Reading List 2020

What I’ve read this year. I sample or skim some that aren’t included. Happily, I have lost the compulsion or sense of duty to finish every book I start.

February

Rocket to the Morgue by Anthony Boucher
c1942 Penzler Publishers 2019
clever locked room mystery, cast of Science Fiction writers (thinly disguised Golden Age luminaries), an insouciant, engagingly breezy style
In the lounge car of the Lark, Pullman train from San Francisco to Los Angeles a tall thin man with a pale face and flaming hair sat contentedly with two highballs and a blonde.

The Path To Rome by Hilaire Belloc c1902 Catholic Answers 2015
a charming, eccentric account of a pilgrimage to Rome, walking a straight line (by the map) and writing about whatever he thinks and meets along the way; illustrated with pen and ink sketches by the author

January

Measuring The World by Daniel Kehlmann
translated from the German by Carol Brown Laneway c2005 English translation c2007 Quercus
wonderfully entertaining, witty and intellectualy stimulating (book group)

The Man Who Died by Antti Tuomainen
translated from the Finnish by David Hackston c2016 English translation c2017 Orenda Books
darkly comic mystery, surprisingly warm and hopeful as the poisoned protagonist reflects on his life and Life while solving his murder

Grief Is The Thing With Feathers by Max Porter
c2015 Graywolf Press remarkable, singular, poetic story of loss, grief, recovery

The Lord of the Rings, being The Fellowship Of The Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien
Houghton Mifflin
rewarding and deeply satisfying to revisit

The Wolf Children by Cay Rademacher
translated from the German by Peter Millar c2012 English translation c2017 Arcadia Books
the second in a trilogy of mystery stories set in ruined post-war Hamburg; solid storytelling and a vivid evocation of the city

The Moor: A journey into the English wilderness by William Atkins
c2014 Faber & Faber
a very well written history – natural,human, literary – of the English moorlands; entices one to go for a long tramp

Author: abookwomansholiday

The perfect holiday for a lifelong reader is one with a stack of books and few distractions. Retiring after three decades as a bookseller, I look forward to reading my way through the stacks and shelves and lists of books waiting for me. This blog will be something of a grab bag or commonplace book of reviews, quotations, notes on the history of books, the contemporary book trade, and anything connected with books and language. Reading is a great pleasure. Thinking and talking about books multiplies and intensifies that pleasure.

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