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 – Actual 2)

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

B) 2021 Translated German Literature Releases. (Target 5 – Actual 3)

C) Out of Africa (Target 3 – Actual 2)

  • Woman of The Ashes – Mia Couto (Mozambique #invisiblecities June) ✔️
  • The Woman Next Door – Yemande Omotoso ✔️

D) The Americas (Target 3 – Actual 7) This theme turned into quite a road trip!

E) Completist Reading (Target 2 – Actual 2)

  • Not A Novel – Jenny Erpenbeck (EIBF) ✔️
  • Your Inner Hedgehog – Alexander McCall Smith (EIBF) ✔️

F) 2021 Online Events Reading (Target 2 Books – Actual 5)

  • Hyde – Craig Russell (Ayewrite! Festival) ✔️
  • Planet of Clay – Samar Yazbek (EIBF) ✔️
  • The Dark Remains – Ian Rankin and William McIllvanney (EIBF) ✔️
  • The Long Drop – Denise Mina (EIBF In-person (!) Event ✔️
  • Rizzio – Denise Mina (EIBF) ✔️

G) August Commitments (Target 2 – Actual 1)

  • Resilience – Bogdan Hrib (Deferred to September)
  • The Disaster Tourist – Yun Ko-Eun (South Korea #invisiblecities August) ✔️

There’s a major flaw in the plan with no allocations for the Edinburgh International 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. (EDIT: There was. Take a look at the completist category.) And just in case, 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. 😂)

  • The Penguin Book of Spanish Short Stories (#spanishlitmonth) (50% complete)
  • Middlemarch -George Eliot (Juliana’s Readalong) ✔️
  • Forty Lost Years – Rosa Maria Arquimbau (#spanishlitmonth, the Fum D’Estampa #WITMonth sale) ✔️

End Note: Italicised titles were on my original starter for 13 list. I read 8 of those, meaning I stayed on track for one month! Priorities always change with the publication of the EIBF programme, which happened in the first week of July.

Total read 24.5 (3 DNF) Total reviews to 31.08 16