My top ten list of 2020

Here has been the favourite books I’ve read this year. Some of the books I have read would be on here but I have not included because I have read them previously years before. I am only looking at the books I read then made a post on. Infinite Jest for example I read cover to cover years ago only skimming through it after that so I will not be including it here but I will give it an honourable mention.

So here are the books that I have loved not necessarily in the exact order of number one being the best but here they are:

Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones

Here was a story about a family of werewolves who travel round the southern part of the United States doing what they can to survive and no be as exposed as werewolves. At the same time we also here about their folk history.

Near to the Wild Heart by Clarice Lispector

A story on a young Joana and her look at life as well as how people view her. Here we look at how we perceive what is right and wrong especially when it comes to relationships

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

Ruiz’s facinating work of non fiction, a guide to life and how to keep your mind at ease.

The Trial by Franz Kafka

The famous Kafka tale of a man who has been charged for something he does not know what he has been charged for. Despite what the protagonist goes through there is a constant feel that he does not really have control over anything.

Solaris by Stanislaw Lem

A tale of a discovered planet where we can’t assume anything and the memories of anyone who appears on this planet are manifested, in particular previous loved ones.

Wondago by Melina Cuela

In this story a young girl goes to visit her great auntie and in doing so helps resolves a mystery by drawing what she can remember, the mixture of images and writing add to the atmosphere to the story.

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

A comedy of a man trying out different types of jobs in New Orleans meeting a range of peculiar characters on the way. We also look at a number of social issues as well as seeing what use a man can with a particular education can have in the real world.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

The story of a young Merricat who comes across a crisis of sorts when she realises her family are under an external threat. We also learn of the consequences of the family’s dark past.

Nadja by Andre Breton

A surreal story in the literal sense of a man’s fascination of a young woman. The more he learns of her the more we realises all is not what it seems with her.

I am Legend by Richard Matheson.

The story of fear, a man trying to survive fighting monsters which also looks at if this man’s action make him a monster also.

These were the books that stuck with me this year as ones I will likely never forget and want to read again. These are only brief summaries as I have written about them previously. I will continue to look at more book throughout next year all being good. I also want to look at more short stories as well.

A general sum up of 2020

Ok this one isn’t really about books this is just me reflecting. I was going to write about authors and writers and some of their odd quirks and odd facts about them they had but looking it up this has has actually been looked at by many before me and done well though I might look at I eventually myself. I will mention though that Charles Dickens was found to have had an affair after separating from his wife and it was William Makepeace Thackery who told everyone it was a young actress. It’s over a century since that happened and I’m still fascinated by that turn of events. So until I can get that ready I’ll just sum up the year as I’ve seen it instead.

At first I wanted to avoid writing about this as much as possible when doing my blog. I wanted to give myself and you as the reader a distraction from the world around you, to give you something good to read. I haven’t even just discussed books but other forms of media also. 2020 however ,has been different to any other year we have had in recent times at least (post war in Britain). When we have heard of previous incidents in the past they have never affected us directly like they do now. When I say directly I mean right in the moment, immediate. When Brexit was decided it did not affect us directly in the moment. Things may have felt different and uncomfortable for some (especially if you weren’t British or white) but we were still allowed to live our lives as normal (whatever that is) for the most part, terrorist attacks happened around the world and although some were tragically affected, the rest of us were still able to work, meet with our loved ones, come together. Climate change is a pressing issue but the panic has not been as high as some may argue should it be because again the affects of it has not been immediate (though some would say it is and we should find a way of nipping the changes we do see in the bud before they get worse).

I won’t be the first to say that this has been a tough year. The Covid pandemic has not only affected those who have been infected by it, but also many that haven’t. Global responses to the pandemic, has affected our previous everyday lives in the moment. People’s reactions have also been different and somewhat divisive. Expectations and how we live our lives have been knocked off-kilter. The pandemic for want of a better way of describing it has also raised the volume on other issues as many of us globally have been advised to remain indoors and has made us use the Internet for almost all our communications with the world. It has also made us aware of the loneliness out there and of course mental health issues and divisions in society. The Covid pandemic has affected us in the moment and although a vaccine has (as of typing) been made available, this could potentially be the end of one chapter and the beginning of new one instead of the end of the Covid saga..

My life has definitely changed more so towards the end of this year. I’ve had my problems just as many have and I have shall we say… suffered from my own dark moments starting at least a good year before the pandemic became global. This is in a weird kind of way made me prepared for things to come if albeit to a point. This is why I made this blog in the first place. To give me a focus. I prefer writing blogs to posting on social media. I do of course use some of them, some I like, some I have either deactivated or avoided . Blogs give you more time to think before you post. I worry people are forgetting how to think.

2021 will be another tough year and the 20s will be a tough decade, if not then definitely different. Hopefully we will come to a time where people will be brought together to not only disagree but to agree to disagree, to show people respect even after having different opinions and not to chastise people for having them views in the first place, this definitely isn’t happening now.