Books Read in 2020

I doubt I’ll finish another book between now and 1st January, so here are the books I read in 2020, not counting picture books.

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#WitchWeek2020 Day 6: MEXICAN GOTHIC and the Classic Gothic Tale

Mexican shadows …

Lizzie Ross

Wrangling the specters today is guest blogger Kristen M, who has been blogging at for most of twelve years and is the creator of March Magics (which annually celebrates Diana Wynne Jones and Terry Pratchett). She lives in Seattle, loves baking, tolerates yard work, and hates laundry. In this post, Kristen’s review of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s 2020 best-selling novel is framed within traditional Gothic tropes (similar to e-Tinkerbell’s use of classic plot arc to analyze The Betrothed), thus providing an excellent final post for this week of Gothick thrills.

When deciding on a gothic book for Witch Week (in my case, likely a reread since this is my most frequently read genre), I started getting curious about a book I was hearing a lot about and actually hadn’t read yet–Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.  The gothic tale is typically held to be a British and American custom, based…

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#WitchWeek2020 Day 1: Gothick Dreams

There’s something about a castle …

Lizzie Ross

Happy Halloween to all!

My first guest blogger is my co-host, Chris, who blogs asCalmgroveon WordPress, where for eight years he’s been exploring the world of ideas through books by way of reviews and discussions. Today Chris has taken on the challenge of setting the mood, so to speak, for our week of dark mysteries. 

What was that thump I heard on the stairs behind you?

I waked one morning [in 1764] from a dream, of which, all I could recover, was, that I had thought myself in an ancient castle (a very natural dream for a head like mine filled with Gothic story), and that on the uppermost banister of a great staircase I saw a gigantic hand in armour. In the evening I sat down, and began to write…       — Horace Walpole, in a letter

A castle in Herge’s Tin Tin series


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WWW Wednesday

What are you currently reading?

Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama by Alison Bechdel

Having finished Fun Home, I thought I would read this next! So far so good.

Less Than Angels by Barbara Pym

Still reading this. I’ve tended to rush through my Pyms and, now that I have the physical books, I intend to re-read them all. Slowly.

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

This is great. It’s easy to read and funny and surprising, and also strange and disconcerting.She writes about sex and the uncanny so well. They fit together like they were meant to be.

Severance: A Novel by Ling Ma

(audio book)

I love Scribd! I am definitely reading more, with it. And yes, I consider listening to audio books reading. In fact, I pay better attention listening to than reading a book. When I read I sometimes skim and skip. Not with audio. I’ve chosen this one as my next listen. I hope it’s something I can stick with.

What did you recently finish reading or couldn’t finish?

Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong

I loved this one, about a young woman who moves back home after her Dad is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Like Fun Home, it made me think about my late father and the difficult relationship I had with him. I don’t think he found our relationship difficult though, except towards t the end of his life when I refused to see him. It probably puzzled him. Anyway, this should be a separate post.

Fun Home: A Family Tragiccomic by Alison Bechdel

I liked this. I suppose I have a lot of issues of my own when it comes to my father. Although I think I’m dealing with them OK.

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

I love this! I didn’t think I would as I don’t like rap, but of course it’s about much more than rap, and I think I liked the protagonist, Bri, even more than I did Starr in The Hate U Give.

The Wife by Meg Wolitzer

Meh. This post is about how I feel about the novel and the film.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I keep saying Lotus by Lijia Zhang and I do intend to read it, but I keep getting distracted! I think I’m going to draw up a list.

WWW Wednesday

What are you currently reading?


A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan

I am reading this because the Kinokuniya SFF Bookclub is discussing it on the 25th. I have wanted to read it for some time anyway so this is great motivation. So far, I am enjoying it. Love that, in this book, dragons are as common as cats.


What did you recently finish reading?


The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo

A young boy tries to deal with the death of his mother; his clueless dad and being bullied at his new school. Then he finds a caged tiger in the woods and meets a girl with issues of her own, and life goes on, but not quite how he planned it would.

LIke DiCamillo’s other books, this made my heart both ache and sing. I would have liked it to continue for a couple more chapters though.


What do you think you’ll read next?


Legends of the Condor Heroes, Book 1 by Jin Yong and Sweet Bean Paste by Dirian Sukegawa. I have started them both and want to finish them. The former might take a while as it’s very fat and I’m not sure if wuxia (martial arts) novels suit me.