Following on yesterday’s post about the podcasts I enjoyed in 2020, here’s my reading list for the year. Unfortunately I wasn’t nearly as disciplined this year in keeping the list, something I now regret and will rectify in 2021. For reference here’s the 2019 reading list.

Someone on twitter asked how I had time for so many podcasts, the simple answer is books and podcasts and twitter are basically my only sources of media. I don’t have a TV, and watch only maybe one or two movies a month, I generally do my best ot to read the news (difficult in 2020, I admit).

So here is how I filled my head in 2020:

  • The Emperor’s Couloured Coat, John Biggins
  • A Sailor of Austria, John Biggins
  • Tomorrow the World, John Biggins
  • Starship - Verloren im Weltraum, Brian Aldriss
  • Orphans of the Sky. Robert Heinlein
  • Magellan: Der Mann und seine Tat, Stefan Zweig
  • The Fatal Shore, Robert Hughes
  • Zuhause ist überall: Erinnerungen, Barbara Coudenhove-Kalergi
  • More from Less, Andrew McAfee
  • Rewilding, Paul Jepson
  • Obviously Awesome, April Dunford
  • Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie
  • The Richest Man in Babylon, George Clason
  • The Years of Rice and Salt, Kim Stanley Robinson
  • Caribbean, James Michener
  • Qube, Tom Hillenbrand

I also got into audio books, listening to

“Book” of the year was the John Biggins series. Just excellent escapism in a year where it was desperately needed. That said, a close second was Zuhause ist überall. Taken together I guess this shows I am a true Mitteleuropäer.

In general lots of history and science fiction. During lockdown I went deep into the concept of Generation Ships, though I have to admit I didn’t find either the Heinlein or Aldriss that great. In terms of which books I think back to most, The Years of Rice and Salt comes to mind frequently, and Robinson’s The Ministry of the Future is near the top of the list for 2021. Revisting O’Brian’s series (I first read the whole lot about 10 years ago) and Zweig’s Magellan (very good, BTW) was nothing more than an attempt to travel vicariously.

On a final literary note, I have to say it was a real blow to lose John le Carre (also in many ways a true Mitteleuropäer). I just started on a re-read of Honourable Schoolboy.

What should I read in 2021? All suggestions gladly received.