20 Books of Summer…2021

Hosted by Cathy at 746 Books
  1. The Brothers Karamazov by Fydor Dostoevsky
  2. Bullet Train by Kotaro Isaka
  3. Cain by Jose Saramago
  4. Facing The Mountain by Daniel James Brown
  5. Double Blind by Edward St. Aubyn
  6. Dinner at The Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler
  7. The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsn
  8. We The Living by Ayn Rand
  9. The Bookseller of Florence by Ross King
  10. Tomorrow Will be Better by Betty Smith
  11. The Therapist by Helene Flood
  12. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
  13. The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
  14. Ripley Under Ground by Patricia Highsmith
  15. The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
  16. Falling by T. J. Newman
  17. The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
  18. I Is Another by Jon Fosse
  19. Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri
  20. Prague by Arthur Phillips


See the sign up post here, to find what others are reading this summer. (June 1, 2021 through September 1, 2021)

41 thoughts on “20 Books of Summer…2021”

    1. I loved almost of all of Anne Tyler’s early works, from this to Accidental Tourist and Breathing Lessons. Some of her later works didn’t please me quite so much, but The Redhead By the Side of the Road seemed reminiscent of what I love about her style. I am in the strangest mood to reread old favorites; not sure what that’s about!☺️

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    1. Someone on Twitter said it was quite the range, which I suspect is a polite way of saying, “Your reading is all over the place!” That is certainly true, and like my living room furniture, quite eclectic. But, there are some interesting Russian pieces in there, did you notice?😉

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  1. Ooh, I’ll be reviewing Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant tomorrow and will look out for your review to add to the list at some point in the summer! Hope you enjoy your list. I’ll be making my choices on 31 May …

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  2. Such a lovely tbr, Meredith, so many books I’m also planning to read at some point, so I’ll be looking out to hearing your thoughts 🙂 I’m still quite undecided, so I’ll postpone my own tbr until later this month.

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    1. How fun that you have several of the same books planned! It is hard to decide, much like being in a chocolate shop (or lipstick counter!), but I am encouraged that Cathy said we can shorten the list or change it as needed. Who knows what we will end up with by August’s end?

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    1. I like “ambitious” much better than “quite the range”! The later reminds me of a dear mother of a student once, who said, “I worried about Timothy being in your class at first, but now I see he likes your loosey-goosey style.”😳 That’s an interesting way of describing “child-centered” and flexible! Well, suffice it to say, I do like a broad range of literature. ☺️

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      1. I do too! Mostly I’m impressed that you plan to read the Dostoevsky and the Gulag Archipelago and 18 other books. I love Dostoevsky and Solzhenitsyn, but I would be nervous about attacking the entire GA in this project!

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    1. I love when you comment, as I, too, have a great passion for Russian Literature. I took so many courses in college that I almost have a minor in it. At any rate, do join us for The Brothers Karamazov if you care to. It is a reread for me, as surely it would be for you, but Arti (Ripple Effects in my sidebar) is hosting it, and it would be great fun to have your insights.

      I love Saramago, too, but I have only read The Cave, Blindness and The Skylight. I am eager to read all of his works.

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      1. While I do love The Brothers Karamazov, my current “to read” pile is a bit too big to accommodate a re-read of it this year — but I will certainly be following along with the discussion avidly!! 🙂

        And I’m so glad to hear of your love for Saramago’s work. My personal favourites are All the Names and The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis!

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  3. I was just thinking how I have already dropped the ball on keeping track of my 2021 reading with my spreadsheet. (Although I made it farther into the year than I usually do on this annual attempt to be more systematic!) And here’s another system of organization I’m attracted to and invariably fail at!
    I like your choices and have only read a couple of them already, but I don’t think I should copy and paste such an ambitious list. You’ve inspired me, though!

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    1. I hate that it sounds like a job for you, to keep a record of your books read. Can you “simply” list them under each month as you complete them? I could never do a spreadsheet; one of my friends showed me his, and I got all enthused, but I think I abandoned it in 2019. Another thing I did, before blogging, was to just write the titles in my calendar (or journal) on the back page. Not very official, I suppose, but effective enough.

      Glad you feel inspired by this list for Summer 2021. I’d love to see what you’re thinking about reading this summer.

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  4. Some years ago, I gifted myself for Christmas with a boxed set of the Ripley stories After reading them at leisure, I felt that the set, along with a bottle of Stradivari cologne, was the very thing to bring along on yet another cruise around the Mediterranean aboard one’s yacht. Don’t stop at the first one, they are one continuous story. And don’t forget the cologne. Cheers!

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    1. I have read The Talented Mr. Ripley before, but not the whole set. What a marvelous idea, and so glad that you liked them all! That is a good recommendation. As for the cologne, you mention a fragrance I do not know. (That is a rarity, as I adore perfume!) Now all I need to do is schedule a cruise. 😉

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    1. I suspect Bullet Train will be tremendous, or a train wreck. It certainly is getting a lot of attention, but I get leary when I hear it will be made into a film or miniseries.

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  5. Hello, Bellezza! I hope you’re doing well.
    This is a very appealing list of books. Fun idea! I think you are all set for the summer, although since it is 2021, I almost expect the challenge requirement to be 21 books! 🙂

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  6. This is a great list. It’s very moody and matching my tastes these days. I joined the fun as well but am doing the 10 book version. Two kids moving across the country this summer will mean my reading time will be lean.

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    1. I suspect I should have limited myself to ten books as well. Who knows, perhaps I will have to do just that in August! Glad to know I am not the only “moody” reader with an eclectic taste.

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  7. Great choice of books for the summer. I have started the read-along of The Brothers Karamazov and find it great from the beginning. Tyler is a big favourite and I am now reading all of her work in the Anne Tyler re-read project. The Talented Mr. Ripley is a spooky book, good for a sunny summer day read. The Sense of an Ending is one of my favourite books, just loved it. I have to admit I am a fan of Julian Barnes, but think this is his best.

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    1. I am so glad you are reading The Brothers Karamazov with us. I have just begun Part II; so much to talk about! This time I am noticing the emphasis on faith even more than I did in 2010.

      I love Anne Tyler’s early works so much, and I am really looking forward to The Sense of an Ending which I have never read.

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    1. Fortunately, there is an authorized abridged edition of the three volumes (at 538 pages), so at least I can dip my toes in. Care to join me? And, I agree that it will complement The Brothers Karamazov (plus our times today?) quite nicely. My passion for Russian literature is almost as great as that for Japanese. Here’s the link to the authorized abridgment should you be interested:

      https://www.harpercollins.com/products/the-gulag-archipelago-1918-1956-abridged-aleksandr-i-solzhenitsyn?variant=32118036758562

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    1. Sadly, I abandoned it last night after about fifty pages. It was trite, to me, although whimsical…and headed in a direction I didn’t feel like going. I hope it works for you better than it did for me.

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    1. Oh, children’s books!! What a fabulous idea! Although, there aren’t many I’ve loved that have been written past 1968, except for those by Kate DeCamillo. 😌

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  8. An impressive list! Jose Saramago, Patricia Highsmith and Fyodor Dostoyevsky are all safe bets, all great authors and my favourites, but I have to admit I haven’t read either Cain or Ripley Under Ground. On the other hand, I didn’t like Turton’s book at all. Even with the “original” premise inside, I think it is a pretty forgettable book and the execution just isn’t there. I will be most eager to know your opinion!

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