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May 24, 2017



by N@ncy

20 books 2017 img_3083-1

  • 20 Books of Summer is hosted by Cathy at!
  • The challenge is to read 20 books off your TBR list.
  • June 01  – September 03
  • Hashtag#20BooksOfSummer

My list:

  1. THE DEATH OF THE HEART by E. Bowen – – READ
  2. THE GINGER MAN – J.P.Donleavy – READ…. abandon after 100 pgs. (bah)
  3. AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY by Theodore Dreiser – READ 3.0
  4. SCOOP by Evelyn Waugh  – READ
  5. Dear Ijeawele – C.N. Adichie – READ  5.0
  6. Vaster Than Empires and More Slow – U. Le Guin – READ 5.0
  7. RAGTIME by E.L. Doctorow – READ 3.0
  8. BRIDESHEAD REVISITED by Evelyn Waugh – READ  5.0
  9. MEDEA  (Euripedes) – READ  4.0
  10. GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN by J. Baldwin – READ  5.0
  11. AS I LAY DYING by William Faulkner – READ –  5.0
  12. THE SYMPATHIZER by Viet Thanh Nguyen – READ  4.0
  13. PALE FIRE by Vladimir Nabokov – READ   5.0
  14. ANGLE OF REPOSE by Wallace Stegner – READ  2.0
  15. DEAR LIFE by A. Munro (Nobel Prize 2013) – READ  3.0
  16. TENNESSEE WILLIAMS Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh:– READ   5.0
  17. AMERICAN ULYSSES Life of Ulysses S. Grant R.C. White – READ   5.0
  19. Walking the Nile – L. Wood – READ  4.0
  20. Running Hare – J. Lewis-Stempel – READ   5.0
  21. Rue des Boutiques Obscures – P. Modiano – READ  5.0
  22. Open and Shut – D. Rosenfelt – READ 5.0
  23. First Degree – D. Rosenfelt – READ 5.0
  24. Doomsday Book – C. Willis – READ 3.0
  25. The Bloody Mary Book – E. Brown – READ  3.0
  26. Coming Up Trumps – J. Trumpington – READ    3.0
  27. Kennedy and King – S. Levingston – READ    5.0
  28. Loving by Henry Green – READ    4.0
  29. The African Queen – C.S. FORESTER – READ    5.0
  30. I, Claudius by Robert Graves – READ    4.0
  31. The Two Towers – J.R.R. Tolkien – READ   3.0
  32. Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence – READ 5.0
  33. The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler – READ – 3.0


  • The Golden Bowl – H. James  – READING
  • The Sheltering Sky – P. Bowles – READING

Read more from #20BooksOfSummer 2017
37 Comments Post a comment
  1. May 25 2017

    It’s an imposing selection and you’ve set yourself a task and a half. I’ve not read many of these but of those I have, I found that… Parades End is hard work but probably worth it ( just!), Sons and Lovers is brilliant, Darkness At Noon is tough going ( though if you like Kafka you might get on with it better!), Scoop is really good, Heart Is Lonely Hunter is moody but absorbing and Miss Jean Brodie is all spiky and wonderful! Good luck!

    • May 25 2017

      Thanks so much for your descriptions of the books you’ve read. I am starting at the top of the list and struggling to ‘grasp’ Pale Fire. I looked quickly at the book last night and my head fell into my hands….’How am I going to read this?”
      What are your 20 books of summer?

      • May 27 2017

        Am not that organised ….. if only. But among those I’m thinks by will read are Colm Toibins House Of Names, Adam Sisman’s biography of John Le Carre and Peter Buwalda’s Bonita Avenue ( know he is Dutch writer – read it or any of his other stuff?)

      • May 27 2017

        No, I’ve not read Peter Buwalda…must look into his books. Bio John Le Carre looks good. I have bio of Nabokov ‘the Russian years’ waiting for me but that will have to wait until the Fall!

      • May 27 2017

        Have had the Le Carre bio on my shelf for a while but am going to see him giving talk in London in September so need to do before I go!

      • May 27 2017

        Hope to see a blogpost about your vist with Le Carre!

  2. Wow – way to challenge yourself!! I love Willa Cather so I hope you will find Death Comes for the Archbishop is not such a trial after all. I have also read Sons and Lovers, Angle of Repose, The Great Gatsby, A Passage to India, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, and 1984 and although they are not necessarily my personal favorites I think you will find them also well worth reading. I’ve never read Nabokov or Faulkner, for me those would be the hardest on your list. But who knows? I should try them!

    • May 26 2017

      My goodness….you’ve read quite a few on my ‘don’t want to read-list’ !
      I just finished Pale Fire…very difficult. I read there are at least 80 analyses writtten by critics and scholars just trying to explain all that Nabokov squeezes into this ‘complex, strange’ book.
      At least I know what it is about! Next stop: Faulkner…another complex man!
      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. May 26 2017

    This is my second try at a comment, don’t know what I did wrong the first time.

    You are really challenging yourself, picking books you do not want to read. I would fail for sure if my list was like that.

    • May 26 2017

      I may fail…but at least I tried! Just finished Pale Fire by Nabokov. There was so much in that book to ‘get’ (understand)…I had difficulty ‘getting-it’ ! This book went way over my head! Next stop: Faulkner!

  4. May 28 2017

    I LOVED Passage to India, but it’s 20 yrs since I went through my EM Forster phase!
    My one & only Cather was love, love, love too & I have high hopes for her others.
    But the rest?
    You have some epic reading days ahead of you 👩🏽‍🏫

    When I’m finished with the writers festival tonight, I’ll put my mind to my 20 books…of winter ❄️

    • May 28 2017

      Making a list and just starting from the top….feels very liberating! No decisions, no French book temptations…#JustDoIt ! I’ve had a ‘Back Russian’ cocktail with Nabokov and now enjoying a “Mint Julep’ with Faulkner. What does E.M. Forster drink?
      Forster’s Beer….of course! 🙂

      • May 28 2017

        Perhaps a chai tea instead??

      • May 28 2017

        You’re right…tea it is!

  5. Jun 2 2017

    Oh you have some of my favourites in there – An American Tragedy, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Faulkner, Miss Jean Brodie. Can’t wait to hear what you think of them.

    • Jun 2 2017

      So many great books …it is difficult to decide what to read next! I think the next book will be ‘An American Tragedy’. Dreiser is mentioned in ch 4 in Ragtime by E.L Doctorow (just finished…review soon.) I really want to complete the Modern Library top 100 novels list.
      It will probably take me into next year as well!
      Thanks again for hosting and being so gracious retweeting many messages of fellow readers The handy master post with ‘linky’ is great to follow other people’s lists!


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. As I Lay Dying | NancyElin
  2. The Sympathizer | NancyElin
  3. Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh | NancyElin
  4. American Ulysses | NancyElin
  5. The Death of the Heart | NancyElin
  6. An American Tragedy | NancyElin
  7. Rue des Boutiques Obscures – Modiano | NancyElin
  8. Ursula Le Guin | NancyElin
  9. The Martian | NancyElin
  10. Doomsday Book | NancyElin
  11. The Bloody Mary Book | NancyElin
  12. Kennedy and King | NancyElin
  13. Loving | NancyElin
  14. Shatterday and Other Stories | NancyElin
  15. The African Queen | NancyElin
  16. I, Claudius | NancyElin
  17. Bobby Kennedy: The Making of Liberal a Icon | NancyElin
  18. The Two Towers | NancyElin
  19. Sons and Lovers | NancyElin
  20. Une femme à Berlin | NancyElin
  21. The Way of All Flesh | NancyElin

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