Book 1 – contemporary fiction

Weather by Jenny Offill (2020)

Book 2 – non-fiction

Book 3- translated fiction

Book 4 – classic fiction


This sounded like a fun challenge, hosted by Cathy746books, and since my social life has shrunk so much recently due to COVID-19 it seems feasible!

Basically, I have had to select 20 books to read between 1 June and 1 September 2020.

My list is a mixture of “improving” classics that I keep meaning to read, literature in translation/by foreign writers (to me! I’m in the UK) and a few works of non-fiction and contemporary British/US fiction that I’ve had on my TBR shelf for a while.

I’ve swapped a few as I’ve gone on and recycled books I’ve realised I’m just never going to read.

  1. Thirteen Months of Sunrise – published by Comma Press, this is a short (70 pages), recently translated collection of work by Sudanese author Rania Mamoun (completed 01/06/2020 – it’s short!).
  2. Another Country by Anjali Joseph – swapped for Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (completed 7/7/20)
  3. Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis – swapped for The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lukas Rijneveld (read 16.06.2020).
  4. Pale Rider by Laura Spinney – a non-fiction account of the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918. Could be grim, could even be dull, but I’m hoping for informative and enlightening. (Finished reading 20.06.20.)
  5. Paradise by Abdulrazak Gurnah – shortlisted for the 1994 Booker Prize, a coming of age tale by a Tanzanian author. (Finished reading 16.08.20.)
  6. Red Dust Road by Jackie Kay (this was another swap – finished 11/8/2020).
  7. In Extremis: The Life of War Correspondent Marie Colvin (read 1/8/2020).
  8. The Big Sky by Kate Atkinson – hated this – finished 20.07.20.
  9. Little Eyes by Samanta Schweblin: finished 26.08.20
  10. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett – I’ve never read any Beckett and I feel I should. This is a dual language French/English version of the play. (Finished 02/07/20.)
  11. Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata – a short Japanese novel which is often recommended as a quirky, funny, very modern read and as one of the best works of fiction by a Japanese woman writer in translation. (Finished 04/06/20.)
  12. The Past by Tessa Hadley – from the back cover “four siblings meet up in their grandparents’ old house for three long, hot summer weeks. But under the idyllic surface lie simmering tensions.” I love a country house, summery novel. One for chilling in the garden with. (Finished 15/08/20.)
  13. The Collected Stories by Katherine Mansfield – I’ve dipped into Katherine Mansfield on several occasions, but I want to take the opportunity to immerse myself in her stories.
  14. My Katherine Mansfield Project by Kirsty Gunn – a memoir by someone who returned to her native Wellington in New Zealand, which discusses the influence of Katherine Mansfield on her own work.
  15. Whistle in the Dark by Emma Healey – swapped for Tove Jansson’s “The Summer Book”, completed 13/07/20.
  16. Instead of the intended art book, I read Holiday Heart by Margarita Garcia Robayo (finished 22/06/2020).
  17. Golden Child by Claire Adam – a prize-winning novel by a Trinidadian writer who has been compared with V. S. Naipaul. (Finished reading 11/06/2020.)
  18. Harald Sohlberg: Infinite Landscapes – a richly illustrated catalogue that accompanied a recent exhibition at the Dulwich Picture Gallery that I attended (twice!) last year. (Finished reading 06/07/20.)
  19. Arid Dreams by Duanwan Pimwana (completed 19/06/2020)
  20. A Crime in the Neighbourhood by Susannah Berne : completed 30.08.20

Have you read any of these? Anyone reading any of the same titles over the next few months?

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