52 Books: How to Read Your Way Through a Pandemic

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2019 was my first year taking part in the Goodreads Reading Challenge. When I achieved my goal of forty books, I decided to challenge myself in 2020 by giving fifty books a try. Here’s the link if you want to compare your list with mine.

Enter Covid 19. While coming to grips with the pandemic that descended on us all in March, I seriously stepped up my reading. Books have always been my go-to form of escape, lockdown or not. Writing the second novel of my trilogy got pushed to the back burner, because I’m one of those people who is struggling to be productive during these strange times. And apparently I’m not alone. But hey, if you’re writing up a storm, good on you! I envy you, but I predict I’ll come around very soon.

Anyhoo, one afternoon in mid-March, husband Paul came home from the library with two of my recent requests at the time, Midwives and The Silent Patient.

Hmm. . .the coronavirus, and two new books—one, a medical fiction and the other, a thriller about a psychotherapist’s patient—and what beloved show of mine was I watching on TV when he dropped the books in front of me? Grey’s Anatomy. Yep, maybe I should’ve gone into the medical field like my sister, brother-in-law, and daughter. Both of the books I’ve written include hospital stays for certain characters, and my latest manuscript is no exception, come to think of it. Wow. I’m having a small revelation here this morning!

But I did try to read a wide variety of genres in 2020, which included more classic literature (LOVE Thomas Hardy and George Eliot), a little romance, a lot of crime, historical and literary fiction, select non-fiction, and a fair sampling of my author-blogger pals’ works. I also read a few local Newfoundland books:¬† the historical fiction, River Thieves by Michael Crummey; Some People’s Children, a coming of age tale by Bridget Canning; and Terror Nova, a new horror anthology. By the way, these days I review very few books but almost always give a rating.

Books and Cats

By mid-December, I had reached my goal. With a couple of weeks to spare, I devoured two more books to bring the total to 52. I almost made it to 53 but didn’t finish Carrie Rubin’s The Bone Hunger (you guessed it, a medical thriller) until January 1st of this year. Now I’m reading Elton John’s official autobiography, Me, which is quite funny. I’m enjoying the wild ride his life has been, but mostly I like his writing style and his self-deprecating humour.

I’ve chosen to lower my reading expectations back to 40 books for 2021. You see, there’s this novel I’m writing that I have to finish. . .

What have you read to get you through 2020?
What is on your TBR list? Have any not-put-downable
suggestions to add to mine?
Do tell!

Further reading:
Did Canadians read more during the pandemic? Experts say yes.