Dare I ask? How was your 2020? No need to answer, I know. This year-like-no-other took a lot from us, smashed things apart and had us re-assess practically everything we’ve known in recent times. And if you were lucky enough to have a good 2020, well done to you! As usual I’ve compiled my favourite reads from the last 12 months in the hopes you might find something to read over the holidays!
‘If -‘ and Other Poems (Rudyard Kipling) – If has become my favourite poem and was a great ‘call-to-arms’ message to help anyone get through a year as difficult as 2020.
The Fabric of the Cosmos (Brian Greene) – This book made my brain explode. A great layman’s guide to how time and space work, and probably the easiest method in which quantum physics can be explained. Even still, I couldn’t finish it! It was mind bending, but what I read and understood was incredibly interesting.
Last Orders (Graham Swift) – My favourite book of the year, this was a bittersweet story of how the loss of a good friend has affected a group of middle-aged blokes. Dealt with heavy themes in a very human manner, with an undertone of humour that only made it more relatable. We’re all going to die – how do we know we’ve led a good life?
The Luminaries (Eleanor Catton) – As stated in my Goodreads review, I had tried and failed to read this book back in 2014, but finally tackled it again this year – and I loved it. This Man Booker Prize winner had nagged me for years, and I’m glad I finally had the patience to see it through to the end. Great Victorian style writing with intricate characters and an underused setting against the backdrop of the New Zealand gold rush era.
Both my reading of books and my writing of new content was less than previous years, however I feel it was more of a quality over quantity kind of thing. It’s been a year that honestly smashed me to pieces and tasked me with building back up again; a year that I don’t exactly want to revisit, however am happy it all happened. I’ve seen the darkest days of my life in the past 18 months – but I’ll take the old ‘darkest hour before the dawn’ mentality and plunge into 2021 guns blazing, and a big middle finger to 2020 in the rear view mirror. Join me if you will.
Merry Christmas, happier 2021. See you soon.