Wednesday, January 13, 2021

My Year In Books, 2020


It’s time for my annual reading wrap-up. A much more fun topic than everything that’s going on in the world right now.

In 2020 I “consumed” (more on why I used that word in a moment) 117 books, 9 more than last year. The largest category was mystery/thriller at 46%. 15% of the books I read were in the non-fiction category, up 10% from last year.

I used the word “consumed” and not read because I’ve added audiobooks to my list. I listened to 19 of them last year (usually when I’m working on a painting or macramé project). Most of those were the audio versions of the Dark Shadows books by Marilyn Ross, originally published in the 1960s/70s. Enjoyable stories and quite different at times from the storylines in the soap opera.

In my December 16, 2020 post I gave a number of recommendations here for books I read last year. I won’t repeat those. You can see them here:

I read 4 books about the 1918 pandemic last year. They all have something to recommend them. Some delve deeper into the science and the state of medicine at the time. Others center on what was going on in the world at the time and the social reaction/cost. If you only read one, I’d go for “Very, Very, Very Dreadful: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918” by Albert Marrin. I found that one the most interesting to read.

In the mystery category, the majority of them were cozies. Of those, my favorites were the Postmistress mysteries by Jean Flowers aka Camille Minichino and the Sylvia Stryker mysteries by Diane Vallere, set in space. Yes, I still consider them cozies because they really have a cozy feel in an unusual setting. If you like cats in your cozies, I recommend the Nick and Nora mysteries by T.C. LoTempio. I also re-read several Agatha Christie books. For whatever reason, I find her comforting. Even though she’s often put in the cozy category, I don’t think all of her books belong there.

In the kids category, I particularly enjoyed The Greystone Secrets books by Margaret Peterson Haddix. Two of them are out with the 3rd coming out in April. Looking forward to it. These really need to be read in order.

In the scifi/speculative fiction category, besides the Thursday Next novels mentioned in a previous post, I also enjoyed the Maze Runner series. And, yes, I watched the movies as well. The first movie adhered pretty closely to the novel, but the others veered away from the book story lines quite a bit.

There are so many other good books I read last year, most of which I would recommend. I only gave up on 1 book last year. Pretty unusual for me to stop reading. Even if I think the book is so-so, I’ll generally finish it. You can learn a lot about writing from reading the books you don’t like (and figuring out why you don’t like them) as well as those you do like.

That’s it for my reading wrap-up. Onto another topic next time.

I’m curious, did you find yourself reading more last year than in previous years?

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