Well, that was quite in crazy year, huh? Despite staying home for 11 of the 12 months this year, my reading productivity took a large dip compared to 2019. This was largely due to being a parent, not commuting (audiobooks), and switching from audiobook to actually reading books this year. The year is not quite done yet, and I am hoping to add a book or two to my completed list for 2020, but for now I wanted to post my review of the reading/audiobook listening I have done this year.
It’s not hard to see the revolution in my media consumption that came with my subscription to audible. From 2012-2015 I was in the world of podcasts and graduate school, so my actual book completion was conspicuously low. With the rise of a business commute, and real income I began to ravenously listen to audio-books. Long drives, commutes, or TV-muted late-night-FIFA sessions are great for listening to audio-books — and I took full advantage. Without much of those things in 2020, and with a new desire to actually read, my audio book consumption dropped. I’m happy with this as I push to finish more real books, and my To Read only grows larger every day.
|Title||Author||Media||Genre||My Rating||Average Rating|
|The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2)||Tolkien, J.R.R.||Audible||Fantasy||5||4.44|
|New Spring (The Wheel of Time, #0)||Jordan, Robert||Audible||Fantasy||5||4.03|
|King Darius the Great: The Life and Legacy of the Achaemenid Persian Empire’s Ruler during the First Invasion of Greece||Editors, Charles River||Audible||Ancient History||2||3.4|
|The Secrets of Story: Innovative Tools for Perfecting Your Fiction and Captivating Readers||Bird, Matt||Audible/Paperback||Writing||5||4.42|
|Holy Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #3)||Lawrence, Mark||Audible||Fantasy||4||4.34|
|Norse Mythology||Gaiman, Neil||Audible Audio||Mythology||5||4.08|
|Age of Myth (The Legends of the First Empire, #1)||Sullivan, Michael J.||Audible Audio||Fantasy- Epic||3||4.24|
|Dragonslayer||Hamilton, Duncan M.||Audible Audio||Fantasy- Epic||3||3.95|
|Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery||Duncan, Dayton||Audible Audio||American History||4||4.13|
|The Hod King (The Books of Babel, #3)||Bancroft, Josiah||Audible Audio||Fantasy||5||4.52|
|Beggar’s Rebellion (Resonant #1)||Jacobs, Levi||ebook||Fantasy- Epic||3||3.89|
|We Ride the Storm (The Reborn Empire Book 1)||Madson, Devin||ebook||Fantasy- Epic||4||4.03|
|Save the Cat! Writes a Novel: The Last Book On Novel Writing You’ll Ever Need||Brody, Jessica||Audible Audio||Writing||4||4.54|
|Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux||Neihardt, John G.||Audible Audio||Amerian History||5||4.1|
|They Mostly Come Out at Night (Yarnsworld, #1)||Patrick, Benedict||ebook||Fantasy- Folklore||2||3.65|
|The Poppy War (The Poppy War, #1)||Kuang, R.F.||ebook||Fantasy- Epic||4||4.01|
|The Unbreakable Arrow: Wulfric the Wanderer||Moffat, Charles||ebook||Fantasy – Sword and Sorcery||2||2|
|In Shadows We Fall||Madson, Devin||ebook||Fantasy- Epic||3||4.05|
|Alaric the Goth: An Outsider’s History of the Fall of Rome||Boin, Douglas||Audible Audio||Ancient History||4||3.75|
|The Skald’s Black Verse (Dreadbound Ode #1)||Short, Jordan Loyal|
|The Scythians: Nomad Warriors of the Steppe||Cunliffe, Barry W.||Audible Audio||Ancient History||4||4.25|
|All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries #1)||Wells, Martha||ebook||Science Fiction||Almost Done!|
I’ve written about We Ride the Storm before in my Mongolian Mythology blog entry, but want to highlight it again. This was a book I found on reddit when searching for Mongolian inspired themes in Fantasy and I loved it. Devin Madson, an Australian author, writes expansive cultures in We Ride the Storm, primarily based on Japanese and Roman cultures. It’s a fun story that has light magic elements and heavy combat, court intrigue and assassination elements.
Alaric the Goth sacked Rome in 410. His name lives in legend because of it, but this book dives into how he rose to power within the roman empire, and some of what Alaric’s childhood was like in the Black Sea frontier at a time when Roman influence was waning. We know a surprising amount about Alaric, and this book was a wonderful deep dive into a historical character.
I continue to work on my native american inspired cultures, and to do so I need to learn a lot more about those cultures themselves. To do this, I began reading Black Elk Speaks, a first hand account of a Sioux medicine man that fought with Crazyhorse. He details many spiritual rituals, as well as the slow, inexorable displacement of the Sioux by Americans. This book culminates in a first hand retelling of the Massacre at Wounded Knee.
I would encourage any American interested in learning about how ‘winning the west’ happened to read this book. Especially in 2020 – as the movements for social equality finally began receiving the platform they deserve- learning what happened, and continues to happen, to the Native peoples of North America is gut wrenching.
Coming in 2021
|The Fall of Babel (The Books of Babel, #4)||Bancroft, Josiah||2021|
|The Unbroken (Magic of the Lost, #1)||Clark, C.L.||2021|
|The Girl and the Stars (Book of the Ice, #1)||Lawrence, Mark||2020|
|The Thorn of Emberlain (Gentleman Bastard, #4)||Lynch, Scott||202X|
|We Lie With Death (The Reborn Empire, #2)||Madson, Devin||2021|
|The Winds of Winter (A Song of Ice and Fire, #6)||Martin, George R.R.||203X|
|The Fires of Vengeance (The Burning, #2)||Winter, Evan||2020|
There are so many books I am looking forward to reading next year. These are in no particular order. A few of these like Fires of Vengeance and the Girl and the Stars I have sitting on my shelf, others are pre-orders (The Unbroken and We Lie with Death). Others like The Thorn of Emberlain and The Winds of Winter are still on my radar though I have no expectations of completion in 2021. One can hope!
I hope everyone has a safe and healthy holiday season and that 2021 is decidedly better than 2020!