2020 library

I’ve notice that people have been sharing what books they read last year; well I know I’ve read a lot and I do remember some but I haven’t noted down which – but wait a minute, because I buy so many books on line there is a record there! It’s not complete of course because I do buy other books from bookshops. I have come to a stage that for financial reasons, and for reasons of space in our overcrowded house, that I buy mostly eBooks.

Altogether I bought about seventy books… gosh, that is rather a lot. Of those, some of them are ones just to add to my ‘library’ which I have read before and may want to read again in the future, Dickens, for example, or Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow by Peter Hoeg, an all time favourite book, and many others. Then there are books which I bought and haven’t yet read, mainly factual ones which need concentration, and there are the books which I have started to read but for whatever reason haven’t finished. An example of these books is The Book of Trespass by Nick Hayes; it’s a fantastic book, beautifully written but not one you can gallop through. I want to read it carefully, thoughtfully and enjoy it.  Some of the books I have begun and not finished, however, are simply not to my taste, or not that good, or take some ploughing through and the effort doesn’t seem worth it when there are so many other great books on the list!

Then there are the thirty-three books I have read all the way through, enjoying some, not enjoying others so much, and quite disliking others. I won’t share the whole list, but here are some from it:

  • twelve books by Stephen Booth in his Cooper and Fry series – I enjoyed all of them
  • five books by Elly Griffiths, one of which was the latest in her Dr Ruth Galloway series, and the other four from her Brighton series. I don’t like the Brighton books as much as the Ruth Galloway series, and of those,  the one I read, ‘The Lantern Men‘ didn’t seem quite as good as her previous novels
  • books from series by favourite authors: the latest ‘Rivers of London’ book by Ben Aaronovitch – excellent as ever; the latest Nick Dixon book by Damien Boyd – possibly my favourite so far and fascinating;  the latest Vera book by Ann Cleeves – clever, intriguing, up to standard; the latest Nidderdale Murder book by J.R. Ellis – enjoyable but fairly ordinary
  • classics – Treasure Island by Stephenson – I love it as much as ever; Phantom of the Opera – terrible! Return of the Native by Hardy – a reread and I enjoyed it much more and appreciated how good it is; Apple Tree Lean Down, the first in the series by Pearce – what a very sad book, I had forgotten how sad

Of the remining books there’s a mixture of fiction and factual books, but I’m going to share my top novels of 2020 – not counting the books I mentioned by my favourite authors. In no particular order

  • The Shadow Of The Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafón
  • Beast – Chris Speck
  • All Rivers Run Free – Natasha Carthew
  • A Kind of Vanishing – Lesley Thomson
  • A North Sea Tale – Chris Speck
  • Starve Acre – Andrew Michael Hurley

If I was forced to put them in order, then maybe it would be:

  1. The Shadow Of The Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafón
  2. All Rivers Run Free – Natasha Carthew
  3. Beast – Chris Speck
  4. A North Sea Tale – Chris Speck
  5. Starve Acre – Andrew Michael Hurley
  6. A Kind of Vanishing – Lesley Thomson


  1. Isabel

    It was interesting to see this list. I recently read an Ann Cleeve novel set in Devon which I enjoyed. I notice that you don’t mention library books. Do you buy all your books?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Isabel

    Gosh! I can’t imagine life without the library, I go most weeks. In lockdown, although you can no longer browse the shelves, you can reserve /order collect and return books as it is considered to be an essential service. Oldham Council have got something right for a change!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lois

      Is it still in the big building in town? Our library is now in part of a sports centre, although there is another small one over on the other side of town in what was once a separate village. The library bus used to come here once a week, but I never found anything I fancied.


  3. Isabel

    It’s in a new building behind that which also has the art gallery on the top floor. There were plans to convert the old building into an arts centre incorporating the local interest centre, a lecture hall, theatre workshop and a couple of other things. However as Oldham Council will have to make budget cuts following the pandemic it looks as if these plans may have to be shelved.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lois

      I do remember driving past it now – I think when we visited for Nigel’s funeral, but I haven’t been inside. The proposed art centre sounds wonderful, pit if it can’t go ahead.


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