My 2020 Reading List

 

A few years ago my brothers and I started keeping lists of all the books we read during the year and sharing them with each other at year’s end.

Since I’m unlikely to start and finish a book before midnight, here’s this year’s list:

Brad Thor The Lions of Lucerne
Brad Thor Path of the Assassin
Brad Thor State of the Union
Brad Thor Blowback
Brad Thor Take Down
Brad Thor The First Commandment
Brad Thor The Last Patriot
Brad Thor The Apostle
Brad Thor Foreign Influence
Brad Thor The Athena Project
Brad Thor Full Black
Brad Thor The Black List

Dave Barry Lessons From Lucy

Herman Wouk Winds of War
Herman Wouk War and Remembrance

Hugh Lofting Dr. Doolittle’s Zoo

Ian Toll Pacific Crucible: War at sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942 (Vol 1)
Ian Toll The Conquering Tide: War in the Pacific Islands, 1942-1944 (Vol 2)
Ian Toll Twilight of the Gods: War in the Western Pacific, 1944-1945 (Vol 3)

Jim Geraghty Hunting Four Horsemen

PG Wodehouse Right Ho, Jeeves
PG Wodehouse The Inimitable Jeeves 
PG Wodehouse Something Fresh
PG Wodehouse Leave it to Psmith
PG Wodehouse Very Good Jeeves 
PG Wodehouse Thank You Jeeves 
PG Wodehouse The Code of the Woosters 
PG Wodehouse Joy In The Morning 

Robert Heinlein The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress
Robert Heinlein Starship Troopers

Stephan Pastis Timmy Failure: Zero to Hero (Book 0)

Tom Clancy/Marc Cameron Code of Honor
Tom Clancy/Marc Cameron Shadow of the Dragon
Tom Clancy/Mike Maden Firing Point

Tom Wolfe Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers

Victor Mattus Vodka

William Craig The Fall of Japan: The Final weeks of WWII in the Pacific

William Shirer Berlin Diary

Zane Grey Riders of the Purple Sage

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  1. Michael S. Malone Contributor
    Michael S. Malone
    @MichaelSMalone

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Michael S. Malone (View Comment):
    But does it count that I either published or finished writing four books this year

    Only if you read them, sorry.

    The contest rules are very clear on this. If we made an exception for you, we’d have to make one for everyone.

    Oh, believe me, between editing, polishing, etc.  I read each about six times — which explains why, unless I have to for research, I never, ever read them again . . .that, and not wanting to revisit bad phrasing, bad grammar, and wrong predictions.  My first book, written in 1984, is being republished in a special edition.  I had to revisit it to write a Foreword/History.  It may have been the most painful experience of my career.  Where did I get all that misplaced confidence?  Why was I such a terrible writer?

    • #31
  2. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    What a great list.  If you liked the Brad Thor books, I think that you would also like the Vince Flynn series.  Happy reading!

    • #32
  3. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    The best book that I read this year was “The Splendid and the Vile.”  Here is my Main Feed Review of this book.  https://ricochet.com/790562/the-splendid-and-the-vile/

    • #33
  4. Jeff Petraska Member
    Jeff Petraska
    @JeffPetraska

    My 2020 books are here, courtesy of Goodreads.  23 books (24 actually, but one wasn’t on Goodreads and I didn’t bother to add it).  A bit of a mix last year, but no fiction at all.

    I’m currently reading The Pan Am Clipper, which I got as a Christmas gift to accompany the Pan Am tabletop board game.

     

    • #34
  5. JamesSalerno Coolidge
    JamesSalerno
    @JamesSalerno

    Great post idea! Due to lockdowns and working from home all the time, I read less than I usually do this year. Cabin fever forced me to spend my free time away from home where I read, as much as possible this year. Plus, the coffee shop I like to hang out at no longer allows indoor seating.

    I finished my “read one biography on every president” goal this year, which my list reflects. I almost exclusively read history books. In no order:

    Philip Bobbitt The Shield of Achilles

    Stephen Kotkin Stalin Volume 1: Paradoxes of Power 1878-1928

    Thomas Sowell Discrimination and Disparities

    Scott Adams Loserthink

    Aaron Clarey The Curse of the High IQ

    Victor Davis Hanson The Case For Trump

    Roy Strong The Story of Britain

    Ron Chernow Washington: A Life

    Paul Nagel John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, A Private Life

    Freeman Cleaves Old Tippecanoe: William Henry Harrison and His Times

    Philip Klein President James Buchanan: A Biography

    Homer Socolofsky The Presidency of Benjamin Harrison

    David McCullough Truman

    John Farrell Richard Nixon: The Life

    Scott Kaufman Ambition, Pragmatism and Party: A Political Biography of Gerald R. Ford

    John Harris The Survivor: Bill Clinton in the White House

    Anne Applebaum Gulag: A History

    • #35
  6. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    The best book that I read this year was “The Splendid and the Vile.” Here is my Main Feed Review of this book. https://ricochet.com/790562/the-splendid-and-the-vile/

    I read The Splendid and the Vile partly on your recommendation.  I wasn’t impressed.

    • #36
  7. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Vince Guerra (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male:

     

    Tom Clancy/Marc Cameron Code of Honor
    Tom Clancy/Marc Cameron Shadow of the Dragon
    Tom Clancy/Mike Maden Firing Point

    How are these, and do they take place in the Jack Ryan universe? I tried the first of the Tom Clancy’s books Op Center and was unimpressed. It didn’t have the same quality for detail as Clancy’s own books, of course that was decades ago. Even Clancy’s own books fell flat toward the end of his life. I still read his best every few years or so.

    Yes, they take place in the Ryanverse, although the more recent ones focus more on Jack Junior, “The Campus”, and Mr. Clark and company.  They’re generally pretty readable.  There are usually two/year, one in the summer and one in late fall.  The shadow authors changed a couple years ago, they used to be Grant Blackwood and Mark Greaney.

    • #37
  8. Eustace C. Scrubb Member
    Eustace C. Scrubb
    @EustaceCScrubb

    I had a month working at home this year and obviously Covid shut down many entertainment options, so you would think I would have read more this year, but I read less.

    • #38
  9. Eustace C. Scrubb Member
    Eustace C. Scrubb
    @EustaceCScrubb

    Eustace C. Scrubb (View Comment):

    I had a month working at home this year and obviously Covid shut down many entertainment options, so you would think I would have read more this year, but I read less.

    My 2020 Books

    Ministry Books:

    Pure Scum by Mike Sares

    When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert

    Honest Evangelism by Rico Tice

    Vanishing Grace by Philip Yancey

    Doing Life with Your Adult Children by Jim Burns

    Worship by the Book by D. A. Carson

    Strong and Weak by Andy Crouch

    Tattoos on the Heart by Gregory Boyle

    Moviemaking Books:

    The Evil Dead Companion by Bill Warren

    Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner by Paul Sammon

    The Making of The African Queen by Katherine Hepburn

    Profoundly Disturbing by Joe Bob Briggs

    Other nonfiction:

    Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living by Manjula Martin

    The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson

    Perry Mason novels:

    The Case of the Worried Waitress by Erle Stanley Gardner

    The Case of the Haunted Husband by Erle Stanley Gardner

    The Case of the Sunbather’s Diary by Erle Stanley Gardner

    The Case of the Buried Clock by Erle Stanley Gardner

    The Case of the Crooked Candle by Erle Stanley Gardner

    Other fiction:

    The Man Who Came Uptown by George Pelecanos

    The Guns of Navarone by Alistair MacLean

    Matchstick Men by Eric Garcia

    • #39
  10. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Jon Gabriel, Ed. (View Comment):

    I was thinking of doing a 2020 Books List but I’m glad you beat me to it! The site GoodReads allows you to set a “reading challenge” for the year. I just use the last two numbers of the year as my goal (19 for 2019, 20 for 2020, etc.). Read 21 this year!

    Evan Armatas, Toolkit for Spiritual Growth: A Practical Guide to Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving

    John Chrysostom, On the Priesthood

    Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Idiot

    Rod Dreher, Live Not by Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents

    Enoch, The Book of Enoch

    Frank J. Fleming, Superego (Superego, #1)

    Frank J. Fleming, Fathom (Superego #2)

    Pope Gregory I, The Book of Pastoral Rule

    Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

    Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

    James, The Protoevangelium of James

    John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces

    William Langland, Piers Plowman

    Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West

    Alan Partridge, From the Oasthouse: The Alan Partridge Podcast

    Plato, The Republic

    Colin Quinn, Overstated: A Coast-To-Coast Roast of the 50 States

    David Spade, A Polaroid Guy in a Snapchat World

    P.G. Wodehouse, My Man Jeeves

    Various, Orthodox Study Bible

    Hierotheos Vlachos, Orthodox Psychotherapy

    Gee – and what are you reading for fun?

    • #40
  11. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):
    Gee – and what are you reading for fun?

    I’d guess the Frank J. Fleming books would be fun.

    • #41
  12. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    I’ve read so many books this year it would take me hours to compile the list.  Sorry . . .

    However, the book I’m currently reading is Fatal Mercy: The Man Who Lost the Civil War by Thomas Moore (full disclosure: I’ve met Tom, and he’s a great guy!).  Here’s the link:

    https://www.amazon.com/Fatal-Mercy-Man-Lost-Civil/dp/1947660195/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=fatal+mercy&qid=1609593762&sr=8-2

    The book is a hefty tome and can’t be read quickly.  Practically every sentence carries weight and something of importance to be pondered.  Nonetheless it’s worthy of a read if you’re interested in that time period, and The War Between the States in particular.

    • #42
  13. Marjorie Reynolds Coolidge
    Marjorie Reynolds
    @MarjorieReynolds

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    There is a Ricochet Book Club group on Goodreads, FYI. It’s easy to find if you search for that phrase. It’s public so anyone can join or invite others. I’m a member (not super active) under Charlotte [my last name which begins with R].

    I’ll check it out thanks.  I started my own book group a few months ago and so far  we’ve only been able to have our meetings via zoom. But it’s better than nothing!

    • #43
  14. Vince Guerra Inactive
    Vince Guerra
    @VinceGuerra
    Bandersnatch: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and the Creative Collaboration of the Inklings Glyer, Diana Pavlac *
    The Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection Capon, Robert Farrar
    Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery Kara, Siddharth
    Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA and More Tell Us About Crime McDermid, Val
    Thunderstruck Larson, Erik
    Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers Roach, Mary
    City of Death: Humanitarian Warriors in the Battle of Mosul Mattos, Ephraim
    The Coming Fury Catton, Bruce
    The Happy Intercessor Johnson, Beni
    Relentless Strike: The Secret History of Joint Special Operations Command Naylor, Sean
    Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence Tegmark, Max
    On the Edge of Survival: A Shipwreck, a Raging Storm, and the Harrowing Alaskan Rescue That Became a Legend Walker, Spike

    And a few others that I don’t recommend.

    • #44
  15. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Admin
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.
    @jon

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    Jon Gabriel, Ed. (View Comment):

    I was thinking of doing a 2020 Books List but I’m glad you beat me to it! The site GoodReads allows you to set a “reading challenge” for the year. I just use the last two numbers of the year as my goal (19 for 2019, 20 for 2020, etc.). Read 21 this year!

    Evan Armatas, Toolkit for Spiritual Growth: A Practical Guide to Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving

    John Chrysostom, On the Priesthood

    Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Idiot

    Rod Dreher, Live Not by Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents

    Enoch, The Book of Enoch

    Frank J. Fleming, Superego (Superego, #1)

    Frank J. Fleming, Fathom (Superego #2)

    Pope Gregory I, The Book of Pastoral Rule

    Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

    Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

    James, The Protoevangelium of James

    John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces

    William Langland, Piers Plowman

    Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West

    Alan Partridge, From the Oasthouse: The Alan Partridge Podcast

    Plato, The Republic

    Colin Quinn, Overstated: A Coast-To-Coast Roast of the 50 States

    David Spade, A Polaroid Guy in a Snapchat World

    P.G. Wodehouse, My Man Jeeves

    Various, Orthodox Study Bible

    Hierotheos Vlachos, Orthodox Psychotherapy

    Gee – and what are you reading for fun?

    I think it’s pretty balanced, at least for me. A third are fun (Fleming, Spade, Partridge, Quinn, and Wodehouse), a third religious, and a third classics. Plato was the most Not Fun.

    • #45
  16. Giulietta Inactive
    Giulietta
    @giuliettachicago

    I love seeing so much Wodehouse! I think we all needed a good laugh this year. Wodehouse never ever goes out. Ben Macintyre’s books are always good. He finds gems everywhere.

    This idea of recording our books is a nice one. Let me see if I can put down a few of mine, in no particular order.

    Kiss Myself Goodbye – Ferdinand Mount

    Five Days Gone – Laura Cumming

    The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher – Kate Summerscale

    Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl

    Une si longue lettre (So long a letter) – Mariama Ba

    Six Years at the Russian Court – Margaret Eager

    An Impeccable Spy: Richard Sorge, Stalin’s Master Agent – Matthew Owens

    The Flight from the Truth: The Reign of Deceit in the Age of Information – Jean François Revel

    Don’t Burn this Book- Dave Rubin

    White Guilt – Shelby Steele

    The Diversity Delusion – Heather Mac Donald

    Black Culture Matters – Nick Pilgrim

    The Iliad – Caroline Alexander translation

    The Work of the Dead – Thomas W. Laqueur

    Un amore – Dino Buzzati

    Tales of the Unexpected – Roald Dahl

    Art – Yasmina Reza

    The Red-Haired Woman – Orhan Pamuk

    • #46
  17. I Shot The Serif Member
    I Shot The Serif
    @IShotTheSerif

    I love Wodehouse. I used to read those books out loud to my mother in the car while she was driving, as one of our mother-daughter activities.

    • #47
  18. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    I’d plug my own books, but the COC modesty prevents me . . .

    • #48
  19. Giulietta Inactive
    Giulietta
    @giuliettachicago

    I Shot The Serif (View Comment):

    I love Wodehouse. I used to read those books out loud to my mother in the car while she was driving, as one of our mother-daughter activities.

    I still laugh when I remember one of my favorite short stories, “Mr Potter Takes a Rest Cure”… “Are you they-ah, Mr. Pottah?”  Such a good memory! So much fun to read out loud with others! 

     

    • #49
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