20 Books of Summer 2018

Now that Memorial Day Weekend has come and gone, I think we can all agree that summer has unofficially begun. I’m looking forward to the longer days, the warm temperatures, the fresh produce, time spent at the pool, and of course summer reading. I’m especially excited to be participating in Cathy of 746 Books 20 Books of Summer for the second year in a row.

Last year I managed to read 15 books, although I didn’t get started until a week or two after the kick off date. Hopefully this means my total this year will be even higher, but since a lot of the books on my list are pretty chunky, I’m not going to be too hard on myself if I don’t make it through all 20 books.

I have a strong feeling I’ll end up making at least a few alterations to my list as the summer progresses, but I’m happy with my selections for now.

Without further ado, here are my 20 Books of Summer for 2018:




Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain (#cctestament group read, TBR Pile Challenge, Classics Club)

At least one book that I will definitely be reading from this list, is Vera Brittain’s heartbreaking WWI autobiography. I’m very excited to be a part of Jillian from In Her Book’s #CCTestament Reading Group. I can’t wait to read and discuss Testament of Youth with everyone!



Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher (TBR Pile Challenge)

Okay, so this may have been on my 2017 20 Books of Summer list, but I really do intend to read it this year! I’ve been saving Rosamunde Pilcher’s novels for far too long, and I need to finally enjoy them.



The Misinterpretation of Tara Jupp by Eva Rice (TBR Pile Challenge)

Eva Rice’s The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets is one of my favorite comfort reads, and I’ve been dying to read this pseudo-sequel for ages. If it’s anything like its predecessor, The Misinterpretation of Tara Jupp should be a delightful historical fiction novel with lovable characters, that puts a huge smile on my face.



Human Croquet by Kate Atkinson

I want to read at least one Atkinson from my TBR list before her new novel, Transcription is released this fall. This sounds like a charming and slightly bizarre coming-of-age story/family saga, and should be right up my alley.



Mansfield Park: An Annotated Edition by Jane Austen (Austen in August (?), Back to the Classics, Classics Club)

Mansfield Park is the Austen novel I’ve re-read the least amount of times (I think I’ve only read it twice), as well as my least favorite. I’m interested to see if it has moved up in my ranking at all, and I can’t wait to see what all this annotated edition adds to my reading experience.



The Heat of the Day by Elizabeth Bowen (Classics Club, Back to the Classics)

If this title isn’t the perfect fit for a summer afternoon of reading, I don’t know what is!



Night and Day by Virginia Woolf (TBR Pile, Classics Club, Back to the Classics)

I really want to become more familiar with Virginia Woolf’s work, and Night and Day sounds especially appealing to me at the moment.



Westwood by Stella Gibbons (Classics Club, Back to the Classics)

Westwood has been high on the list of modern classics I’m looking forward to reading for sometime now.



State of Wonder by Anne Patchett

I read and loved Commonwealth, my first Patchett novel, during 20 Books of Summer last year, and I’m eager to repeat the experience with State of Wonder. The Amazon setting should be a good match for the high temps and humidity of the dog days of summer too.



The Night Watch by Sarah Waters (TBR Pile)

So far I’ve read three Sarah Waters novels, which means I only have three more to look forward to.* Despite the fact that I’m all too quickly running out of them, I can’t resist picking up another one this summer. The Night Watch happens to be the unread novel I own a physical copy of, but I also think it will tie in nicely with some of the other WWII/Blitz novels on this list.

*Please announce a new novel soon, Sarah!!



The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton (ARC)

I’ve only heard amazing things about this creative mystery. I think it sounds like such a fun summer read, and one that I’ll probably devour quickly.



The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (TBR Pile)

I’ve been saving The Goldfinch since it was released, and I promised myself that this would be the year I finally read it. This does sound more like an autumnal read to me, but I’d at least like to have started it by the time September rolls around. I’m thinking it may be a good pick to read during the Tome Topple readathon…



Miss Buncle Married by D. E. Stevenson (TBR Pile)

I adored Miss Buncle’s Book and have had this sequel sitting on my shelf for a while now. I’d really like to get to it this summer, especially since I have the other two books in the series waiting in the wings as well.



The Lido by Libby Page (ARC)

This sounds like a charming contemporary read that practically begs to be read while lounging by the pool.



The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert (TBR Pile)

Hopefully this will be an engrossing historical fiction read to get stuck into on days when it’s too hot to move.



The Vanishing by Sophia Tobin (ARC)

I had to include at least one gothic read on my list, and this one has really piqued my interest.



Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

I can’t believe I still haven’t read Little Fires Everywhere. I imagine I’ll fly through this when I do finally pick it up.



My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

Summer reading wouldn’t be complete without at least one good chick lit beach read. It’s been a few years since I read a Sophie Kinsella novel, and I’m hoping My Not So Perfect Life will be as fun as it sounds.



Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley by Charlotte Gordon (Read-along, Goodreads Book Club)

I couldn’t resist jumping at the chance to read Romantic Outlaws along with Juliana of The [Blank] Garden. I think reading this as a buddy read will make this massive biography both easier to tackle and all the more enjoyable.


The Village by Marghanita Laski OR The Far Cry by Emma Smith (Mini Persephone Readathon)

I’ll either be reading The Village or The Far Cry as part of my Mini Persephone Readathon the first weekend in June. It all depends on which book gets the most votes...


Books Read: 2/20

Have you read any of these? Are any of these titles on your summer TBR list too?



51 thoughts on “20 Books of Summer 2018

Add yours

  1. Great selection. Lovely to see Testament of Youth on there, hope you enjoy it. Other ones that jumped out at me: The Night Watch (love her books too), The Signature of All Things (really enjoyed it), The Goldfinch (didn’t get on with that at all, although I loved The Secret History).

    I’m taking part too, here’s my list:https://whatcathyreadnext.wordpress.com/2018/05/30/20-books-of-summer-reading-challenge-2018-20booksofsummer/

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great selection! I’ve got Human Croquet, The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, and The Night Watch on my TBR. Miss Buncle’s Book is also on there and I feel like I should read that before progressing in the series (though I’ve heard that they can technically be read as stand alone.

    I read The Goldfinch. I liked the first 1/3 a lot, disliked the next part, and then liked the last part. It left me with a very mixed, indecisive feeling. My (Not So) Perfect Life was definitely a good pool/beach read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Fran! Let me know if you want to buddy read one of those three later in the summer!
      I agree that it would be better to read at least Miss Buncle’s Book first, although I’ve heard the same thing. I’m equal parts worried and excited to see how I’ll feel about The Goldfinch. It’s definitely not as well loved as The Secret History. And that’s very good to hear about My (Not So) Perfect Life; that’s exactly what I want it to be!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, what a list! I’ve read quite a few of those, and some of them are on my summer reading list as well. You will probably speed through Little Fires Everywhere (loved it and I’ve put it on the my book group’s list for next year); State of Wonder is excellent (and Bel Canto, Patchett’s most popular novel, is really wonderful!); The Goldfinch is a real page-turner; also, Miss Buncle is really fun and a fast read (nice contrast to all those chunksters on your list!)

    I’m also planning on Testament of Youth for the June readalong, and I’ll get started as soon as I finish my Persephone for this weekend! I also own Westwood, and I’m dying to read the Seven Deaths, but I’ll probably wait until I can get a library copy since I can’t really justify buying the UK hardcover.

    Now I’m off to compile my own list. . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your feedback, Karen! I’m glad to hear you enjoyed those four, and happy that you are participating in the Testament of Youth readalong as well. The UK hardcover of Seven Deaths looks stunning, but I doubt I would’ve been willing to buy it at this point either. Looking forward to seeing your completed list!


  4. I loved My (Not So) Perfect Life – it’s probably one of my favourite books by Sophie Kinsella! And I’ve only read two Austen books, but I adored Mansfield Park, probably because I identified with Fanny a lot. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s a wonderful list. Human Croquet is certainly unusual, but I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading Transcription. I loved The Night Watch too and I’m also hoping for a new Sarah Waters novel soon! Have a great summer of reading. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Adored The Testament of Youth in a tragic heart-breaking kind of way, also loved The Signature of all Things. Struggled with The Goldfinch, although it starts off in a heart-in-mouth gripping kind of way that doesn’t follow thorugh (imo)

    I’m planning on reading one of my new annotated Austen’s in August, maybe I will go for MP so we can compare notes 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve seen the film version of Testament of Youth, so I know what heartbreak lies ahead, but I’m sure it will be a stunning and powerful read. I’m glad to hear you loved it and The Signature of All Things. The Goldfinch does seem to illicit mixed reviews, so I’m anxious to see what I think of it. It would be a lot fun to compare notes on the Annotated MP if you do decide to read it in August!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Jessie, the only book on your list I have read is Mansfield Park (although not annotated) and while I enjoyed it it is my least favourite Austen novel too. Through my new Classics Club list, I am hoping to re-read all of Austen’s wonderful novels – Hopefully starting with my favourite Sense and Sensibility 🙂
    I am also taking part in this challenge, but at the lower level of 10 books. Good luck and happy reading! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a lovely selection of books you’ve picked! I definitely recommend The Night Watch – that was my first Sarah Waters novel and I adored it. I hope you enjoy it. I almost put The Goldfinch on my list, and it still may end up being a book I finally read this summer. I hope you enjoy all of your books.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow, you’re so lucky to have not yet read The Night Watch, The Signature of All Things, The Goldfinch and State of Wonder! Some of my favourite books of the last five years 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m currently reading my first Virginia Woolf too (Orlando) and am enjoying it so far. Very curious to know what you think of Night and Day.

    You’ve also reminded me to re-read my Austens. I think it’s been years since I read most of them and I love them so much.

    Liked by 1 person

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