Books of 2020

Reading List

Sometime in March of 2020, I stayed up late (like, so late it was early) to finish Gideon the Ninth. I had just moved to a new country. I was waiting on my visa approval. The pandemic was starting to curl around the world and the city starting to shut down. I woke up the next morning (really, a cat nap later) exhausted and had the thought of I don't have anything to get up for today. Despair sidled up to me, and for a few moments I let it nestle close while I lounged in bed. I knew, though, that soon I'd have to get up.

I needed something to wake up for, get excited about, however arbitrary or silly it was. So I drafted a mental list of 'resolves.' I'll write more about these somewhere else, but one was those resolves was to read 100 books over the rest of the year, minimum, with some conditions. And so I created a simple routine: wake up between the hours of 5am and 6:23am, make a cup of coffee, gather the cats on the couch, and curl up to read until 8am. The only parameters I placed around the book itself was that I had to enjoy reading it; I had to look forward to greeting the day with it. For a while, that was enough.

Reading has always been the wind in my sails, the juice in my lemon, the apple of my eye, the boat on my seas, the fire in the dark, and so on ad infinitum. It became all that and more in 2020. Some of the books listed are a quick dip into a different world that was falling apart in some way or an interrogation of our own faulty home. Some were an aged whisky, others deluxe American Cheese saltines (recipe forthcoming). I resolved not to waste time reading books I didn't like, and so: I enjoyed all of the books below in some way.

10/10 would recommend
1. St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves
2. Asymmetry
3. Piranesi
4. HHhH
5. A Memory Called Empire
6. Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl
7. My Year of Rest and Relaxation
8. Freedom is Space for the Spirit (novella)
9. Storm of Locusts
10. The First Bad Man
Must Reads
1. Gideon the Ninth
2. The Warmth of Other Suns
3. Leave the World Behind
4. Make it Scream, Make it Burn
5. Honored Guest
6. Trick Mirror
7. The Three Body Problem
8. Earthlings
9. Intimations
10. The Sixth Exctinction
The Whole Shebang
1. Children of Blood & Bone
2. Children of Virtue & Vengeance
3. Dead Astronauts
4. Asymmetry
5. Conversations with Friends
6. Ten Thousand Doors
7. The Unbearable Lightness of Being
8. Agency
9. Drive Your Plow Over the Dead
10. Antwerp
11. Gathering Evidence
12. Left Hand of Darkness
13. Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl
14. House of Earth and Blood
15. Gideon the Ninth
16. The Bear and the Nightingale
17. The Girl in the Tower
18. The Winter of the Witch
19. Trick Mirror
20. Heir of Fire
21. Crown of Midnight
22. Throne of Glass
23. Court of mMist and Fury
24. A Court of Wings and Ruin
25. Court of Thorns and Roses
26. Court of Frost and Starlight
27. The Wedding Date
28. Graveling
29. Bitter kingdom
30. Crown of Embers
31. Girl of Fire and Thorns
32. Pet
33. Akata Witch
34. Dreams of Gods and Monsters
35. Days of Blood and Starlight
36. Daughter of Smoke and Bone
37. Sorcerer to the Crown
38. Who Fears Death
39. Storm of Locusts
40. Trail of Lightning
41. Breath of Fire
42. A Thousand Nights
43. My Year of Rest and Relaxation
44. Not One Day
45. Kushiel's Dart
46. This is How it Always is
47. Empire of Storms
48. Heart on Fire
49. A Promise of Fire
50. Kingdom of Ash
51. Queen of Shadows
52. House of Earth and Blood
53. Crown of Midnight
54. Stamped from the beginning
55. The Stars and the Blackness Between Them
56. Strange Practice
57. Circe
58. Sharks in the Time of Saviors
59. Ninth House
60. Freedom is Space for the Spirit
61. The Three Body Problem
62. Best American SFF 2017
63. Harrow the Ninth
64. A Memory Called Empire
65. Bluets
66. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
67. The Evening Road
68. The Black Tides of Heaven
69. Why Fish Don't Exist
70. Gods of Jade and Shadow
71. Six Crows
72. Crooked Kingdom
73. Unfuck your Anger
74. Make it Scream, Make it Burn
75. The Warmth of Other Suns
76. Piranesi
77. HHhH
78. The Ancestry of Objects
79. The House in the Dark of the Woods
80. The First Bad Man
81. The Sixth Extinction
82. Breath
83. Intimations
84. Divine Fire at Hand
85. Against Memoir
86. Braiding Sweetgrass
87. Ordinary Girls
88. Earthlings
89. Calculating the Stars
90. Midway
91. Leave the World Behind
92. Fated Stars
93. Pride & Prejudice
94. Running Dog
95. Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny
96. Black God's Thunder
97. The Down Days
98. St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves
99. Honored Guest
100. The Vanishing Half
101. Just One Damned Thing After Another
102. A Symphony of Echoes
103. A Deadly Education
104. A Second Chance
105. A Trail Through Time
106. No Time like the Past
107. What Could Possibly go Wrong?
108. The Quick and the Dead
109. Lies, Damn Lies, and History
110. And the Rest is History
111. An Argumentation of Historians