Reading Roundup: 2020

 In 2020 I read 122 books; that's 12 more books than I read in 2019 (see this post). I set a goal to read one book of poetry a month, and the 11 I did read just about made up the difference (although I counted the March trilogy as one thing, so I guess I could say I really read 124 individual books). I read 27 books by men, 92 books by women, and 3 books with mixed authorship. There were a few more books with multiple authors, but if the authors were the same gender, I counted them with that gender.  I read 78 books of fiction, 33 nonfiction, and 11 poetry collections.

The breakdown between fiction and nonfiction has remained pretty consistent for the last thirteen years that I've been keeping track of my reading. So has the breakdown between male and female authors. As I was counting up my totals, I started to feel a bit worried about the fact that I always read more fiction and always read more books by women. But why should I worry if I know what I like? I can still support the existence of male authors and nonfiction books without reading a bunch of them. I've officially decided to stop worrying too much about the proportions of books that I have read. 

I am, however, proud of the diversity in the books I did read this year. First of all, I set a goal to read more poetry and I almost managed to read one poetry book a month. A few were smaller books by Mormon authors who are friends of mine, and some were nationally published. I did manage to read a variety of poets as far as age, gender, and nationality go. This year I also feel like I read a bit more widely in the sense of reading mysteries, romances, literary fiction, graphic novels, memoirs, young adult fiction, fantasy, and so on. I also made an effort to read more books by non-white authors, and I read three books in Spanish (the first time I'd read anything in Spanish for a number of years). 

This year I'm keeping my goal to read more poetry and to read more books in Spanish. I'm also going to try and read more diverse authors, especially those coming from outside the UK and the US. Perhaps I'll read more nonfiction this year, but maybe I won't. We'll see how things go. 

In no particular order, the books I liked most this year are:

Fiction

 The Overstory by Richard Powers

Scary Stories for Young Foxes by Christian McKay Heidicker

Your House Will Pay by Steph Cha

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

 The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue
 
Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell 

Beach Read by Emily Henry

Furia by Yamile Saied Martinez

Nonfiction 

Audience of One: Donald Trump, Television, and the Fracturing of America by James Poniezowik

Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language by Gretchen McCulloch

How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell 

The Ungrateful Refugee: What Immigrants Never Tell You by Dina Nayeri

 
 
 
 
Vesper Flights by Helen Macdonald
 
 
Memoir  

Know My Name by Chanel Miller

March: Books 1-3 by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei 

The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom

Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir by Natasha Trethewey

Poetry

Homespun and Angel Feathers by Darlene Young

An American Sunrise by Joy Harjo

An Imperfect Roundness by Melody Newey Johnson
 
Native Guard by Natasha Trethewey
 
Song of Names: A Mormon Mosaic by James Goldberg and Ardis E. Parshall

Movies

I didn't think I had watched very many movies this year, but it turns out that I wrote down 60 (it's probably actually 59 since Little Women was on there twice because I watched it in the theater and then again in December). I think I feel like I didn't watch as many movies because I often watched too much bad TV (way too many episodes of Criminal Minds) instead of movies when I was by myself. This year I spent a lot more time with the kids watching both new things and re-watching things they like. I did still have some favorites:

Chernobyl

Blinded by the Light

The Pianist

A Hidden Life

O.J.: Made in America 

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

 
 
 
 

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