Thursday, July 30, 2020

Six Favorite Books Midway Through 2020

This was Kevin Tipple's idea which he got from Lesa Holstine, I think. But here are my seven favorite books of the year so far. I really should list one of the novels of Nicci French I've read but they have all kind of run together, which happens when you repeat characters and situations from novel to novel. But they were enjoyable.

In no particular order

Between Them, Remembering My Parents, Richard Ford (a memoir)
The Movie Musical, Jeanine Basinger
Lean on Pete, Willie Vlautin
Strangers on a Train, Patricia Highsmith
City of Nets, Otto Friedrich
Dance of the Happy Shades, Alice Munro
Chestnut Man, Soren Svestrup

What about you?


Jeff Meyerson said...

Nice list. I have CITY OF NETS and barely started it. (I bought it because I knew I would never finish it in three weeks. On the other hand, now there is no great urgency to read it quickly.) I do want to read the Ford too.

Will have to look back at what I've read. I keep thinking it has been a mediocre reading year so far, but that is on me.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Library had it. Downloaded.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I think it especially appeared to me because the story of his parents was so ordinary. Just like most of us.

pattinase (abbott) said...


George said...

I've read the Munro and Highsmith years ago. Excellent choices.

So far during the coronavirus pandemic, I've read a lot of good books, but no great ones. Given the dire conditions we all find ourselves in, I've tended to read escapist fiction. Many publishers have delayed release of many of their books. The same with movies.

Our lives seem to be on HOLD.

pattinase (abbott) said...

And wondering how long we can stay on hold with out a disconnect.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

Of yours I have read City of Nets, Strangers On a Train and The Chestnut Man.
My favorites so far:
Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
Scrublands by Chris Hammer
Dune by Frank Herbert(reread)
Broken by Don Winslow
Where All Light Tends to Go by David Joy
Nothing More Dangerous by Allen Eskens
Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

Jeff Meyerson said...

Nick Petrie, Light It Up / Tear it Down
Joseph Finder, House on Fire
Blake Crouch, Recursion
Joe Hill, Full Throttle & Strange Weather
Stephen King, ed., Flight or Fright

non fiction:
Bill Bryson, The Road to Little Dribbling
Deborah Feldman, Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots

I'd call that so so at best.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I read the Hawley book but none of Jeff's. Been meaning to try Petrie.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Definitely start with the first one, if you do - THE DRIFTER. It is the most "Jack Reacher" of his titles.

Gerard Saylor said...

BLOOD AND CINDERS about post-war London was a very neat read and a great setting. Lippman's SUNBURN was neat because she knew her characters inside-out, she could have set that anywhere.

pattinase (abbott) said...

That is one of my favorite Lippmans's.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Lesa Holstine did it and I got the idea. Cool to read your list.

pattinase (abbott) said...

We all read very different books, don't we? Lesa's list and yours were very different than mine.

Michael Padgett said...

This has been a pretty lousy reading year for me. There was nothing really exceptional in the early part of the year, and after everything closed down in March my reading pretty much closed down too. Not completely, but with no new books coming in from the library I've been mostly reading (or rereading) older things. From your list I've read Highsmith and "Chestnut Man" and have seen the terrific movie made from "Lean on Pete". No idea how I managed to go so long without reading any of the Scandinavian crime novelists, but "Chestnut Man", which I really liked, was my introduction to it, and I'll certainly read more. Now that my library has (more or less) reopened I'll be getting all the new books that I put on hold. Your earlier review of "City of Nets" made me want to read that, and I hope to get to it soon.

TracyK said...

I was very tense while reading Strangers on a Train, but it was very well done. I have so many of my husband's nonfiction books to read but I should get to The Movie Musical soon.

My favorites so far this year, although it is hard to pick:

October Men, Anthony Price
The Expats, Chris Pavone
Grand Hotel, Vicki Baum
Bury Your Dead, Louise Penny
The Consuming Fire, John Scalzi
The High Window, Raymond Chandler