20 Books of Summer

Wyrd and Wonder has wound down, I’ve enjoyed a few days of decompressing, and I’ve begun to gather my wits (and my reading lists) for the next round. And it’s with excellent timing that I’ve discovered a new challenge floating in the blogosphere, one that will see me through the summer with a reading aim to keep me focused!

Let’s talk about 20 Books of Summer.


This annual challenge is hosted by Cathy at 746 Books, and I discovered it thanks to imyril at There’s Always Room For One More, who is also taking part. The idea is pretty simple: summer reading is often a good opportunity to knock a few Unreads off your TBR. The goal of this challenge is to do just that!

The target is flexible, too – you can aim for 10, or 15, or 20 if you’re ambitious or doing especially well! The challenge is open from June 3rd to September 3rd, and you can sign up to participate at the link in Cathy’s blog post (linked here, above!).

For my part, it helps that I’ve fallen behind on my own Goodreads challenge goal and I have a bit (a lot) of catching up to do. Hopefully this challenge can assist with another!

On that optimistic note, here are my 20 books!

First up, my ARC pile (for the moment)…



Wireless and More Steam-Powered Adventures by Alex Acks – I’m hoping to read all four of these in June, but this one got moved right to the front of the line (I’m already reading it) given how much I enjoyed the first volume of the Captain Ramos stories! I need more.

William Shakespeare’s Get Thee Back To The Future! by Ian Doescher – This one tickled me immensely when I was offered a review copy, and it sounds like a great way to unwind during the relaxation season. Especially if you’re a book nerd who enjoys Shakespeare. And goofy science fiction.

Coil by Ren Warom – I’ve been a fan of Ren’s writing ever since I read her first novels, Escapology and Virology. I was absolutely here for her brand of fast, furious and vibrant SF cyberpunk thriller, and I’m thoroughly looking forward to trying her brand of SF horror/noir. Summer can’t be all sunshine, all the time, right?

Lord of Secrets by Breanna Teintze – An outlaw wizard plans a jailbreak. He’s the one in jail. And apparently that’s just the start of his problems? Honestly, this one had me at “outlaw wizard”.

Next up is “Currently/really wish I was reading”!



The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon – The other one I’m currently reading, and quite thoroughly enjoying! It’s a hefty tome and the story’s pace is not what you’d call frantic, but apparently that’s what I’m in the mood for at the moment so I’m happy to take my time with this one.

The Bitter Twins/The Poison Song by Jen Williams – Books 2 and 3 of this epic second fantasy trilogy from one of my favourite writers of fantasy adventure; these are on the list after how much I loved reading The Ninth Rain for Wyrd and Wonder! I couldn’t quit this story now if I tried.

The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton – More than one friend has been urging me to read this book for a while, and I swear it’s time is coming soon. Three princesses battling for their father’s throne and for the survival of their kingdom? It sounds thoroughly intriguing and bloody and SOON.



Vicky Romeo Plus Joolz by Ely Percy – A story of queer relationships set in Glasgow in the 90s? There is nothing about this that does not appeal to me. Quite simply nothing. I don’t step away from SF/F very often, so a bookish gem has to be very shiny indeed to tempt me. This one is all sorts of shiny.

Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente – Eurovision in space. EUROVISION IN SPACE.

Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta & Cori McCarthy – This one reads more like science fantasy than either SF or fantasy, which definitely appeals to me. More so because it’s a queer retelling of Arthurian myth, set in space. King Arthur’s a girl. Give it to me NOW.

Failure To Communicate by Kaia Sønderby – I recently put the call out on Twitter for queer SF/F to celebrate Pride Month with, and while I got a delicious number of recs for books I hadn’t heard of, a few stood out from the crowd with multiple flags waving for it. This is probably the one that got the most recs, and the sweetest part is that I already had it on my Kindle! It was meant to be.

Round 3: The Back of the Backlog! (ie. Books Who Have Probably Been Waiting Entirely Too Long Already)



Tiamat’s Wrath by James S.A. Corey – There was just never any question that I would continue with The Expanse. Never. Not a single doubt. I don’t even care that my copy (so generously donated by imyril!) is another hefty hardcover. I don’t see myself taking very long to devour it once I get started. And anybody who’s been reading this series too probably knows what I mean.

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor – Speaking of continuing with an excellent series, I really REALLY need to finish this trilogy. It’s calling to me. Practically crying. I’M COMING BOOK, DON’T WORRY.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – Apparently these books are really good and have a bit of a following?

Borderline by Mishell Baker – I had to get at least one urban fantasy novel onto this list, and it had to be this one. Had to be.

Final Round: The Uppity Newcomers!



The Perfect Assassin by K.A. Doore – It’s a fact of my life that if you are enthusiastic about recommending books to me that are not simply your own work, I will happily give your own work a lot more consideration. Bonus points to K.A. Doore for recommending SO MUCH queer SFF to me. Also her own book sounds pretty fecking awesome.

Other Words For Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin – I have a soft spot in my heart for paranormal fantasy/horror stories that sound gentle on the surface but promise something much darker and stranger beneath. And this one’s set during the summer! Sounds like a perfect reading selection to me.

Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri – Another book I’ve seen and heard a lot of hype about, in ways that push my YAY buttons! It was also one of my pleasant “already purchased” surprise books, so I’m taking this as a good sign.

Witchmark by C.L. Polk – Another apparent SFF community favourite at the moment, and honestly everything about this one appeals to me. Right down to the gorgeous blue cover. Can’t wait to get to it!


So! That’s my list for 20 Books of Summer. Are you also taking on this challenge? Share your lists, and your thoughts on my choices, in the comments!




5 comments On 20 Books of Summer

  • Pingback: Refresh: July 2019 Recap – Dear Geek Place ()

  • “Eurovision in space. EUROVISION IN SPACE.” Ha ha ha!! Yeah, that’s my exact same response when I first heard about this book. I still haven’t read it … but, heck, Eurovision in space!! :0D
    I like the sound of this challenge – I’m going to go take a look – thank you. 🙂

  • I’m in a weird situation — I want to do my Hugo reading and I vote on the adult Mythopoeic finalists. To my mild astonishment, I’ve read all five finalists, but may need to reread my top two to figure out how to split that hair.

    For the Hugos, I currently need to read 4 of the 6 , and 2 of these are in series so it would be good if I could read what came before. So, that’s 4-8 books there.

    Then, there are the novellas of which I have 3 left, and again, 2 are in series where I’ve not yet read what came before.

    I count all the short stories and novelettes combined as maybe equal to one novel/anthology.
    If I read enough for Graphic Novel, that’ll hit 20 because I’ve been bad about that for some years and want to read the back issues of some of these.

    I’ve read none of the Lodestar nominees, and one of those has the previous book included, so that’s 6 more.

    So not counting Graphic Story yet, that would be 17 novel equivalents, roughly (4+6 for novel and Lodestar, +3 novellas, counting the ones that I might read extra for as still 1 each, + 4 more if I read the novels that come before the novels up for Best Novel, at which point I might look at Best Series again).

    I’m currently reading Middlegame, so that’d make 18 if we start counting Right Now. And if I were to read Malka Older’s trilogy, that’d be my 20. We’ll see how many of these I do manage to read.

    (I have no idea how to gauge Best Related as I don’t know enough to know how to look at Archive of Our Own — not just as a reader, but as a coder, since I gather the amazing thing isn’t that there’s all this material, but that it’s sorted so folks can find exactly what they want.)

    If I wind up with time to spare before votes are due, then I look at work by the Campbell nominees whose work I have not yet read.

  • Thanks so much for taking part! Good luck and happy reading x

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