I finished one final book yesterday to get my total to 71 books for the year. Those 71 books added up to 24,304 pages. That is 13 books and 4700 pages less than last year. While many people have said they read a lot more this year, I struggled to focus on a book during the height of the pandemic. The combo pack of a toxic work environment(via phone during lockdown) and worry about the pandemic made it very hard for me to get to where I needed to be to read a book. I was also down in 2019. Maybe 2021 is the year I get back to my normal level of reading. I’m making no promises. Now. let’s get to the books.
Top ten books in no particular order
- Shakespeare for Squirrels by Christopher Moore – One of the good/bad things for 2020. I got a new book by Chris but my plans to see him in March were done in by the pandemic. This is his latest Pocket book, this time his take on A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream.
- Redshirts by John Scalzi – I finally got to this one. If you watch Star Trek, you know what the fate of a redshirt is. What happens when they figure out what is happening?
- Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse – the start of a great series. A Native fantasy series written by a Native author.
- American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins – This one had controversy, but if you just look at the book alone, it is very good. The story of a woman and her child fleeing her former friend and leader of a drug cartel.
- Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke – When a black lawyer and a local white woman are murdered, black Texas Ranger Darren Mathews is called in to solve the case before racial tensions erupt.
- The City We Became by NK Jemisin – Every city has a soul. New York has five of them. Five strangers, who are the embodiment of the five boroughs of the city must come together to fight an ancient evil.
- Long Bright River by Liz Moore – The story of two sisters: Mickey, a Philadelphia cop and Kacey, a drug addict who lives on the streets. Kacey goes missing at the same time women on the streets are being murdered. It bounces from past to present to tell the story of how they got here.
- The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead – Based on the real story of a reform school that operated for 111 years and warped the lives of thousands of children.
- If It Bleeds by Stephen King – four new novellas, including a new adventure for Holly Gibney. My favorite was the first one, Mr Harrigan’s Phone.
- The Poppy War by RF Kuang – the start of a fantasy series. It start with a poor, peasant girl making it into an elite military school and ends with the beginning of the war.
- From Twinkle With Love by Sandhya Menon – I discovered at one point that a good YA romance is what I needed to break my reading slump. This was that book.
- The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins – I enjoy a good villain origin story
- The Third Twin by CJ Omololu – twins Lexi and Ava made up a third sister when they were kids. As teens they sometimes go on dates as Alicia. When one of the guys Alicia goes out with ends up dead, the evidence points to one suspect -Alicia. but she doesn’t exist…or does she?
- The Law of Innocence by Michael Connelly – Mickey Haller is back, but this time he is the client after he is framed for the murder of a former client. His brother, Harry Bosch joins the team trying to prove his innocence.
Book I would most recommend
The City We Became by NK Jemisin. It is an interesting premise and the only book that compelled me to read during the height of the pandemic.
Worst book I finished
Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera – probably not fair to put this here as I was not the target audience, but when scanning the list it is the one that jumps out at me.
Book I Dustbunnied
I’m going to put two here since I officially gave up on one right before midnight last night. That one was Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline. I was 80 pages in and it was still just a combo of the main character being obsessed with the online world and a new quest and random 80’s references. It is a mess. I also did not finish Moonstone by Wilkie Collins, another book that took too long to get to the point.
It was harder to do the list this year. So many books suffered from my mental state this year. Here’s hoping for a better reading year in 2021.