Blog,  Summer Reading Challenge

20 Books of Summer | 2019


(the 2019 challenge has ended)

Summer reading has always felt like a special event to me. It definitely has a lot to do with getting out of school and having much more time to read what I wanted to – even if I happened to enjoy the books I read during the school year. The beginning of summer meant the start of my local library’s summer reading program, which was exceptional. Every year, young readers (it was geared towards school-aged kids) would write their name on a special paper “placard”, and during a library visit stickers symbolizing books read would be awarded by the librarians then placed on the placard by the reader. It was thrilling – both the feeling of accomplishment when looking at my stickers, and seeing how many books other kids had read (we were allowed to tape up our placard almost anywhere in the library).

I think my desire to create a summer reading list – even now in my mid-twenties – is fueled by the fun I had during that program. Even though my summers are much less free now than they were in my pre-teen years, I’m still filled with excitement about longer daylight hours, time spent on a beach, relaxing at camp; all of which coincide with some type of reading.

Blogging has also fueled my love for reading lists and challenges; seeing other people set weekly, monthly, and/or yearly goals makes it more fun to set my own. Reading Challenges have always been a key part of my blog; this year I am continuing last year’s challenge of reading all of the books I own, and after five months I feel like a Reading Challenge refresh is in order. Luckily for me, Cathy from 746 Books is hosting the 20 Books of Summer Challenge once again – this shorter-term goal will be a fun way to help me stay on track with my long-term goal. 

I have decided to take on the full challenge: read 20 books from June 3rd to September 3rd (you can still join in if you prefer to set a 10 or 15 book goal). I thought about putting 15 books on the list to give myself a little leeway, but then I threw caution to the wind remembered how many unread ebooks I have and wrote out a list of 20. I have not included the stories I will read for the 2019 Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge, and I admit that I will likely read books not on this list – as is my nature with TBR lists and my tendency to take home more books from the library than planned. Even so, I am excited to read all of these books, so I’m feeling quite optimistic going into this challenge.

My #20booksofsummer Reading List


Physical Books

Dew Angels by Melanie Schwapp

In addition to the 20 Books of Summer Challenge, I’m also participating in the #ReadCaribbean Challenge, hosted by Cindy from Book of Cinz. This Challenge is for the month of June, so Dew Angels is one of the first books I’ll read this summer. I have purchased a copy and am waiting to pick it up from the bookstore (I couldn’t find it at my local libraries), so technically it will also fall under my sweeping Read All the Books I Own Challenge. (photo to come!)

In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez

The second book I’ve chosen for the #ReadCaribbean Challenge in June. I’ll be reading a copy from my library, and will also be checking out the 2001 film in case I feel like watching it after reading the book. (photo to come!)

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

This is one of two rereads on my list, and apart from not having read it for a few years (and wanting to), it’s the #AnHistorianReads book club pick for July.

The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King

This is one of the few Stephen King books I’ve read, and a recent announcement of its [Hulu] television adaptation has me wanting to dive into it again.

The Lake by Banana Yoshimoto

I’ve put this recent addition to my bookshelves on my list because if I don’t, it will disappear among all the other unread books on my bookshelves in no time.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

This is one of those books that “disappeared” long ago among the unread books on my bookshelves.

Melmoth by Sarah Perry

My experience with The Essex Serpent was not great, but I’m still curious enough to read this most recent book from Sarah Perry.

The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya

One of the many Book of the Month backlist titles on my shelves.

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

Another one.

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

This will be the year I read this trilogy. IT WILL!

The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien


Serpent’s Kiss by Melissa de la Cruz

I was thrilled to find a copy of this on Independent Bookstore Day – it’s been a little while since I read the first in this series (The Witches of East End), but I remember enough to continue.

The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin

I just finished The Fifth Season, and I need to continue this series ASAP. Luckily my library has multiple copies and I don’t have to wait for this sequel. 

Villette by Charlotte Brontë

What better time for my annual try-to-read-Villette event than summer? Hopefully I can finish it this time around (despite the tone of this post, I have yet to finish the book).

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

If you’ve been following me for a while, you may remember that I’ve been reading this book for 100 years. It’s beyond time I finish it, and this Challenge will help hold me accountable for doing so.


Pickle’s Progress by Marcia Butler

I read a chapter of this before deciding whether or not to put it on this list. I wish I could describe Marcia Butler’s writing to you – if me putting the book on this list is enough to convince you to read it yourself, then do it!

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen

This is one of the first ebooks I ever downloaded (over a year ago now, I think); it’s beyond time I read it.

The Bone Curse by Carrie Rubin

This is another one. 

Ever Alice by H.J. Ramsay

A recent addition to my ebook library. 

The Alehouse at the End of the World by Stevan Allred

Another one. 

I’ll be taking the next couple of days to ready myself for all this summer reading, and I look forward to seeing which books other participants have put on their lists. Are you taking part in the #20booksofsummer Challenge? Or do you have some books in mind that you’d like to finish over the summer? Share your goals and recommendations below!

Happy reading!

(the 2019 challenge has ended)



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