In November last year, we had a kid. It turns out that being a parent means saying good bye to almost all your free time for a decently long while, and that’s meant a real downturn in the already my already low posting frequency. But we’re just about to shift into the back half of the year, and so I figured I could get a little momentum back with another what I’m reading post. So given that - and given the fact that many days right now I’m crashing into bed at 9:30pm, tired out of my gourd and ready to go to sleep without even thinking of opening my e-reader - what’s been top of my reading list?
Last year I published a list of ten books that I’d enjoyed over 2020. I quite liked doing it - plus I get to post little book cover images and make the whole thing look pretty - so I’m doing it again!
I like to read widely - which when I say it like that sounds wankier than I mean it. But given an ever-increasing pool of public domain writing, ready access to a public library system that’s embraced ebooks, and a pretty good global second-hand book sale network1, there’s never been an easier time to pick up a book published in the 1850s and really get stuck into it. I mean, think about it - some of the greatest works of English literature are available to you right now either for a pittance, all said, or - if they’re out of copyright - for free.
One of the themes of this year was reading through some of these classics. In fact, of all the books on this list, only two were published this year. There is value in retreading old ground, in re-reading a favourite book and seeing what you think of it now. And there is value in re-visiting something you skipped the first time: now all the hype has died down, was that book just a fad,, or is it also good?
Anyway, enough navel-gazing. Some books:
Because it’s that time of the year, where we do book roundups.
This year was the first full year where I kept a (manual) reading log. At the close of 2020, I can see exactly how many I’ve gone through. As a small exercise, I went through that index putting a little star next to the ones I really enjoyed, and suddenly - boom - a top ten for the year!