Top Picks of 2020

The pandemic ravaged my attention span and choked off my main source of books (the library) for months. I turned to a project I’ve wanted to tackle for years, reading everything Virginia Woolf wrote (including essays, letters, diaries, novels, non-fiction) in chronological order. That project gave this weird amorphous year a backbone for me to fling myself onto and limp toward the finish line. I’m currently up to October 1938.

Another project I took up and made progress with was something I’ve always wanted to do: read the goddamn Bible, the book of Books. Holy shit, it’s a bananas ride. I got through the Book of Job and took a break in August, never took it back up. The Old Testament is hilarious and fierce. I need to get back in there next year.

And I finally read Montaigne’s complete essays!

Read 140 books; 62% women writers; 38% men. Non-fiction (61%) edged out fiction (39%) for the fifth year in a row, pretty surprising since I thought I went hard for escapist fiction this year. Guess not! The overall book count was down 45% from last year but I feel like I read deeper, ruthlessly discarding books that were wastes of time.

Some worth mentioning:

Non-fiction

Fiction

On Writing

Memoir/Essays

Poetry/Plays