Snash's Reading for 2020

Discussão75 Books Challenge for 2020

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Snash's Reading for 2020

1snash
Jan 2, 2020, 7:27am

Here we go again. I made the challenge last year so we'll see if I can do it again.

2snash
Editado: Jan 1, 2:54pm

Snash"s list of 2020 books read:

1) Clearcut by Nina Shengold
2) 70% Acrylic 30% Wool by Viola Di Grado
3) Under a Wing: A Memoir by Reeve Lindbergh
4) Life Class by Pat Barker
5) The Blue Hour by Laura Pritchett
6) Grant by Ron Chernow
7) The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald
8) Doc: A Novel by Mary Doria Russell
9) An Unconventional Wife by Mary Hoban
10) Ordinary Life by Elizabeth Berg
11) The Journey Home by Olaf Olafsson
12) Red Lightning by Laura Pritchett
13) Dark Age Ahead by Jane Jacobs
14) An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine
15) Stars Go Blue by Laura Pritchett
16) The Grief of Others by Leah Hager Cohen
17) The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
18) Napoleon's Buttons by Penny Le Couteur and Jay Burreson
19) A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
20) Where Angels Fear to Trend by E.M. Forster
21) Home Safe by Elizabeth Berg
22) An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
23) The Narcissism of Small Differences by Michael Zadoorian
24) Empire Falls by Richard Russo
25) Strangers and Cousins by Leah Hager Cohen
26) Little Wonder: The Fabulous Story of Lottie Dod by Sasha Abramsky
27) The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee
28) Far Bright Star by Robert Olmstead
29) Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
30) A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
31) Making Friends with Alice Dyson by Poppy Nwosu
32) Henry IV: The Righteous King by Ian Mortimer
33) Thousand Cranes by Yasunari Kawabata
34) Virgil Wander by Leif Enger
35) Ellie and the Harpmaker by Hazel Prior
36) Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell
37) Bread and Salt by Valerie Miner
38) Feast Your Eyes by Myla Goldberg
39) The Topeka School by Ben Lerner
40) Elderhood by Louise Aronson
41) Epitaph: A Novel by Mary Doria Russell
42) American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
43) Know My Name by Chanel Miller
44) On Earth, We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
45) The Piano Student by Lea Singer
46) The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley
47) The Old Man Who Read Love Stories by Luis Sepulveda
48) Complexity by M. Mitchell Waldrop
49) The Invention of the White Race: Vol. 1 by Theodore W. Allen
50) The Language of Liberty by Edwin C. Hagenstein
51) The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
52) The Rare Metals War by Guillaume Pitron
53) On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder
54) Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier
55) The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
56) Olive Again by Elizabeth Strout
57) Clock Dance by Anne Tyler
58) Benediction by Kent Haruf
59) Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
60) The Invention of the White Race: Vol 2 by Theodore W. Allen

3snash
Jan 2, 2020, 7:29am

Clearcut was an erotic tale of three lost souls in the Northwest woods, not deep literature but entertaining and well crafted. 3 stars

4DianaNL
Jan 2, 2020, 7:53am

Best wishes for 2020!

5PaulCranswick
Jan 2, 2020, 10:10am



Another resolution is to keep up in 2020 with all my friends on LT. Happy New Year!

6drneutron
Jan 2, 2020, 12:44pm

Welcome back!

7FAMeulstee
Jan 2, 2020, 3:09pm

Happy reading in 2020, Sharon!

8thornton37814
Jan 5, 2020, 9:31pm

Have a stellar reading year!

9snash
Jan 6, 2020, 7:41am

Spectacular and novel writing in 70% Acrylic 30% Wool does not make the topic of grief, depression, and pain easy to take. 3 stars

10snash
Jan 10, 2020, 3:25pm

Under a Wing: A Memoir is a memoir, not so much of the author's life but of the author's impressions, understandings, and experiences living with her two famous parents as well as some other family members. It did give a vivid portrait of those presented. 4 stars

11snash
Jan 13, 2020, 4:55pm

Life Class provides a view into the estrangement caused by war, not only for those face to face with it but also for those at home. 4 stars

12snash
Jan 18, 2020, 11:10am

The Blue Hour was the story of a community of people living on a Colorado mountainside told by each person as they review their lives and try to come to grips with the suicide on one member. 4.5 stars

13snash
Fev 12, 2020, 7:25am

Grant was a fascinating and thorough book capturing the brilliance and flaws of the man and the times. 4.5 stars

14snash
Fev 14, 2020, 7:21am

The Bookshop was a quick study of a small town's response to the opening of a bookstore deemed inappropriate meaning by the wrong person in the wrong place. 3 stars

15snash
Editado: Fev 25, 2020, 12:30pm

Doc: A Novel was an entertaining, well written historical fictional story of Doc Holiday, debunking legend and presenting intriguing, believable characters. 4.5 stars

16snash
Fev 25, 2020, 12:29pm

An Unconventional Wife was a biography that champions the overlooked wife. Julia was headstrong and intelligent, raising successful and socially responsible children. Her story of her life and her conflict with her husband was engagingly told. 4 stars

17snash
Fev 27, 2020, 2:47pm

As the title suggests, Ordinary Life is a collection of stories about ordinary life or actually about the disruptions in ordinary life that make one appreciate the mundane. One minor complaint is that men, particularly husbands, are presented seemingly overly silent and withdrawn. 3.5 stars

18snash
Mar 2, 2020, 7:43am

The Journey Home was a masterful telling of a woman's complicated life smoothly shifting from present to past delivering surprises throughout. Excellent 4.5 stars

19snash
Mar 6, 2020, 7:28am

Red Lightning was the story of an abused girl who left her illegitimate daughter with her sister and got involved with transporting Mexicans across the boarder. After 10 years, near collapse, she returns home. A good story but many of the conversations about life and feelings did not seem realistic to me. 3.5 stars

20snash
Mar 11, 2020, 7:34am

Dark Age Ahead suggests 5 ways in which our (North American) culture is failing, hurling us toward a Dark Age. It was written 15 years ago and it's clear that these parameters have gotten significantly worse rather than better in that time. None of her suggestions as to how the downward spiral could be arrested have been adopted. As such it's a rather depressing book. 3.5 stars

21snash
Mar 16, 2020, 9:51am

Humor, exquisite descriptions of Beirut and people, critique of the arts, philosophy, and most particularly the rambling of a mind grappling with the "lightness of being" are all here in An Unnecessary Woman. 5 stars

22alcottacre
Mar 17, 2020, 7:08pm

You have had some great reads thus far in the year!

23snash
Mar 19, 2020, 7:33am

Stars Go Blue deals with grief, Alzheimers, death, and love. 3.5 stars

24snash
Mar 25, 2020, 11:46am

The Grief of Others was an exploration of the ramifications of a tragedy upon a whole family told from each member's point of view. Well done. 4 stars

25snash
Mar 30, 2020, 11:50am

In retelling the Iliad from the view point of a captured and enslaved woman, The Silence of the Girls gives voice to the myriad of people impacted by war beyond the "great heroes". 4 stars

26snash
Abr 5, 2020, 11:19am

Napoleon's Buttons was collection of stories about various groups of molecules that have impacted history, from spices, to foods, to medicines, to refrigerants, etc. presented without shirking away from the chemistry involved. It was engaging and interesting even to an organic chemist. One would not have to be an chemist to understand and enjoy the book. 4 stars

27snash
Abr 16, 2020, 10:56am

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena was a harrowing story of people dealing with the war, terror, and the collapse of civilization. A few bright spots are swamped by a sea of miseries. The character studies are very well done.
4 stars

28snash
Editado: Abr 21, 2020, 12:05pm

In Where Angels Fear to Tread the lure and dangers of venturing out of ones home and culture are explored. 3.5 stars

29snash
Abr 25, 2020, 12:52pm

Helen looses a husband and in the process her sense of self. Home Safe chronicles her recovery. I found myself angry and impatient with her at various points which seems to me a good sign, that the character was believable.
4 stars

30snash
Abr 30, 2020, 6:41pm

An American Marriage looks at the difficulties of holding a marriage together through adversity, in this case the imprisonment of one member. Very well done. 4 stars

31snash
Maio 13, 2020, 10:19am

Empire Falls was a compelling story taking place in a small interwoven decaying town. The inevitable encroachment of the past into the present, vindictiveness, and human foibles drive the story. 5 stars

32snash
Editado: Maio 19, 2020, 11:19am

Strangers and Cousins is a sprawling novel of family and friends gathered for a wedding, full of unique descriptions, philosophical musings, cultural dilemmas, and poignant relationships. 4 stars

33snash
Maio 23, 2020, 1:07pm

Little Wonder is an entertaining biography of an amazing woman. Admittedly, the author was hampered by numerous gaps in information which he compensated for by detailed descriptions of people and places as well as guesses as to the reasons for certain actions. Those descriptions did, however, help provide a picture of the times. 3.5 stars

34snash
Jun 2, 2020, 11:34am

The Gene: An Intimate History was a history of the science of heredity and the gene presented in a mostly understandable and engaging manner. From Aristotle to 2014.

35snash
Jun 7, 2020, 7:18am

Far Bright Star was the story of a career army man in Mexico searching for Poncho Villa. He is attacked by a gang and nearly dies. Man's overwhelming will to live is the only attribute given him other than violence. 2.5 stars

36snash
Jun 15, 2020, 1:03pm

In Behind the Beautiful Forevers the author created a cast of characters to portray the realities of slum life in India. Besides the corruption and dreadful conditions, she looks at the rays of hope slum dwellers pursue and why these masses have not risen up to demand their piece of the pie. 3.5 stars

37snash
Jun 22, 2020, 11:41am

A Spool of Blue Thread was a character driven story of a family, their relationships, and a house. It was an enjoyable read although it felt a little disjointed at times, jumping from generation to generation. 4 stars

38snash
Jun 25, 2020, 4:51pm

Making Friends with Alice Dyson is a YA book written in the present tense which managed to pull the reader more closely into the character's shoes. It seemed a good portrayal of the high school social anxieties and the characters were intriguing. 4 stars

39snash
Jul 6, 2020, 11:15am

Henry IV: The Righteous King is a measured, well researched biography of the often overlooked King Henry IV. Despite the large cast of characters and complicated politics, it was very readable and clear.

40snash
Jul 9, 2020, 1:06pm

Thousand Cranes was the story of a bachelor who was entangled by his dead father's mistresses. It's point somewhat escaped me. 3 Stars

41snash
Jul 17, 2020, 7:38am

Virgil Wander is the story of a small struggling town on Lake Superior and a cast of engaging characters, from a kite flying Norwegian to an owner of a failing movie theater. 4 stars

42snash
Editado: Ago 1, 2020, 7:18am

Ellie and the Harpmaker was A pleasant read about relationships and their frequent difficulties and misunderstandings. The characters were likable but not quite believable. 3.5 stars

43snash
Ago 1, 2020, 7:23am

Mary Barton is a story revolving around the struggle between the classes in industrial Manchester in the mid 1800's. The characters are well drawn, the plot engaging although it ends a bit more rosy than realistic. 4 stars

44snash
Ago 7, 2020, 7:47am

Bread and Salt is collection of short stories with well written glimpses into lives. In many cases the characters are dealing with loss by connecting with strangers while traveling. The revelations are subtle and true to life. 4 stars

45snash
Ago 14, 2020, 11:48am

Feast Your Eyes: A Novel, the story of an extraordinary woman photographer and her daughter is told through the eyes of the daughter, friends, and her journal as a catalog to go with an exhibition of her photos after her death. It provides a good picture of a complicated mother/daughter relationship although at times it felt as though the voice of all the different story tellers were very much the same. 4 stars

46snash
Ago 20, 2020, 1:53pm

The insights in The Topeka School, particularly about the male experience, the images invoked by the language, and the elucidation of how the past is ever present were excellent. As a novel, however, it seemed to lose a common thread or a point. 3.5 stars

47snash
Set 7, 2020, 7:19am

Epitaph: A Novel was an excellent portrayal of characters and the lawless west in describing Wyatt Earps life and legend from Tombstone till his death. 4 stars

48snash
Set 12, 2020, 2:54pm

American Dirt was a suspenseful story of Mexican cartel treachery and the migrants trek to el norte. 4 stars

49snash
Editado: Set 19, 2020, 7:26am

Know My Name was A raw, honest, and perceptive telling of the impact of rape and the judicial system on a victim. 4.5 stars

50snash
Set 24, 2020, 7:45am

On Earth, We're Briefly Gorgeous A novel, a poem? A collection of spectacular images and quotes about the brief glory of life in a world of pain and suffering. 4 stars

51EdwardMcLean
Set 24, 2020, 9:03am

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52snash
Editado: Set 28, 2020, 11:54am

The Piano Student is based on letters between Horowitz and his lover, Kaufman. The story is relayed many years later by Kaufman to a stranger he meets in a piano bar. I found the shifts in time from the story to the present difficult to follow and I was often confused. I also never figured out what role the stranger was meant to play. That aside, it was a poignant portrayal of the pain living a double life. 3.5 stars

53snash
Out 1, 2020, 7:10pm

The Authenticity Project had an intriguing cast of characters who found each other due to a notebook where they were encouraged to present theirselves truthfully. It was written in such a way that I found it hard to put the book down even though it wasn't too hard to guess how much of the story would end up. There were some surprises and the characters were believable. 4 stars

54snash
Out 4, 2020, 11:10am

The Old Man Who Read Love Stories is a short but poignant novella juxtaposing the positions of living in harmony with nature and attempting to conquer it. It is also a love story in itself, a love of books, nature, and some humans. 4 stars

55snash
Out 14, 2020, 1:03pm

Complexity is basically a history of the formation of the Santa Fe Institute, the scientist who were involved and their research. In describing their research, an understandable, not too detailed, description of the science of complexity: thought provoking stuff. 4 stars

56snash
Out 25, 2020, 11:41am

The Invention of the White Race: Vol 1 focuses on the forces which foster the formation of a slave class, in the Caribbean, the Americas, and most thoroughly in Ireland. This is presented as background to be used as analogy in exploring the invention of the white race in Volume 2. 4 stars

57snash
Nov 3, 2020, 7:35am

The Language of Liberty is an extremely informative book, presenting in encyclopedic format much information on the history of the government's formation and how it works. In my opinion, however, when the author expressed his own opinions and concerns, he did so from a traditional conservative view point. 3.5 stars

58snash
Editado: Nov 9, 2020, 4:41pm

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry was a feel good story involving the review of a life lived and forgiving that was just a little too simple and obvious for my taste. 3.5 stars

59snash
Nov 15, 2020, 1:20pm

The Rare Metals War was A frightening look at the rare metal needs for our digital and green advances; the polluting and energy costs of mining and refining them; the nationalistic commandeering of them particularly by China, and their eminent depletion. There are a number of interesting charts and maps in the appendices many of which are sadly too small to read. 3.5 stars

60snash
Nov 16, 2020, 10:53am

On Tyranny was a crucial book for our present times, reminding us that the collapse of a democracy including ours can happen and that it takes complicity for that to happen. The 20 lessons suggest ways that we, the ordinary persons, can counter that possibility. Not real detailed but easily digested. 4.5 stars

61PaulCranswick
Nov 27, 2020, 6:31am



This Brit wishes to express his thanks for the warmth and friendship that has helped sustain him in this group, Sharon.

62snash
Nov 29, 2020, 1:51pm

The Nickel Boys was a excellent expose of reform schools made human by a very insightful tale of the people involved, particularly the two main characters, ending with an unexpected twist. 5 stars

63snash
Dez 5, 2020, 10:03am

Olive, Again a fabulous character study and look at the sordid and struggling effort involved in human life. 5 stars

64snash
Dez 11, 2020, 1:22pm

Clock Dance was a nice character study of an older lady finding her self but the characters seemed to lack depth and complexity. 3 stars

65snash
Dez 16, 2020, 11:02am

In Benediction As he approached death, Dad evaluates his life lamenting his failings particularly with his son. The situation also impacts numerous other town members. 4 stars

66snash
Dez 23, 2020, 7:38am

Washington Black was an adventure novel full of unique and complex characters whose nature is explored psychologically. 5 stars

67PaulCranswick
Dez 25, 2020, 12:02pm



I hope you get some of those at least as we all look forward to a better 2021.

68snash
Editado: Jan 1, 3:00pm

The Invention of the White Race: Vol 2 was a very thoroughly researched analysis of the origins of racism in the US as an answer to the need for social control of the bonded and slave population. The particular situation in Virginia was contrasted with the Caribbean, South America, and Ireland. The author could have left out the last couple of pages trying to comment on more recent events. 4.5 stars