20 books of Summer: the recap

I’m not ready yet to say goodbye to summer, but it’s time to do a recap on my ’20 books of summer’ challenge. This challenge is hosted by Cathy of 746 books and the idea is to create a list of 20 books to read and review between the 1st of June and the 31st of August. Here you can read my sign-up post with my original list of twenty books.

I’m happy to announce that I managed to read 12 books during the last three months. Ten of them are from my original list, I also read two extra review copies. Last year, I stranded at 14 books, but that was because my holidays got cancelled, while this year I went abroad for two weeks during this three-month-period. And when I’m on holiday, I tend to read a lot less than usual. So, in the end I’m quite happy with my result.
These are the books I’ve read:

My favourite reads were ‘That bonesetter woman’, ‘Stone blind’ and ‘The price of blood’. I enjoyed participating in this challenge (thanks Cathy for hosting!) and I’m looking forward to join again next year.

Did you finish this challenge?

Top Ten Tuesday: new-to-me authors I discovered in 2021

It’s been a while since I participated in the TTT, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today, I list 10 authors I read a book from for the first time in 2021. That wasn’t easy, because more than half of the books I read in 2021 where from ‘new’ authors. As I started the classics club project, I discovered a lot of classic authors too. So I decided to make a selection based on ten authors I would like to read more books from.

  1. Gill Paul

Gill Paul was one of those authors on my still to try list. Her dual timeline novels mostly tackle the lives of royal or noble women. In The collector’s daughter we meet Lady Evelyn Herbert who was the first woman to step into the tomb of Tutankhamun. She’s recovering from another stroke when an Egyptian researcher Ana stands at her doorstep asking questions about missing artefacts.

Paul writes with extensive historical knowledge but this book is a light read. However, I’m curious to discover some of her more older books now.

2. Annie Garthwaite

As this book conquered a spot in my top ten of 2021, it’s no surprise that I list Garthwaite’s Cecily. She’s a new voice in historical fiction and I hope she will publish many more books surrounding a strong female lead character.

3. Nathalie Haynes

Nathalie Haynes wrote my favourite Greek myth retelling I’ve read so far. I’ve enjoyed some podcasts with her after her release of ‘Pandora’s jar’, a non-fiction book about the role of women in Greek mythology. I definitely want to read her other novel ‘The children of Jocasta’ and I’m hoping she will one day write a novel about Cassandra.

4. Nicola Cornick

Another must loved author of historical fiction who writes dual timeline novels. The last daughter is set during the Wars of the Roses, one of my favourite periods. I hope to start ‘The phantom tree’ one day, as I’ve heard it’s one of her best books.

5. S.D. Sykes

I read the first two books in the Oswald De Lacy mystery series set right after the great English plague epidemic in the 14th century. Sykes writes clever murder mysteries without losing sight of the intriges of the De Lacy family. I hope to continue this series in 2022.

6. Kate Mosse

An author I was more or less avoiding because I thought her books were too much ‘Dan Brown’. But I am really enjoying this series set during the Huguenots Wars in Southern France. Mosse brings an original perspective to the 16th century. I usually read books about the Tudor period, but the Valois dynasty in France proves equally interesting.

7. Sarah Burton

Apart from the beautiful cover, ‘The strange adventures of H.‘ proved an unexpected gem. Sarah Burton writes with a modern ironic voice but still with a lot of respect for the historical facts (in this case plague-ridden 17th century London). One of the most original books I’ve read in 2021.

8. Toby Clements

I’m in the middle of his Kingmaker series and hope to finish it in 2022. It seems, Toby Clemens hasn’t published any other novels since finishing the series in 2017. Too bad, because I really believe he’s got skill to write bloody battle scenes from a common soldier’s perspective.

9. Anne Brontë

The last Brontë sister I needed to read a book from. ‘The tenant of Wildfell Hall‘ is one of my favourite classics of 2021 and I’m happy to read ‘Agnes Grey’ in the near future.

10. Claire Heywood

Daughters of Sparta was Heywood’s debut novel and an excellent Greek myth retelling. Nothing is known about her future writing plans, but I’m hoping it will again cover some strong female characters.

Were also new-to-me authors in 2021 but didn’t make it to my top ten (because I’m not sure I want to read other work from them): Karen Maitland, Jane Healey, Meghan Masterson, Delia Owens, Michael Ward, Catherine Clemens (will she ever publish another novel?) and a range of classics authors.

Authors of which I’m sure I don’t want to read another novel from (at the moment): Milwood-Hargrave, Mark Knowles and Elizabeth Macneal.

What’s your favourite new author you’ve discovered recently?

My 2022 TBR

Last year I made a TBR of 10 books for 2021. I listed ten books I wanted to prioritize from my never ending to read shelf. The focus was on ten books I’ve been wanting to read for a while. I managed to read 8 of them. Not too bad :). So I decided to make a new list for 2022 to see where I’ll end up in 365 days from now.

This is my 2022 list:

  1. The Tudor crown by Joanna Hickson

The sequel to ‘First of the Tudors‘ (which I rated with 5 stars last year) about the rise to the top of the Tudor dynasty during the Wars of the Roses. Apart from a more human Margaret Beaufort, I really hope to meet Jasper Tudor, Jane en their children again.

2. Anne Boleyn, a king’s obsession by Alison Weir

I still have this love-hate relationship with Alison Weir, but I liked the first book in this series about Catherine Of Aragon enough to move onto one of my favourites: Anne Boleyn. But I have never before read a novel with Anne portrayed as I have her in my mind. And I don’t expect Weir to do just that, but she’s welcome to surprise me ;).

3. Written in my own heart’s blood by Diana Gabaldon

I’m one of these Outlander fangirls. I love both the books and the Starz series. After finishing the 8th book, I decided to wait with this one as it was the last one published at the time. But now that ‘Go tell the bees that I’m gone’ is finally released, I can start WIMOHB! John Grey is one of my favourite characters so if you know how the last book ended, you can understand I’m anxious to read on :).

4. A column of fire by Ken Follett

Follett now takes us to Kingsbridge during the reign of Elizabeth I. After having loved ‘World without end‘ this year, I just want to continue this series. I know some characters will feel the same again, but for me Follett is pure entertainment.

5. A tapestry of treason by Anne ‘O Brien

Set during the same events as Queen of the North, we follow the rebellions against Henry IV through the eyes of Constance of York, lady Despenser. I didn’t like Constance as a character in Queen of the North, but I expect to sympathize more in this novel. I also don’t know a lot about her and the early York family, so I hope to learn more about them.

5. I, Eliza Hamilton by Susan Holloway Scott

I was happy to add this to my kindle collection and then forgot about it :). I never really read about American women or America’s history, but I enjoyed the musical ‘Hamilton’ a lot. So it’s time to go to the other side of the Atlantic with my reading too.

6. Circe by Madeline Miller

Attentive readers know that this one was on my Christmas wishlist and I indeed got it as a gift from my boyfriend. I’m definitely going to read more than one Greek myth retelling, but Circe has been praised so much that it’s time to read it.

7. The honey and the sting by E.C. Fremantle

Another Christmas present was the hardcover version of ‘The honey and the sting’ 😍. I still have ‘Walk the lady’ to read from the same author, so I’ll take up one of these two in 2022. As you know, I have this obsession to always leave one book unread from my favourite authors.

8. The price of blood by Patricia Bracewell

This also made it to last year’s TBR, but I didn’t grab it in the kindle store and thus didn’t read it. But I’m still eager to continue the story of Emma Of Normandy.

9. Heartstone by C.J. Sansom

The next installment in the Matthew Shardlake series will bring us towards the end of Henry VIII’s reign and the war with France. I’m curious to see how Matthew and Barak will handle their next challenge.

10. Labyrinth by Kate Mosse

After having enjoyed Mosse’s other series about the Huguenots Wars, I want to start the Languedoc trilogy of which Labyrinth is the first book. I don’t know if I will like it as much, but we’ll see.

Of course, I’ll also continue my classics club project, read some new releases and ARC’s and continue a few series (Marwood and Lovett, Oswald De Lacy, Kingmaker…).

Have you read any of these books? Which ones are on your TBR?

My ten favourite books of 2021

Last week, I presented you with my bookish year in numbers. This week, it’s time to list my ten favourites of 2021. With 4 five-star-reads and 20 books that received four stars, the choice was tough. Let’s go!

First of the Tudors by Joanna Hickson *****

Joanna Hickson takes us to the Wars of the Roses and focuses on the perspective of the early Tudors. In this book we meet Jasper Tudor and his fictional Welsh niece Jane Hywel. It offers a whole new perspective on the known events and a human Margaret Beaufort (which is quite an accomplishment). In my opinion this is Hickson’s best book so far. I’m looking forward to read the sequel ‘The Tudor crown’ in 2022.

The Romanov empress by C.W. Gortner *****

The ideal winter read. This extensive novel covers the life of Dagmar of Denmark, better known as tsarina Maria Feodorovna. Wife to Alexander II and mother of Nicholas II, we discover the last decades of Romanov rule through her eyes. This is a fascinating book about a tragic end to a dynasty.

A thousand ships by Nathalie Haynes *****

I read this one during my cancelled holiday and enjoyed it a lot. This is the Trojan war trough the eyes of the women, girls and goddesses who lost everything. Their home, their family and their body. It’s my favourite Greek myth retelling so far and I discovered some new stories that I didn’t know yet.

World without end by Ken Follett

The long anticipated sequel to ‘Pillars of the earth’. In World without end we again follow four youngsters during their life in Kingsbridge. They are bound by secret in which even the king and queen are interested. The cruel 14th century is the setting this time, so poverty and disease are all around. These really are the Dark Ages.

The burning chambers & The city of tears by Kate Mosse ****

2021 was the year in which I discovered Kate Mosse’s books. Both books take place in 16th century France during the Huguenots Wars. Minou Joubert receives a mysterious letter and at the same time helps the Huguenot Piet flee the city. In ‘The city of tears’ the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre is one of the key events and it’s still so important to create awareness around what happened there. I’m looking forward to the third part in this series and hope to start more books from Mosse in 2022.

The color purple by Alice Walker ****

This modern classic is about the black sisters Celie and Nettie growing up in early 20th century America. The book talks as much about racism as about feminism. Apart from Nettie and Celie, there are some other black women that are part of the main cast. The novel mainly consists of letters from Celie to God, written in poor English. This all contributes to the general atmosphere. A book every woman should read at least once.

Cecily by Annie Garthwaite

Am impressive debut novel from a new voice in historical fiction. Garthwaite writes about the life of Cecily Neville. Wife of Richard, duke of York, and mother to both Edward IV and Richard III. Garthwaite takes us to the sparks of the Wars of the Roses during the Hundred Years Wars. The book opens with Cecily being witness of the burning of Joan d’Arc. I’m looking forward to her next novel, a sequel perhaps?

The scarlet contessa by Jeanne Kalogridis ***

Do you know that feeling that sometimes a book stays longer with you than you thought when you finished it? That’s why there are some three stars reads in this top ten. ‘The scarlet contessa’ tells the story of Catherina Sforza, one of my favourite historical persons. Although the book certainly has its flaws (too much magic and a high focus on Dea, Catherina’s maid), this was the only book I read set in renaissance Italy. Because of it, I again began reading about that period a lot. So, it deserves a spot here.

Winter pilgrims (Kingmaker #1) by Toby Clemens ***

Another three star read that stayed with me much longer. And yes, again about the Wars of the Roses. Thomas and Catherine, are two ‘normal’ people trying to make sense of this conflict and survive. This is an action-pace novel that focuses on the battle (also the smaller ones, which I appreciated). Clemens is no Conn Iggulden nor Bernard Cornwell, but he writes in the same tradition. However, I must admit that I liked the second part in this series ‘Broken faith‘ a lot less. I will continue this series in 2022.

The tenant of Wildfell hall by Anne Brönte

My first book of the year and also the first classic I read. This epistolary consists of letters from Gilbert to his brother-in-law. He tells the story of his new neighbour Mrs Graham who has come to live at Wildfell Hall. Gilbert immediately takes a liking to her, but Mrs Graham carries with her a conflicted past and dares not to open up to him. A lovely Brönte novel.

Have not made it to the top ten, but deserve a head ups: Revelation by C.J. Sansom (Matthew Shardlake never disappoints), The true queen by Alison Weir (finally again a Weir novel that I did like) and Protector by Conn Iggulden (for introducing me to such a fascinating period).

What was your favourite book in 2021?

My bookish 2021 in numbers

I was happy to receive my Goodreads year in books. Especially as 2021 was my best reading year ever, so I’m just going to take you through my reading stats :).

General

  • I’ve read 48 books in total. That are 9 books more than in 2020 and the highest number ever.
  • Those 48 books counted for 19.329 pages. Wow!
  • My books were on average 402 pages long. I’m happy to have an average above 400 again 🙂 I tend to read ‘big’ books so you can see this represented in the stats.
  • Ken Follett’s ‘World without end‘ with 1.014 pages was the longest one I’ve read, the 221 pages of ‘Rags in time‘ made for the shortest read.
  • My average rating was 3.5 stars.

Format

  • I varied a lot in formats and read 20 e-books and 28 physical books. I still love the smell of a real book, but I’m already attached to the ease of reading on my kindle before I go to sleep.
  • Of those 20 e-books, I received 9 books as an e-arc via Netgalley. Of which ‘Cecily‘ was definitely my favourite.
  • I only read 4 physical books that I own, so the other 24 came from the library that I visited frequently. I really hope to read more from my own shelves in 2022.
  • I didn’t buy a single book in 2021. And funny enough, this wasn’t on purpose. I blame covid-19, I guess? I received some books as a gift and listed a few for my christmas wishlist. Edit: I discovered that I bought 5 books during a library sale (for 1 euro per book).
  • I read 11 books in Dutch and thus 37 books in English.

Rating

  • I honoured 4 books with the full 5 stars and they will no doubt make it to my top 10 of 2021.
  • I also gave no less than 20 books four stars (which means I enjoyed them), so it was a good reading year. However, it will be difficult to choose my other 6 favourites to compile my top ten.
  • There were also some disappointing reads that only received 2 stars. ‘Far from the madding crowd‘, and ‘Amenable woman‘ are the ones that I remember being not my cup of tea. And both books disappointed me the most.
  • I only DNF one book, an e-arc from mystery author Paul Doherty. I won’t pick up any of his other books soon.
  • I must admit that my historical fiction books got a higher rating in general than the 12 classics I read. I gave a lot of classic books 3 stars, while I tend to rate a historical book with 4 stars.

Setting and era

I intend to keep these stats in my bullet journal for 2022, because now I was just counting this backwards and I’m not sure if I have covered everything correctly. I consider 36 books as historical fiction (I exclude most of the classics and I also count some books rather as novels than as historical – for example ‘Where the crawdads sing‘).

These are the countries in which my historical fiction novels took place:

  • England: 25 books
  • France: 5 books
  • Greece: 4 books
  • Italy: 1 book
  • America: 1 book
  • Norway: 1 book
  • Egypt: 1 book
  • Russia: 1 book

England and France again top the list. However, I would have a liked a more diverse list here. But well, I do love books set in England. And it’s hard to find other books, when those in set in England just grab my attention immediately.

Regarding the era, I did a lot better in terms of diversity:

  • Ancient Greece: 4 books
  • 10h century: 1 book
  • 12th century: 1 books
  • 13th century: 1 book
  • 14th century: 4 books
  • 15th century: 6 books
  • 16th century: 5 books
  • 17th century: 7 books
  • 18th century: 2 books
  • 19th century: 1 book
  • 20th century: 4 books

Most of the books were set during the 15-17th century. I read 5 novels that took place during the Wars of the Roses this year, one of my favourite periods. And it surprised me how every novel presented me with a new perspective on the same events. I didn’t read a book about the world wars, neither did I read a story set in ancient Rome (for the second year in a row).

People

These are some of the historical people I read about for the first time this year.

So if I look back on all these numbers, I can only conclude it was a great reading year. And that I’m already looking forward to my next ‘year in books’.

Do you keep track of your reading stats? How many books did you read in 2021? Which one is your favourite?

My bookish wishlist

I’m not really a Christmas type of person. Who am I kidding? I’m not at all a Christmas person. Sorry not sorry. I don’t even set up a Christmas tree. So in my family, we don’t do presents. And I don’t mind that. In my boyfriend’s family, we do. In Belgium, we don’t know if Christmas will be even allowed this year (thanks covid, and maybe this time I even mean it). Nevertheless, I decided to make a wishlist of books that I still want on my physical shelves. So that if we do have a Christmas party, I can link to this blogpost ;). If not, I’ll probably buy them all myself one day 😅.

I’ve ‘The song of Achilles’ sitting on my shelves in the Dutch hardcover edition. And I love the sound and cover art of Circe. So I also want this on my shelves. I don’t exactly like the Dutch cover of Circe, so I still don’t know in what language or edition to buy this one. Maybe the English paperback or hardcover edition?

Because she’s my favourite author and I’ve all her books on my shelves. I love this cover 🤩. And although, I’m a bit sad that Fremantle decided to write more historical thrillers instead of historical Tudor fiction, I still like the sound of this story.

This has a total different cover in Europe compared to the US. I think I prefer the US version because it’s more Tudor related (and there are black ravens on it), but this cover is also very pretty. I have all Joanna Hickson’s novels on my shelves, so I want to continue this.

Yes, a non-fiction book. I just love Dan Jones his documentaries and I would like to have this book on my shelves to delve into the history of the Plantagenets. It’s more of a coffee table book for me that I can push into people’s face when people visit me so that I have an excuse to talk about English history.

Just look at that cover ❤️. I already have some of Chadwick’s books on my shelves (the Eleanor of Aquitaine trilogy), but I’m most excited about her newest release. And I haven’t been excited for her new releases in a while, so I really hope to get my hands on ‘A marriage of lions’.

Or ‘the queen’s choice‘ or ‘the forbidden queen‘ of the same author. I already have a few books of her series about Plantagenet women on my shelves, so I want to expand my collection. This one about Elizabeth of Lancaster sounds interesting. Although I miss the typical cover art that I’m used of O’Brien.

I loved Sarah Bower’s other book ‘Sins of the house of Borgia’ (or alternative title: ‘the book of love’). And have been looking for this one ever since. The edition that I actually once saw and loved (but didn’t buy, stupid I know) is not available anymore (not even on a photo in Google), so I’ll settle for anything that is available :). There is also a version with a half naked woman on the cover. All good for me.

Also a favourite author from whom I have different books on my shelves. I don’t want his books about American women, but this one is still on my list. As Catherine De Medici is a historical figure that interests me a lot. And I’m curious to see which perspective Gortner will bring on this scandalous woman.

This is a new-to-me author and the first book in a trilogy set around 1066. I might want to buy this one day as a physical edition, but maybe I’ll download it one day in my kindle. Not sure yet. But I would be happy to get this one as a gift.

So that were 9 books that I would like as a present or that I’ll buy myself one day for my physical shelves. I’m always nervous when I ask for books that they will give a book from a total different genre than I’m used to (like a thriller or a chicklit). I’m really picky on the books I read and especially on the ones that I buy as a physical copy. Or is this just me?

Have you read any of these books? Do you ask for books as a Christmas presents or is that just a silly question? :D.

Books infested by the plague

Ever since the outbreak of covid, people have been talking about some other major pandemics in history such as the Spanish flu in 1918 and ‘the plague’ that was raging through Europe in the Middle Ages. There are different forms of the plague. The one we usually refer to is the bubonic plague which causes black ‘buboes’ or swollen lymph nodes on the body. In the 14th century there was a huge outbreak of this bubonic plague and it is recorded as the most fatal pandemic ever. This pandemic is therefore also called ‘The Black Death’ or ‘The Great Mortality’. Ever since we went in lockdown, I began reading some historical novels that were set during the plague years (in the 14th century mostly). It soothed me to read about people struggling with a strange disease that is now in the 21st century under control on a global level.

I decided to make a list of historical fiction books around this topic, for everyone who also wants to feel better (or worse, it depends on how you feel when reading about people dying 😅).

World without end by Ken Follett

In World without end we follow four youngsters in medieval Kingsbridge. It’s an epic story set in the 14th century, so off course the plague also arrives in Kingsbridge. One of the characters, Caris, is a nun who tries to make sense of this disease and believes in seperating the sick from the healthy and wearing a cloth before your mouth when tending the sick to not breathe in the same air. But the prior finds these views heretic and this will cost many lives.

This is a huge book with a lot more themes than the plague, but it gives you a sense of how the people tried to make sense of who died and who survived this strange disease.

Read my review about World without end

The last hours by Minette Walters

This is certainly my least favourite novel on this list. The story is about a small village in Dorsetshire where a mysterious disease arrives and lady Anne forbids anyone to leave or enter the town. Not even her husband. The story is set during the first few year of the pandemic and this makes for a nice introduction into how devastating it raged throughout England. But it also heavily focuses on the characters and events happening within the town and I must admit that I was a bit bored with them. There is a sequel which is called ‘The turn of midnight’ and follows the same characters.

Read my review about the last hours

Plague land by S.D. Sykes

The title seems to incline that the plague is heavily featured in this historical mystery and in some way that is true. But actually, it is set a few years after the pandemic but you can still see the effects of it weighing heavily on the people. And on the lord of Somershill, Oswald De Lacy, who was the third son destined to become a monk but after the death of his father and two older brothers he needs to return home to become lord.

The black death was one of the biggest causes of the abolition of serfdom in medieval England. So many people died that there was almost nobody anymore to plough to fields. In fear of starvation, lords began to offer better conditions for workers and even distribute land among farmers.

Read my review of plague land

The last adventures of H. by Sarah Burton

This is the first novel I mention not set in the 14th century. It’s set in 17th century London during some of the most dramatic years in the city’s history. We all know about the devastating Great Fire of 1666, but did you know that in 1665 there was a major bubonic plague epidemic in the heart of London? This plague killed over a quarter of the city’s inhabitants within 18 months. It was the last major outbreak of the plague on English territory. The strange adventures of H. is an entertaining story about a young girl who tries to survive in a world full of men.

Read my review of the strange adventures of H.

A company of liars by Karen Maitland

I thought I had read more books featuring the plague, there is one more that is set in 15th century Italy that I read ages ago but it’s a German book (I read it in the Dutch translation) and not translated to English. So to add a fifth, I decided to go for Karen Maitland’s ‘A company of liars’ with the subtitle ‘a novel of the plague’. I’ve read her other book set in the 14th century, ‘The vanishing witch‘, which takes place after the pandemic. Her novels include dark characters, a bit of magic and a lot of filth.

Do you have any other recommendations featuring the plague?

20 books of summer: the recap

I can’t believe that summer is already over (or almost, I’m still hoping at an Indian summer). I don’t really mind going back to work, as I need some routine to function properly, but I’m a bit sad that autumn is here.

This also means I must look back at my first participation of #20booksofsummer. This challenge is hosted by Cathy of 746 books. In May, I made a list of 20 books of which I have tried to read as many books as possible by the end of August. I aimed to read somewhere between 10 and 20 books during the three summer months and I hoped to finish around 10 of the 20 books I originally chose. This means that there was some space to pick up other books not on the list. And haha, of course I didn’t stick to the list completely. But how did I do? Let’s look back, month by month.

June

I started off strong, finishing four books in June. And you won’t believe it, but all of them appeared on my original list! 🤩 That wasn’t too hard as ‘The vanishing witch‘ and ‘the crimson ribbon‘ were part of my library haul in May, I read ‘Far from the madding crowd‘ for the Classic club and ‘Cecily‘ was a review copy. But still, not bad at all.

Round-up June: finished 4 books in total, 4 from the original list.

July

And then came July. Bad weather forced me to read inside and I did read a lot. I finished 5 books, which is the highest number of books finished in one month this year. So great, this challenge is really helping me to read more. Or was it the weather? 🤔

Just one little comment: only 2/5 (The last daughter and ‘Plague land’) books appeared on my original list from May. But shht, I still did read a lot. And I have found some good excuses 😅. I was only approved for ‘Daughters of Sparta‘ after having made the list and both ‘Animals of Lockwood manor‘ and ‘The city tears‘ are from another library haul. So it just went a bit out of hand in the library. 🤫

Round-up June + July: finished 9 books in total, 6 from the original list.

August

And then came August, the month were I finished another solid 5 books and started a sixth one. I had two weeks off from work and as my boyfriend became ill, I did have much more time to read than I anticipated. 🤷‍♀️ I even managed to pick up three more books from my original list. ‘Captive queen’ and ‘A thousand ships’ were available at the library. As was the newest Tatiana de Rosnay (title not yet available in English) which I finished in one day.

I finally managed to read ‘The scarlet contessa’, one of the books I was looking forward most to read, but other books always took precedence. Not this summer, I enjoyed it a lot! ‘Treasure island‘ was my classic clubs spin result and in the meantime I’ve started another classic novel, ‘Lolita’ from Nabokov.

Total round-up:

  • 14 books finished, one started
  • I finished 9 books from my original list (so not the hoped for 10, but I was almost there :))
  • I have written the reviews of all the books I’ve finished so far, they will be published in the upcoming weeks.

I highly enjoyed participating in this challenge. Thanks again to Cathy for organizing and I hope to rejoin for the summer of 2022!

20 books of summer: how it’s going

Ok, we’re already more than halfway with this challenge and thus with summer! Can you believe it? Weather was terrible so far, so I didn’t read much in my happy place in the garden. But the forecast for the coming days and weeks looks promising—if you ignore the rain.

For the ’20 books of summer’ challenge (hosted by Cathy of 746 books) I made a list of 20 books at the beginning of June of which I try to read as many books as possible by the end of August. We’re now the 21st of July as I write this and I’ve already finished 8 books this summer. Which is a lot for my doing. Five of them are from the original list.

The whole thing of this challenge is about making a list and then not sticking to it, yes? :D. I especially read some library reads that weren’t mentioned on the list. I just needed to read on with Mosse’s ‘City of tears’ and I was also surprised to find ‘The animals of Lockwood manor’ available so I didn’t hesitate to take it home with me.

My favourite so far is certainly ‘City of tears’, closely followed by ‘Cecily’. It will not surprise you if I say that Hardy’s Far from the madding crowd proved my biggest disappointment.

Next up I’ll start ‘The last daughter’ by Nicola Cornick, a review copy I still need to pick up. Followed by my spin result ‘Treasure island’, which didn’t appear on my list but I’ll be happy to have read at least two classics during summer. And who knows what will be next? I hope to pick up one of my owned kindle reads as there are some books I’m really looking forward to reading. And I hope also to visit the library again in August.

If I keep up this pace, I will have finished around 14 books maybe at the 31st of August. Not bad. Not bad at all.

How is your 20 books of summer going?

My Six in six #2021

Jo of the Book Jotter organizes this meme since 2012. Now what’s it about?

The idea being that as the end of June approaches and we are then halfway through the year, let us share the books we have read in those first 6 months. In fact let’s share 6 books in 6 categories, or if time is of the essence then simply share just 6 books. Whatever combination works for you as long as it involves 6 books. Of course the same book can obviously feature in more than one category.

Maybe I’ll still write a halfway wrap-up post of my reading goals, but I decided to join in with Six in six to show you the books I’ve already during the first six months of the year. I have chosen some of the given categories but I’ve also created my own to aim at as much diversity as possible. As I’ve ‘only’ read 24 book so far, some books will feature more than once.

Ok, here we go

Six classics

Nice on track with my classics club!

Six books that are part of a series

Six historical women I’ve read about

Six books that are not set in England

This proved more difficult than I thought 😅

Six books that feature an English king

Six books set in the 17th century

My top period so far this year!

I managed to include every single one of them at least once, hooray!

Have you read any of them? Please do share your ‘Six in six’.