I look forward to hearing how you get on and I'm sure your winter will, as always, be warmer than our summer!

    1. It's not looking good weather-wise at the moment. Since returning from holiday, Sydney has been wet, cold and blasted by cold winds from the mountains, where they've had early snow flurries. We may actually have some proper winter temps to boast this year :-/

  7. Great choice of books - I love the variety. I should have added Circe to my list!

    Happy Reading!

    I'm joining in too -

  8. Nice list! I have my 20 done but fear I won't complete this year. I really want to read The Overstory so will be particularly interested in that, plus my friends' book group is doing the Women's Prize winner so reading about those will be useful. Happy winter reading!

    1. You've reminded me that I need to pull my finger out re the Women's Prize books - the winner will be announced before I know it...and none read so far!!

  9. I don't really know very much of any of them. I am listening to Becoming, but think I am not even half through. It is a long one, although interesting. I choose 20 books from my TBR shelves. This fighting to reduce the numbers, but they seem to increase however I do. But, one could say that it is a dear problem.

    1. I try to use memes like to tackle my towering TBR as well, but also add those half-read books lurking by my bed, to give me incentive to finally finish them (like Becoming which I was enjoying, it just pushed aside by other, newer books!)


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