Last year was my most successful 20 Books of Summer. By not making a list I read 28 books. But that’s not the real spirit of the thing, is it? Truth be told, if I made a list of 20 books, I’d fail. (Nor am I alone in this.)

My strategy has been to make a list of categories with at least 10 of the 20 being books allocated to the Edinburgh International Book Festival. But EIBF 2020 has fallen victim to COVID-19. Or has it? Perhaps with the success of Hay Digital, built in just six short weeks, there might be something similar in the works for Edinburgh? I certainly hope so.

So with my hope burning eternal, I’m sticking to my template and allocating 10 slots to EIBF. Should there be no 2020 digital offering at all, I shall read 10 books either purchased there or written by authors I’ve seen in past years. Heaven knows I have plenty of choice. I could probably stock a book shop. If that’s not enough, I could still discover some new authors via the audio and video archives at

Now for the other 10 – Under the influence of Instagram’s #sixbookrainbowchallenge, I’m in the mood to read a rainbow of my own. Add in 2 Seagull Books for #seagullbooksfortnight (which starts tomorrow), and two German novels from 1931 for my Age of Weimar Republic Reading project and that makes 10 nominated titles (more than I’ve ever nominated in the history of this challenge).

Let’s see how I do. (As always, I reserve the right to change my mind – probably within the next 5 minutes!)

Category One: The Six Book Rainbow

1. Red: The Zookeeper’s War – J W Mohnhaupt

2. Peachy Orange: Days in the Caucasus – Banine

3. Yellow : Two Blankets, Three Sheets – Rodaan Al Galidi ✓

4. Turquoise Green: The Offing – Benjamin Myers

5. Blue: The Turn of Midnight – Minette Walters

6. Violet: Writer in Residence – Francis Plug

Category Two: 2 for #seagullbooksfortnight

7. The Last Country – Svenja Leibner ✓

8. A Cage In Search of A Bird – Florence Noiville ✓

Category Three: Age of the Weimar Republic (1931)

Gilgi, One of Us – Irmgard Keun

Käsebier Takes Berlin – Gabriele Tergit

Category Four: EIBF reads of one kind or the other

11 Around The World in 80 Trees – Jonathan Drori and Lucille Clerc

12 – 20 (To be determined)