Open the sparkling water, the first half of the year 2020 is over! We haven’t run out of toilet paper, we have mastered the art of wearing a face mask and looking stylish in it, and we’ve managed to get through some books during quarantine – though not as many as I had hoped for, because: homeschooling. It’s time to look back at what I have managed to read so far and take a look at the challenges that I’ve pledged to participate in, it’s also time to come up with the very tentative TBR for July.

My Goodreads Challenge says I’ve read 131 books out of the 200 I want to read this year. Not bad! Actually, it’s probably a few more that I just forgot to add because they were textbooks or non-fiction. Do I remember what all of them were about? I’d like to shout “Yes, of course!” Honestly though?! I remember the outstandingly good ones, I remember some really bad ones, and I know I read a lot of stuff in between. If you asked me what the best read of the past six months was, I’d probably say my re-read of the Veronica Speedwell series culminating in the most recent fifth book of this series A Murderous Relation – comfort read more than anything else. I knew what I was in for and I liked every letter of it. But, I might also point you to Gideon the Ninth, or The Lost Future of Pepperharrow, or Why We Sleep, and even the most recent ones Goldilocks and If It Bleeds stick out of the pile of read books.

At the beginning of the year I signed up for several bookish challenges, like read one book set in each of the 51 European countries, or read as many books by a certain author for a month, or following a set of prompts for the seasons of the year, or a prompt for each month, and so on. A few weeks back I decided that I don’t want to do any prompted challenges at the moment. The only goal I still want to stick to is read 200 books, which I think is an achievable goal for me. I even deleted all my records of the books I had already entered for the other challenges with prompts. It felt liberating, like that time I decided to pull the bookmarks out of books that had been hibernating on the shelves for too long. Not having to find books and read them because the fit a certain prompt in a challenge felt too constricting right now. This way I can pick what I fancy, which is just what I like doing so much.

As always, the tentative TBR is made up of the mountain of ARCs that I requested (why so many, though?!) and was approved for (Yay! Thank you publishers!). Add the mountain of books that I have started and want to get through – Godsgrave is among them, also Dev1at3, These Broken Stars (I’m not a fangirl, it’s pure coincidence), Dreyer’s English, Alphabetical, Sorry I’m Late, … I know I won’t finish them all, but a girl may dream.

The only solidly planned read for the month is the Sceptre Buddyread: M. John Harrison’s The Sunken Land Begins To Rise Again. Though, furthermore, there’s Glücklich die Glücklichen by Yasmina Reza (translation from the French) for my postal book club; and a possibly maybe read for the Terry Pratchett book club I’m hosting on Litsy (a very bookish app, the webversion can be found here: Litsy.com) is Johnny and the Bomb, which we’ll be discussing on July 7th, and from July 8th on we’ll be reading Pratchett’s Jingo. While we’re at it and since we’re nearly done with the Dev1at3 buddyread, TheLadyDuckOfDoom and I might follow that up with the just released final book in the trilogy, Truel1f3.

So much for a tentative TBR, this all sounds like a very well-planned adventure. Let’s see if I fancy sticking to it.