January 1, 2021

Garfunklr 2020

My year in reading.

2020 was a shit year and I’m glad to see the back of it. Started the year regularly visiting Belper library and got into Simenon/Maigret as they had a display on. Got through a few of those just before lockdown.

In November my brain went haywire and my body shut down and I became a shell of a human being. While my daughter was at school I would sit in the box room where we keep all our books, and just read very slowly all day. Pretty much half of the reading I did this year I did between mid-November and New Years Eve.

Read my first Chekhov which was very very special, and really did make me feel lighter and calmer. Katherine May’s Wintering came right on time, and helped me reframe what was happening to me into something less terrifying and more natural. I now recommend The Shepherd’s Life to anyone struggling with life.

While wondering if I would ever go outside again, I remembered when I went to France to build a sheep shelter at a chateau and found a copy of The Outsiders on a shelf in the hall which I read in one night while drinking bourbon. So I ordered a bunch more S.E. Hinton.

David Foster Wallace’s This Is Water is a transcription of a commencement speech he gave at a college. It’s a pocket sized book that can be read in no time at all. I feel like I will always keep it close. I love that man’s mind, and this is a wonderful lesson in compassionate thinking. Full list of books I read in 2020 follows below the recording of that speech.

  1. Sabrina
    Nick Drsano
  2. Before The Coffee Goes Cold
    Toshikazu Kawaguchi
  3. Through A Life
    Tom Haugomat
  4. The Psychology of Time Travel
    Kate Mascareles
  5. The Course of Love
    Alain de Botton
  6. FĂ©licie
    Georges Simenon
  7. Pietr The Latvian
    Georges Simenon
  8. A Man's Head
    Georges Simenon
  9. A Crime In Holland
    Georges Simenon
  10. Hot Milk
    Deborah Levy
  11. The Late Monsieur Gallet
    Georges Simenon
  12. Reasons To Stay Alive
    Matt Haig
  13. Find Your Way. Make A Living...
    Gavin Strange
  14. Humankind: A Hopeful History
    Rutger Bregman
  15. Owls Of The Eastern Ice
    Jonathan C. Slaght
  16. Xtabeth
    David Keenan
  17. The Steppe And Other Stories
    Anton Chekhov
  18. Crime And Punishment
    Fyodor Dostoevsky
  19. A Million Little Pieces
    James Grey
  20. Notes On A Nervous Planet
    Matt Haig
  21. Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?
    Raymond Carver
  22. Wintering
    Katherine May
  23. The Shepherd's Life
    James Rebanks
  24. Rumblefish
    S. E. Hinton
  25. That Was Then, This Is Now
    S. E. Hinton
  26. This Is Water
    David Foster Wallace
  27. How I Learned To Understand The World
    Hans Rosling
  28. Daisy Jones & The Six
    Taylor Jenkins-Reid

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