Books read, 2020

In an annual, much-loved ritual (by me, at least), I gather up all the books I read the past year — all the ones still in my possession, that is, which leaves out audiobooks and others borrowed from local libraries — for a photo and a roll call of sorts. (Here’s the 2019 post.) It’s a fun exercise for me and, with them all off my shelves, lets me also shift the ones I no longer want to a sell pile. It should probably be all or almost all of them, but usually it’s more like one-fourth.

You’re encouraged to comment on your own reading for 2020, such as number read, nonfiction vs. fiction, trends in your reading and such. I’m always a bit surprised at the amount of nonfiction this self-defined fiction guy reads; this year it was a bare win for fiction, 27 compared to 26 nonfiction. Almost all my books were published some or many years ago; my only 2019-20 reads were Callaci, Straight, Best SF, Madigan, Mantel and Cummins, with one 2021 book thanks to an advance copy.

1. “Walden and Civil Disobedience,” Henry David Thoreau

2. “Europe Through the Back Door,” Rick Steves

3. “The Golden Man,” Philip K. Dick

4. “The Golden Scorpion,” Sax Rohmer

5. “The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today,” Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner

6. “The Science Fiction Hall of Fame Vol. 1, 1929-1964,” Robert Silverberg, editor

7. “The Fourth Galaxy Reader,” H.L. Gold, editor

8. “Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2019,” Carmen Maria Machado, guest editor

9. “Ecology of Fear,” Mike Davis

10. “Wrath of Fu Manchu,” Sax Rohmer

11. “That’s Amore,” Diana Sholley

12. “Hail, Hail Euphoria!,” Roy Blount Jr.

13. “The Ecstasy of Influence,” Jonathan Lethem

14. “Bob Dylan in America,” Sean Wilentz

15. “Love is a Mix Tape,” Rob Sheffield

16. “100 Cassettes,” Dennis Callaci

17. “Wolf Hall,” Hilary Mantel

18. A Short History of the World,” J.M. Roberts

19. “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” Mark Twain

20. “The Twilight Zone Companion,” Marc Scott Zicree

21. “Death in Venice,” Thomas Mann

22. “Bring Up the Bodies,” Hilary Mantel

23. “Written in My Soul,” Bill Flanagan

24. “Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said,” Philip K. Dick

25. “Crime and Punishment,” Fyodor Dostoevsky

26. “The Prisoner,” Thomas M. Disch

27. “Camp Concentration,” Thomas M. Disch

28. “Extra Innings: Fred Claire’s Journey to City of Hope and Finding a World Championship Team,” Tim Madigan

29. “Sonnets and Narrative Poems,” William Shakespeare

30. “The Comedy of Errors,” William Shakespeare

31. “Love’s Labor’s Lost,” William Shakespeare

32. “Henry VIII,” William Shakespeare

33. “The Mirror & the Light,” Hilary Mantel

34. “In the Country of Women,” Susan Straight

35. “Juliet, Naked,” Nick Hornby

36. “She,” H. Rider Haggard

37. “Leaves of Grass,” Walt Whitman

38. “The Wind in the Willows,” Kenneth Grahame

39. “American Dirt,” Jeanine Cummins

40. “A Handful of Dust,” Evelyn Waugh

41. “Joan Baez: The Last Leaf,” Elizabeth Thomson

42. “Just Kids,” Patti Smith

43. “Younger Than That Now: Collected Interviews With Bob Dylan,” James Ellison, ed.

44. “About Aging,” Josephine Smith

45. “A Good Life,” Ben Bradlee

46. “Larger Than Life: The Playboy Interviews,” Stephen Randall, ed.

47. “Not Dead Yet,” Phil Collins

48. “Eternally Yours,” Jack Smith

49. “Books: A Memoir,” Larry McMurtry

50. “A Passion for Books,” Harold Rabinowitz and Rob Kaplan, editors

51. “My Bookstore,” Reginald Rice, editor

52. “Booked to Die,” John Dunning

53. “Always a Song,” Ellen Harper

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