I try always to carry a book with me for those times when I anticipate or fear I might have to wait – the doctor’s office, obviously, but to smooth all those little gap times between the activities in a day too.
“Waiting” is what this past year has been about and books have helped a lot. I read more, though not as much as I thought I would. Streaming K-Dramas helped a lot too, and going for walks. And of course, food must be prepared and the house cleaned even when largely housebound, so, all in all, more books were read but not an especially large total.
I read 77 books in 2020, 25 non-fiction and 52 fiction. 28 titles were works translated into English. The desire for escapist entertainment must account for the number of mysteries in the list, but the quality was generally quite high across all genres. It was a bit hard to pick only ten for the years’ “best” list. See the Post ‘Reading List 2020’ for more information on each book.
10+3 Favorites for 2020
A House in the Mountains by Caroline Moorhead
Black Count by Tom Reiss
Enemy of All Mankind by Steven Johnson
The Anatomy of a Moment by Javier Cercas (transl. Spanish)
The Return by Hisham Matar
Journey by Moonlight by Antal Szerb (transl. Hungarian)
Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Doblin (transl. German)
Death is Hard Work by Khaled Khalifa (transl. Arabic)
Darkness At Noon by Arthur Koestler (transl. German)
Measuring The World by Daniel Kehlmann (transl. German)
I reread The Lord of the Rings trilogy and must put it in the “always a favorite” category.
Special recognition in the ‘just plain fun’ category for The Glorious Hussar by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Best new-to-me mystery discovery is Death On Demand by Paul Thomas. The earlier titles in the short series aren’t readily available here. I liked this so much I sent to a bookseller in New Zealand for copies of the other four novels featuring Maori Detective Ihaka. The internet is good for some things!