My 20 Books of Summer Wrap-Up!


The 20 Books of Summer reading challenge has now ended and I’m so happy to say that, for the first time ever, I read all of the books on my planned TBR! Woo Hoo! I’ve always managed to read at least 20 books over the summer but I have never, ever managed to stick to my planned list. I picked 20 physical books this time so it was an even bigger challenge for me so I really am proud of myself for completing it. I didn’t get around to reviewing the books I read but I do intend to review at least some of them soon.

Before I go any further, a huge thank you to Cathy at 746 Books for running this challenge. I really do love taking part each year.

Here are the books I read over the summer (in the order I read them).

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna by Juliet Grames

The Trouble With Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon

Lyrebird by Cecelia Ahern

Normal People by Sally Rooney

Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor

A Question of Trust by Penny Vincenzi

In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

The July Girls by Phoebe Locke

Still Lives by Maria Hummell

Take Me In by Sabine Durrant

Inhuman Resources by Pierre LeMaitre

The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith

After the Eclipse by Sarah Perry

The Word for Woman is Wilderness by Abi Andrews

Histories by Sam Guglani

We Own the Sky by Luke Allnutt

A Keeper by Graham Norton

Nevermoor #1: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

Take Courage: Anne Bronte and the Art of Life by Samantha Ellis


I have to say that I enjoyed every single book that was on my summer TBR, which is really something! I think if I was pushed to pick my favourites I would have to say that my favourite two novels were The Goldfinch and The Trouble With Goats and Sheep, and my two favourite non-fiction books were After the Eclipse and Take Courage. It was bittersweet reading A Question of Trust with it being the final book by Penny Vincenzi but I enjoyed it so much that I now want to make time to re-read some of her other novels.

The page count for my 20 books came to 7597, which is no surprise really considering how long The Goldfinch is and A Question of Trust is pretty huge too!

The fact that this year I made time to read my planned summer TBR as well as the other books that I needed to read (books for review and blog tour books) meant I was successful at completing this TBR. I’ve never done well with TBRs – I’m one of those people that absolutely loves planning what I’m going to read, and then the minute the challenge starts I want to read everything but what’s on my list! This time I planned it better and I feel so satisfied at getting to books that had been on my TBR bookcase for quite a while. I had a couple of books on my list that I’ve put off because they felt like they might be more difficult reads (like The Word for Woman is Wilderness for example) but I found I enjoyed them so much. It reminded me that I perhaps need to make a seasonal TBR to remind me of the books that I want to read but am intimidated by.

This year’s 20 Books of Summer has been absolutely wonderful and I already can’t wait for the next one! How did your summer reading go? Did you take part in the challenge? I hope you read some amazing books. 🙂



15 thoughts on “My 20 Books of Summer Wrap-Up!

  1. Did you enjoy The Goldfinch? I’m planning to read it next month. Now that the movie is almost out, I’ve no reason anymore not to read it.

  2. I’m in awe of your achievement. I didn’t get through my list even with a few substitutions. The problem is exactly as you described – making the list is the fun part but as soon as the title is on the list I lose interest in reading it…

  3. Tremendous…I’m in awe as I failed miserably again (8 out of my 20). However, you’ve shown it can be done so I’ll try to use that for inspiration next year. Glad you enjoyed Take Courage – I did too. Unfortunately I really didn’t get on with The Goldfinch.

  4. You had a great reading time, Hayley, and that’s terrific – well done! Such an interesting variety of books, and it’s very good to hear you enjoyed them all.

  5. Oh well done! I also tried to do it with physical books off my TBR and not including review books and books for challenges (apart from All Virago/All August). I was a bit behind through June and July and then manage to have a mental health issue in August which left me UNABLE TO READ for a couple of days and then reeling and not really up for any challenges. Safely medicated and doing better but 20 Books had to give. I capped it at 10 off my list, even though I read 24 books during the period. I was OK with that and will come back next year. Glad you had such a good time with yours, anyway!

  6. Oh well done! What an achievement – I really like the fact that you enjoyed them all, too. Which means your careful planning paid dividends:)). And I really like the fact you focused on the physical books – I must tuck into more of mine!

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