Thursday, May 20, 2021

20 Books of Summer for 2021


This is my sixth year of participating in the 20 Books of Summer reading challenge. It is very flexible. You can go for 15 Books of Summer or 10 Books of Summer if 20 is too much to commit to. Books can be substituted along the way. And that is fine.

The event is hosted by Cathy at 746 Books. The description is here. This is her list. And the links for those joining in are HERE.

This year, for this event, summer starts June 1st and ends September 1st. I finished my list of 20 books in 2018 and 2019, but last year I only read 12 of the 20. I never review them all, although that is part of the goal. 

To be honest, coming up with the list is the best part. This year I have had problems cutting back all the way to 20 books, so I have a couple of alternates.

Here is my list (in order by original date published):

The Turquoise Shop (1941) by Frances Crane

The Mouse in the Mountain (1943) by Norbert Davis

She Came Back (1945)  by Patricia Wentworth 

The Grand Sophy (1950) by Georgette Heyer    

Foundation (1951) by Isaac Asimov

On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1963) by Ian Fleming

Way Station (1963) by Clifford D. Simak   

H.M.S. Surprise  (1973) by Patrick O'Brian

Booked for a Hanging  (1992) by Bill Crider    

The Women in Black (1993) by Madeleine St John 

A Killing Spring (1996) by Gail Bowen   

Bel Canto (2001) by Ann Patchett

The Small Boat of Great Sorrows (2003)  by Dan Fesperman

Three Stations (2010) by Martin Cruz Smith 

Woman with a Blue Pencil (2015) by Gordon McAlpine

The Birdwatcher (2016) by William Shaw

The Travelers (2016) by Chris Pavone 

All Systems Red  (2017) by Martha Wells 

Lockdown (2020) by  Peter May

The Art of Violence (2020) by S. J. Rozan


Big Sky (2019) by Kate Atkinson

Fortune Favors the Dead  (2020) by Stephen Spotswood


neeru said...

Tracy, I an glad to see you are planning to read The Mouse in the Mountain, one of my favourite books and in fact, the only one that I've read from your list. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I too am planning to take part though haven't decided the books so far.

TracyK said...

Neeru, I remember when I saw your review of Holocaust House by Norbert Davis shortly after I started blogging, and looked into Norbert Davis and his books. Since then I have only read one novella by him and it wasn't a Doan and Carstairs story, it was a Max Latin story. So I plan to actually get around to reading The Mouse in the Mountain this summer.

I look forward to seeing your list of 20 books, I am sure it will be interesting.

Mystica said...

What an interesting mix of reads.

Cath said...

I've read four of your books, The Grand Sophy, Way Station, HMS Surprise and The Birdwatcher. All excellent. I think you've created an excellent list with a lot of variety, Tracy, can't wait to hear what you think of some of them. Have fun!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Great list - I've read Birdwatcher and Bel Canto and thought both were very good. enjoy

Ellie said...

Good luck! I've only read All Systems Red from your list, I love a bit of Murderbot!

Lark said...

That's a good list of books! I'm still winnowing down my summer reading list. But I'm having fun doing it. :)

TracyK said...

It is a mix, Mystica. Mostly mysteries but some historical fiction and science fiction in there too. A couple of books that were left over from last years list.

TracyK said...

Cath, I am especially looking forward to Way Station, after having the book for quite a few years (and multiple copies). I wish I could remember where I saw a review of it recently.

And of course it is time to get back to the Aubrey and Maturing series.

TracyK said...

Maturin, not Maturing, of course.

Margot Kinberg said...

I like your list of books, Tracy. I especially noticed the Asimov. My husband is a real Asimov van, and he absolutely loves the Foundations series. I hope you will, too.

Rick Robinson said...

Nice list. I think you'll enjoy the Mouse in Mountain, it's light and fun, as I recall. Many other goodies there, too.

TracyK said...

Diane, I have had Bel Canto for over 10 years. It is about time I read it. And if I like I will probably want to read more by Patchett.

TracyK said...

Thanks, Ellie. I am thinking I am going to love All Systems Red, and then of course I will have to read the rest of the series.

TracyK said...

Lark, I am happy with the list and I had lots of fun coming up with the titles.

TracyK said...

Margot, I had planned to read Foundation last summer, so it will be good to get to it now. And I will probably follow it with others in the series. Over time, of course.

TracyK said...

Rick, The Mouse in the Mountain is a nice short one, and assuming I like that one, I have the other two in that series to read. I have two copies, one being the edition with an introduction by Evan Lewis.

Lex @ Lexlingua said...

I'm not participating in this challenge, but I *have* saved this reading list. The one that caught my eye the most is The Women in Black (1993) by Madeleine St John -- which Hilary Mantel suggests gifting to people to cheer them up. I'm all for it! :-)

FictionFan said...

Looks like a great list - good mix of old and new. I've only read three - loved the Asimov back in the day but wasn't quite so enthralled on a recent re-read. From memory The Grand Sophy is one of the better Heyers, so very good indeed. And I loved Way Station when I read it just a couple of months ago. Hope you enjoy all the ones you get to!

CLM said...

This is a great list, and makes me think I should do this challenge. I know I will read 20 books but I suppose I am reluctant to decide which ones.

Bel Canto is great and is one of the few books my mother, grandmother, and I all loved. I have read several of her other books but this is my favorite.

She Came Back was the first Patricia Wentworth I ever read. A junior high friend of my sister's lent it to her when we were teens. I am not sure we cared for it then, but I really liked it when I reread it later.

My sisters and I liked The Birdwatcher although I remember it being kind of odd. They went on to read other books by the author I haven't got to yet.

I read The Travelers although think The Expats is his best book.

The Grand Sophy is my favorite Heyer! Or at least in my top three. I hope you like it!

TracyK said...

FictionFan, it was your review I saw recently, which reminded me to pull out one of my copies of Way Station.

I may have read Foundation back in the day, but am never sure if I have or not. I have been promising my son I would read it for years, and it is on my classics list. I hope I enjoy it.

TracyK said...

Lex, The Women in Black is another book from last year's list. I first read about it at Moira's Clothes in Books blog, and I had forgotten this one was recommended by Hilary Mantel. I am currently reading The Mirror and the Light by Mantel (very long, very slow reading for me), and just bought a book of essays by her also.

TracyK said...

Constance, You should join this challenge, but I understand your concerns re deciding on a list. But really it is a very flexible challenge and people swap books in and out. I like to stick with the list myself. You would have no problem keeping up with the reviewing though.

I picked She Came Back by Wentworth for the year (1945) AND because I liked the illustration on the cover of my edition.

I have read the two books before The Travelers, and I think The Expats is wonderful. I have recently purchased the fourth book by Pavone.

Bill Selnes said...

An interesting collection of books. I have read but two - A Killing Spring and Three Stations. I enjoyed both of them. I look forward to your reviews.

TracyK said...

Bill, I will be glad to get back to the Joanne Kilbourn series. I see that Gail Bowen has the 20th book in that series coming out this year.

Mary R. said...

I didn't put it on my 20 books of summer list, but The Grand Sophy is on TBR shelf. Maybe I will add it in this summer. Looks like you have an excellent list. I read Bel Canto a long time ago and I remember really liking it.

TracyK said...

Mary, The Grand Sophy is another one from last year's list. I have only read one other of Heyer's Regency romances, Frederica, and I was pleasantly surprised to like that so much. I hope I like The Grand Sophy as well.

NancyElin said...

Tracy, at the rate I'm going I'll have read ALL my 20 books before July.
Since I've been fully vaccinated my "reading-mojo" has shifted into high gear.
I had a dismal reading year perhaps many others.
Now I'm back in the I've checked ALL your books and have found a few
I will read with you! I'll add them to my blog post with a reference to "go-to-gal" for Bittertea and Mystery!
The Mouse in the Mountain (1943) by Norbert Davis - YES
Foundation (1951) by Isaac Asimov - YES
On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1963) by Ian Fleming - YES
H.M.S. Surprise (1973) by Patrick O’Brian - YES
Booked for a Hanging (1992) by Bill Crider - YES
A Killing Spring (1996) by Gail Bowen - YES

Cathy746books said...

Great list! Bel Canto is one of my all time favourites! Thanks for taking part - happy reading x

TracyK said...

That sounds very good, Nancy. Those are all books I am looking forward to.

Glad to hear that you are fully vaccinated, and that your reading is picking up. We are fully vaccinated also.

Katrina said...

That looks like an interesting list, I've only read two of them. I did this one last year so might join in again, if I can get organised.

TracyK said...

Cathy, I hear so much praise about Bel Canto, I am glad I put it on my list. This is a fun event, I look forward to it every year.

TracyK said...

Katrina, I remember that you did this last year and you reviewed all of them, or so it seemed to me. My goal this year is to actually review all the ones I read (during the Summer timeframe), but realistically I may not be able to do that.

Rick Robinson said...

I’m having serious problems with the Wordpress editing tools, and it’s becoming a chore to post, especially images. I’m about ready to give up, but hate the idea of not being able to share my reading.

TracyK said...

Rick, I hope you don't decide to give up your blogging. I love to hear about what you are reading. I never did tell you I found a book of E.B. White essays (or did I?) after you did a post on his writing.

There have been similar problems with Blogger and I still cannot work with images as easily as I could before. A lot of people switch from Blogger to WordPress.

Rick Robinson said...

I’m glad you got the White essays, they’re a mixed bag but I enjoy his style.

col2910 said...

Nice list, there's a few there I want to tackle.

TracyK said...

Col, I have read two off the list so far, and both I would recommend. The Birdwatcher and Small Boat of Great Sorrows. The last one is sort of a split between spy fiction and political thriller.

col2910 said...

Those two figure in my "plans" along with Fleming and maybe Crider.

TracyK said...

Col, I have read On Her Majesty's Secret Service once, decades ago, and watched the film within the last couple of years. It will be interesting to see what I think of the book now.

NancyElin said...

Tracy….24 September on Apple-TV starts the series “FOUNDATION”!!
I saw the trailer today..and it looks wonderful! so I better start the book next week.

TracyK said...

Nancy, I did not know about this series. We don't get Apple-TV so won't be able to see this in September, but maybe someday.

NancyElin said...

Tracy, it is so simple!
Download the Apple-TV app on IPad.
Monthly cost 4,99 dollars per month.
It will be charged to your credit card.
You can end the subscription anytime you want!

TracyK said...

Nancy, I don't have an IPad, I have an Android. I don't know if that makes a difference. But we don't plan on adding Apple-TV to our streaming at this time. Maybe we will later.