Books Read, 2020

Changing jobs and world events kept me from reading as much as last year. It wasn’t that I didn’t have time to read, it was that, for whatever reason, I didn’t have much of an urge to read much during the middle part of the year.

Fiction (18)

  • The Odyssey by Homer

    The Emily Wilson translation, which I thought was much more readable, but didn’t inspire me the way Fagles did. Looking forward to reading her Iliad when it is released.
  • Favorite Father Brown Stories by G. K. Chesterton

    The first fiction by Chesterton that I really liked, though I didn’t like every story in the book. Will probably read more Father Brown.
  • Night Soldiers by Alan Furst
  • Dark Star by Alan Furst
  • The Polish Officer by Alan Furst
  • The World at Night by Alan Furst
  • A Hero of France by Alan Furst
  • Red Gold by Alan Furst

    These Alan Furst novels, all about spies in WWII Europe, constituted all of what I read between about June and October. In the future, when I think back on the quarantine, I imagine
  • From Hell by Alan Moore

    A reread, but it’s been about 20 years. I liked it a little less this time, but not by much, and I still think it’s a masterpiece. I appreciated different things about it this time: the art, research, and logistics more than the fireworks.
  • The Stress of Her Regard by Tim Powers
  • Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
  • Castleview by Gene Wolfe
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • The Plague by Albert Camus
  • Foundation by Isaac Asimov

    A reread, but I didn’t remember much about it.
  • One Step from Earth by Harry Harrison
  • Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller

    I hated this book. I didn’t actually finish it, but got most of the way through, and I was certainly finished with it. I don’t hate it because it’s obscene, what I hate was that it was sloppy and self-indulgent.
  • Down and Out in Purgatory by Tim Powers

Non-Fiction (16)

  • Sahara Unveiled by William Langewiesche
  • The Architecture of Happiness by Alain De Botton
  • Moral Mazes by Robert Jackall
  • Atlas of a Lost World by Craig Childs
  • Discussing Design by Adam Connor
  • The Tiger by John Vaillant
  • Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
  • Cultural Amnesia by Clive James (Essays)
  • Harmonium by Wallace Stevens (Poetry)
  • The Wild Places by Robert Macfarlane
  • In Praise of Shadows by Junichiro Tanizaki
  • Take Ivy by Shosuke Ishizu
  • Design Is Storytelling by Ellen Lupton
  • ‘Broadsword Calling Danny Boy’ by Geoff Dyer
  • Super Thinking by Gabriel Weinberg
  • Farnsworth’s Classical English Style by Ward Farnsworth