Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Summer 2020 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Hello, I hope you’re all having a nice week so far and enjoying what you’re reading just now! I’m having a tough time with hayfever at the moment so I’m a bit miserable. I have to deal with chronic illness and pain and when summer comes around and the horrendous hayfever starts it just feels like a bit too much, and definitely at the moment when it seems like there are so many bad things happening in the world. However, as ever, books are my distraction and what keeps me going! So here are eleven (I couldn’t help it) of the books on my Summer 2020 TBR. I haven’t put in any of the nonfiction I plan to read as I may do a whole other list for that! I also added in a cheeky two rereads I want to do! There’s just so many amazing books I want to read this summer – it was so hard to narrow it down!

1. The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard

Summary:

I was the girl who survived the Nothing Man.
Now I am the woman who is going to catch him…

You’ve just read the opening pages of The Nothing Man, the true crime memoir Eve Black has written about her obsessive search for the man who killed her family nearly two decades ago.

Supermarket security guard Jim Doyle is reading it too, and with each turn of the page his rage grows. Because Jim was – is – the Nothing Man.

The more Jim reads, the more he realises how dangerously close Eve is getting to the truth. He knows she won’t give up until she finds him. He has no choice but to stop her first…

Why I Want To Read It:

I’ve read Catherine Ryan Howard’s work before so I’m really excited to read her latest, especially as it sounds so intense and brilliant. The premise is so original and I can’t wait to see what happens in this thriller.

2. Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis

Summary:

Lola Nox is the daughter of a celebrated horror filmmaker – she thinks nothing can scare her. But when her father is brutally attacked in their New York apartment, she’s swiftly packed off to live with a grandmother she’s never met in Harrow Lake, the eerie town where her father’s most iconic horror movie was shot.

The locals are weirdly obsessed with the film that put their town on the map – and there are strange disappearances, which the police seem determined to explain away.

And there’s someone – or something – stalking Lola’s every move.

The more she discovers about the town, the more terrifying it becomes. Because Lola’s got secrets of her own. And if she can’t find a way out of Harrow Lake, they might just be the death of her…

Why I Want To Read It:

I have been looking forward to reading this one for what seems like ages and I cannot wait to finally read it later this month. I don’t read a lot of horror because I’m a scaredy-cat but I couldn’t resist this one. How spooky is the cover? Plus I haven’t heard a bad word about this book which makes me even more excited to get to it.

3. The Thief on the Winged Horse by Kate Mascarenhas

Summary:

The Kendrick family have been making world-famous dolls since the early 1800s. But their dolls aren’t coveted for the craftmanship alone. Each one has a specific emotion laid on it by its creator. A magic that can make you feel bucolic bliss or consuming paranoia at a single touch. Though founded by sisters, now only men may know the secrets of the workshop. 

Persephone Kendrick longs to break tradition and learn the family craft, and when a handsome stranger arrives claiming doll-making talent and a blood tie to the Kendricks, she sees a chance to grasp all she desires. 

But then, one night, the family’s most valuable doll is stolen. Only someone with knowledge of magic could have taken her. Only a Kendrick could have committed this crime…

Why I Want To Read It:

It was the gorgeous title and cover which first drew me to this one and when I read the blurb I was totally hooked. It sounds so interesting and just the sort of magical story I will really enjoy.

4. If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha

Summary:

If I Had Your Face plunges us into the mesmerizing world of contemporary Seoul – a place where extreme plastic surgery is as routine as getting a haircut, where women compete for spots in secret ‘room salons’ to entertain wealthy businessmen after hours, where K-Pop stars are the object of all-consuming obsession, and ruthless social hierarchies dictate your every move. 

Navigating this hyper-competitive city are four young women balancing on the razor-edge of survival: Kyuri, an exquisitely beautiful woman whose hard-won status at an exclusive ‘room salon’ is threatened by an impulsive mistake with a client; her flatmate Miho, an orphan who wins a scholarship to a prestigious art school in New York, where her life becomes tragically enmeshed with the super-wealthy offspring of the Korean elite; Wonna, their neighbour, pregnant with a child that she and her husband have no idea how they will afford to raise in a fiercely competitive economy; and Ara, a hair stylist living down the hall, whose infatuation with a fresh-faced K-Pop star drives her to violent extremes. 

Why I Want To Read It:

This one has been on my list for a long time and I’m so looking forward to reading it. I love when a book exposes me to something I know nothing about and the world of K-Pop and plastic surgery is definitely that. It sounds like a wonderfully tense and extreme book that I just know is going to be a great read.

5. True Story by Kate Reed Petty

Summary:

After a college party, two boys drive a girl home: drunk and passed out in the back seat. Rumours spread about what they did to her, but later they’ll tell the police a different version of events. Alice will never remember what truly happened. Her fracture runs deep, hidden beneath cleverness and wry humour. Nick – a sensitive, misguided boy who stood by – will never forget.

That’s just the beginning of this extraordinary journey into memory, fear and self-portrayal. Through university applications, a terrifying abusive relationship, a fateful reckoning with addiction and a final mind-bending twist, Alice and Nick will take on different roles to each other – some real, some invented – until finally, brought face to face once again, the secret of that night is revealed.

Why I Want To Read It:

There’s been so much buzz around True Story and it sounds like a timely, incredibly original and fascinating book. I have no idea what it will be like and that only makes me more intrigued to read it.

6. Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Summary:

In a small town in Sweden it appears to be an ordinary day. But look more closely, and you’ll see a mysterious masked figure approaching a bank…

Two hours later, chaos has descended. A bungled attempted robbery has developed into a hostage situation – and the offender is refusing to communicate their demands to the police.

Within the building, fear quickly turns to irritation for the seven strangers trapped inside. If this is to be their last day on earth, shouldn’t it be a bit more dramatic?

But as the minutes tick by, they begin to suspect that the criminal mastermind holding them hostage might be more in need of rescuing than they are…

Why I Want To Read It:

Backman is one of my auto-read authors so this one’s a no brainer. It sounds amazing, his books are always wonderful and that’s all I needed to know to snap it up on Netgalley.

7. Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Summary:

The limits of fifteen-year-old Kambili’s world are defined by the high walls of her family estate and the dictates of her fanatically religious father. Her life is regulated by schedules: prayer, sleep, study, prayer.

When Nigeria is shaken by a military coup, Kambili’s father, involved mysteriously in the political crisis, sends her to live with her aunt. In this house, noisy and full of laughter, she discovers life and love – and a terrible, bruising secret deep within her family.

This extraordinary debut novel from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’, is about the blurred lines between the old gods and the new, childhood and adulthood, love and hatred – the grey spaces in which truths are revealed and real life is lived.

Why I Want To Read It:

I read the wonderful review that Emer, over at A Little Haze Book Blog, posted of this book and she made it sound so phenomenal that I had to buy it! (You can read her review here). I’m so looking forward to reading it this summer.

8. To Cook a Bear by Michael Niemi

Summary:

It is 1852, and in Sweden’s far north, deep in the Arctic Circle, charismatic preacher and Revivalist Lars Levi Læstadius impassions a poverty-stricken congregation with visions of salvation. But local leaders have reason to resist a shift to temperance over alcohol.

Jussi, the young Sami boy Læstadius has rescued from destitution and abuse, becomes the preacher’s faithful disciple on long botanical treks to explore the flora and fauna. Læstadius also teaches him to read and write – and to love and fear God. 

When a milkmaid goes missing deep in the forest, the locals suspect a predatory bear is at large. A second girl is attacked, and the sheriff is quick to offer a reward for the bear’s capture. Using early forensics and Daguerrotype, Læstidius and Jussi find clues that point to a far worse killer on the loose, even as they are unaware of the evil closing in around them.

Why I Want To Read It:

This one only came onto my radar quite recently and I was so intrigued I had to request it on Netgalley. I’m obsessed with bears so honestly the bear on the cover was enough to make me want to read it but it sounds like such a different and interesting book. I love historical settings and I cannot wait to find out what this book will be like.

9. Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson

Summary:

Monday Charles is missing, and only Claudia seems to notice. Claudia and Monday have always been inseparable—more sisters than friends. So when Monday doesn’t turn up for the first day of school, Claudia’s worried.

When she doesn’t show for the second day, or second week, Claudia knows that something is wrong. Monday wouldn’t just leave her to endure tests and bullies alone. Not after last year’s rumors and not with her grades on the line. Now Claudia needs her best—and only—friend more than ever. But Monday’s mother refuses to give Claudia a straight answer, and Monday’s sister April is even less help.

As Claudia digs deeper into her friend’s disappearance, she discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing that she’s gone?

Why I Want To Read It:

I loved Allegedly by Jackson when I listened to the audiobook a while back so I am planning on reading all of her work and Monday’s Not Coming sounds so fantastic. Allegedly was an incredibly memorable, shocking and impactful book and I’m hoping this will be too.

10. Belladonna by Anbara Salam

Summary:

It is summer, 1956, when fifteen-year-old Bridget first meets Isabella. In their conservative Connecticut town, Isabella is a breath of fresh air. She is worldly, alluring and brazen: an enigma.

When they receive an offer to study at the Academy in Italy, Bridget is thrilled. This is her ticket to Europe and – better still – a chance to spend nine whole months with her glamorous and unpredictable best friend.

There, lodged in a convent of nuns who have taken a vow of silence, the two girls move towards a passionate but fragile intimacy. As the year rolls on, Bridget grows increasingly fearful that she will lose Isabella’s affections – and the more desperate she gets, the greater the lengths she will go to keep her.

Belladonna is a hypnotizing coming-of age story set against the stunning and evocative backdrop of rural Northern Italy. Anbara Salam tells a story of friendship and obsession, desire and betrayal, and the lies we tell in order to belong. 

Why I Want To Read It:

This sounds like the perfect book for summer and also ideal to read during Pride month plus the cover completely drew me in. The setting sounds incredible and basically I’ve been looking forward to this book for quite a few months!

11. The Wicked Sister by Karen Dionne

Summary:

You have been cut off from society for fifteen years, shut away in a mental hospital in self-imposed exile as punishment for the terrible thing you did when you were a child.

But what if nothing about your past is as it seems?

And if you didn’t accidentally shoot and kill your mother, then whoever did is still out there. Waiting for you.

For a decade and a half, Rachel Cunningham has chosen to lock herself away in a psychiatric facility, tortured by gaps in her memory and the certainty that she is responsible for her parents’ deaths. But when she learns new details about their murders, Rachel returns, in a quest for answers, to the place where she once felt safest: her family’s sprawling log cabin in the remote forests of Michigan.

As Rachel begins to uncover what really happened on the day her parents were murdered, she learns – as her mother did years earlier – that home can be a place of unspeakable evil, and that the bond she shares with her sister might be the most poisonous of all.

Why I Want To Read It:

I love a great thriller and The Wicked Sister sounds like exactly that. The story makes me want to drop everything and read it now and now we are getting properly into summer I can finally read this brilliant sounding book.

Rereads I want to do this Summer:

Beloved by Toni Morrison

Summary:

It is the mid-1800s and as slavery looks to be coming to an end, Sethe is haunted by the violent trauma it wrought on her former enslaved life at Sweet Home, Kentucky. Her dead baby daughter, whose tombstone bears the single word, Beloved, returns as a spectre to punish her mother, but also to elicit her love. Told with heart-stopping clarity, melding horror and beauty, Beloved is Toni Morrison’s enduring masterpiece.

Why I Want to Reread It:

I read Beloved over a decade ago and I think it is high time to read it again. I know it’s going to be a tough read because I remember how impactful it was but I keep seeing it on my bookshelf and I want to experience reading the wonderful Toni Morrison as an adult instead of a teenager.

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Summary:

When four graduates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their centre of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome but that will define his life forever.

Why I Want to Reread It:

I have no idea why I want to read this again because it destroyed me completely, but I do. It’s such a powerful book and I feel the need to read it again with the knowledge of the story and appreciate the incredible writing properly instead of just crying constantly.

—————————————————————-

Well that’s it for this week! I really hope you enjoyed my list and I would love to know your thoughts on it so please let’s chat in the comments! And do leave a link to your list too – I can’t wait to read what everyone else has planned for their summer TBR! Everyone stay safe and happy reading.

xxx

34 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Summer 2020 TBR

  1. Emer @alittlehazebookblog says:

    Adichie 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻 Oh I will never not sing the praises of her writing. I lpv3 her so much 😊😊 I feel you on the summer misery. People always say your pain should be more manageable in the summer heat and I’m like eh no! I get over heated so quickly, feel like I can’t catch my breath and yup,,,hay fever 🙄🙄🙄 I like spring and autumn. The less extreme the weather the better 😊😊😊 Best of luck with your summer TBR Christine 💜💚💙❤️🧡 I’m really curious to read If I Had Your Face. It sounds intriguing

    Liked by 1 person

    • lifewithallthebooks says:

      I can’t wait to read it – it sounds incredible! I can completely understand leaving A Little Life for now – it is heartbreaking and seriously emotionally hard going book – it’s fantastic but it may be better to save it for another time! 💛

      Like

  2. lydiaschoch says:

    Hayfever is awful. I sure hope you feel better soon (and find an allergy medication that works for you, if you use meds for this).

    Beloved is a wonderful story. You’re making me want to reread it, too.

    My TTT .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Barb @ Booker T's Farm says:

    Wow, some new books here for me. I need to add The Wicked Sister and True Story to my wishlist as well as The Nothing Man. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Carol says:

    So many great possibilities! I requested an ARC of Anxious People but it’s been pending for 3 weeks so I’m losing hope 😩 Backman is an auto buy author for me too!

    Like

  5. Holliehocks says:

    I haven’t really heard of any of these except for Monday’s Not Coming which I found out about recently and hope to find a copy of soon! I hope you get to feeling better and enjoy your reading!

    Like

  6. Holly says:

    I’ve been meaning to reread Beloved soon as well–I haven’t read it since high school, and I feel like it would hit even harder now. Great list!

    Like

  7. Lin @ The Reader of a Thousand Stars says:

    Wonderful List! I haven’t heard of any of these before, but now I have a list of books to get my hands on! 😊
    Harrow Lake sounds so spooky?? And the cover makes it even more spooky??? But I still want to read it??? I FEEL LIKE I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS!
    but I also don’t want to know. I’m such a scaredy cat. 😂
    I hope you enjoy all of these reads, and I hope you feel better soon!
    Happy Reading!! ❤

    Like

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