In the High Peaks

Monday, May 27, 2024

The Twenty Books of Summer

I've been so intrigued to read the 20 Books of Summer lists that everyone has been posting. Thanks to Cathy of 746 Books for having instigated all of this busy summertime reading so many years ago now. 

Of course, I'm hoping I'll be able to read 20 books this summer, but I know my schedule may not afford me all the time I need to complete it. But I'm feeling optimistic at the end of this first official weekend of summer, Memorial Day Weekend.

Twenty Books of Summer  2024

1.     An Unfinished Love Story by Doris Kearns Goodwin  Audible  17+ hours

2.     Shadow in the Glass by M.E. Hilliard  (#2 Greer Hogan Mystery) Set in Lake Placid

3.     Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell (2020) Her highly acclaimed thriller fr. 2020  finished!

4.     North Woods by Daniel Mason

5.     The Women by Kristin Hannah

6.     God of the Woods by Liz Moore (Starred reviews fr. Library Journal, PW, Kirkus, Booklist)

7.     History:   The Deerfield Massacre by James L. Swanson

8.     Kairos by Jenny Erpenbeck  Winner of the International Booker Prize in Translation 2024

9.     The Last Word by Elly Griffiths

10.  Traveling: On the Path of Joni Mitchell  by Ann Powers  Audible

11.  The Storm We Made  by Vanessa Chan  WWII Malaya  finished!

12.  The Lost Book of Bonn by Brianna Labuskes   Germany 1946

13.  Table for Two: Fictions by Amor Towles

14.  The Mystery Writer by Sulari Gentill

15.  History/Biography: This Spot is Open!

16.  All the Broken Places by John Boyne

17.  A novel or memoir by Paul Auster, cherished author, (1947-2024)

18. This Strange Eventful History by Claire Messud  A Must-Read! Highly acclaimed!

 I am keeping #s 19-20 Open. And #15, which will be History or Biography. 

I realize that this list is incomplete. I hope to fill the slots as time and...BOOKS...become available.

The very best wishes for a sunny, but NOT TOO HOT summer for us all, and, of course, plenty of time to indulge in BOOKS.





  1. Great list! I've read #11 and #13 ... pretty good. I'm hoping Liz Moore can hit out of the park again. And I'm really interested in Doris Kearns Goodwin memoir. I should have put that on my summer list (i forgot). I liked her memoir about her youth and the Dodgers called Wait Till Next Year. Her life has been very interesting and prime memoir material. Enjoy all your books!

    1. I believe, based on the 4 major starred reviews, that Liz Moore just may be hitting it out of the park again! I do hope so! Eagerly anticipating!
      YOU WILL LOVE Doris Kearns Goodwin's new memoir!!!
      Have fun this summer!!

  2. I've read The Women and have North Woods on my list for this challenge. John Boyne is a favorite author and I need to get a copy of All the Broken Places, even though I didn't love The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. I'll bet my husband would love to read the Joni Mitchell bio. Thanks for the heads up.

    1. Hi Les,
      Isn't John Boyne great? I find him to be such a versatile author. Amazingly so. I have so many more of his books to read.
      I was in love with Joni Mitchell's music when I was 18-24 years old. And I still love it. She was simply an amazing artist--and what a life she had! I hope it will be an intriguing book!

  3. Excellent list! Claire Messud is a must read for me, too, as is Amor Towles. North Woods is waiting on my kindle. And, after hearing DKG talk about An Unfinished Love Story on a podcast yesterday, that was added to my list too. I haven't made a summer reading list, but I do make a list of reading possibilities at the beginning of each month. June's will be out soon. Hope you enjoy all of these, Judith.

    1. Hi JoAnn!
      I'm so glad I'm back in the BOOK orbit!
      Claire Messud: Way back when, when I read The Emperor's Children, I was so startled by her enormous capacity for telling a rivetting story, BUT ALSO, perhaps most of all, her PROFUNDITY. I was just WIPED out by that aspect.
      Just between you and me, I was a little startled yesterday when I read somewhere or other that North Woods had some "magical" elements. Oh, no--I hope, I said to myself, that this book will not be magical realism. Please.
      Actually, I think I was over-reacting. I don't think it is, really, because all the reviews that led me to put it on my list, gave me no inclination that magical realism was the total picture. So I will move forward!

    2. Judith - The Emperor's Children was my favorite book the year I read it, but seemed to be a polarizing novel in the reading community. People either loved or hated it. The Woman Upstairs was also a 5-star read for me. My old book club heard Messud speak at Colgate University as part of their Living Writers series... we wished we could have had her come out to dinner with us afterwards. Can't wait to read her latest.
      I've seen some interesting/unusual comments about North Woods that give me pause, but I'm going in with an open mind. We'll see...

    3. Hi JoAnn,
      I loved The Woman Upstairs, too! Yes, I agree a 5-Star for me as well. I think I can see why maybe The Emperor's Children may not have been a universal favorite. BUT! If the novel aroused strong negative sentiment in some people, that to me, based on my memory of this important novel, is significant and I think it signifies that it was a novel of strong substance with meaningful commentary about society at that time. That's how I recall it.

  4. I have North Woods to read on my Kindle, I must get to it as I've heard good things about it. Have you heard that Elly Griffiths has a new series starting in June '25? I think it's a cold case series and it sounds rather good. For obvious reasons my reading's a bit haphazard at the moment so it's no good me signing up for anything. I may do a small personal list and see how I go. Nice to see you around again, Judith!

    1. Hi Cath,
      I have not heard about a new Elly Griffiths series starting a year from now. I'm excited about that! She's such a versatile writer, based on how different her stand-alone novels have been, that I'll keep a sharp eye out for that.
      So totally understandable that your reading these days may be piecemeal, or all over the map. Just go with what feels best to you, at whatever moment. Or from moment to moment. I sometimes return to old comfort reads in difficult times, and they do me so much good.
      Cath, I wish you the very, very best.

  5. Sorry to wait so long to comment on your list of 20 books. Many of them are new to me so I look forward to hearing what you think of them. I am interested in Table for Two by Amor Towles and The Mystery Writer by Sulari Gentill, and probably The Women by Kristin Hannah.

    I do hope that you have time to read this summer.

    1. Tracy,
      Table for Two just arrived at the library for me, but I have only 2 weeks to read it, and it's 430 pages or so. I'm keen to read it. Just wish I had more time!
      I am definitely planning on making more time to read than I did last summer. I've scheduled my work load, so I do get at least some time off.
      And good luck to you with your reading this summer, and my wish for you is that it will not be too hot!

  6. What a great idea to keep open spots! I wish I'd thought of that. I'm interested in reading North Woods so please let us know what you think of it when you finish. Have a splendid summer!!

    1. Hi Cleo,
      I definitely will let everyone know about North Woods, and also about the other books on my list. Looking forward to summer reading and hearing about the books you're reading!

  7. Welcome back. I've missed your posts! I definitely like this approach--helps organize the reading impulses.

    Table for Two is definitely on my list, and I am still trying to decide if I want to read The Women. I know it's good, but could be traumatic. Anyway, happy reading!

    1. So good to be in touch with you again, Jane!! You have lots of great opus reads on your list this year. I'm so looking forward to hearing about them!