I have a penchant for making ambitious annual commitments. In 2016, 2017 and 2018, I committed to running one mile per day of the year, or 365 miles per year. However, despite my best efforts, which included regular 10 to 13 mile Saturday morning runs, multiple half marathons and my first marathon in 2018, I came close but never quite made it across the finish line. My competitive spirit was inclined to keep going, but I was forced to take a break from persistent running to recover from an ankle injury.
This year, I made a new and exciting commitment: to read one book per week of the year. I am a voracious reader and was on pace at the end of January so the goal seemed aggressive yet achievable. My focus on reading wavered from month to month. Strangely enough, quarantine and a new work-from-home routine were the biggest help toward reaching my goal by opening up new pockets of reading time previously used for commuting and a social life. Virginia Gil’s invitation to join “The Boozy Book Club,” a charismatic group of Miami readers that pick and discuss a new book each month, was also a godsend for my sanity and maintaining reading momentum.
I reached my goal on December 23 when I finished my 53rd book on week 52 of 53. I finished a 54th and 55th book that same week for good measure after there was some contention about counting a 20-page picture book as book 52. Let no one say this challenge was unmet—it was unequivocally defeated! Below is the comprehensive list of every book I read in 2020, in order, for your peer review and reading pleasure in 2021. (While I loved most books, the ones that were life-changing are shown in bold.)
My reading list for 2020 varied widely in every sense. It constituted both fiction and non-fiction. The books ranged from witty quips, poetry and short stories to novellas and novels. I read stories in 20 pages and others in 800+. What I liked most about this year’s reading journey is that every author forced my already open mind to see the world from a brand new perspective, opening my eyes to real and imagined scenarios beyond the realm of what I thought possible. I learned A LOT from reading each and every one of these books. I hope you too will find a much needed lesson, outlook, or escape in their pages.
Every Book I Read in 2020 (in order of completion)
I marked those I recommend in an asterisk. I show in bold those I loved.