HITS & MISSES : MY 2020 READING YEAR

In this year of accursed years, whose events have unfurled like bad writing for a television series that went off the rails a few seasons back and I would’ve ditched if we weren’t living it, I am indebted to the authors and books that offered solace, refuge, a safe harbor. The books that shepherded me through the tumultuous news cycle, provided companionship through the pandemic, while trying to reckon with ….. the   slew of other dreadful happenings that marked this year. I’m beholden to the books that enticed me to think harder, to be present, the books that convinced me again and again there are worse things than solitude, books whose language, vitality, and mindfuckery made me feel alive, still, and grateful to be so, mostly. Year In Reading: Anne K. Yoder  Posted: 13 Dec 2020 08:00 AM PST

The above passage from The Millions sums up 2021 perfectly, I thought.

One of the few good things about the 2020 global lockdowns was that book sales rocketed upwards by 50% as the world caught up on its reading.  I read far more books this year than I usually do, not that reading is a competitive sport, I hasten to add.

My Book Budget was shattered to smithereens around about May month, and my book buying continues to expand vigorously; and yet, life lurches on. Maybe setting a Book Budget is a fruitless exercise?

I’ve listed the hits and the misses below. Do share your year-end lists or views.

BEST NOVEL

Girl, Woman, Other – Bernardine Evaristo

BEST FANTASY

The Starless Sea – Erin Morgenstern

BEST AFRICAN NOVEL

The Old Drift – Namwali Serpell

BEST TRANSLATED NOVELS

The Shallows – Ingrid Winterbach,  Translator – Michiel Heyns

Celestial Bodies – Jokha Alharthi, Translator – Marilynne Booth

BEST WRITING

The Broken Road – Patrick Leigh Fermor

NOTABLE, ENJOYABLE READS

Miss Benson’s Beetle – Rachel Joyce

The Bear – Andrew Krivak

Akin – Emma Donoghue

Cutting for Stone – Abraham Verghese

Actress – Anne Enright

BEST MEMOIR

Travel Light, Move Fast – Alexandra Fuller

THE MOST CHALLENGING READ

North & South – Mrs E Gaskell

BEST SHORT STORIES

A Manual for Cleaning Women – Lucia Berlin

BEST SERIES (e-books)

The Sophie Katz crime series – Kyra Davis

BEST NON-FICTION

The Boy Behind the Curtain – Tim Winton

THE MISSES

84K – Claire North

Ducks, Newburyport – Lucy Ellman

Kintu – Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

The Road – Cormac McCarthy

5 thoughts on “HITS & MISSES : MY 2020 READING YEAR

  1. When I read that quote at the beginning of your post, Alison, I thought it was written by you! 🙂 It was brilliantly written! 🙂

    Well done on reading so much. Stuff the book budget! We all have to find our sources of joy, contentment, bliss, inspiration, comfort, healing… wherever we can. Looks like 2021 is not off to a good start. I’m tiptoeing towards midnight on Thursday with much trepidation.

    Liked by 1 person

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