2021 has seemed endless, but here we are. Here’s the meme of the moment:
This image baffles me. Bernie and his mittens at Biden’s inauguration seems like it was years ago. I guess plague years seem the longest.
I didn’t read much this year. I was doing other things. I had tons of downtime (read: time stuck at home) that I used to sew and learn to quilt. I had a mask shop on Etsy that I only recently closed. I did other things too, I guess, like stare at the wall and wish COVID didn’t exist. After I went back to work, I learned Python, mostly out of boredom, but I became bored with that, too. Hopefully a new year and a new job (!) will revive my interest in…things. For now, there are books. I’ll post about my plan in the next few days. Here’s what I read this year:
Soooo I’ve blogged about exactly one of these, but here’s a list nonetheless.
Bold means I really liked it, italics means I hated it, and plain text means it was reasonably good. They’re in the order in which I read them, and they’re on the list because I finished them this year, regardless of when I started.
- The Eye of the World – Robert Jordan
- Making History: Quilts & Fabric from 1890-1970 – Barbara Brackman
- Migrations – Charlotte McConaghy
- Bad Island – Stanley Donwood
- Bright and Dangerous Objects – Anneliese Mackintosh
- The Great Offshore Grounds – Vanessa Veselka
- Bride of the Sea – Eman Quotah
- Project Hail Mary – Andy Weir
- Tropic of Orange – Karen Tei Yamashita
- How to Take Smart Notes – Sönke Ahrens
- The Great Glorious Goddamn of It All – Josh Ritter
- Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much – Sendhil Mullainathan
- Show Your Work! – Austin Kleon
- The War of Art – Winning the Inner Creative Battle – Steven Pressfield
- Nomadland – Jessica Bruder
- Here – Richard McGuire
- First Person Singular: Stories – Haruki Murakami
- Zazen – Vanessa Veselka
- Red Screen – Stephen King
- The Coddling of the American Mind – Greg Lukianoff
- Last Night in Montreal – Emily St. John Mandel
- Three O’Clock in the Morning – Gianrico Carofiglio
- Ohio – Stephen Markley
- A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
- Travels with My Aunt – Graham Greene
- Cloud Cuckoo Land – Anthony Doerr
I read some really good books this year. Of these, it’s really hard to choose a favorite. Here are my top three:
Honorable mentions are The Great Glorious Goddamn of It All, Last Night in Montreal, and Travels with My Aunt. I guess.
I’m not going to go beyond the top three this year. They’re all excellent for different reasons, with an connecting thread of dystopia. I really wish I had written about Tropic of Orange after I read it, as I think it’s an amazing and under-appreciated novel. It’s objectively the best I read this year.
Featured photo credit: Ibrahim Boran on Unsplash.