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.
- SabrinaNick Drsano
- Before The Coffee Goes ColdToshikazu Kawaguchi
- Through A LifeTom Haugomat
- The Psychology of Time TravelKate Mascareles
- The Course of LoveAlain de Botton
- FélicieGeorges Simenon
- Pietr The LatvianGeorges Simenon
- A Man's HeadGeorges Simenon
- A Crime In HollandGeorges Simenon
- Hot MilkDeborah Levy
- The Late Monsieur GalletGeorges Simenon
- Reasons To Stay AliveMatt Haig
- Find Your Way. Make A Living...Gavin Strange
- Humankind: A Hopeful HistoryRutger Bregman
- Owls Of The Eastern IceJonathan C. Slaght
- XtabethDavid Keenan
- The Steppe And Other StoriesAnton Chekhov
- Crime And PunishmentFyodor Dostoevsky
- A Million Little PiecesJames Grey
- Notes On A Nervous PlanetMatt Haig
- Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?Raymond Carver
- WinteringKatherine May
- The Shepherd's LifeJames Rebanks
- RumblefishS. E. Hinton
- That Was Then, This Is NowS. E. Hinton
- This Is WaterDavid Foster Wallace
- How I Learned To Understand The WorldHans Rosling
- Daisy Jones & The SixTaylor Jenkins-Reid
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