Tagged With: Reading List

My 2020 Reading

My 2020 Reading

My 2020 Reading

This year was something of a landmark for me in terms of reading. For a while now I’ve been trying to read some of the books that I should have read in high school or college (or perhaps that I should have been supposed to read, if you follow me). Over the last dozen years or so, I’ve gotten through a significant number, including fiction by Austen, Bronte, Dickens, Dostoyevsky, Dufoe, Hardy, Melville, Shakespeare, Tolstoy, and Zola, to name but a few. I’ve read some of the classics, including Greek and Roman historians, playwrights, and philosophers and some significant modern non-fiction, as well. Late last year, though, I decided to step it up a notch. My goal was to read 26 books with some significant number of them being big, important or serious books. As it turns out—and no one is more surprised than I am—I aimed low.

My 2020 Reading

My 2020 Reading

All the books I read this year are pictured here. Some of them are short and very easy to read, but a few of them are what Dorothy and I have taken to calling “Lifetime Achievement Books.” Specifically, the three volumes of The Gulag Archipelago (weighing in at a combined 1,818 pages), Moby Dick (‘only’ 459 pages but seriously, get to the whale already!), The History of the Peloponnesian War (574 pages), The Tale of Genji (1,139 pages), and War and Peace (1,136 pages).

In case you cannot make out the titles in the photo, here is the full list of books read in 2020 in the order I read them. Overall, I’ve enjoyed much of what I read. Some were not so much enjoyable as worthwhile. For instance, The Gulag Archipelago is not light or enjoyable, but it’s important. I think it should be required reading. Obviously Jack London, the Narnia books by Lewis, and a few others are on the other end of the difficulty spectrum and provided some needed rest.

  1. Anna Karenin, 1878, by Leo Tolstoy (September 9, 1828 – November 20, 1910). I actually started this on December 23, 2019, so only a third or so was read this year.
  2. The Gulag Archipelago: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, Volume 1, English translation published in 1974, by Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (December 11, 1918 – August 3, 2008), translated by Thomas Whitney.
  3. Brideshead Revisited, 1945, by Evelyn Waugh (October 28, 1903 – April 10, 1966).
  4. Moby Dick, 1851, by Herman Melville (August 1, 1819 – September 28, 1891).
  5. Silas Marner, 1864, by George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans, November 22, 1819 – December 22, 1880).
  6. The Man With The Gash, 1901, short stories by Jack London (January 12, 1876 – November 22, 1916).
  7. In Parenthesis, 1937, by David Jones (November 1, 1895 – October 28, 1974).
  8. Tristram Shandy, between 1759 and 1767, by Laurence Sterne (November 24, 1713 – March 18, 1768).
  9. Beowulf: A New Verse Translation, 8th century, translated in 1999, by Seamus Heaney (April 13, 1939 – August 30, 2013).
  10. The Republic, 375 BC, by Plato (c. 425 – c. 347 BC).
  11. Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, 1818, by Mary Shelley (August 30, 1797 – February 1, 1851).
  12. Confessions, AD 397, by Augustine of Hippo (November 13, 354 – August 28, 430 AD).
  13. The Jugurthine War, 44 BC, by the Roman historian and politician Sallust (Gaius Sallustius Crispus, 86 – circa 35 BC).
  14. Macbeth, around 1606, by William Shakespeare (c. April 26, 1564 – April 23, 1616).
  15. The Tale of Genji, early 11th century, by Lady Murasaki, a Japanese noblewoman and lady-in-waiting who lived from somewhere in the AD 970s to probably around 1030.
  16. Recovering Eden: The Gospel According to Ecclesiastes, 2014, by Zack Eswine (born 1969).
  17. The Hobbit, 1937, by J. R. R. Tolkien (January 3, 1892 – September 2, 1973).
  18. The Lives of the Twelve Caesars, AD 121, by Suetonius (Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, c. AD 69 – sometime after 122).
  19. The Canterbury Tales, between 1387 and 1400, by Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1340s – October 25, 1400).
  20. The Practice of the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence (c. 1614 – February 12, 1691), compiled by Father Joseph de Beaufort around 1692.
  21. The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, 1647, by John Owen (1616 – August 24, 1683).
  22. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 1865, by Lewis Carroll, a.k.a. C. L. Dodgson (January 27, 1832 – January 14, 1898).
  23. The Consolation of Philosophy, AD 524, by Boethius (Anicius Manlius Severinus Boëthius, c. AD 477 – 524).
  24. The History, between AD 100 and 110, by Tacitus (c. AD 56 – sometime after 117).
  25. The History of the Kings of Britain, 1136, by Geoffrey of Monmouth (c. 1095 – c. 1155).
  26. Five Dialogues, 5th or 4th centuries, BC, by Plato.
  27. The History of the Peloponnesian War, circa 400 BC, by Thucydides (c. 460 – c. 400 BC), published as The Landmark Thucydides: A Comprehensive Guide to the Peloponnesian War War, 1996, by Robert B. Strassler.
  28. The Magician’s Nephew, 1955, by C. S. Lewis (November 29, 1898 – November 22, 1963).
  29. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, 1950, by C. S. Lewis.
  30. The Horse and His Boy, 1954, by C. S. Lewis.
  31. Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia, 1951, by C. S. Lewis.
  32. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, 1952, by C. S. Lewis.
  33. The Silver Chair, 1953, by C. S. Lewis.
  34. The Last Battle, 1956, by C. S. Lewis.
  35. The Fire Next Time , 1963, by James Baldwin (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987).
  36. Nicomachean Ethics, 4th century BC, by Aristotle (384 – 322 BC).
  37. The Hiding Place, 1971, by Corrie ten Boom (April 15, 1892 – April 15, 1983).
  38. Purgatory, 1308, by Dante Alighieri (c. 1265 – 1321), translated by Dorothy L. Sayers, (June 13, 1893 – December 17, 1957). I read the first portion of Dante’s Divine Comedy, Inferno, in late 2015.
  39. War and Peace, 1869, by Leo Tolstoy.
  40. The House of The Seven Gables, 1851, by Nathaniel Hawthorne (July 4, 1804 – May 19, 1864).
  41. The Epic of Gilgamesh, possibly 18th century BC.
  42. Paradise, 1321, by Dante Alighieri, translated by Dorothy Sayers and Barbara Reynolds (June 13, 1914 – April 29, 2015).
  43. Roumeli: Travels in Northern Greece, 1966, by Patrick Leigh Fermor (February 11, 1915 – June 10, 2011).
  44. The Mill on the Floss, 1860, by George Eliot.
  45. King John, 1595, by William Shakespeare.
  46. Lord Jim, 1900, by Joseph Conrad (December 3, 1857 – August 3, 1924).
  47. Mani: Travels in the Southern Peloponnese, 1959, by Patrick Leigh Fermor.
  48. Beat to Quarters, 1937, originally published in England as The Happy Return, by C. S. Forester (August 27, 1899 – April 2, 1966).
  49. The Gulag Archipelago: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, Volume 2, 1974, by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
  50. Cybernetics, 1948, by Norbert Wiener (November 26, 1894 – March 18, 1964).
  51. The Problem of Pain, 1940, by C. S. Lewis.
  52. The Gulag Archipelago: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, Volume 3, 1974, by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
  53. Rumours of War, 2004, by Allan Mallinson (6 February 1949 – ).
  54. The Early History of Rome, 29 to 27 BC, by Livy (59 BC – AD 17). Books 1 through 5 of Livy’s 142 volume History of Rome, which cover the period from the founding of Rome to 386 BC.
  55. The Old Man And The Sea, 1952, by Ernest Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961).
  56. Out of Africa, 1937, by Isak Dinesen (a.k.a. Karen Blixen, April 17, 1885 – September 7, 1962).
  57. Under The Greenwood Tree, 1872, by Thomas Hardy (June 2, 1840 – January 11, 1928).
  58. Crime and Punishment, 1866, by Fyodor Dostoevsky (November 11, 1821 – February 9, 1881).
  59. A History of My Times (Hellenica), 4th Century BC, by Xenophon (c. 430 – 354 BC).
  60. Smith of Wooton Manor and Farmer Giles of Ham, published in 1967 and 1949, respectively, by J. R. R. Tolkien.
Categories: Miscellaneous | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on My 2020 Reading