Previous experience has taught me that the best strategy for Cathy’s annual summer challenge is to determine 4 or 5 reading categories and choose books to fit into them. This year I am in the process of self-sabotage. I just have too many reading projects on the go, and I could easily come up with 20 categories without drawing breath. Reading one book from each would do it, but that doesn’t appeal at all. So I have attempted to limit myself. As I have way more than 20 physical books to choose from, and countless more on the kindle, I won’t make a complete list, but I will provide a starter for 13. (Asterisked titles are e-books.)

Your visual starter for 10

A) Books with Summer in the Title (Target 3)

  • A Poem for Every Summer’s Day (Ed Allie Esiri)
  • Summer – Ali Smith ✔️

B) 2021 Translated German Literature Releases. (Target 5. I said I’d cover 10 by end of August. I have 5 remaining … and 6 in the pile already …)

  • The Dead Girl’s Class Trip – Anna Seghers ✔️
  • Sleepless – Romy Hausmann * (Blog tour) ✔️

C) Out of Africa (Target 3)

  • Inventory of A Life Mislaid – Marina Warner (Title of the year, methinks!)
  • Woman of The Ashes – Mia Couto (Mozambique #invisiblecities June)

D) The Americas (Target 3)

  • The Captain and The Enemy – Graham Greene (Panama #invisiblecities July)
  • Death in The Andes – Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru #invisiblecities April! #spanishlitmonth)

E) Completist Reading (Target 2)

  • Friends and Heroes – Olivia Manning (The Balkans Trilogy)
  • The Dictionary of Lost Words – Pip Williams (Walter Scott Prize Shortlist) ✖️DNF

F) 2021 Online Events Reading (Target 2 Books)

  • Hyde – Craig Russell (Ayewrite! Festival) ✔️
  • Around the World in 80 Plants – Jonathan Drori (Hay Festival)

G) August Commitments (2)

  • Resilience – Bogdan Hrib (Blog tour) *
  • Tower – Bae Myung-hoon (South Korea #invisiblecities August)

There’s a major flaw in the plan with no allocations for the Edinburgh Book Festival. The programme is not released until early July, and Nick Barley has announced that there will be 275 events, including some in person events. Will I go, or will I not? Not sure, actually. I’m off to Edinburgh this weekend to for a wee reconoître/confidence booster. Regardless there’s sure to be something in the programme that will match my categories. But just in case there aren’t, or I need to read some novellas because I’m running out of time or any of 500+ perfectly legitimate bookwormy excuses, I’d better add the following category …

H) The Usurpers (Target 0, but we’ll see. 😂)

I’ll report back on progress at the challenge mid-point.