Thursday, December 24, 2020

The Book Chase 2020 Top 15


Because I did not read enough nonfiction during 2020 to justify a separate nonfiction list, I have decided to produce one list encompassing both fiction and nonfiction titles.  That said, these are the fifteen books that topped my 2020 reading. Fourteen of the books were published in 2020, and one will be published in the first quarter of 2021.
                 

1. The Fighting Bunch by Chris DeRose - full review - True story of WWII vets who took up arms in Tennessee to save their community and their state

                   2.  Slanted by Sharyl Attkisson - full review - the book's                         subtitle, How the News Media Taught Us to Love Censorship                 and Hate Journalism, says it all

3. A Song for the Dark Times by Ian Rankin - full review - Retired cop John Rebus may be showing his age, but he's still after the bad guys, and this time it's personal

4. American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins - full review Probably the most controversial book of the year, it was fun to see it sell like hotcakes. Quite a thriller

5. The Children's Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin - full review  an American tragedy brought dramatically brought to life

6. Mad at the World by William Souder - full review an eye-opening biography of author John Steinbeck

7. Miami Noir: The Classics by various authors - full review - a collection of dark short stories and novel excerpts from over a dozen writers, some of whom will surprise you

8. Simon the Fiddler by Paulette Jiles - full review the latest historical fiction from this author; this one takes place in and around Galveston and Houston in the early days of those cities

9. Next to Last Stand by Craig Johnson - full review - Sheriff Longmire works a Wyoming case in this one (despite straying from his own county) and the whole gang is back...finally.

10. Anxious People by Fredrik Backman - full review another memorable title from this author with great characters and lots of surprises.

11. All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny - full review this latest Gamache novel resolves a lot of family issues that have been brewing for a long time in the Gamache family

12. The Benefits of Breathing by Christopher Meeks - full review latest short story collection from one of the masters of the genre


 13. Truthtelling by Lynne Sharon Schwartz - full review - 25 short stories that run the gamut. My introduction to Schwartz and I'm still wondering why it took me so long to find her.

14. Good Eggs by Rebecca Hardiman - full review Millie Gogarty is an old Irish woman trying to make the most of the time she has left. Is Florida ready for her? (2021)

15. Street Music by Tim Hallinan - full review the final Poke Rafferty novel according to its author and that makes me very sad. 

Edit: I'm doing something this year I've never done in the almost-fourteen-year existence of Book Chase. I'm changing a list of favorite books after I've published. I finished Slanted on December 27, and I strongly feel that it deserves a place high up on my list of 2020 favorite books.


16 comments:

  1. I've only read (2) from the list: Hidden Valley Road and Anxious People - I like Anxious People, the other not so much. Working on my list as well.

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    1. Hidden Valley Road at times made me want to throttle the parents of that doomed family...a frustrating book at times, but one I'm going to remember.

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  2. I will always be amazed at the current books you know! I've heard of a couple of the authors, but that's it.

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    1. Every year I kind of regret reading so much current stuff and so relatively little stuff from prior decades. It's a goal I fail on over and over again...all that bright and shiny new stuff is just too tempting.

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  3. I aim to read that Ian Rankin (great series) and the Anxious People and that Good Eggs sounds intriguing. My favorite book of 2020 is probably The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson, I want to compile a list like you did here.

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    1. Terra, I have Larson's book on my TBR list right now. I haven't gotten to it because the wait-time at my library was one of the longest I've ever seen. I've read most of Larson's earlier books and I've enjoyed every single one of them, so I can imagine how good this one must be, too.

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  4. There are books I've read on your list, and books that you make me want to read, which makes it my kind of list, Sam.

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    1. I love book lists, Cathy. That's one of my favorite thing about heading into a new year...they are all over the place.

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    2. I included a bunch of lists on my weekly link round-up for next week, and the following week is when I'll be talking about my 2020 reading statistics. Once a year I turn my inner graph maker loose. ;-)

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    3. Looking forward to it, Cathy. I never get bored with lists - and graphs are the icing on the cake!

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  5. You managed to read a lot of good books this year! A lot have made it onto my TBR list for 2021. :) P.S. Merry Christmas!

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  6. I haven't read any of these but the one that appeals is Simon the Fiddler. I'm going to try to make 2021 a little different reading-wise so am looking for unusual titles.

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    1. Simon the Fiddler is very good historical fiction, Cath. I love the author's style, and I learned a lot about life in this are in the 1800s.

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  7. Nice! I've only read one of these - THE CHILDREN'S BLIZZARD. I'm so glad that you enjoyed it.

    I hope you and your family had a lovely Christmas, Sam!

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    1. Absolutely loved that one, Susan, and happy that I discovered it on your blog. It would have otherwise slipped right past me.

      We did have a nice, but very quiet, Christmas. I hope you guys had a wonderful day.

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