The Ancestry of Objects, Dreams Of Being, We Were Called Specimens: an oral archive of deity Marjorie, Little Feasts and no good for digging are recent reads from 2020 I couldn't get to then and recently consumed, and LitReactor was kind enough to let me review them. You may read that review here and enjoy some excerpt below.
"Given the state of the world over the last year, it is not much to say that throughout the pandemic and particularly 2020, I struggled to read what wasn’t required of me for work. Nor did I feel it was something I had to examine in great depth. There was a lot to do ensuring the people I love were safe and there was the need to stay focused on paying the bills as some of my work contracted. More than anything I was tired, most especially at night when I like to read, happy to just climb into bed, another day defeated, and closer, I hoped, to a vaccine.
"This inability to consume words gnawed at me anyway.
"Not because reading might serve as an escape or because I felt I was missing something great, though it would have, and I was, but because reading is the thing I’ve done the longest and has brought me the greatest joy. Well before I started running or writing, became a parent or found anything that I love and sustain, reading was the thing I figured out and stuck with.
"What am I then without that joy and passion?
"Differently, and in a much more self-serving manner, I pride myself on consuming the books that come to me, not always by choice necessarily, but because someone is hoping I will read the book they send me, find something to say about that book, on paper or on my podcast, and provide exposure to their book that might somehow help them gain any sort of traction among the clutter. And I like being able to step into this role. Being a good literary citizen and someone who can help. There’s a sense of guilt about this when I cannot.
"It’s also about ego, influencing a dialogue, playing a role in the moving of culture. I know that.
"Still, the books arrive as they always do and I am always excited when they do. Despite the pandemic though, the books kept coming in 2020, and for the most part, if it wasn’t related to work, or from a really good friend, I just didn’t read much of anything.
"I’m reading now though, feeling energized by words again, and if I’m going to immerse myself in reading again, why not dig back through some of what I missed in 2020?
"Don’t I owe that to this lost time and all these wonderful writers?
"Which means I have to dig into the pile sitting there by my bed, and as it’s not scientific, this means there will still be books I overlook and I apologize about that."