The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik

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Books read in 2020

Biographies, memoirs, letters, literature, history
  • Helen Ashton, I had a sister {May}
  • Erica Bauermeister, House lessons {July}
  • Kate Winkler Dawson, Death in the air:  the true story of a serial killer, the great London smog, and the strangling of a city {May}
  • Anne Glenconner, Lady in waiting {May}
  • Christina Hardyman, Novel houses:  twenty famous fictional dwellings {March}
  • Claire Harman, Murder by the book {August}
    Hilary Jackson, Dress in the age of Jane Austen {January}
  • Sheila Kaye-Smith, Kitchen fugue {August}
  • Sheila Kaye-Smith and G.B. Stern, More talk of Jane Austen {September}
  • Sheila Kaye-Smith and G.B. Stern, Talking of Jane Austen {April}
  • Erik Larson, The splendid and the vile {June}
  • Elizabeth Longford, The pebbled shore {May}
  • Emily Midorikawa and Emily Claire McSweeney, A secret sisterhood:  the literary friendships of Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot and Virginia Woolf {May}
  • Claudia Renton, Those wild Wyndhams {June}
  • Kristin Richardson, The season:  a social history of the debutante {February}
  • Margaret Rhodes, The final courtsey {December}
  • Jane Robinson, A force to be reckoned with:  a history of the Women's Institute {April}
  • Omid Scobie and Caroline Durand, Finding freedom {December}
  • Fanny Singer, Always home:  a daughter's recipes and stories {Novrember}
  • Susan Tweedsmuir, The Edwardian Lady {May}
  • Susan Tweedsmuir, The lilac and the rose {June}
  • Bee Wilson, The way we eat now {July}
  • Serena Zabin, The Boston Massacre:  a family history {May}

  • Jane Austen, Sanditon {January}
  • Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility {April}
  • Jane Austen and Another Lady, Sanditon {April}
  • Elizabeth Buchan, Daughters {February}
  • Mary Essex, Tea is so intoxicating {November}
  • Gina Fattone, The spinster diaries {May}
  • Maggie Humm, Talland House {October}
  • Henry James, Washington Square {December}
  • Natalie Jenner, The Jane Austen Society {November}
  • Elinor Lipman, The pursuit of Alice Thrift {December}
  • Elinor Lipman, Rachel to the rescue {November}
  • Mameve Medwed, Host family {December}
  • Cathleen Schine, The grammarians {October}
  • Madeleine St. John, The women in black {September}
  • D.E. Stevenson, Vittoria Cottage {September}
  • Emma Tennant, Emma in love {April}
  • Angela Thirkell, Cheerfulness breaks in {August}
  • Angela Thirkell, Northbridge Rectory {August}
  • Anthony Trollope, Christmas at Thompson Hall and other Christmas stories {December}
  • Anthony Trollope, The way we live now {January}
  • Joanna Trollope, Balancing act {May} 
  • Joanna Trollope, Mum & Dad {August}
  • Edith Wharton, The age of innocence {October}

  • Catherine Aird, A late Phoenix {August}
  • Margery Allngham, The White Cottage mystery {August}
  • Ace Atkins, Angel eyes {March}
  • Cara Black, Murder in Bel-Air {July}{for Paris in July}
  • Lynne Brittney, A murder in Chelsea {May}
  • Ann Cleeves, The darkest evening {December}
  • Elly Griffiths, The lantern men {August}
  • Martha Grimes, The black cat {October}
  • Martha Grimes, Dust {February}
  • Sophie Hannah, The killings at Kingfisher Hall {December}
  • Sophie Hannah, The mystery of the three quarters {October}
  • Susan Hill, The benefits of hindsight {July}
  • Donna Leon, Trace elements {May}
  • Alexander McCall Smith, The geometry of holding hands {August}
  • Frederique Molay, The city of blood {July} {for Paris in July}
  • Frederique Molay, Crossing the line {July} {for Paris in July}
  • Frederique Molay, Looking to the woods {December}
  • Frederique Molay, Vital Links  {December}
  • Richard Osman, The Thursday Murder Club {November}
  • Louise Penny, The long way home {June}
  • Anne Perry, One fatal flaw {August}
  • Deana Raybourn, A murderous relation {June}
  • Peter Robinson, Many rivers to cross {February}
  • Kate Rhodes, Blood symmetry {November}
  • Julia Spencer-Fleming, Hid from our eyes {August}
  • Nicola Upson, The secrets of winter {December}

The books listed in bold type were among my most favorite this year.


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