Recap: 20 Books of Summer 2020

20 books of summer

Once again, organized a special challenge:

20 Books of Summer
June 1-August 31

Summer is already over so it’s time to see how it went for this challenge.

I’m happy with the amount of books I read:
I reached 20 books on July 28, and ended up reading 28 books.
These were not necessarily the 20 I had lined up, I had to adjust to urgent books coming my way for review.
Unfortunately, I only reviewed 6 of these.

And I was planning to connect with participants of this challenge, which I didn’t do much at all, by lack of time.

Out of these 28, 15 books were in print, and 13 in audio (6 of these were Bible books)
12 were mysteries/thrillers

Books I especially liked?:
scratch that, there are too many!!

I will just highlight four books that were different, types of revelations:

  Or What You Will If You Cross the River

Or What You Will:
An amazing author, totally new to me.
Great structure, so many references
VERDICT: Unique fantasy love letter to the Renaissance. Luscious!
See my review, with excerpts

If You Cross The River:
I got this in 2019, why did I wait so long to read it?
Incredible writing. I devoured it in no time

  Migrations Killer Come Back to Me

wow, certainly one of my favorites of the year so far.
VERDICT: Both beautiful and heart-wrenching. And of course, a must for all birders.
See my review, with pictures and data

Killer, Come Back to Me
BIG revelation, I didn’t even know he had written crime fiction. Did you?
And he is so so good at it!

So here is the file with my 28 books.

Did you participate?
What was your favorite book this Summer?

The top 8 books to read in September 2020

Here are

The top 8 books
I plan to read in September 2020

Click on the covers to know more


The French Widow  The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

 Le Livre de Perle L'énigme de la chambre 622

📚 The French Widow (Hugo Marston #9) (September 15, 2020), by Mark Pryor
Received for review

I have really enjoyed previous books by Mark Pryor, see for instance my review of The Sorbonne Affair, so I accepted this one for review.”

“A young American woman is attacked at an historic Paris chateau and four paintings are stolen the same night, drawing Hugo Marston into a case where everyone seems like a suspect. To solve this mystery Hugo must crack the secrets of the icy and arrogant Lambourd family, who seem more interested in protecting their good name than future victims. Just as Hugo thinks he’s close, some of the paintings mysteriously reappear, at the very same time that one of his suspects goes missing.”

📚 The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1994), by Haruki Murakami
Reading with the Haruki Murakami Online Book Club (on Discord)

“Japan’s most highly regarded novelist now vaults into the first ranks of international fiction writers with this heroically imaginative novel, which is at once a detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and an excavation of the buried secrets of World War II.
In a Tokyo suburb a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife’s missing cat. Soon he finds himself looking for his wife as well in a netherworld that lies beneath the placid surface of Tokyo. As these searches intersect, Okada encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists: a psychic prostitute; a malevolent yet mediagenic politician; a cheerfully morbid sixteen-year-old-girl; and an aging war veteran who has been permanently changed by the hideous things he witnessed during Japan’s forgotten campaign in Manchuria.”

📚 Le Livre de Perle (2014), by Timothée de Tombelle
Reading with another of my French students.

YA, fantasy, and historical fiction. Yes, all of that together!
This author is very well know in France.
It’s very beautifully written.

📚 L’Énigme de la chambre 622 (2014), by Joël Dicker
Reading in French with the French Book Club (on Discord) – let me know if you want to join. Besides me, the participants are French second language, we do’t correct the mistakes, we just enjoy reading and sharing in French.
The book has been translated in several languages, but not yet in English, I think.

Dicker is the author of The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair.

“Une nuit de décembre, un meurtre a lieu au Palace de Verbier, dans les Alpes suisses. L’enquête de police n’aboutira jamais.
Des années plus tard, au début de l’été 2018, lorsqu’un écrivain se rend dans ce même hôtel pour y passer des vacances, il est loin d’imaginer qu’il va se retrouver plongé dans cette affaire.
Que s’est-il passé dans la chambre 622 du Palace de Verbier?”



  The Readers' Room The Sleepwalkers  

📚The Readers’ Room, by Antoine Laurain
To be published on September 22, 2020 by Gallic Books
Received for review.

I really enjoy Antoine Laurain’s books, such as Vintage 1954, so I’m thrilled I received it for review.

“When the manuscript of a debut crime novel arrives at a Parisian publishing house, everyone in the readers’ room is convinced it’s something special. And the committee for France’s highest literary honour, the Prix Goncourt, agrees.
But when the shortlist is announced, there’s a problem for editor Violaine Lepage: she has no idea of the author’s identity. As the police begin to investigate a series of murders strangely reminiscent of those recounted in the book, Violaine is not the only one looking for answers. And, suffering memory blanks following an aeroplane accident, she’s beginning to wonder what role she might play in the story…
Antoine Laurain, bestselling author of The Red Notebook, combines intrigue and charm in this dazzling novel of mystery, love and the power of books.”

📚 The Sleepwalkers, by Hermann Broch (1932)
This is the book I got for the last Classics Spin.
I know I will not have time to finish it, but I hope to begin it at least.
Details on the link


  Pandemia  Vesper Flights

📚 Pandemia, by Franck Thilliez (2015)
This French author knows how to write thrillers! There are some pretty horrific details at times, but man, this guy knows how to write!!
I decided to read this one, as the details are so so close to what we have been going through with Covid-169, yet he write it 5 years ago!!

Julie disappeared when she was 17.
Twelve years later, her dad, a cop who investigated a lot to find her, wakes up in a hotel room, not remembering anything from the past 12 years, and with ID papers bearing another person’s name. Why? What happened? Who is he? Where’s Julie?
This plot is unbelievable, so clever, with books within the book.

📚 Vesper Flights, by Helen Macdonald (August 27 by Vintage)
Ebook received for review through Netgalley
And I just received it in audio through!!
If you have a blog and love audiobooks, you should check that link to their Influence Program. They have amazing titles this month!

I actually listened to her previous book, H is For Hawk, she’s a great narrator, so I’m really excited about this one.

“From the internationally acclaimed author of H is for Hawk comes Vesper Flights, a transcendent collection of essays about the human relationship to the natural world. In Vesper Flights Helen Macdonald brings together a collection of her best loved pieces, along with new essays on topics and stories ranging from nostalgia and science fiction to the true account of a refugee’s flight to the UK. Her pieces ranges from accounts of swan upping on the Thames to watching tens of thousands of cranes in Hungary to seeking the last golden orioles in Suffolk’s poplar forests. She writes about wild boar, swifts, mushroom hunting, migraines, the strangeness of birds’ nests, what we do when we watch wildlife and why.
This is a book about observation, fascination, time, memory, love and loss and how we make the world around us, by one of this century’s most important and insightful nature writers.”


Listed on the homepage 

List of books I can swap with yours

Review copies (historical novel and horror) available at France Book Tours
And another one will be posted today or tomorrow,
in Middle Grade Historical fiction!


📚 Now the big news for September 29 is my 10th blogiversary!!!
I want to do something special, but don’t know yet exactly what, so come back on September 4 to help me plan this big event!

Eiffel Tower Orange



2020: August wrap-up

August 2020 WRAP-UP

I can’t believe it’s already the end of Summer. I’m already dreading winter…
But it also means lots of other great upcoming books to read. More about that tomorrow.
Let’s focus today on what I just read.
I managed to read 28 books for 20 books of Summer. I hope to have time to post a recap on that on September 3rd.

📚 For now, here is what I read in August.
It’s actually a pathetic 7 books. I thought I had read a lot. So the only explanation is that I’m actually in the process of reading lots of books – for readalongs. So only a few pages a day.
Oh also, I have spent some evening time obsessed by foreign language learning (Italian and Russian)!

I’m glad I participated in Bout of Books and had a great reading week, that helped a bit with the monthly stats.

7 books:
3 in print 
with 1,005 pages, a daily average of 32 pages/day
4 in audio
= 23H29
, a daily average of 45 minutes

5 in mystery:

  1. Il était deux fois, by Franck Thilliez – French audio
  2. The Inugami Curse, by Seishi Yokomizo – ebook, received or review
  3. The Big Four, #5 by Agatha Christie – audio, for The Classics Club
  4. Don’t Look For Me, by Wendy Walker –  for Criminal Element. Review live mid September
  5. Killer Come Back to Me: The Crime Stories of Ray Bradbury – ebook, received or review. Counts for The Classics Club

2 in nonfiction:

  1. The First Book of Kings – audio, for The Classics Club
  2. The Second Book of Kings – audio, for The Classics Club


Killer Come Back to Me Don't Look for Me


Classics Club: 42/50 (from October 2019-until September 2024)
Japanese Literature Challenge: 9 books read

Total of books read in 2020 = 79/110
Number of books added to my TBR this past month = 5


Marie Antoinette's World No Woods So Dark As These The English Grammar Workbook for Adult


The open giveaways are on my homepage

We have 2 books available for reviews on France Book Tours
One is a historical novel with a famous musician in Paris.
The other is a horror novel based on a super famous French classic!
And I’m going to post a third one very soon: a Middle Grade historical novel!


Marie Antoinette's World

click on the cover to access my review
Which shows that negative reviews can bring you lots of readers!!


Classic Spin #24
A book I haven’t even started!!


The Classics Club
please go visit, and why not join if you are not a member yet?


Deb at Readerbuzz
Karen at Booker Talk
Karen at The Simply Blog

please go and visit them,
they have great book blogs


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Come back tomorrow
to see the books I plan to read in September,
and some major milestone!!

Eiffel Tower OrangeEiffel Tower OrangeEiffel Tower Orange

How was YOUR month of August?


Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction
has created a Month In Review meme
where you can link your monthly recap posts
Thanks Nicole!