10 Books of Summer

read under a tree signage hanging on branch tree

Last year I participated in the 20 / 15 / 10 Books of Summer challenge hosted by 746 Books and it was a great success for me, so I’m joining again. I used the opportunity to cross-reference other challenges or reading goals, and I’ll take that approach this time too. I’m going to list specific books but I might swap some titles, while trying to still meet those challenges!

  • Grimbold’s Other World by Nicholas Stuart Gray for Reading the Meow
  • The Brain that Changes Itself by Norman Doidge for Nonfiction Reader
  • Savor by Fatima Ali for Nonfiction Reader
  • All the Beauty in the World by Patrick Bringley for Nonfiction Reader
  • Momo by Michael Ende for Summer in Other Languages
  • Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert for Summer in Other Languages
  • Eva Luna by Isabel Allende for StoryGraph Reads the World
  • Running in the Family by Michael Ondaatje for StoryGraph Reads the World
  • Well That Was Unexpected by Jesse Q Suntano for StoryGraph Reads the World

Summer in Other Languages is my personal challenge to read more books in languages other than my native tongue (French and German, in my case). It’s a very casual thing, but feel free to join in!

For the last few years I’ve gotten to do a buddy/group read in French with Emma of Words and Peace, and that’s been extremely helpful in keeping me motivated with that language. Last year I mentioned to her my ambition to finally read Madame Bovary in the original, and I hope we’ll get to read together again. If anyone wants to join, let me know. Naturally, you are welcome to read in translation, too, but if Emma sets up a discussion group again it will be in French.

Do you have plans for your summer reading? Any particular countries or languages you want to visit?

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24 thoughts on “10 Books of Summer

  1. I’ve read Momo by Michael Ende, Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, and Eva Luna Isabel Allende in translation and Momo in the original German and Eva Luna in Spanish. I don’t plan out my reading like I used to but I am trying to get back into reading things in other languages more. I’m best with reading Spanish, followed by German (my grandfather was a native speaker), and finally can muddle along in French.

    1. I envy you that variety and fluency! I’m still struggling in French and German, but I do make progress, if slowly.

  2. I always try to combine challenges too – There’ll be Stu’s Span/Portugal one and of course #WITMonth in August – which fits in with the summer in other languages too.

      1. It’s great to celebrate literature in translation too. I need to read more translated from Spanish/Portuguese.

  3. Gosh, what a great list and Madame Bovary too. I have that on my classics list but I think it’s going to take me months to read! I love the name Summer in other Languages. Happy Reading!

    1. I’m giving myself the whole summer to read it. It has three parts so that will fit well. Reading classics in small bits has worked for me in the past!

    1. I am not sure I have enough either, but I am going to make the attempt! It’s also possible to read in translation and join in the Discord discussion, which will be easy French.

  4. The Brain that Changes Itself is one of the titles that really pops out to me from your list! But so many good ones here. I’ll look forward to hearing which books stand out the most to you.

    1. I’ve been trying to read that one for a while and got bogged down in the chapter about porn addiction (not consoling bedtime reading). But I hope to make it through this summer. It is really fascinating information.

  5. Nice list! I’m not reading in any other languages but I’m going to America (several times), Saudi Arabia, Ireland, Mexico, Africa in general (Kenya in particular), the homes of various Indigenous communities, Australia via Egypt and Sweden through my 20 Books this year! Happy reading!

  6. I can’t believe it’s already time to think of summer reading! Madame Bovary in French sounds like a great challenge for the summer. I usually focus on middle grade over the summer, so but I’ve yet to pick any specific titles.

  7. The Brain That Changes Itself is one of my all-time favourite non-fiction books, so I hope you get a lot out of it too. All the Beauty in the World hit my radar during last years non-fic November lists – it sounds great too.

  8. I’d love to start reading more books in foreign languages, but I’ll have to start off with some very simple ones for now 🤣 Your list sounds fantastic! Madame Bovary was an interesting read for me. Good luck with your reading goals!

  9. Madame Bovary is a fabulous choice. It’s apparently a very tricky novel to translate so if you can read in the original you’ll probably get the best experience

    1. I’m enjoying it so far! I am sure I will not grasp all the subtleties of Flaubert’s language, as I struggle merely with the first level of meaning. But hopefully my French-speaking colleague can help there.

        1. It’s something I’ve wanted to be able to do for a long time. In college I studied French up to the advanced level but I cheated by reading the hard books (like MB) in translation! Now I can try to redeem myself.

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