2020 was, of course, a strange year. My reading habits were severely disrupted when I lost my 60–90 minutes a day of commute time on the “L” which had in previous years been a bastion of protected reading time. Like last year, I aimed to read 100 books and, like last year, I fell short, this year only reading 90.
On the diversity front, my reading was 49.1% by women and 23.4% by people of color. 30% of the books were books that jumped the queue to meet my diversity goals. 15.6% were by dead white men. 42.6% of the books were fiction, 11.7% poetry with a median publication year of 2011. 59.7% of the authors were new to me and 4.5% were by authors I’ve met. 1.5% of the books were re-reads. 13.4% of the books were translations, 41.8% by non-US authors and 2.2% were in Spanish. 6.7% of the books were research for my novel.
Early in the quarantine, thanks to the library being closed, I found myself digging deeper than usual into my long list of books that I’ve put together of titles I intended to check out from the library. I ended up with an accidental pandemic trilogy from this, consisting of The Passage by Justin Cronin (vampire pandemic), World War Z by Max Brooks (zombie pandemic) and The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier (humanity-extinguishing manmade pandemic).
And now my favorite reads of the year (in alphabetic order by author):
- Hija de la fortuna by Isabel Allende
- Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
- Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Y. Davis
- 1919 by Eve L. Ewing
- How to Talk so Little Kids Will Listen: A Survival Guide to Life with Children Ages 2–7 by Joanna Faber and Julie King
- Romancero Gitano by Federico García Lorca
- Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
- Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
- The Female Face of God in Auschwitz: A Jewish Feminist Theology of the Holocaust by Melissa Raphael