Books I Read in 2020 (67!)
This year, I pretty much kept pace with last year in terms of reading. The pandemic increased my time spent indoors, and reading was my primary way of passing the time. I read 67 books in 2020.
Although I love good fiction, I usually end up reading non-fiction. Last year, I tried to remedy that by making a deliberate effort to read more fiction. This year was even more successful. I managed to read 16 works of fiction: 13 novels, 2 graphic novels, and one collection of short stories.
LGBT-themed books, whether memoirs, history books, or novels, usually comprise a small percentage of my reading list, but in 2020 that portion rose a bit: 15 of the 67 were of LGBT interest.
Music-related books tend to be a big part of my reading list, and I did read 10 books about music, but my recent interest in photography caused a surge in photography-related reading in the last six months of the year, with 11 of the books being about photography. Sports, science, philosophy and humor rounded out the rest.
My favorite novels of the year were… Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala, Cleanness by Garth Greenwell, and The Sparsholt Affair by Alan Hollingshurst. (Supermarket by Bobby Hall was the worst, with Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler being a close second.)
“Speak No Evil” by Uzodinma Iweala
“Cleanness” by Garth Greenwell
“The Sparsholt Affair” by Alan Hollingshurst
The best music book I read was Remain in Love by Chris Frantz, with Positively 4th Street by David Hajdu a close second.
“Positively 4th Street: The Lives and Times of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez Fariña, and Richard Fariña” by David Hajdu
“Remain in Love: Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club, Tina” by Chris Frantz
The most helpful photography book was The Passionate Photographer by Steve Simon.
“The Passionate Photographer: Ten Steps Towards Becoming Great” by Steve Simon
My intention was to read Moby Dick in 2020, but that never happened. I will try once again in 2021…
The list is below. You can find all of my Quick Book Reviews here on this blog.
1. The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons, by Sam Kean. Non-Fiction Science
2. A Queer History of the United States, by Michael Bronski Non-Fiction LGBT
3.The Ballad of Jethro Tull. Rocket88 Books. Non-Fiction. Music.
4. DayGlo: The Poly Styrene Story, by Celeste Bell and Zoe Howe. Non-Fiction. Music. Bio.
5. 10% Happier: Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics by Dan Harris & Jeffrey Warren. Non-Fiction. Philosophy/Spirituality
6. Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear, by Kim Brooks. Non-Fiction.
7. On Earth We are Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong. Fiction.
8. An Elegant Defense: The Extraordinary New Science of the Immune System, by Matt Richtel. Non-fiction. Science.
9. Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles. Fiction. Graphic Novel.
10. Into? by North Morgan. LGBT. Fiction.
11. Positively 4th Street: by David Hajdu. Non-fiction. Music. Bio.
12. Edinburgh, by Alexander Chee. Fiction. LGBT.
13. Harold and Maude by Colin Higgins. Fiction.
14. Hal Ashby and the Making of Harold and Maude: Non-fiction.
15. Supermarket, by Bobby Hall. Fiction.
16. Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata. Fiction.
17. Wild and Crazy Guys, by Nick De Semlyen. Non-Fiction
18. Professor at Large, by John Cleese. Non-Fiction. Humor.
19. Less, by Andrew Sean Greer. Fiction. LGBT.
20. 1969: The Year Everything Changed, by Rob Kirkpatrick. Non-Fiction.
21. Karamo: My Story of Embracing Purpose, Healing, and Hope, by Karamo Brown. Non-Fiction. Memoir. LGBT.
22. Out East, by John Glynn. LGBT. Memoir.
23. Full Count: The Education of a Pitcher, by David Cone. Sports. Memoir
24. Notes from the Velvet Underground: The Life of Lou Reed, by Howard Sounes. Biography, Music.
25. Art with an IPhone by Kat Sloma. Non-Fiction. Photography.
26. Everything is F*cked, by Mark Manson. Non-Fiction.
27. Rockonomics, by Alan B. Krueger. Non-Fiction, Music.
28. Apropos of Nothing, by Woody Allen. Non-Fiction. Memoir.
29. Argentinian Hag, by Banana Yoshimoto. Fiction.
30. The Sparsholt Affair, by Alan Hollingshurst. Fiction. LGBT.
31. If You See Me, Don’t Say Hi, by Neel Patel. Fiction.
32. Never a Dull Moment: 1971, The Year that Rock Exploded, by David Hepworth. Non-Fiction. Music.
33. Why You Like This Photo: The Science of Perception, by Brian Dilg. Non-fiction.
34. Learning to See Creatively: Design, Color, and Composition in Photography. Third Edition, by Bryan Peterson. Non-fiction.
35. Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler. Fiction.
36. Men We Reaped, by Jesmyn Ward. Memoir.
37. The Greatest Albums You’ll Never Hear: Unreleased Records by the World’s Greatest Artists, by Bruno MacDonald. Non-fiction, music.
38. Oil and Water, by Steve Duin and Shannon Wheeler. Non-fiction.
39. Remain in Love, by Chris Frantz. Memoir, Music
40. The Light Years, by Chris Rush. Memoir, LGBT.
41. Design Principles for Photography, by Jeremy Webb. Non-fiction.
42. Read This if You Want to Take Great Photographs, by Henry Carroll. Non-Fiction.
43. Queer Eye by Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Jonathan Van Ness, Karamo Brown, and Bobby Burk. LGBT.
44. The Passionate Photographer by Steve Simon. Non-Fiction.
45. Conscious by Annaka Harris. Non-Fiction
46. How to Stay Human in a Fucked-Up World by Tim Desmond. Non-Fiction
47. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert Pirsig. Non-Fiction
48. Cleanness, by Garth Greenwell. Fiction. LGBT.
49. The Street Photographer’s Manual, by David Gibson. Non-Fiction.
50. Here’s the Catch by Ron Swoboda. Memoir
51. Seduced by Mrs. Robinson by Beverly Gray. Non-Fiction
52. Face It, by Debbie Harry. Memoir
53. Other Minds: The Octopus, The Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness, by Peter Godfrey-Smith. Non-Fiction
54. Street Photography Now, by Sophie Howarth and Stephen McLaren
55. We Cast a Shadow, by Maurice Carlos Ruffin. Fiction.
56. Gay Like Me: A Father Writes to His Son, by Richie Jackson. Memoir.
57. How I Make Photographs, by Joel Meyerowitz. Non-Fiction.
58. A History of Violence, by Edouard Louis. Memoir.
59. Post Office, by Charles Bukowski. Fiction.
60. How I Take Photographs, by Daido Moriyama. Non-Fiction.
61. Outsmarting the Sociopath Next Door, by Martha Stout.
62. Read This if You Want to Take Great Photographs of People, by Hendry Carroll. Non-fiction.
63. When Brooklyn Was Queer, by Hugh Ryan.
64. On Street Photography and the Poetic Image, by Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb. Non-fiction.
65. Speak No Evil, by Uzodinma Iweala. Fiction, LGBT
66. Ham on Rye, by Charles Bukowski.
67. Oh So Pretty: Punk In Print 1976-1980, by Rick Poynor.