2020 Favorites from the List

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2020 Favorites from the List

1japaul22
Dez 17, 2020, 8:05am

Since we're closing in on the end of the year, I thought it would be nice to share our favorite (and least favorite) books from the List that we read in 2020.

Hope to discover some books to move up my priority list for 2021!

2paruline
Editado: Dez 17, 2020, 9:31am

I'm looking forward to this thread and taking notes every year. I've had a paltry number of 1001 books read this year, but my favorites were definitely Breakfast at Tiffany's and War with the newts.

I intensely disliked Nightwood but merely disliked Cane and The glass key (touchstones not working).

>1 japaul22: You didn't tell us yours!

3japaul22
Dez 17, 2020, 9:43am

>2 paruline: I'm still finishing up La Bête Humaine before I make my favorite/least favorite list - I'll be back!

4puckers
Editado: Dez 17, 2020, 1:02pm

I’ve read 124 list books this year. As I look back over my reviews I see that 2 books got 5 stars from me The Information by Martin Amis and The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler. In retrospect I am surprised by these choices; these aren’t iconic works of literature. However at the time they provided me with solid entertainment in a year particularly devoid of entertaining moments.

My lowest rating of the year (1.5 stars) went to two books where women were described as revelling in abusive relationships: The Story of O and Pamela. Nasty.

5amerynth
Dez 17, 2020, 1:22pm

It has been an iffy reading year for me -- I've been choosing books that aren't a good fit. I didn't rate any list books with five stars (and I think that's a first.)

The two best list books were both four star reads this year -- The Reader which I just finished and The Bluest Eye.

The three I liked the least this year were The Enormous Room, After the Quake and sadly, The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas.

6JayneCM
Dez 17, 2020, 6:20pm

I enjoyed pretty much everything I read this year, which admittedly wasn't much!
The Things They Carried and If On a Winter's Night A Traveller would have been my favourites. Cannot say I had a least favourite. Obviously I was avoiding ones I knew I probably wouldn't like!

7annamorphic
Dez 18, 2020, 10:46am

My two five-star reads this year were The Master (amazing book) and Love Medicine. I can't quite figure out why I liked the second of these so much, but I really did. Passing was also excellent, short and very thought-provoking, while Cecilia was very long but entertaining. I also loved Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and now understand why Le Carre is being celebrated upon his death as a great writer. Go Tell it on the Mountain and The Emigrants were both extremely moving in completely opposite ways.

On the other end of the spectrum, I really hated Tarr through and through. I didn't have high hopes for it, and it exactly met my expectations.

8DeltaQueen50
Dez 18, 2020, 12:51pm

I had a number of books that I really loved this year:

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
I'm Not Scared by Niccolo Ammaniti
The Water Margin by Shi Nai'An
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

I also had a few that I really disliked:

Notes From the Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathaniel West
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

9gypsysmom
Dez 18, 2020, 4:28pm

I gave Cannery Row and The Return of the Soldier 5 stars this year and 4 1/2 stars to Fingersmith and Giovanni's Room. My least favourite was The Fan Man but it wasn't horrible.

10japaul22
Dez 24, 2020, 8:21am

I think I'm done with list books for the year. I only read 15 this year, but overall I enjoyed all of them, even the few duds. I think I learned that reading fewer, but choosing ones I'm excited to read is the way to go from here on out. I'm up to 334 books read from the list.

My favorites this year:

La Bete Humaine by Emile Zola
The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann
Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga
Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri (5 stars)
Loving by Henry Green
The Diviners by Margaret Laurence (5 stars)
Nana by Emile Zola

Least Favorites:
Camilla by Fanny Burney (just too long and melodramatic - read Evelina instead!)
The Commandant by Jessica Anderson (I know this is a favorite for many, but it felt dated to me)