Sunday 5 June 2016

Sunday Sundries: #20booksofsummer and other bits and bobs

Bonjourno, good Sunday greetings and welcome! It has just become really really hot here so I'm typing this in my underwear (calm down) in my bedroom and honestly, I'm still sweating a bit because I had the audacity to go outside earlier.

In other words, SUMMER! I've been waiting for you so long and finally you're here, and I love you even if all you've brought me is some sweat and all the sneezes in the world (Seriously. I've been scaring small children on the bus today.)

ANYWAY. It is summer and I have been alerted to the fact that there exists in the world a blog... thing (I don't want to call it an event because it sort of isn't. Challenge, maybe?) that, if we're boiling it down to its essential points, basically just involves making a big ole pile of books, and I think we all know how much I love doing that!

Real information- it's a thing, it runs from June 1st-September 5th, and you pick 20 books that you're going to read this summer. BOOM sorted here's a big pile of books coming atcha:
IT IS A RIDICULOUS PILE OF BOOKS AND I LOVE IT. I can't even describe how tall it is, but at the moment it seems structurally sound, and it is staying on my table of stuff. So there, sensible side of my brain!

Shall we talk about the books though? I've tried to put in a good selection of non-fiction, classics, authors I love, and a couple of comics, and hopefully it'll be enough of a pile to keep me interested through all the long long months of looking at it. I really want to read all of them right now, so hopefully that feel will continue!

So here it is, from the top to the bottom:

Lisey's Story, Cell, The Colorado Kid by Stephen King- Remember my 26 before 27 list where I said I wanted to try and read all the Stephen King this year? Well, I'm still on the same book as when I wrote that, BUT I'm finally making headway with it and this summer seems like a good time to READ SOME MORE! These are thankfully more portable than the last Dark Tower book so I should race through them in no time, and yassssss!

A Game of Thrones by George R R Martin- Also after finishing The Dark Tower, I've promised myself I can finally start reading A Game of Thrones because can I handle more than one fantasy book series at a time? I cannot.

The Lost Continent by Bill Bryson- Any time of year is a good time to read Bill Bryson, to be honest.

Miss Buncle's Book by D E Stevenson- My first Persephone purchase! Since I've signed up for the Persephone Ninja Book Swap AND have plans to visit the shop with Bex soon, I feel like I should probably actually read one of the books and not just ooh at how exciting they are.

The Collected Stories by T Coraghessan Boyle- I have only ever read The Tortilla Curtain by TC Boyle but I loooooved it, and I've had this book of his short stories for a long time. Gotta read them, and short stories are just so great, let's be honest.

Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski- The only things I really know about Bukowski is that I should read him and also he wrote this poem that's basically my favourite poem (more about which in another blog post, at some point). With this in mind, I'm going to read Ham on Rye. Boom.

Jane Austen: A Life by Claire Tomalin- Sometimes a person just starts collecting autobiographies of people they like, and then they never read them. By a person I obviously mean myself, and this is an attempt at, y'know, reading one of them.

The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami- It's Murakami sooooo... Yeah.

The Summer Book by Tove Jansson- Every summer I say I'm going to read The Summer Book, and every summer I fail. I may fail again this summer. Let's see.

Torch by Cheryl Strayed- I would probably read anything Cheryl Strayed writes, but I've been avoiding this because I think it is about mother death and I bought it maybe weeks before my first nan died. But, I think I'll be ok, and Strayed's writing deserves my attention.

Invitation to a Beheading by Vladimir Nabokov- Fun story- after I read Reading Lolita in Tehran, I bought Invitation to a Beheading because Nafisi made it sound awesome. A couple of days later I realised I already had it on my shelves and this is the story of how I officially own too many books. THE POINT is that I'm going to read it, still because Nafisi made it sound awesome.

Born to Run by Christopher McDougall- Hey, wasn't this on the last pile I made? Sure, but I still wanna read it, on those rough days when running feels like the worst (which is actually all the days at the moment. Uhhhhh).

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert- I feel like I've been supposed to read Madame Bovary for a long time but I never have. Now is my time! (I have actually read a couple of chapters of this already, and I like it! What I'm saying is, I will probably actually read it).

Middlemarch by George Eliot- Bex is doing a readalong of this this summer and as I have tried and failed to read it by myself a couple of times, I'm hoping the camaraderie of it will see me through! Join us, why dontcha?

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy- I reckon the odds of me actually finishing War and Peace this summer are slim to none, but I can maybe start it? Maybe? Maybe.

In Defence of Food by Michael Pollan- If we will all recall, I bloody loved The Omnivore's Dilemma, so I'm expecting good things from this one, too. Pollen few.

The Diary of a Teenage Girl by Phoebe Gloeckner- I was DYING to read this when I bought it on the Bookshop Crawl, but I felt too naughty to read it straight away because I'm insane. Four months, though, seems like sufficient time to have owned a book before reading it, right? Right.

V For Vendetta by Alan Moore- And finally. I need more Moore (ha) in my life and I own V for Vendetta for unknown reasons so I shall read it with my eyes and brain this summer. *Nods*

I'm so sorry, this is like the longest post ever and I didn't even mean it to be. To summarise- I am going to read some books this summer and it will maybe be these ones but also it might not be now I am going to stop verbal diarrhoea-ing like some ineloquent bastard and get on with my life.


  1. That is an excellent, and also intimidating, stack of books. I feel as if I should have read more of those, but only two: Bryson and large chunks of the Tomalin biography of Austen. Most correct that deficit!

    1. Emily, I haven't read any of them so I'm definitely going to try and correct THAT defect haha. It is a super intimidating pile and it's started just STARING at me. I don't like it.

  2. Cell's maybe on my summer list too, and I really liked Lisey's Story! Much quicker reading than it looks. I'm also wanting to reread some Bryson, probably starting with A Walk in the Woods, because that was my first ever Bryson and one of the only ones I haven't reread yet. V for Vendetta is amazing. I'm reading Bukowski's poetry right now, yaaaay! And Madame Bovary... man, I loved the social history stuff in that book but I wanted to smack Emma around the head with a slipper and tell her to open her eyes to all the good people she had going on, y'know? Now I want to make a book pile! :D

  3. HOW TALL IS THAT PILE OF BOOKS? I need something for scale. Though given the number of books and the ones you've picked, I shall assume quite tall. I mean War & Peace AND A Game of Thrones. AND other books? I applaud you, whether you finish everything or not.

  4. Oh, I loved Miss Buncle's Book! It was the last book I read of 2015 :) I keep meaning to buy the sequel but I'm trying not to spend money at the moment.

    You have the most ambitious list of books there, EVER. More power to you! I was considering doing this and I definitely did NOT have War & Peace on my potential list :p