As of today (11th December) I have completed my reading challenge for 2020! I started with the aim of reading 52 books this year but increased it to 125, and at about 4.45, I finished my 125th book (Sally Magnusson’s The Ninth Child).
I’ve been trying to read a diverse range of books, both in terms of authors and types of books. I think I’ve managed this quite well, although poetry is still the most overlooked genre.
Of the 24 non-fiction books I read this year, I can’t really choose a favourite – on the whole they were really interesting. I wasn’t personally that impressed by some of the feminist ones, but that was partly because they were aimed at a different audience to me. Often with memoirs, I can find it quite hard to be objective about them, or to compare them, especially when you’re comparing books and stories which are very different.
For people interested in history, I highly recommend Persepolis, the Light Ages and the Norse Myths, three very different books, but all very illuminating. If I had to choose a favourite, it would probably be Persepolis – it deals with subject matter that I’m fairly unfamiliar with, but in a very accessible way.
In terms of fiction, it’s even harder to judge – some of these are books I read almost a year ago and others I read this week! Some really stuck with me; They Both Die At The End and The Vanishing Half being just two of those. Others really didn’t – some of which I don’t even remember reading. I think my favourite is a three way tie between Love After Love, Betty and Girl, Women, Other. They all told really interesting and gripping stories which had me torn between never wanting the immersion to end and getting to the end so I could find out what happened.
Most of the books I’ve read this year are new to me, and most were published in the last few years – some were re-reads but generally I tried to read new things. One notable exception to this is Life After Life, which I first read while I was at university, and my opinion of it remains broadly the same – I can’t decide whether it’s one of the best books I’ve read and everyone should read it, or if it’s relentlessly bleak and traumatic and nobody should put themselves through it. There’s probably a middle ground somewhere, but I tend to oscillate between these opinions!
For a full list of what I’ve read this year, see my goodreads link here: https://www.goodreads.com/user_challenges/19297603
My other blogs about books can be found here: