The Whatever Happened to 2020 and Do We Really Want it Back Book Tag

Almost time to say goodbye to this year and who will mourn the passing of 2020?    It’s been a year when we have been forced to confront the fragility of life on our beatiful blue planet.

Has anyone gone down the lets-fill-this-gaping-hole-in-our-lives-where-our-jobs-used-to-be-with-a-new-puppy route?  Mr. Rune and I have thought hard about another dog.  Mmm!  Much walking in crowded parks in the rain, carrying of heavy equipment around and about the place and many eye-wateringly expensive trips to the vet.   They are gorgeous though.  I’m a bit jealous of bloggers out there who are able to post endless photos of their pooches while I remain a dog-free zone.   Apparently even the rescue centres have waiting lists at the moment.

Let’s move quickly on to books.

The End of the Year Book Tag

I found this tag at Kim@Traveling Books

I don’t often do book tags but this one appealed, and although I have not been specifically tagged in it by anyone, Kim@Traveling Books said she wasn’t either and invited everyone to have a go.  Which I now do.

Are there any books you’ve started that you need to finish?

Yes,  Leta Hong Fincher’s Betraying Big Brother: The Feminist Awakening in China



Fascinating, it is.  But I found I got sidetracked and haven’t got back to it yet.

Do you have an ‘autumnal’ book to transition into the end of the year?

I’m not sure what the definition of an autumnal book is other than something fat and comforting – one  to curl up with in front of the fire when the evenings start drawing in.

I’ve read quite a not of non-fiction this year which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed but sometimes only a good story will do.  Which is why my guilty pleasure this year is The Secret Commonwealth second volume of Philip Pullman’s trilogy The Book of Dust.  That will be my Christmas read.




Is there a new release you are waiting for.

Yes Fragile Monsters by Catherine Menon, published by Viking due for publication 7th January 21.  A family saga set against the backdrop of WW2 history and contemporary Malaysia.  I’m thinking Tan Kwang Eng, Garden of Evening Mists – one of my favourite authors.  Time will tell.


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Three Books you want to read before the end of the year.

When I started drafting this post I included Piranesi – Susannah Clarke’s follow up work to Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.  What a glorious paradox she gives us, a mystery within a mystery.    I finished it this morning so it doesn’t strictly belong in this section any more I’m leaving it in anyway! My Goodreads reading challenge in 2020 was to read 50 books and I’m officially on 38 so  6 books behind target so the algorithm informs me, but what will be will be.


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I am also currently reading Bolt from the Blue by Jeremy Cooper. Published by superb indie press #Fitzcarraldo Editions.    Cooper’s #Ash before Oak I thoroughly enjoyed and reviewed here

So far this second book is very different.  The first was the author’s semi-autobiographical disquisition on place and time. This second book is an epistolary account of a relationship between an artist daughter and her mother.


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Is there a book that could still ‘shock’ you and become your favourite book of the year.

I would say almost no chance.  Or it’s going to have to be earth shatteringly good because this 2020 was the year I read Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet.   That may be the best book I have read this year, or any year.

Do you already have reading plans for 2021?

I have a question.   Will I read Obama’s ‘The Promised Land’?.  I adored Michelle Obama’s Becoming but then she was never president.  Sometimes presidential memoirs can be a little worthy and somewhat dull.  So far I am not organised enough to have planned that far ahead but I need to start thinking about it seriously.

In 2021 would like to read more lives of composers and painters.  I have my eye on a biography of Beethoven in 2021, specifically this one by Jan Caeyers.



If you have kindly read this far.  Thank you.  And do consider yourself tagged.

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