Once upon a time I was able to make a list and stick to it. This summer I couldn’t even make a list! The difficulties were obvious when I had two attempts for 20 Books of Summer. (Attempt 1, Attempt 2) There are just too many distractions. Reviewing motivation was even lower.
Blame the sunshine. It was time to be outside reading, not inside blogging. I’m not complaining. I was delighted that the weather forecast given by the colour of the spines of the books in my first #20booksofsummer list was hopelessly wrong. One of the best memories of this summer was reading Daniel Hahn’s Catching Fire on what turned out to be the second hottest day of the summer. Another was letting my hair dry in the sun on what was the hottest day. An event for the history books, in fact. It was the first time in 30+ years in Scotland that this was possible! Doubt it will ever happen again.
And then there was the Edinburgh International Book Festival, where I spent 8 days. Happy days.
Despite all that, I have surprised myself by completing 20 reads: 11 of which were in my TBR prior to 1.6.2022. The 9 usurpers are now listed as such or enclosed in brackets where they fit other #20booksofsummer categories. My favourite reads are asterisked.
A) Finish what I have started
- Fortune – Amanda Smyth (Walter Scott Prize 2022 Shortlist)
- News of the Dead – James Robertson (Walter Scott Prize 2022 Shortlist)
- The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexander Dumas (Audio Book)
B) Preparation for the Hoffmann Seminar on 24th June
- Jena 1800 – Peter Neumann
- Tales of Hofmann – E T A Hoffmann * (Hooked on Hoffmann: Of Art and Artists, Mademoiselle De Scudèri)
- The Nutcracker / The Strange Child – E T A Hoffmann
C) Book Group
- Palace of Flies – Walter Kappacher
- (The Chandos Letter and Other Stories – Hugo von Hofmannsthal)
D) Edinburgh Book Festival Reads
- Never Did The Fire – Diamela Eltit
- Catching Fire – Daniel Hahn *
- (Barcelona Dreaming – Rupert Thomson)
- The Fell – Sarah Moss
- Small Things Like These – Claire Keegan
- (Paper Cup – Karen Campbell) *
- (The Goldenacre – Philip Miller)
- (Cold Enough For Snow – Jessica Au)
E) The Usurpers
- Ghosted – Jenn Ashworth *
- A Sister’s Story – Donatella di Pietrantonio
- What Concerns Us – Laura Vogt
- Ratking – Michael Dibdin (Audio Book)
I have reviewed less than half. But I’ll catch up next month. Same with EIBF. While the in-person festival may be over, streaming events is still possible until the end of September.