Tag Archives: Post-Office

My Favourite Books of 2020

30 Jan

I start every year by thinking “oh no, there are no more fun books for me to discover” and at the end of every year I am proven wrong haha. Let’s hope it will be the same this year. So here is a list of books I enjoyed the most in 2020 and I can recommend them to you!

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Reading (La Lecture), c. 1892

1 Morrissey – Autobiography: I LOVE The Smiths and I really love Morrissey as well so I was very happy to have read his autobiography at last. It was very witty and amusing, and even the moments when he is being melodramatic and self-pitying are coloured with his Oscar Wilde style wit. Morrissey’s teenage years and early twenties were spent in his bedroom writing furiously and feeling that he doesn’t belong and that chimed with me a lot.

2 Lovely Bones by Alice Seebold: I first saw the film “Lovely Bones” (2009) which I instantly fell in love with because it was very poignant and imaginative at the same time, so the natural thing to do was to read Alice Seebold’s novel of the same name and it was equally amazing. It’s a tale about a murder of a fourteen year old girl that happened in December 1974 and is told from her ghostly point of view.

3 Peyton Place by Grace Metalious; what I like about this book, and the film, is that it points out the hypocricies in society and life in small town, it reveals all the lies and gossips and prejudices of such a small area and it’s a really interesting study of small minds and small towns. The main character clearly has a bit of Metalious in her is the opposite of that small town, she wants to experience life and be a writer and I enjoyed reading about an aspiring writer.

4 Stepford Wives by Ira Levin; Levin’s writing style isn’t that beautiful per se, it isn’t rich and filled with vivid descriptions, but the story itself – about a family who moves to an idyllic neighbourhood where everything is perfect and the wives are submissive and do nothing but their household chores and have no personality – is really interesting, but near the end I felt quite unsettled with the ways things unfolded. You always hope for the best when you read a novel, but the good doesn’t always win and things don’t always turn out the best for the main character.

5 Carrie by Stephen King; I could definitely relate with Carrie being an outsider at school and not fitting in with the crowd so that was definitely a push to read this book. Maybe this book isn’t as scary as some of other King’s novels, but the mere thought of Carrie being trapped in a house with her madly pious, deranged and overprotective mother freaks me out. I like the mix of teenage silliness and shallowness with the reveal of Carrie’s mystical powers, and I like the way the novel was told, from many perspectives.

6 The Collector by John Fowles; this is perhaps my top favourite book for 2020! I enjoyed it beyond words and even wrote a book review already. It’s a novel about a shy young man who stalks and falls in love with a pretty art student in 1960s London and instead of just taking the usual road and asking her out on a date, he kidnaps her and keeps her in his basement until she, at least he hopes, falls in love with him. But the main character isn’t an awful, cruel villain, it’s the girl who is a bit bitchy in fact, so things are not black and white in terms of moral judgement and that makes it all the more interesting because, as you read the book, you don’t just judge the man for his actions but a deeper understanding and sadness develop along the way.

7 The Secret History by Donna Tart; I heard a lot of good things about the book and that is why I didn’t want to read it earlier but then I read an article about Bret Easton Ellis’ time spent at the College and guess who his fellow student was, Donna Tart. The novel is about a small and isolate group of students studying Greek at a New England college who have a festival one night and something goes terribly wrong… It’s a long book, but Tart keeps you alert for sure and the characters are so developed and so believable and she based them on her own classmates from college.

8 Torn Apart: Life of Ian Curtis by Mick Meddles and Lindsey Read: well if you love Joy Division there is no reason not to read this book! And it offers a better, a broader and less subjective, view on Ian Curtis and his life, his poetry, his relationship with his wife and with Annik, his struggles and health, it’s really a poignant and lovely portrayal of a person behind the legend. I enjoyed it much more than Deborah Curtis’ book.

9 Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden: this book was as beautiful and interesting as it was educational because I learned so many details about the geisha lifestyle and tradition. If you are interested in Japanese culture and history, then certainly this book will interest you. I don’t know why it took me so long to read this book! Aside from the richness of Japanese culture and beautiful descriptions of kimono and nature, there is a lot of sadness about this book as well.

10 Post-Office by Charles Bukowski; I really enjoy Bukowski’s writing style and his attitude towards life and so I knew this book would be a fun read. I read it one sleepless night in September and I just kept turning the pages and laughing, and I can really recommend it.

11 Hunger by Knut Hamsun; interestingly I started reading this book years ago and didn’t enjoy it, and then in 2020 I picked it up again and I was smitten. The main character’s obsession with his hunger and his ways of transcending it are mind-blowing and I really liked being in the mind of this frail-nerved yet strong character.

12 Agony and Ecstasy by Irving Stone; this is a romanticised biography about the Renaissance sculptor Michelangelo. I am not that interested in Renaissance period usually, but the way Stone writes is just so beautiful and captivating and it feels so real; he not only conveys the spirit of the time so well but also the thoughts and feelings of the character, in this case Michelangelo and in his other novel “Lust for Life” Vincent van Gogh.