My Year in Reading

1

So, that was 2020. A different kind of year. A tough year in many ways. Through the latter half, I felt like I was perennially out of time, and that my reading was suffering as a result - but in the final analysis, that seems not to be the case. I read 58 books this year, surpassing my goal of 50. That's my second lowest annual number of books in the last five year, but across those books I read 19808 pages (as it tells me in my reading stats - my 'year in books' report gives the count as slightly less: 19,790). This is my second highest number of pages in the last five years - for an average of 341 per book. The count is slightly skewed this year because GoodReads lets me record the Great Courses lectures I listened to as books, but gives them a page count of zero.

I might have even achieved higher numbers that these, but took time out from reading a various points in the year to catch up on podcasts and the reading of published papers, neither of which count in the books total.

Here's what I read this year. Thirty three books are marked with a #. These are books I purchased and read this year. All others were things I already had on my shelves.
The 28 marked with @ are audio books. Those eleven which appear in italics were book club picks.

SCIENCE FICTION NOVELS:

Day of the Oprichnik, by Vladimir Sorokin
A disturbing near future, or perhaps alternate history, novel about a Russian Oprichnik, basically a government mobster in the service of the new Tsar, who goes about his day intimidating, beating, and murdering in the name of good order. Not for the faint of heart!

@ The Water Knife, by Paolo Bacigalupi
A story of power politics in near future water-scarce southwest USA. Decent but maybe not really my thing.

Fahreneheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
Bradbury is a US national treasure. This is not my favourite Bradbury, but still very good.

Podkayne of Mars, by Robert A. Heinlein
Juvenile fiction from the master, bit dated and too young for me, but quality stuff. I much prefer his more sophisticated works like The Moon is a Harsh Mistress or Stranger in a Strange Land. This books features a young woman of science as a protagonist.

#@ The Player of Games, by Iain M. Banks
Second book of the Culture series, of which the only other one I've read was The Algebraist. I enjoyed both of those and should explore the series more.

# The Urth of the New Sun, by Gene Wolfe
The final volume in the Book of the New Sun, a coda to the series. I decided to read this after enjoying the first four books as out 2019 Slow Read at the book club. This is a fine conclusion to the series. It finds Severian on a space-ship to the stars, and later he returns to Urth. We meet many of the old characters again. Some questions answered, new ones raised. I definitely recommend reading this is series with the other four, so they are all fresh in the memory.

#@ The Years of Rice and Salt, by Kim Stanley Robinson
An alternate history that re-imagines the world if the Bubonic Plague had been even more devastating in Europe and erased it as a power. The book is broken down into historical vignettes in different time periods, each one set in a different place and time, and featuring different characters, but the three main characters are all archetypes, who sometimes remember their past lives. I thought it was a masterpiece - probably my favourite book of the year.

#@ The Invincible, by Stanislaw Lem
#@ Fiasco, by Stanislaw Lem
#@ Memoirs Found in a Bathtub, by Stanislaw Lem
A trio of books by Lem, as I work my way through his catalogue. Invincible was my favourite, and probably my favourite Lem book to date. Lem seems to write either straight-up SF on the theme of First Contact (The Invincible, Fiasco, Solaris) or poignant, absurd, satirical futurist novels (Memoirs, Cyberiad, Futurological Congress). I much prefer the former. One main thrust of the First Contact group of novels (most blatant in Fiasco) is that any attempt to relate to aliens will be doomed to fail, because they're, well, really alien, and not just humans with knobs and scales on their skin.

#Always Coming Home (Expanded Edition), by Ursula K. Leguin
Another book club pick, this one by Barner Cobblewood. A fascinating read for me, and certainly one of our longest club books. Perhaps not the most engaging novel, as these things go, but really thought provoking in the final analysis, and it provoked one of the better discussions we had this year I think.

#@ Helliconia Spring, by Brian Aldiss
The first in a trilogy. I picked this one up because I quite enjoyed other Aldiss books I've read (Hot House, Non-Stop) and this series seems highly regarded. I thought it was OK. Will probably read the next book, but obviously wasn't compelled to rush into it.

Monday Starts on Saturday, by Arkady & Boris Strugatsky
I continue to work my way through their body of work. This one is a curious make-up novel (made up of connected short stories) about a man's entry and work in a government 'institute of magic' located in the woods up near Finland. One of their more comedic and satirical works.

#@ Space Opera, by Catherynne M. Valente
Another book club book, it had some plusses and minuses for me. Ultimately, though, I'm just not that big a fan of 'humerous' SF.

@ The H.G. Wells Collection (The Time Machine, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds, and The First Men in the Moon)
This is a wonderful collection with 5 of his most famous novels. These are Victorian SF, but for the most part you wouldn't know it. The Time Machine, Moreau, and The War of the Worlds are all knockout SF novels - well written, poignant, and timeless.

# The Languages of Pao, by Jack Vance
Book club selection. Not one of Vance's best works, and marred by the unexamined and needless inclusion of sexual violence, which means it doesn't stand up well to a modern reading.

SHORT STORY COLLECTIONS

@ Hag: Forgotten Folk Lore Retold As Feminist Fables
This is quite a good collection of short stories commissioned by Audible.co.uk collecting stories by British female authors, retellings of local folk tales with a female perspective.

@ Frankenstein Dreams: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian SF (edited and introduced by Michael Sims)
This is a surprisingly good anthology of Victorian SF, which one might be tempted to think of as dated (all about mustachioed gentlemen in pith-shaped space helmets saying 'Oh, I say...' as they traipse around Mars) but it's really so much more diverse than this and most of it truly qualifies as top-notch speculative fiction. This collection features both very famous authors (Poe, Conan Doyle, Kipling, Thomas Hardy) and others less well known. There's a mix of short stories and excerpts from novels. All entries are very elegantly introduced by the author, who provides a lot of context to the stories and really adds to the work. I'm tempted to look for his other anthologies.

Lovecraft's Monsters (edited by Ellen Datlow)
A collection of 17 stories by a variety of authors (including Neil Gaiman, Laird Barron, Elizabeth Bear, Gemma Files, Karl Edward Wagner, and Thomas Ligotti) all featuring a creature of H.P. Lovecraft's invention (or inspiration). A solid collection, but not a 'wow'.

#@ The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume One 1929-1964 (edited by Robert Silverberg)
Another very fine collection, selected by the Science Fiction Writers of America based on votes from their SF author members. This collection has 26 of the very best SF short stories ever written, including Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, A Rose for Ecclesiastes by Roger Zelazny, The Nine Billion Names of God by Arthur C. Clarke, and more. Introduction by Silverberg describes how the stories were selected, but the stories themselves are left to stand on their own merit.

Stories of Your Life and Others, by Ted Chiang
Our final book club pick of the year, the first Ted Chiang collection (of which I think there are just two). This is a well-written and though provoking collection, as SF should be. It reminds me of several collections by Soviet SF authors I've read, for some reason.

Comments

  • 1

    FANTASY NOVELS

    # The Fifth Season
    # The Obelisk Gate
    # The Stone Sky
    The Broken Earth Trilogy, by N.K. Jemisin, historic 3-time running Hugo winner.
    This was our slow read selection for 2020, and effort we aborted after the second book, though I did go on to read the third book on my own, as did a few others. Ultimately, this series didn't tickle our collective fancy. The series has a strong theme about the nature of inclusion and discrimination, and a compelling exploration of mother-daughter relationships and what a mother is willing to sacrifice for her daughter, but unfortunately that's all it has. The fantasy world in which the stories are set is little more than a backdrop, the characters are largely unlikable, and the story itself is barely sensical. The writing is mostly serviceable, with a few stand out moments, and slightly more that are cringeworthy. It's hard for me to understand why this won 3 hugos, unless for political reasons.

    # Rivers of London, by Ben Aaronovitch
    One of our earlier book club picks of the year, and urban fantasy mystery set in London which does a great job of making the the City of London a character in the novel.

    # Gods of Jade and Shadow, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
    Doing for Mexico what Rivers of London did for London, this modern fantasy is set in the Jazz age of Mexico, and as with Rivers features mundanes and Gods as characters.

    @ Tehanu, by Ursula K. Leguin
    The fourth book in the Earthsea cycle, and the fourth is Michael Miller's book-by-book club study of the series. This is another stand-out book for me this year - I just loved it. In fact, I read it twice in a row, and was tempted to give it a third go before the discussion even began! Thanks, Michael!

    HORROR AND WEIRD FICTION NOVELS

    @# The Glamour, by Christopher Priest
    Christopher Priest's exploration of invisibility and it's implications. I quite like Priest's books, and they make for very good audio listening. There's something very unsettling about the characters in his stories, who very often seem to just want to go about with their ordinary lives but keep meeting creeps and never quite know how to deal with them. I'd put John Fowles' The Magus into the same category.

    @# A God in the Shed, by J.F. Dubeau
    This is a Canadian horror/weird fiction novel very much in the vein of something Stephen King would write. Set in a small town called St. Ferdinand the Eastern Townships of Quebec, this novel features a local cult, a mass murderer, and yes - a god that lives in a shed - at the centre of all things. I think this is a fine early effort from this author in the vein of Koontz or King, but is far from the gest that King can muster in terms of writing and characters. I really didn't think that Dubeau captured the essence of South Eastern Quebec. His town felt like any old generic North American small town, and so I found myself really unconvinced. Surprising given this is a Montreal author, but perhaps he (or maybe the publisher) was trying to appeal more to a broad American audience. It's a shame that so often local character is suppressed in order to appeal to Americans - are they really so unworldly that they can't read a story set somewhere else? King has his finger on the pulse of the American people in a way that Dubeau simply does not, but then he's still early in his career here, and one hopes we'll get there one day.

    @# The Compleat Crow, by Brian Lumley
    Collected short stories of Titus Crow, a psychic sleuth investigating the world's mysteries. Neither wonderful nor terrible. Not nearly as compelling to me as Christopher Priest, nor as invetive, but this collection garners a 4.03 rating on Good Reads, where nothing by Priest scores over 4. I can't account for this, unless it's that Priest is being marketed as a literary author to people who find him too weird, whereas Lumley is marketed to the weird fiction market, where people don't necessarily expect works to be literary.

    @# Piranesi, by Susanna clarke
    A late book club selection by Doctor Mitchener, this one also reminded me of John Fowles' The Magus. It also features someone 'trapped' in an exotic location by a mad dilettante. In this case, though, the main character, Piranesi, is very much an insider who curiously finds his way out, rather than an outsider who trying to fit in. Very satisfying from a writing perspective, though I did find it sagging a little in the middle, despite being quite a short novel.

    The Curse of the Wendigo, by Rick Yancey
    This book bears some resemblance to the Crow book above and, in many ways, to the urban fantasy type novels listed in the fantasy section above. In my opion, it's the best written of the lot, despite the author being the least well known. The story isn't perfect by any means - it drags in the middle and suffers from being a bit too long for the story - but has some very good description, compelling characters, and a clever and unusual existential menace that you are never really sure is a monster or not. This is 'book 2' in the Monstrumologist series about a young apprentice being mentored by Dr. Warthrop, a Victorian (if Americans can lay claim to naming an era after a monarch they rejected) New York City Monstrumologist. Though this is book 2, it stands alone just fine. I might explore the other offerings in the series.

  • 1

    HISTORICAL AND ADVENTURE FICTION

    @# Gone to Sea in a Bucket, by David Black
    Our first book club selection from last year, a WW2 submarine story that was quite well received by everyone. Solid historical naval war fiction, and the first in a series that I may will dip into again.

    @# Musashi, by Yoshikawa Eiji
    This is a re-telling of classic Japanese stories about a Samuari names Musashi. There's something naive about these simple romances, which makes them ultimately less satisfying for me. Also, many of the narratives are rather similar - Musashi is wrongly accused of some crime or other and wanders the wilderness while people try to track him down. He has run ins with local samurai schools which invariably lead to insults being thrown and the local school underestimating him, which in turn leads to a fight during which Musashi teaches the presumptuous locals some hard lessons. I feel like I've heard this one before.

    @Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes
    Both the oldest and the longest book I took on this year, this satire is justifiable a classic. But like Mushashi, it's a long work composed of a series of rather samey episodes that can get a bit tiring after a while. I feel like it has a lot more to say about society, with some biting commentary, and that this elevates it above Musashi - but then, I don't know that much about Japanese culture and society, so it's possible Musashi has all this too, and I just missed it.

    # The Great Eastern, by Howard Rodman
    This was my club pick for this year, and I'm sure I liked it much more than everyone else. This was a story about Isambard Kingdom Brunel's ship The Great Eastern, and how it and its creator ended up in a war between Captains Ahab and Nemo over the laying of an undersea cable. I agree it didn't live up to the story-telling potential, had a rather flat deus-ex-machina climax, and Rodman took some wrong turns in trying to convey period language. But I think he did a great job voicing Ahab, and I give the author points for chutzpah.

    @ Sharpe's Escape, by Bernard Cornwell
    @ Sharpe's Fury, by Bernard Cornwell
    Books 10 and 11 in the Sharpe Series, both set in Spain during the Peninsular war. I normally shy away from series, and only followed this one this far because the narrator of this audio series, Rupert Farley, does such an amazing job of voicing all the characters. Have you ever seen the TV series starring Sean Bean? Farley makes it sound like you're listening to those very same actors. But, excellent narration aside, it's starting to feel like all the stories in the series are the same, and as such I'm not feeling too compelled to continue. My recommendation to anyone interested is to read the first three books, all set in India with a fascinating setting, and stop there.

    #A Grue of Ice, by Jeffrey Jenkins
    This is an adventure novel in the vein of Hammond Innes, set in the Southern Ocean between Tristan da Cunha and the Kerguelen Islands. It revolves around the settling of a hydrological mystery, and has conspiracy, murder, and whalers - so pretty much everything you'd expect. I don't remember how this ended up on my 'used bookstore wish list' but it was mentioned somewhere - in the introduction to another novel about south polar exploration, like perhaps Verne's Sphinx of the Ice Fields, or one of Hammond Innes' novels. I was never able to find this book, figuring it was an old, hardback travelogue by an obscure author. But this summer on my one trip to the Book Trader in Brockville, Ontario, during a lull in the pandemic, I discovered a new shelf, low to the ground at the back, with just this kind of adventure fiction on it, and there were a bunch of books by Jenkins, including this one. So I snapped it up an read it. It's very much of the quality of a Hammond Innes book, though since this is the only Jenkins book I've read, I can't quite say if he's as formulaic an author as Innes. Like Innes, though, he seems to know his stuff.

    HISTORY BOOKS

    Ancient Turkey, by Antonio Sagona and Paul Zimansky
    A survey of ancient people living in what has become Turkey, compiled mainly from archaeological sources. This book is divided into two sections - a pre-historic section up the the end of the Bronze age, and a second section post-writing covering the iron age. I found the second half more compelling than the first, which by necessity focuses mainly on pottery fragments. Probably not the best work for a lay-person.

    Letters to the King of Mari, by Wolfgang Heimpel
    This is an amazing piece of history, though very detailed and very specific. It features the translations of dozens of letters written to King Zimri-Lim of the city of Mari, who was first an ally and later an opponent of King Hammurabi of Babylon, c. 1765 BC. From these fragmentary letters written on clay, Heimpel puts together a complex and detailed picture of what was happening during those few years leading up to the fall of Mari. This book is definitely not for the faint of heart. Also quite expensive and hard to come by.

    Travelling Heroes: In the Epic Age of Homer, by Robin Lane Fox
    Another challenging history book, in this case taking us to the early Greek colonies of the 8th Century BC to try to find some of the roots of Homer's famous narratives. Fox, himself a travelling hero by the sounds of it, gives us a rather circuitous narrative that seems to be built as much on wishful thinking as anything else, but it makes for an interesting story. Not the most clearly written of historical books, I must say, but oddly I feel compelled to re-read it, which probably means there's more to it than what's on the surface.

    @# Warlords of Ancient Mexico: How the Mayans and Aztecs Ruled for More Than a Thousand Years, by Peter G. Tsouras
    This was a compelling chronicle of the ancient kings of Mexico, discussing the rule of one king after another in order. I did this as an audio book, and although the narration was fine, I found the names quickly become a blur in that format and it's hard to keep track of who;s who. Also, the nature of audio books (I listen to them while I'm doing menial things) makes it impossible for me to take notes, which I would have liked to do. So I'm earmarking this one for purchase and re-reading one day as a print book.

    Iron Kingdom, by Christopher Clark
    A history of Prussia, and my many accounts of of the best ones on the market for being balanced in its portrayal. It spends roughly equal time talking about the many wars (these were the exciting parts of the book) and the social reforms of various kings and ministers (the boring part of the book). I enjoyed the one much more than the other, obviously.

    # The Un-Discovered Islands: An Archipelago of Myths and Mysteries, Phantoms, and Fakes, by Malachy Tallack.
    This is a little hardcover picture book with two or three paragraphs about a variety of islands that never really existed, but people thought did. It's easily read it little bits over a week or so, and I found it quite interesting and rather well written. It was an impulse buy off Book City's remainder table.

    # Erebus: The Story of a Ship, by Michael Palin
    Another standout books for me, and probably the best history book of this batch for the general reader because it's not just a history, but an adventure. The book is very engagingly written and I'm happy to add this to my arctic exploration books right beside Farley Mowat's Ordeal by Ice, to which this makes a very fine companion.

    HISTORY LECTURES

    My audible membership gives me access to the many Great Courses lectures available. These are not strictly books, but listen very much like well-written introductory history books or surveys of historic ages, delivered by people who are enthusiastic about their subject and quite used to communicating verbally. They are all four to five star quality - I haven't been disappointed by one yet. Here's what I listened to this year:

    @ The Vikings, by Kenneth W. Harl
    @ Maya to Aztec: Ancient Mesoamerica Revealed, by Edwin Barnhardt
    #@ The Lost Worlds of South America, by Edwin Barnhardt
    #@ The Ancient Civilizations of North America, by Edwin Barnhardt
    @ The Foundations of Eastern Civilization, by Craig G. Benjamin

  • 1
    edited January 1

    ROLEPLAYING GAMES

    Vimary: A Tribe 8 Sourcebook, by Joshua Mosqueira Asheim
    This is a setting book to the core setting of the Tribe 8 roleplaying game, the island of Vimary. The setting, one of the most creative ever made for an RPG, is that of a post magical apocalypse with alien-like gods that have settled in and taken over the area around Vimary, itself based on post-apocalyptic Montreal (which was originally named Ville-Marie - The City of Mary). Since I'm a Montreal boy myself, this makes for compelling reading. I enjoyed browsing the map and looking for the many easter eggs.

    # Troika! Numinous Edition, by Daniel Sell
    This is a very neat and light little RPG with a (largely implied) science fantasy setting. The rules are mostly traditional, which I like, but with a few twists. I can see some inspiration from games like RuneQuest, but this isn't a D100 system. The setting is only very lightly described and very obviously inspired Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun. Being a science fantasy setting, almost anything goes, so it's easy to make up on the spot. Years ago I had the pleasure of doing a little playtesting of a Brad Murray effort tentatively called soft Horizon, which I don't think was ever published. But this book reminds me very much of what I understood that was going to be. I wonder if Brad ever read it? Probably.

    # Belly of the Beast, by Ben Dutter
    A very curious and self-contained RPG - basically a fantasy RPG set inside the belly of a monstrous world-eating beast. I bought this very much for the setting, which I thought sounded very creative and promising, so I was a little disappointed to find that it really very little setting in it at all. It feels like the setting is just a skein used to deliver the rules, which are themselves fine and nothing groundbreaking. But in my opinion, the setting should really shine in a book like this, and there's really not much here.

    # Alien: The Roleplaying Game, by Tomas Harenstam
    #Alient RPG: Chariot of the Gods (scenario from the Starter Set)
    This is a solid RPG in a setting I really enjoy. The rules are based on Fria Ligan's core system, which I find compelling enough to want to try. The setting is rather lightly described - much more so than in Belly of the Beast, and probably hits the sweet spot for most gamers. Much of the book is devoted to describing skills, traits, weapons, and factions. There is a gazetteer of locations at the end, which rather interestingly describes the various locations as 'set pieces' for Alien encounters - they focus on, for example, a refinery, or a prison, or whatever specific milieu feels industrial, isolating, and dangerous. Isn't that exactly what you want from a game meant to emulate the Alien Movies?

  • 1

    MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: THE TO-READ SHELF REDUCTION

    Reading at least 50 books is only one of my annual reading goals. So far, I've never had trouble meeting it. My other goal is, I think, a more difficult one: Reduce the size of my 'To-Read' shelf by making sure I read more books than I purchase in a given year. I have a huge 'to read' shelf which must have hundreds of books on it - some of which have been on the shelf for decades. The only way I'll ever get to all of these is to start buying less that I can read in a year. I've never actually taken an account of whether I did this in a given year, but this year I decided to give it a go.

    In 2020 I read 58 books. Of these, 33 were new purchases, which means I only managed to read 25 previously purchased books.

    However, I purchased (or was given) many more books than the 33 I read this year, I also purchased other books that got added to my self. Here's what I purchased (or was given) that got added to the shelf this year, but haven't yet read:

    1. Frankenstein in Baghdad: A Novel, by Ahmed Saadawi
    2. Synners, by Pat Cadigan (SF Masterworks series)
    3. Born in Heaven, Made on Earth, by Michael B. Dick (Ancient history about Mesopotamian god statues)
    4. Ahab's Return, or The Lost Voyage, by Jeffrey Ford (fiction)
    5. Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, buy Yuval Noah Harari (Audio book)
    6. Heroes: The Greek Myths Reimagined, by Stephen Fry (Audio book)
    7. The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story, by Douglas Preston (Audio Book)
    8. The Art of Invisibility: The World's Most Famous Hacker Teaches You How to Be Safe in the Age of Big Brother and Big Data, by Kevin Mitnick (Audio Book)
    9. A Boy and his Dog At the End of the World: A Novel, by C.A. Fletcher (Audio Book)
    10. The Evidence, by Christopher Priest (Audio Book, currently reading).
    11. The Star Rover, by Jack London (The Book Trader)
    12. The Crystal World, by J.G. Ballard (Book City)
    13. Taaqtumi: An Anthology of Arctic Horror Stories (Book City)
    14. Alien RPG: Destroyer of Worlds (scenario boxed set)
    15. Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse (The Book Trader)
    16. The Amateurs, by Liz Harmer (Fiction, x-mas gift)
    17. An Atlas of Tolkien, by David Day (non-fiction, x-mas gift)
    18. Reading and Writing Along the Borderland, by Michael Chabon (non-fiction, x-mas gift)
    19. Senlin Ascends, by Josiah Bancroft (fiction, x-mas gift)
    20. The Arabian Nights: A Companion, by Robert Irwin (non-fiction, x-mas gift)
    21. Empires of the Indus: The Story of a River, by Alice Albinia (history/travelogue, x-mas gift)
    22. The Writing In The Stone, by Irving Finkel (fiction, x-mas gift)
    23. Historiae Mundi: A History of the Known World, by Mark Smylie (RPG setting)
    24. Lyonesse by The Design Mechanism (RPG)
    25. The Secret of Chimneypots, by Christian Jensen Romer (RPG scenario for Casting the Runes)
    26. New Fire
    27. Temikmatl: Book of Dreams, by Jason Kaminsky (RPG)
    28. The Things We Leave Behind (RPG scenarios for CoC)

    So, altogether I added 61 books to my To-Read shelf, but only took 58 books off the shelf - a net gain of 3 books!

    Obviously, I'm going to have to try harder in 2021 to resist buying books!

  • 0

    My reading was more modest than yours this year - according to Goodreads I managed a total of 44 books and very nearly 13k pages (hence just under 300 pages per book). That is staggeringly consistent for me (only in 2016 did I break through 50), and also rather surprising as I had thought that the hectic nature of work during lockdown meant that I had read a lot less this year. That I managed this number of books is in considerable measure thanks to this club.

    Now, Goodreads does not know about two other books I read - a very short one about Hadrian's Wall which, astonishingly, GR does not list, plus a rather longer fantasy one I read on request and which the author wishes to modify before a review goes out. (I also overheard parts of a couple of books that my other half was listening to, but I haven't counted them cos that would be like cheating...).

    In terms of ratings, there were 14 x5* books, 24 x 4* and 6 x 3* - it is rare for me to give 3* and exceptionally rare to go below that, seeing as how I do like to find some good in the efforts that an author has made, especially if they are comparatively unknown. Basically 2* only happens when the author is well known or nationally recognised, but then makes an utter hash of things which I know about. So I felt a bit mean this year.

    In terms of genre, I classified them as:
    5 alternate history
    9 fantasy
    2 geeky (ie non-fiction)
    2 historical fiction
    1 romance
    28 science fiction
    1 timeslip

    (the attentive reader will discover that some books were classified in more than one category)

    Normally my "geeky" count is higher, and with some background research I intend to do this year, 2021 should be back to pattern.

    What really suffered this year was not so much reading as writing of all kinds - I did get The Liminal Zone out, back in May, but since then have barely started my next project, and my blog writing has been virtually non-existent since May as well. Here's hoping 2021 is a bit different, though here in the UK we have started the year with another lockdown...

Sign In or Register to comment.