What I read in 2020

Here's my annual list of all the books I read in 2020 for pleasure (not including the ones which I read/consulted for work purposes). They are listed in the date order in which I read them and my favourites are marked with an asterisk.  

The Faber Book of Poetry 2019 (pamphlet)

The Land of the White Horse by David Miles

The Devil’s Highway by Gregory Norminton

* The Porpoise by Mark Haddon

The Second Sleep by Robert Harris

10 minutes 38 seconds in this strange world by Elif Shafak

Lanny by Max Porter

Dedicated to… by WB Gooderham

The Drover’s Wives by Ryan O’Neill

* Jennings and the Unconsidered Trifles (plays) by Anthony Buckeridge

Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellman

Viking London by Thomas Williams

Reynard the Fox trans by James Simpson

The Sword in the Stone by TH White

Why You Should Read Children’s Books Even Though You Are So Old And Wise by Katherine Rundell

* Islander: A Journey Around our Archipelago by Patrick Barkham

The Wrong Box by Robert Louis Stevenson

Time and Place by Alexandra Harris

The World Upside Down by William Mayne

An Indifference of Birds by Richard Smyth

What to look for in Spring (Ladybird)

These Are The Hands (poetry anthology, ed. Deborah Alma)

The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman

* The Gallows Pole by Benjamin Myers

Landscapes of Detectorists various, edited by Innes M. Keighren & Joanne Norcup

The Last Landlady by Laura Thompson

A Cheesemonger’s History of the British Isles by Ned Palmer

* Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me by Kate Clanchy

Tongues of Fire by Séan Hewitt

Flashman and the Redskins by George MacDonald Fraser

The Seasons of Cullen Church by Bernard O'Donoghue

The Decline of Magic by Michael Hunter

War Pictures by British Artists Second Series No 3 Soldiers

* Weather by Jenny Offill

Cassandra Darke by Posy Simmonds

* The Book of Pebbles by Christopher Stocks and Angie Lewin

Littlenose the Fisherman by John Grant

Animals' Lullaby by Trude Alberti

The Hidden World of the Fox by Adele Brand

The Seven Lives of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

The End We Start From by Megan Hunter

Epic Continent by Nicholas Jubber

Flashman at the Charge by George MacDonald Fraser

Flashman and the Angel of the Lord by George MacDonald Fraser

Farmer Giles of Ham/The Adventures of Tom Bombadil by JRR Tolkien

* The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel

Apropos of Nothing by Woody Allen

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Intimations by Zadie Smith

Books by Larry McMurtry

* The Civil War: A People’s History by Diane Purkiss

* The Peregrine Falcons of York Minster by Carole Bromley

The Ascent of Rum Doodle by WE Bowman

Building Anglo-Saxon England by John Blair

In the Shadow of Vesuvius: A Life of Pliny by Daisy Dunn

* Mrs Bridge by Evan Connell

Israel Rank: The Autobiography of a Criminal by Roy Horniman

The Lost Feast of Christmas by Glyn Hughes

The Penguin Book of Christmas Stories (various)

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris

The Bookseller’s Tale by Martin Latham

Word Perfect by Susie Dent

The Box of Delights by John Masefield (annual reread)

The Ultimate Christmas Cracker by John Julius Norwich

Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs

Gumdrop’s Merry Christmas by Val Biro

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

* Mayflies by Andrew O’Hagan



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