2020 was my year of discovery! I discovered several new writers, and raced through their work.
Harriette Ashbrook. Who has heard of her? Yeah, I thought not. Well, she writes a terrific series starring the younger brother of the Manhattan District Attorney. As is the case with so many fictional second sons, this man lives a very different life from his successful sibling. Spike Tracy is a bon vivant, a boulevardier as Bertie Wooster is. He is also a brilliant detective, who sometimes sits unnoticed while noticing everything and everyone. I really like him. She wrote seven books starring Spike and I loved each one. She has another series as Susannah Shane with Christopher Saxe as the detective, but just one of the books is available. She lived to be only 47, and it is very hard to find much information about her. I did find a blog piece here.
E.C.R Lorac, whose real name was Edith Caroline Rivett, is much more famous, yet was unknown to me. I began reading her work last year, and am still going strong. Not all is available, but I read what I can. You may read more about her here.
A more modern writer I discovered only to find out she had died in April 2020 is Sheila Connolly. It made me so sad for her, and for her myriad readers. There is a very nice tribute here, in which the series I read, one right after the other, is featured.
I only have two posts about the 1920s here and here, but I've had quite a great year reading. I read seven books published then, and one about Hadley Richardson. You will read in the first link that we had planned to visit her grave in Tamworth, New Hampshire but that went the way of so many things in the year of the virus. It will be one of the first outings when this thing finally ends! I've also kept on a special shelf all the books I have that were published in or are about the decade and hope to continue each year reading more.
I hardly ever write about one book that was my favorite or the best, but for 2020 it is easy. Electric Eden by Rob Young. I have owned this book for a very long time, and decided I would read it with my breakfast every day instead of a magazine, and then I began reading it other times of the day as well, and then there were times I couldn't put it down, though it took me two months and twelve days to read! And I bought four books that were referenced: News From Nowhere by William Morris, A Shropshire Lad by A.E. Houseman, The Celtic Twilight by W.B. Yeats, and The Owl Service by Alan Garner. I also bought a vinyl version of an album I had bought on iTunes years ago, Vashti Bunyan's Diamond Day. There was much stopping and looking up all kinds of music and musicians. You Tube was a tremendous place to find most everything. I felt like I was in college again, really studying and really learning.
I loved reading some James Herriot books, some of which I had read a long time ago. And Galsworthy's Forsyte Saga was so excellent. I can't praise those books enough.
And I am delighted that I read 17 print books this year.
I read a few books published in 2020. The 2020s have begun!
Without further ado, as they say, here are my stats for the past year. And, note to self - this year do these stats each month instead of tallying at the end of a year.
In 2020, I read 70 books.
3 Children's fiction
2 Graphic nonfiction
22 by men
48 by women
By the years:
1 - 1900-1909
7 - 1920s
6 - 1930s
5 - 1940s
4 - 1950s
3 - 1970s
4 - 1980s
4 - 1990s
3 - 2000-2009
26 - 2010-2019
7 - 2020s
I'm not bothering to count rereads or library books anymore. I hardly read any of the latter, and the rereads are so few that it doesn't matter to me how many there are.