20 Books of Summer

Most book bloggers love a good reading challenge and I’m no exception. Last week thanks to one of my favorite bloggers, Jean at Howling Frog Books I learned Cathy, of 746 Books is hosting her annual 20 Books of Summer Challenge. The rules are simple and there’s no pressure. Just choose 20 books to read between June 1 and September 3. Nothing is set in stone. You can swap out a book for different one, skip a book or two or even fail to read all the books on your list. You can even cut your list down to 10 or 15. This sounds like a reading challenge I can’t pass up. I’ve selected 21 books, which includes an alternate in case I end up tossing one aside. Truth be told, I’d love nothing better than to read all 21 of these before the end of summer.

  1. A Wicked Company: The Forgotten Radicalism of the European Enlightenment by Philipp Bloom
  2. The Enlightenment: An interpretation; The Rise of Modern Paganism by Peter Gay
  3. The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America by Louis Menand
  4. Twelve Mighty Orphans: The Inspiring True Story of the Mighty Mites Who Ruled Texas Football by Jim Dent
  5. Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon by Daniel Dennett
  6. Hunting Eichmann: How a Band of Survivors and a Young Spy Agency Chased Down the World’s Most Notorious Nazi by Neal Bascomb
  7. The Knowledge Web: From Electronic Agents to Stonehenge and Back — And Other Journeys Through Knowledge by James Burke
  8. A History of Western Morals by Crane Brinton
  9. The Disappearance of God: A Divine Mystery by Richard Elliott Friedman
  10. God’s Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science by James Hannam
  11. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  12. Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny by Robert Wright
  13. The Evolution of God by Robert Wright
  14. Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Scott Anderson
  15. The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas That Have Shaped Our World View by Richard Tarnas
  16. The Case for God by Karen Armstrong
  17. Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative by David Brock
  18. The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor by David S. Landes
  19. The Story of Judaism by Bernard Bamberger
  20. The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam by Douglas Murray
  21. When They Come for Us, We’ll Be Gone: The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry by Gal Beckerman

13 thoughts on “20 Books of Summer

  1. Hey, thanks! That looks like a great list. I really liked God’s Philosophers (because I like anybody who defends the Middle Ages), and that one about Soviet Jewry looks like something I want to read for sure. It will be fun to see how far we get; I’m hoping to finish my list too.


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  3. What a wonderful list! I’m particularly intrigued by A Wicked Company and The Passion of the Western Mind. I’ve borrowed Lawrence in Arabia from the library a few times without actually finishing it but it’s still on the list to return to. I’ll be interested to hear what you think of all of them!


    • Thanks!
      I started Lawrence in Arabia a few years ago but got distracted and desperately want to start it again.
      I might read A Wicked Company and The Passion of the Western Mind sooner than the rest just so you can read my reviews sooner.
      Who knows, I might mix the list up and bit but I wanna read as many as these books as possible!


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