My Year in Books

Image courtesy Pixabay

I’ve always been an avid reader and my guess is, that many of you share my passion for books and reading. And if you happen to follow me on Instagram you know how books make a regular appearance there on my stories. 😉

My friend Lani from over at “Life, the Universe, and Lani” (hint: if you’re in the know, you can already guess from her blog’s name how much she loves books 😉 ) recently talked about books on her Instagram account and inspired me to write a post about the books I’ve read in the last year.

Considering the amount of time I, like so many others, spend in lockdown and at home, I was surprised to learn that with 70 books all in all, I only read 7 books more than in 2019 (63 books). So maybe I spend more time being creative, but my guess is, that I simply spend more time in front of the tv!

Anyway, here are my books from 2020! I’d love to hear from you if you’ve read some of them as well and compare notes. ;). (Where possible I added the original title in brackets if I’ve read the book in German. Also I added an exclamation mark to those book I especially enjoyed reading. Oh, and I also count audio books in my list which I like to listen to when drawing or painting, or when I’m too tired to read but not tired enough to fall asleep.)

 

January:

  • „The Reverse of the Medal“ by Patrick O’Brian
  • „The Giver of Stars“ by Jojo Moyes
  • „Strange the Dreamer“ by Lani Taylor (audio)  (!)
  • „Der Reporter“ von John Katzenbach („In the Heat of the Summer“)

February:

  • „The Chef“ by James Patterson
  • „Catching Fire“ by Suzanne Collins
  • „Devil’s River“ von Thomas Thiemeyer (!)
  • „Rein soll deine Seele sein“ von Faye Kellerman („The Ritual Bath“)
  • „Mr. Vertigo“ by Paul Auster
  • „Maximum Ride – Der Zerberus-Effekt“ von James Patterson

March:

  • Blut vergisst nicht“ von Kathy Reichs („Spider Bones“)
  • „Das Haus der roten Dämonen“ von Peter Dempf
  • „Machines Like Me“ by Ian McEwan (audio) (!)
  • „The Black Country“ by Alex Grecian (!)

 

Image courtesy Pixabay

April:

 – „Die Ermordung des Commendatore“ von Haruki Murakami (audio) („Killing Commendatore“) (!)

 – „The Sunday Philosophy Club“ by Alexander McCall Smith

 – „Muse of Nightmares“ by Lani Taylor (audio) (!)

 – „Dunkles Blut“ von Stuart MacBride („Dark Blood“)

 – „Aus der Dunkelkammer des Bösen“ von Mark Benecke

 – „Die Phoenix-Chroniken: Blut“ von Lori Handelnd („The Phoenix Chronicles“)

May:

  • „Libellen im Kopf“ von Gavin Extence („The Mirror World of Melody Black“)
  • „Into the Wild“ by Jon Krakauer (!)
  • „Die Ermordung des Commendatore, Bd. II“ von Haruki Murakami (audio) („Killing Commendatore II“) 
  • „Engelslieder“ von Kat Martin („The Summit“)
  • „Of Blood and Bone, Chronicles of The One II“ by Nora Roberts (!)

June:

  • „Hush, hush“ by James Patterson&Candice Fox
  • „Der Outsider“ von Stephen King (audio) („The Outsider“)
  • „A Conspiracy of Bones“ by Kathy Reichs (!)
  • „The Inn“ by James Patterson&Candice Fox
Image courtesy Pixabay

July:

  • „The Cockroach“ by Ian McEwan
  • „How the Dead Speak“ by Val McDermid (!)
  • „The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes“ by Suzanne Collins (!)
  • „The Near Witch“ by V.E. Schwab (audio)
  • „Wenn der Wind singt“ von Haruki Murakami (audio) („Hear the wind sing“)
  • „If it Bleeds“ by Stephen King (!)

August:

  • „Die Glocke von Whitechapel“ von Ben Aaronovitch (audio) („Lies Sleeping“) (!)
  • „The Boy from the Woods“ by Harlan Coben
  • „Old Bones“ by Preston&Child (!)
  • „Vendetta in Death“ by J.D. Robb
  • „Mort“ by Terry Pratchett (audio)
  • „Pinball 1973“ von Haruki Murakami (audio)
  • „The Familiars“ by Stacey Halls (audio)
  • „Trace Elements“ by Donna Leon (!)
  • „The Secrets We Kept“ by Lara Prescott (!)
  • „Aufgetaut“ von David Safier (audio) (!)
  • „The Blue“ by Nancy Bilyeau
  • „Ausgeliefert“ von Lee Child (audio) („Die Trying“) (!)

September:

  • „The Sun Sister“ by Lucinda Riley (!)
  • „The Second Sleep“ by Robert Harris
  • „Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets“ by Joanne K. Rowling
  • „Still Life“ by Val McDermid (!)
  • „Mord in Sunset Hall“ von Leonie Swann (audio)
Image courtesy Pixabay

October:

  • „Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban“ by J.K. Rowling
  • „The Big Kahuna“ by Janet Evanovitch
  • „Crooked River“ by Preston&Child (!)
  • „Agent Running in the Field“ by Jon Le Carré (!)
  • „The Midwife Murders“ by James Patterson
  • „Magnus Chase – Geschichten aus den Neun Welten“ von Rick Riordan (audio)

November:

  • „Golden in Death“ by J.D. Robb
  • „The Institute“ by Stephen King (!)
  • „Ans andere Ende der Welt“ von Philip Pullman (audio) („His Dark Materials 4“)
  • „Die Abenteuer des Apollon – Die Gruft des Tyrannen“ von Rick Riordan („The Trials of Apollon – The Tyrant’s Tomb“)
  • „The Rise of Magicks“ by Nora Roberts (!)
  • „The Martian“ by Andy Weir (!)

December:

  • „The Book of Two Ways“ by Jodi Picoult (!)
  • „The Hazel Wood“ by Melissa Albert (audio) (!)
  • „Highfire“ by Eoin Colfer (!)
  • „Breakfast at Tiffany’s“ by Truman Capote
  • „Teufelsgold“ von Andreas Eschenbach
  • „Vox“ by Christina Dalcher (audio)

Published by Sarah

Artist & Illustrator

62 thoughts on “My Year in Books

      1. Hi Sarah! I wrote three posts over the summer about the books I read. I probably should have added a year end post, but truth be told- the bulk of my reading is done in the summer. Teaching is 24/7, and I have little time for pleasure reading. I know…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi Jennie! Thanks for letting me know. And don’t worry, I would have done the same, that is, not writing an end of year post with my reading if I’d done posts about it already in summer. 😉 Hope all is well with you and yours? Are schools open in your neck of the woods? Here it’s homeschooling and I’m out of work for now. More time to do some serious reading. 😉 Take care!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Good to hear from you, Sarah! We are well. Schools are open, but they fluctuate between in-school and remote learning. It’s hard. I’m sorry you’re not working now, but the up side is certainly more time for reading and doing your wonderful art.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Thank you, Shari! I think my top 3 from this list are ‘The Secrets We Kept’ by Lara Prescott (a must if you like Doctor Shivago!), ‘Machines like me’ by Ian McEwan and ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ by Suzanne Collins. Do you have a top 3 from last year? I’m always on the lookout for more books. 😉

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  2. That’s quite the list! I see we read a couple of the same books: Machines Like Me and The Book of Two Ways. Ian McEwan’s synthetic human certainly made me think about the moral and practical dilemmas that would come with AI and building advanced robots.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was feeling the same about Machines Like Me, it makes me more aware of the moral dilemmas of our and future times when AI will more and more become a possibility. I’m not sure if humanity is ready to shoulder such a responsibility yet, creating artificial life and treating it right.
      The Book of Two Ways opened my eyes to a very important subject that tends to be suppressed in our western society. It also made me quite melancholic because I studied archeology at university. Sadly I never found a job in this very small, and hotly contested field of profession.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey, thanks for the mention 😉 Also, besides listening to audios when your painting, etc, I was wondering when else you read? I’m trying to crack the Sarah-code! 😛

    I also enjoyed Into the Wild“ by Jon Krakauer & The Martian“ by Andy Weir – greatly. Also, I was wondering who this writer was with the same name, and it’s Laini Taylor, by the way 😉 and I’m glad I looked because I love me some YA fantasy books, so she’s on the ‘to read’ list for sure.

    Also, would you say that you gravitate towards dark or literary? Or all over the place? cause I can’t tell from the authors or the titles. Thanks again!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re welcome. 😉
      I wasn’t aware there’s a Sarah-code – awesome! 😀 Well, I do read whenever there’s an opportunity to read, which happens to be more the case than before covid.
      I think you’re going to enjoy Laini Taylor – she’s a brilliant writer in my mind. Wonderful story telling and world building. Start with “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” if you get a chance. 😀

      Oh, I read all over the place, although more fiction than non-fiction books which I try to change every year but it never happens. LOL! Lots of detective/crime stories, historic fiction and whatever happens to cross my way in the library. I have to admit that I’m easily caught by a nice-looking cover. 😉 Also love YA but haven’t read much of it in the past years, want to change that too. Oh, and the classics! I really need to get into those as well. Just started The Foucault Pendulum by Umberto Eco.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I will start with Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I’ve already started a ‘books i want to read’ bookmark folder and yours is in there 😉

        I love historical fiction and a nice book cover too. It’s art, right? And therefore, important.

        The classics were definitely something that I felt I needed to do and now I’ve given up. haha. I mean, I’m okay if I don’t get around to it! Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yay! Laini Taylor (and I) will be so pleased. 😀 😉
        Nice book covers totally count as art!!
        I might develop that attitude towards the classics too. 😉 It seems like an awful lot of work at the moment, and I admit that I need more trash kind of reading at the moment to distract myself. The situation here in Europe and Germany isn’t so good, and I’m all for escapism these days – somehow I doubt that Dostojevski and Tolstoi will give me that. 😉

        Have a lovely week! xo

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I do too much reading here to get that many books read. You have quite the impressive list there. I don’t even remember all the books I’ve read this year but nothing compared to what you have there. I’ve even reread books and get halfway through before I realize it. 🙂 Being old has it’s perks. Once upon a time I read the whole series by Alexander McCall about the Ladies Detective Society, I think it was.
    You should be proud of yourself to have such a fine list and still be so creative. I’m doing more audible as well. Stay well.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Marlene! And I think reading blogs counts absolutely as reading too, so I know you must be reading a lot!! Also I happen to reread books before I notice I’ve already read them – lol! I’ve heard good things of Alexander McCall Smith and intend to read more by him. The one I read last year was very good. 😀
      By the way – your Christmas card arrived!!!!!! 😀 It’s so beautiful! Thank you so much for thinking of me, Marlene! Hugs!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My goodness, I’m surprised they didn’t keep it in the mail till next Christmas.;) My reading has slowed way down along with all my other activities because I’ve been having vision problems. Looks like they will be able to fix it. We shall see.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha! The might have done if they had the capacity to store all that mail. 😉
        So sorry to hear about your vision problems, Marlene. 😦 Sounds like surgery? Are they doing those these days? Hope they can fix it!!!! Take care! Hugs!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. How are you after your surgery, Marlene? Hope everything went well? Wishing you a speedy recovery and that all will be fixed now so that you can enjoy reading again. Thinking of you and sending hugs!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Thank you so much for thinking of me, Sarah. It went well and I can see clearly again! The eye itself is still sore from the assault to it but a few quiet days will do the trick. It’s a world of difference and now I can pick up the projects I left undone. Probably by Monday. I’m also beginning to breathe with relief after yesterday’s inauguration. I wept through it. Then we drank champagne. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      5. So, so happy you can see clearly again, Marlene!!! What a relief!!!
        Totally get the weeping during Biden’s inauguration – I did too!! So moving really. I imagined hearing lots of heavy stones dropping from troubled hearts when he finally took that oath. Here’s to a better future!!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. First, Sarah, I’m very impressed that you read in two languages – English is enough for me to master. Second, you not only read a lot, you read a great variety of genres. Great year for you – I’m a bit behind in the number of books read this year and have none of the titles you listed. Is there one book you would recommend most?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Shari! I think my top 3 from this list are ‘The Secrets We Kept’ by Lara Prescott (a must if you like Doctor Shivago!), ‘Machines like me’ by Ian McEwan and ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ by Suzanne Collins. Do you have a top 3 from last year? I’m always on the lookout for more books. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Favorite books I read in 2020:
        Becoming memoir by Michelle Obama
        Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie (second time I read it, and even better)
        Apeirogon by Colum McCann
        The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne
        Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield
        City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
        Beyond the Ghetto Gates by Michelle Cameron
        And the first book I read in 2021, The Night Portrait by Laura Morelli

        Each of these books enthralled me for different reasons. In my opinion, each was exceptionally well written, and in cases of historical fiction, very well researched. (Sorry I can’t count to 3!)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you for this impressive list of your favorite reads, Shari! I also want to read Michelle Obama’s autobiography, and loved another book written by Elizabeth Gilbert, “The Signature of All Things”, so look forward to read “City of Girls” too. I think I watched a movie adaptation of “Balzac…” but it’s been years ago, and anyway, books are almost always better, so will look out for it as well. I haven’t heard of the other ones you’ve mentioned but will look them up!

        And don’t worry – normally I can’t count to 3 as well. 😉

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  6. I love looking through your list! You’ve read Breakfast at Tiffany’s — I love the movie and thought recently I should read it. I imagine it to be darker than the film?
    I have begun the Seven Sisters series, but there is such huge demand for them at the library I’m ordering Gabon’s at a time so I can read them in order.

    Of the books (I didn’t keep track of numbers) I read last year, I really enjoyed “Resistance is Futile”, Jenny Colgan; “The People of the Book”, Geraldine Brooks; “Rules for Visiting, Jessica Kane; “Transcription”, Kate Atkinson, and the Rennie Airth series (detective novels set in England from the 1920s to 40s). I’ve also re-read the Scotland Street series by Alexander McCall Smith — and still love them.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I also love the movie from Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Audrey Hepburn was just marvellous!
      I found the book to be somewhat different from the movie, not necessarily darker but a bit more aware of social underlines, differences and such, more critical in a way. Which I really liked but I think I still love the movie more. 😉
      Yay to reading The Seven Sisters- I’m sure you’re going to enjoy the series. Let me know which of the books are your favourites, Lani and I have the same ones. 😀

      From your list: I ‘ve read Transcription 2019 and loved it, I definitely need to read more by Alexander McCall Smith, and I think I’ve read something by Geraldine Brooks as well a couple of years ago but am not sure which one, I know that I liked it though. 😊 I haven’t heard of the other ones but will look them up.

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      1. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to live in the US right now. I was thinking of celebrating on the 20th but now I’m dreading what might happen. 😦

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  7. Gosh! You’ve read sooooo many books! I have only managed the following:
    The Book in the Cathedral x Christopher de Hamel
    The Nature of Summer x Jim Crumley
    The Unexpected Genius of Pigs x Matt Whyman
    The Stream Invites Us to Follow x Dick Capel
    The Urban Woodsman x Max Bainbridge
    Wilding x Isabella Tree
    The Outermost House x Henry Beston
    And a couple more which I’ll post later!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hehe! Thank you! 😉 And also thanks for listing your books here, I haven’t heard of any of them and look forward looking them up and maybe look for copies in my local library. 😀 Do you have a favourite?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I would find it difficult to say that one of those books was a favourite! All the books I read are ‘friends’. The one about ‘Pigs’ was a discussion book for a society (https://www.onekind.scot/) I belong to; the ‘Stream’ was newly published about a part of NW England I love; the ‘Woodsman’ is about a craft that I am slowly learning; ‘Wilding’ concerns re-wilding the countryside; the ‘Cathedral’ book is about the possibility that an existing psalter belonged to Thomas Beckett (1170); the ‘Outermost House’ is a book from 1928 about Cape Cod, USA; ‘Summer’ is about summer in Scotland.
        One last book is ‘A Time of Birds’ x Helen Moat about a bicycle journey across Europe.
        If I had to choose one book it would have to be Jim Crumley’s ‘Nature of Summer’. I don’t know Scotland well but it is not that far from my home in Northern Ireland. It is also a part of a set of seasonal books by the author which I try to adhere to in my own writing. I write about winter in winter, spring in spring and so on. I’m trying to live and work by the seasons and to observe and record nature in those seasons.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks so much for letting me know about these books in more detail, Ashley! I’m very intrigued by “A Time of Birds” and “Wilding” and will hopefully find copies in my local library.
        I very much like your notion that books are friends – I feel the same, and think everybody who grows up with them and falling in love with the first book ever read, feels the same.
        I also like the idea of writing (or reading) about winter and in winter and so on. I tend to read more Russian literature in winter for example! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww – thank you! Coming from the Orang-Utan Librarian herself that means a lot to me! Knew we had Taylor in common, she’s awesome, right? And was wonderfully surprised by The Hazel Wood which I knew from your blog! 😘 And now tell me: how many books have you read? I guess it’s hundreds! 😂xxx

      Liked by 2 people

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