ASK Musings

No matter where you go, there you are.



December 2020



My Year In Books 2020

Written by , Posted in Reviews

I once again hit my reading goal in 2020 – 52 books, one for each week in the year. But even though I had a lot of free time this year, since I no longer had a commute every day, no longer could do most of what I enjoy doing (traveling, going on adventures), I still had a hard time concentrating on books. I would start one and then put it down. I found myself turning to fiction a bit more than usual, reading seven mysteries set in Iceland alone. I also continued reading a lot of books that I characterize as sociology — books on activism, racism, sexism. And made use of audio books much more than in any recent year, taking them in while on the runs that keep me active while we continue with the lock downs in the UK.

I continue to favor books written by women: 38 were written by women; 14 were written by men. Unfortunately, the diversity in race of the authors I read was abysmal: 42 written by white people, eight written by Black people, and two written by Asian people. Last year I also red 42 by white authors, but only two black authors, so I suppose that is a bit of an improvement.

I did travel the world a bit this year, reading books by authors from 10 countries: Australia, Canada, Iceland, India, Ireland, Russia, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, the UK and the US, with the US leading the way at 18 books, followed by the UK with 16 and Iceland with seven. Last year I read authors from 13 countries, but my highest count then was 21 from the US, so this year seems a bit better distributed.

I read 39 non-fiction books and 13 fiction books, seven of which were Icelandic mysteries. I divided books into 15 categories, with sociology and memoir tied for the most common at ten each. I managed to read three ‘travel’ books, which I think were all about various aspects of the the UK.

I only read one 2-star book this year, and was lucky enough to read 10 five-star books, with an average rating of 3.8. So many of these books were great, but I’d have to say that my favorites were:
Catch and Kill
Me and White Supremacy
Hood Feminism
The Guilty Feminist

In terms of books that have stuck with me, I think that The Last, which I read before the pandemic and which is about an apocalyptic event that has stranded guests at a hotel, is right up there. If only I’d known what was in store in March when I finished it… The Guilty Feminist and Hood Feminism both had a huge impact on me, as did Me and White Supremacy.

As for the coming year, I have a lot of unread books on my shelves, so I’m going to dive into those, and then see where the year takes me.

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