2020: A Year of Reading: The Nerd Bit, with Charts

“No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.”
~ C.S. Lewis “On Stories”

2020 was my first full year since 2013 when I was not a PhD student where it was my “job” to read and write about what I read. As someone who loves to read and write and teach, no doubt I stretched the definition of PhD student–as the 1,100 articles on this website can attest to. 2019 was a tonic year, where reading was a salve for the soul, an attempt at recover and quiet while still feeling the drive forward. 2020 was a much more normal year for me in terms of reading. I suppose that’s about the only normal thing about it! (see my reflections here and here) In particular, in 2020 I was able to set the book down when tired–or, especially, to turn the audiobook off. 2020 was much more about reading what I wanted to read than anything else. 

I feel like I am starting to heal from the damage of the PhD period, though 2020 has created its own wounds. This post is a chance for me to look back at the reading (and writing and teaching) year that was 2020 and to think ahead to 2021.

I had a few goals for 2020:

  • Ease off my reading to 120 books (averaging 320 pages/book)
  • Read 90 articles, shorts stories, essays, or other short pieces
  • Listen to or watch 10 lectures series or classes
  • Read one theological or devotional book each month
  • Achieve a 1:2 female:male ratio of authors (as I did in 2018 and 2019)

These goals for this year were really about:

  • reading for course prep, particularly in the Winter and Fall of 2020;
  • extending my reading of L.M. Montgomery‘s catalogue and secondary sources; and
  • enjoying books by reading what I wanted to read.

Really, honestly, 2020 was not very goal-oriented. That turned out to be a good thing!

So, how did I do?

After years of pushing myself to read more and longer books, 2020 was a good step back for me, both in terms of length and in the sheer number of books. 

I dropped from 154 to 133 books (134 books on my spreadsheet), reduced the length of the books (to 315 pages, from 323 in 2019 and 333 in 2020), and reduced my short pieces reading. That is still more books than I aimed at, and though I have read fewer short pieces, overall it is still a strong year.

In the manner of drawing a target around the arrow you have thrown, I feel like I met most of my individual goals for 2020. It was an unfocused year, but a literary year that I quite enjoyed from beginning to end.

As I did not plan for a global pandemic, between teaching schedules and research projects, my reading was seasonal in 2020, as it usually is:

  • Winter and Early Spring: I loved my teaching schedule in early 2020. I was teaching “Christianity and Literature” at Maritime Christian College, “Lewis and Tolkien” at Signum University, “The Fantasy and Fiction of C.S. Lewis” at the King’s College (NYC), and for the first time, “Japanese Religion and Culture” at the University of Prince Edward Island–which I co-opted as a literature and film class. Thus, I had an awesome semester: Milton’s Paradise Lost (with Lewis’ Preface to Paradise Lost), Dante’s Inferno (in a couple of translations), Charles WilliamsDescent Into Hell and some of his poetry, Frederick Buechner’s gorgeous fictional hagiography, Godric, most of Flannery O’Connor’s catalogue, Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time, Walter Miller’s hilarious and troubling, A Canticle for Liebowitz, works by Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, and a number of Tolkien works, including The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, the Tree & Leaf collection, and parts of the Middle-earth histories. This semester also gave me an opportunity to explore C.S. Lewis’ catalogue from the Ransom Cycle to Narnia to his less well-known jewels, like An Experiment in Criticism, The Weight of Glory, and Till We Have Faces, which I taught twice and created a blog series on. I also spent time exploring a number of texts about Japanese religion, history, and warfare, as well as the brilliant work of Haruki Murakami, Shūsaku Endō, and Makoto Fujimura
  • Late Spring and early Summer: Even though most of my conferences were cancelled in 2020, springtime was still a period of paper writing and academic reading, as my full list below can bear out. Most of my academic work was focused on C.S. Lewis and L.M. Montgomery, as I was finishing up one project and beginning another. But the spring also bears out my reading out of pure interest. In the spring, I began a good ole’ paperback reading of Harry Potter, which I am just now finishing in early 2021. I read Tolkien’s medieval translations, Virginia Woolf and Jane Austen, some writers on writing like Anne Lamott, and some nonfiction just for fun. In 2020, I was supervising a thesis on Octavia Butler, so spent the better part of the year reading my favourite of her works and some new materials, which was especially powerful for me in the spring and the summer.
  • Summer: My summer began with some intense research, but I did not go lean on reading for fun. I read Stephen King’s 11/22/63 for the first time, and encountered Nnedi Okorafor’s incredible Binti series. My estimation of Black women who write SF continues to rise, as I also spent a good deal of time getting to known Alix E. Harrow’s The Ten Thousand Doors of January, which was an award-nominated book that includes Prince Edward Island in its fictional universe. It was a thin Canadian year, but I did read the work of Rebecca Rosenblum and Mark Sampson in the sunlit hours. Essays and nonfiction by N.T. Wright, David Foster Wallace, Verlyn Flieger, Annie Dillard, Huston Smith, James W. Sire, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, and Elizabeth Epperly also filled my spring and summertime reading. As I set C.S. Lewis aside for a season, my 2020 summer was filled with Lucy Maud Montgomery works, including successive rereads of Anne’s House of Dreams and her poetry, the Emily series, and the manuscript version of Anne of Green Gables—as well as a number of critical Montgomery articles, and biographies by Mary Henley Rubio and Liz Rosenberg.
  • Autumn and Early Winter: Autumn began early with vampires. This was for a simple reason: I taught the Folkloric Transformations course at Signum University in the fall, and I wanted to slowly read the material. This meant starting early. So I found myself reading Bram Stoker and those who study him at a campground, as well as classic texts like Sheridan Le Fanu, Carmilla, John Polidori, The Vampyre, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “Christabel.” In August, I began rereading Anne Rice’s The Interview with the Vampire, and I have continued reading the series into 2021. There were quite a number of vampire and werewolf texts this fall, but my favourites were texts that were more vampiric than vampire tales, like Charlotte Brontë‘s Jane Eyre and her sister’s Wuthering Heights. I also read through Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead Cycle this past year, beginning with Gilead in the winter and ending with the new release of Jack in the fall. And in the fall, following my great reread of Anne of Green Gables in the summer, I began reading through Montgomery’s fiction in published order. My nonfiction in the last half of 2020 has included a number of religious studies and worldviews texts because my teaching has been more foundational in that period.

Throughout the year I had a few projects and some nice unintended consequences:

  • This is the first year that science fiction, speculative fiction, and fantasy are the largest category. This is partly about the heavy lit teaching year, but also because I just wanted to read great books I love!
  • Actually, this was a light year for C.S. Lewis reading. Normally the ratio of Lewis books and Lewis studies books is about even, with few dozen articles and short pieces. This year, almost all my Lewis reads were his fiction and nonfiction books (23 of 27), and mostly in the first half of the year.
  • This was my most successful year in reading Montgomery’s books (and a couple of biographies, one full work of literary criticism, and a couple of dozen articles). It seems I traded Lewis for Montgomery in the second half of the year, which largely matches the academic projects I was working on.
  • I intended to read through Octavia Butler’s major novels, and did more than half.
  • I read through Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead Cycle.
  • I wanted to get into classic literature, hoping to read about 1 per month. I came close.
  • I intended to read one theological or devotional book a month, and again came close.
  • It was a light Inklings year, mostly filled with Tolkien in the early part of the year. In 2021 I am reading The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Fall of Sauron

Here’s a pretty version of the same thing:

My final goal was to achieve a 1:2 ratio of women and men authors. This is tough to do when your primary author is male (C.S. Lewis), his primary partners are male (Tolkien and the Inklings), and my field has been largely male (theology). As I was extending more deeply into Montgomery studies, and reading through the catalogues of Octavia Butler, Marilynne Robinson–and added Harry Potter, Flannery O’Connor, and Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles as well–I was confident I would surpass that ratio this year, and come much closer to gender parity. In that way, it was my best year yet. For entire books and in my reading as a whole, it was 54% men to 46% women, and for all my reading. In 2021, I suspect that will be closer to 60/40. 

There are limits to how effective tracking of reading by gender (or other categories) can be, but it is a helpful reminder for me. In 2020, I intentionally expanded my reading of Black women writers, with a total of 10 books.

The Goodreads app is kind of limited, though you can check out my 2020 infographic. They have a thousand possibilities for creating infographics including gender, language, geography, genre, and popularity, yet they choose not to give us that power. It gets worse every year. So, in my limited way, this year I also tracked books by era, with some mixed results. The charts are a bit lopsided as almost 3/4 of my book reading is since WWII–despite studying figures that were active in the “modernist” period, which was only 15% of my book reading. As my reading was a little less academic this year, the 2010s dominated less–and 2020 starts a new decade!

 

What does 2021 look like? As long as I’m doing literary scholarship, it will be weighted upon the last century, though Montgomery and Lewis scholarship has proliferated in this century. Looking ahead, once again the first half of the year is heavy with Lewis and the second half with Montgomery. Unusual for me, I have no literature classes this year, so things are completely open. I have some personal goals:

  • Complete a chronological reading of Montgomery’s major works, with journals and letters
  • Read one Shakespeare play a month
  • Reading Tolkien’s The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Fall of Sauron
  • Read one theological or devotional book each month
  • Continue to extend my reading of Black women SF writers, critical race theory, and classics I have missed

Until next year, here is my old-fashioned reading excel sheet list. I wish I was infographically-inclined, but I do like lists! This is my list of reading from 2020. “CSL” below means “C.S. Lewis.” I’ve linked some of the blog posts that connect with the things I’ve read. Are any of these books or papers yours? If so, feel free to link my list. If you have your own year-end list or best-of blog, make sure you link it in the comments.

January
1 Jan 01 J.R.R. Tolkien, “Mythopoeia” and notes from “On Fairy-Stories” (1930s-1940s)
2 Jan 06 John Milton, Paradise Lost (1667-1674)
3 Jan 07 CSL, Out of the Silent Planet (1937)
4 Jan 10 CSL, A Preface to Paradise Lost (1942)
5 Jan 12 Louisa May Alcott, Little Women (1868)
6 Jan 13 CSL, An Experiment in Criticism (1960)
7 Jan 15 CSL, Of This and Other Worlds (1937-1962; 1982)
8 Jan 16 CSL, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (1949)
9 Jan 20 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit (1937)
10 Jan 22 Corey Olsen, Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit (2012)
11 Jan 23 CSL, Perelandra (1943)
12 Jan 24 CSL, Prince Caspian (1950)
13 Jan 24 Selections from Elizabeth Rollins Epperly‘s The Fragrance of Sweet-Grass: L.M. Montgomery’s Heroines and the Pursuit of Romance (1992; 2014)
14 Jan 24 Selections from H. Byron Earhart, Robert S. Ellwood, Richard Pilgrim, Simon Armitage, Jane Cowan Fredeman, Monika Hilder, Alana Vincent, Kirstie Blair and William V. Thompson, Sarah Wallingford, Seán Somers
15 Jan 25 Dante, Hell, trans. Robert Pinsky, foreword by John Freccero, notes by Nicole Pinsky (1308-1320; 1996)
16 Jan 27 Dante, Hell, trans. Dorothy L. Sayers (1308-1320; 1949)
17 Jan 27 Thomas P. Kasulis, Shinto: The Way Home (2004)
18 Jan 31 Charles Williams, Descent Into Hell (1937)
February
19 Feb 01 Damien Keown, Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction (1996)
20 Feb 01 Scott Lewis, Japanese Mythology: Classic Stories of Japanese Myths, Gods, Goddesses, Heroes, and Monsters (2018) 
21 Feb 01 Charles Williams, “The Son of Lancelot” (1938)
22 Feb 04 CSL, Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1950)
23 Feb 04 CSL, The Horse and His Boy (1953)
24 Feb 06 CSL, The Silver Chair (1951)
25 Feb 11 CSL, Till We Have Faces (1954)
26 Feb 12 Frederick Buechner, Godric (1980)
27 Feb 14 Flannery O’Connor, “A Good Man is Hard to Find” (1953)
28 Feb 15 Octavia E. Butler, Wild Seed (1980)
29 Feb 17 Flannery O’Connor, The Violent Bear It Away (1960)
30 Feb 18 Fyodor Dostoyevsky, “The Grand Inquisitor” (1879)
31 Feb 20 CSL, The Last Battle (1953)
32 Feb 26 Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time (1962)
33 Feb 28 Makoto Fujimura, Silence and Beauty: Hidden Faith Born of Suffering (2016)
34 Feb 29 L.M. Montgomery, The Selected Journals Of L.M. Montgomery, Vol. 2: 1910-1921 (1988)
35 Feb 29 Selections by Brendan Wolfe, Josiah Peterson, Andrew Spencer, Louis Markos, Madeleine L’Engle, Tara Isabella Burton, Mimi Kramer, Warren Cole Smith, Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Michael Abbaté, Randy Alcorn
March
36 Mar 01 Selections of Christine L. Norvell, Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold–A Reading Companions (2017; 2020)
37 Mar 02 Shūsaku Endō, The Samurai (1980)
38 Mar 02 Shūsaku Endō, Silence (1966; 2016)
39 Mar 03 H. Byron Earhart, selections from Japanese Religion: Unity and Diversity (1974)
40 Mar 06 Introduction of Herbert Bix, Introduction of Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan (2016)
41 Mar 07 John W. Dower, Introduction of Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II (1999)
42 Mar 11 R.H.P. Mason & J.G. Caiger, A History of Japan (rev. ed., 1972; 1997)
43 Mar 12 CSL, The Magician’s Nephew (1953)
44 Mar 18 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion (1977)
45 Mar 19 Octavia Butler, Mind of My Mind (1977)
46 Mar 20 Mark J. Ravina, Understanding Japan: A Cultural History (2000)
47 Mar 20 Robert Ellwood, Japanese Religion (2007)
48 Mar 22 J.R.R. Tolkien, “Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth,” selections from Morgoth’s Ring (1960s-70s; 1993)
49 Mar 24 CSL, The Great Divorce (1944-45)
50 Mar 25 Leo Tolstoy, “The Death of Ivan Ilyich” (1886)
51 Mar 26 Corey Olsen, w. Sørina Higgins, Lewis & Tolkien (2014)
52 Mar 26 Mary Beard, “Facing Death with Tolstoy” (2013)
53 Mar 28 Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina (1877)
54 Mar 28 A.A. Milne, “In Which Piglet Is Entirely Surrounded by Water” (1926)
55 Mar 30 Selections from Grayson Carter, Andrew Cuneo, Sparrow F. Alden, Hugh McLean, Nicholas Lezard, Nelson Goering
April
56 Apr 01 CSL, The Last Battle (1953)
57 Apr 02 J.R.R. Tolkien, Tales from the Perilous Realm, 2d ed. w. Tom Shippey preface (2008)
58 Apr 03 C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory (1939-47; 1956; 1980)
59 Apr 03 CSL, “The Grand Miracle” (1945)
60 Apr 04 Selections from Jonathan B. Himes, Barbara L. Prescott, Josiah Peterson, Josh Wimmer, Reggie Weems, Gale Watkins, Charlie W. Starr, Jo Walton, Jennifer Neyhart, Kevin Belmonte, John A. Stoler, John Keats, Walter Blake, Russell Hillier, Chris Gehrz, Jesse Russell, Harold K. Bush, Charles Andrews, Ray Horton, Andrew Connolly, Kenneth Paradis, Andrew S. Jacobs, Joel B. Green, Leon Morris, Cyril of Alexandria, John Craddock, Joseph A. Fitzmyer, Mark R. Mullins, Nate Silver
61 Apr 05 Walter Miller, A Canticle for Leibowitz (1959)
62 Apr 09 CSL, Perelandra (1943)
63 Apr 12 Marilynne Robinson, Gilead (2004)
64 Apr 13 CSL, That Hideous Strength (1945)
65 Apr 17 L.M. Montgomery, “Each In His Own Tongue” (1910)
66 Apr 17 J.R.R. Tolkien, “Leaf by Niggle” (1945)
67 Apr 18 J.R.R. Tolkien, “Of Beren and Lúthien” (1917-2017)
68 Apr 18 Marilynne Robinson, Home (2008)
69 Apr 20 N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church (2007)
70 Apr 21 Jerry L. Walls, “Narnia and the Enchanment of Philosophy” (2005)
71 Apr 21 Elizabeth R. Epperly, “Chivalry and Romance: L.M. Montgomery’s Re-vision of the Great War in Rainbow Valley” (1993)
72 Apr 22 Alan R. Young, “L.M. Montgomery’s Rilla of Ingleside (1920): Romance and the Experience of War” (1993) 
73 Apr 25 Benjamin Lefebvre, “Pigsties and Sunsets: L. M. Montgomery, A Tangled Web, and a Modernism of Her Own (2005), with readings from Montgomery’s novel
74 Apr 29 CSL, Till We Have Faces (1954)
75 Apr 30 Lucius Apuleius, The Golden Ass (late 2nd c.; 1998)
76 Apr 30 Selections from Charlie W. Starr, Jacob Sherman, Bradford Lee Eden, Stephanie Derrick, Grayson Carter, Arend Smilde, Laura Smit, Gary Tandy, Harry Lee Poe, Andrew Stout
May
77 May 01 Ernest Cline, Ready Player One (2011)
78 May 01 Mickey Corso, “The Lady and Our Lady: Galadriel as a “Reflexion” of Mary” (2020)
79 May 02 CSL, The Four Loves (1959)
80 May 07 Alana Vincent, selections from The Consequences of Imagination: Holocaust Memory and Political Fantasy (2020)
81 May 08 Justin Keena, “C.S. Lewis’s Rooms at Keble College” (2020)
82 May 12 Maxine Hancock, As We Are Known: Representations of the Evangelical Experience in Literature of the 20th & 21st Centuries (2004)
83 May 12 Michael L. Peterson, C.S. Lewis and the Christian Worldview (2020)
84 May 13 Selections from Dan Nosowitz, John M. Barry, Crystal Hurd, Joel Heck, Kate Kinast, Jared Lobdell, Miroslav Volf, Tara Isabella Burton, Justin Keena, Paul W. Bennett, Hannah Karena Jones, ChrisC, Laura Portwood-Stacer, Katelyn Knox, Dianne Brydon, David C. Downing, Sanford Schwartz, John Haigh, Heather Walton, Elaine Graham
85 May 13 William Germano, From Dissertation to Book (2005) 
86 May 15 John Toland, The Rising Sun: The Decline & Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936-45 (1970)
87 May 16 J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997)
88 May 19 Virgina Woolf, “Street Haunting A London Adventure” (1927)
89 May 21 John Hatcher, The Black Death: A Personal History (2008)
90 May 23 Haruki Murakami, 1Q84 (2009)
91 May 27 Lauren Spohn, “‘Further Up and Further In’: Roads, Pilgrim’s Regress, and Sehnsucht on Earth and in Heaven” (2019)
92 May 28 Selections from Bryan Walsh, Geoffrey Skelley, Bruce Johnson, Kathryn Lindskoog, David Downing, Jared Lobdell, Sanford Schwarts, Charlie Starr, Courtney Petrucci, Adam Mattern, Lauren Spohn, Arend Smilde, Joel Heck, Jon Emont, Monika Hilder, Walter Hooper, Geoffrey Skelley, Likhitha Butchireddygari
93 May 29 Jane Austen, Emma (1815)
94 May 29 CSL, selections from The Screwtape Letters (1941-42)
95 May 29 CSL, selections from Perelandra (1943)
96 May 30 J.R.R. Tolkien, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl and Sir Orfeo (1400; 1979)
June
97 Jun 01 Audrey Albertson, “Cage and the Timepiece” (2020)
98 Jun 01 J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998)
99 Jun 02 Jonathan Swift, “A Modest Proposal” (1729)
100 Jun 04 Tami Van Opstal, “Perelandran Diction: A Study in Meaning” (2013)
101 Jun 04 Octavia E. Butler, Fledgling (2005)
102 Jun 07 Ravi Zacharias, Jesus Among Other Gods: The Absolute Claims of the Christian Message (2000)
103 Jun 08 Octavia Butler, Clay’s Ark (1984)
104 Jun 09 Unknown (Peer Review), “The Ten C.S. Lewises: Prolegomena to the Study of Lewis” (2020)
105 Jun 10 Selections from Ellen Meloy, Justin Keena, Charles Jones, Hans-Friedrich Mueller, Jane Urquhart, David Downing, Gregory Wolfe, Donald Glover, Catherine Sheldrake Ross and Åsa Warnqvist, Annie Nardone, Ann Cowan, Perry Bacon Jr. and Meredith Conroy
106 Jun 11 Adam Roberts, “Mithraic Narnia” (2020)
107 Jun 13 Marilynne Robinson, Lila (2014)
108 Jun 13 Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life (2004)
109 Jun 15 Octavia Butler, Patternmaster (1976)
110 Jun 15 Liz Rosenberg, House of Dreams: The Life of L. M. Montgomery (2018)
111 Jun 15 L.M. Montgomery, “The Life-Book of Uncle Jesse” (1909)
112 Jun 16 Lisa DeTora, “In After Years: Retrospection and the Great War in the Work of L. M. Montgomery” (2000) 
113 Jun 16 Laura Robinson, “Kindred Spirits: Kinship and the Nature of Nature in Anne’s House of Dreams and The Blue Castle” (2018)
114 Jun 16 William V. Thompson, “The Shadow on the House of Dreams: Montgomery’s Re-Visioning of Anne” (2016)
115 Jun 16 L.M. Montgomery, Anne’s House of Dreams (1917)
116 Jun 17 L.M. Montgomery, The Watchman and Other Poems (1916)
117 Jun 18 N.T. Wright, Evil and the Justice of God (2006)
118 Jun 22 Jens Hieber, “Negotiated Symbiosis: Power, Identity, and Community in the Works of Octavia E. Butler” (2020)
119 Jun 23 Selections from Sørina Higgins, Kutter Callaway, Susan Drain, Elizabeth R. Epperly, Raymond E. Jones, Jonathan Y. Tan, Linda Hutcheon, Leonard R. Mendelsohn, Nancy Huse, Hildi Froese Tiessen, Brenda Niall, Ashley Cowger, Katharine Slater, Marah Gubar, T.D. MacLulich, Jackie E. Stallcup, Emily Woster, Ashley Cowger 
120 Jun 23 J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999)
121 Jun 25 Stephen King, 11/22/63 (2013)
122 Jun 27 Nnedi Okorafor, Binti (2015)
123 Jun 29 L.M. Montgomery, Akin to Anne (1896-1933; 1988)
July
124 Jul 01 Nnedi Okorafor, Home (2017)
125 Jul 05 Nnedi Okorafor, Night Masquerade (2018)
126 Jul 07 Charlie W. Starr, The Faun’s Bookshelf: C. S. Lewis on Why Myth Matters (2018)
127 Jul 10 David Foster Wallace, Consider the Lobster and Other Essays (1992-2005)
128 Jul 10 Veryln Flieger, Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien’s World (1983; 2002)
129 Jul 12 J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (1999)
130 Jul 15 Sir Walter Scott, Rob Roy (1817)
131 Jul 16 Carol Gerson, “Seven Milestones: How Anne of Green Gables Became a Canadian Icon” (2010)
132 Jul 16 Irene Gammel, “Introduction: Reconsidering Anne’s World” (2010)
133 Jul 17 L.M. Montgomery, Jane of Lantern Hill (1937)
134 Jul 17 Irene Gammel and Elizabeth Epperly, “L.M. Montgomery and the Shaping of Canadian Culture” (1999)
135 Jul 26 Rebecca Rosenblum, So Much Love (2017) 
136 Jul 27 Huston Smith, The World’s Religions (1958; 1991)
137 Jul 28 Diane Tye, “Women’s Oral Narrative Traditions as Depicted in Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Fiction, 1918-1939” (1993)
138 Jul 29 Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (1975)
139 Jul 31 Alix E. Harrow, The Ten Thousand Doors of January (2019)
August
140 Aug 01 James W. Sire, The Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog, 4th ed. (1973; 2004)
141 Aug 01 Selections from Christopher Partridge, Tim Dowley et al., Introduction to World Religions (3rd ed., 2018)
142 Aug 03 L.M. Montgomery, Emily of New Moon (1923)
143 Aug 09 Anne Rice, Interview with the Vampire (1976)
144 Aug 10 Dante, Purgatory, trans. Dorothy L. Sayers (1308-1320; 1955)
145 Aug 12 Carole Gerson, “‘Dragged at Anne’s Chariot Wheels’: The Triangle of Author, Publisher, and Fictional Character” (1999)
146 Aug 12 Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States (2014)
147 Aug 16 L.M. Montgomery, Emily Climbs (1925)
148 Aug 19 L.M. Montgomery, Emily’s Quest (1927)
149 Aug 22 L.M. Montgomery, Carolyn Strom Collins, ed., Anne of Green Gables: The Original Manuscript (1908; 2019)
150 Aug 25 J. Sheridan Le Fanu, Carmilla (1872)
151 Aug 27 David J. Skal, Something in the Blood: The Untold Story of Bram Stoker, the Man Who Wrote Dracula (2015)
152 Aug 27 Owen Dudley Edwards and Jennifer H. Litster, “The End of Canadian Innocence: L.M. Montgomery and the First World War” (1999)
153 Aug 28 Peter Straub, A Dark Matter (2010)
154 Aug 28 Charles Franklyn Beach, “Some Thoughts on the Poetry of C.S. Lewis” (2020)
155 Aug 29 Mary Henley Rubio, “L.M. Montgomery: Scottish Presybterian Agency in Canadian Culture” (1999)
156 Aug 29 Mary Rubio and Elizabeth Waterston, “Afterword” to the Signet edition of Anne of Green Gables (1987)
157 Aug 31 Selections from Simone Nelles, Sylvia DuVernet, Emma Battell Lowman, Andrea McKenzie, Mahmoud Ali Manzalaoui, N.T. Wright, Laura Robinson, Dale Nelson, Monika Hilder, Lee Drutman, Geoffrey Skelley and Nathaniel Rakich, Elena Mejia and Geoffrey Skelley, Joe R. Christopher, Steven Brocklehurst, Don Pittis
September
156 Sep 01 Mary Henley Rubio, Lucy Maud Montgomery: The Gift of Wings (2008)
157 Sep 03 William Bascom, “The Forms of Folklore” (1965)
158 Sep 03 Dimitra Fimi, “Hobbit Songs and Rhymes: Tolkien and the Folklore of Middle-earth” (2009)
159 Sep 04 Alan Dundes et al. The Vampire: A Casebook (1998)
160 Sep 05 John Polidori, The Vampyre (1819)
161 Sep 07 Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “Christabel” (1797-1800; 1816)
162 Sep 09 Bram Stoker, Dracula (1897) 
163 Sep 17 Jens Hieber, “Negotiated Symbiosis: Power, Identity, and Community in the Works of Octavia E. Butler” (2020)
164 Sep 17 Max Hamon, “Success/Failure? Louis Riel and the History of Policing Canada” (2020)
165 Sep 22 Anne Rice, The Vampire Lestat (1985) 
166 Sep 30 L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea (1909)
167 Sep 30 Selections from Meredith Conroy and Nathaniel Rakich, Emily Chung, John Keats, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Geoffrey Skelley, Sheri-Marie Harrison, Nathaniel Rakich, Caryn Ganz, Alex Usher, Harry Lee Poe, Max Hamon, Tood Webb, Russell L. Almon
168 Sep 30 Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (1847)
October
169 Oct 04 Charlaine Harris, Dead Until Dark (2001)
170 Oct 13 Angela Carter, The Bloody Chamber: And Other Stories (1979)
171 Oct 15 Selections from Charles Perrault, The Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault, including the biographical introduction by Thomas Bodkin (1697; 1993)
172 Oct 18 CSL, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (1949)
173 Oct 18 CSL, The Screwtape Letters (1940-42; 1959; 1982)
174 Oct 21 Norbert Feinendegen, selections of Reason to Believe (2020)
175 Oct 21 Mark Sampson, All the Animals on Earth (2020)
176 Oct 23 Marilynne Robinson, Jack (2020)
177 Oct 25 Anne Rice, The Queen of the Damned (1988)
178 Oct 25 Louise Bernice Halfe, Burning In This Midnight Dream (2016)
179 Oct 28 L.M. Montgomery, Kilmeny of the Orchard (1910)
180 Oct 29 Francesca Lia Block, “Wolf” (2000)
181 Oct 31 Richard Matheson, I Am Legend and Other Stories (1951-89)
182 Oct 31 Selections from Amir Hussain et al, Eric Feltham and Nicholas A. Christakis, Joshua Lawson, Nate Silver, Geoffrey Skelley and Anna Wiederkehr, Marcie Hatter, Ana Mardoll, Richard Beck, Matthew Rettino, Robert C. Stroud, Monika Hilder, Matt O’Reilly, Mark R. Cohen, James Carroll, Christopher A. Snyder, Stewart Goetz, Frank V. Bellizzi, Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux, Jasmine Mithani and Laura Bronner, Julia Azari
November
183 Nov 01 Otto Penzler, Kim Newman, et al. The Vampire Archives (18th-21st c.; 2009)
184 Nov 04 Roald Dahl, Revolting Rhymes & Dirty Beasts (2001)
185 Nov 05 Beatrix Potter, The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck (1908)
186 Nov 05 Catherine Storr, “Clever Polly,” “Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf,” “Little Polly Riding Hood” and other stories (2007)
187 Nov 05 Julia Donaldson, The Trial of Wilf Wolf (2002)
188 Nov 05 Anthony Browne, Into the Forest (2004)
189 Nov 12 David Baggett et al., C.S. Lewis as Philosopher: Truth, Goodness and Beauty (2008)
190 Nov 14 Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights (1847)
191 Nov 18 Phyllis A. Tickle, The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why (2008)
192 Nov 19 Malise Ruthven, Islam: A Very Short Introduction (1997)
193 Nov 19 Dimitra Fimi, “Folkloric Transformations: Vampires and Big Bad Wolves” (2016)
194 Nov 22 Caroline Leaf, Switch on Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health (2007; 2013)
195 Nov 30 Karen Armstrong, Islam: A Short History (2000)
196 Nov 30 J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003)
197 Nov 30 Selections by Andrew Lazo, Nate Silver, Nathaniel Rakich, Clare Malone, Perry Bacon, Jr., Timothy Dalrymple, Ted Olsen, Tim McDonnell, Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux, Adam Miller and Amina Zafar
198 Nov 30 Carolyn Strom Collins, introduction to After Many Years: Twenty-One “Long Lost” Stories by L.M. Montgomery (2017)
December
199 Dec 07 L.M. Montgomery, Chronicles of Avonlea (1912)
200 Dec 07 Harry Blamires, The Christian Mind: How Should a Christian Think? (1963)
201 Dec 08 Alan Duncan, “Gilbert and Jack: What C.S. Learned Reading G.K. Chesterton” (2020)
202 Dec 09 Walter Hooper, Mary Anne Phemister, Marjorie Lamp Mead, etc., some selections from Mere Christians: Inspiring Stories of Encounters (2018)
203 Dec 09 Andrew Cuneo, “Introduction: Oxford, 1963, and a Young Boswell” (2011)
204 Dec 13 Walter Hooper, “Editing C.S. Lewis” (2008)
205 Dec 18 L.M. Montgomery, “Christmas at Red Butte” and various Christmas short stories
206 Dec 20 L.M. Montgomery, The Story Girl (1911)
207 Dec 20 Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games (2020)
208 Dec 22 Lesslie Newbigin, Foolishness to the Greeks: The Gospel and Western Culture (1986)
209 Dec 27 J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2005)
210 Dec 28 Sean O’Hare, “Our Hearts in Ink” (2020)
211 Dec 29 Frederick Buechner, The Remarkable Ordinary: How to Stop, Look, and Listen to Life (2017)
212 Dec 31 Andrew J. Spencer, ed., The Christian Mind of C.S. Lewis (2019)
213 Dec 31 Selections from Walter Hooper, Alexander Panetta, Geoffrey Skelley, Elena Mejía, Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux and Laura Bronner, Neil Paine, Kathleen Mawhinney, Heather Thomson, Julie A Sellers, Mary Beth Cavert, Éric Grenier, Maya Angelou, Nathaniel Rakich, Gabriele Greggersen, Ross Benes, John Milton
214 Dec 31 Octavia Butler, Bloodchild and Other Stories (1995; 2005)

About Brenton Dickieson

“A Pilgrim in Narnia” is a blog project in reading and talking about the work of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the worlds they touched. As a "Faith, Fantasy, and Fiction" blog, we cover topics like children’s literature, apologetics and philosophy, myths and mythology, fantasy, theology, cultural critique, art and writing. This blog includes my thoughts as I read through Lewis and Tolkien and reflect on my own life and culture. In this sense, I am a Pilgrim in Narnia--or Middle Earth, or Fairyland. I am often peeking inside of wardrobes, looking for magic bricks in urban alleys, or rooting through yard sale boxes for old rings. If something here captures your imagination, leave a comment, “like” a post, share with your friends, or sign up to receive Narnian Pilgrim posts in your email box. Brenton Dickieson is a father, husband, friend, university lecturer, and freelance writer from Prince Edward Island, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter, @BrentonDana.
This entry was posted in Original Research, Reflections and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 2020: A Year of Reading: The Nerd Bit, with Charts

  1. louloureads says:

    I always love these end of year stats posts. I well remember the feeling of being able to read for pleasure again post-PhD (though because I am in a STEM-adjacent field, I read double the number of books last year than I had at any time in the previous several years, rather than fewer) – it’s such a good feeling! This year I am going to try tracking my own reading out of curiosity, to see decades, genre etc – I haven’t bothered in years but I am very curious.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello! Thanks for this nice note and the pleasure-reading collegiality. The tracking can be fun–I should update my Excel sheet for more options, but I have to design it… and finding the time is tough.
      You did the book bingo thing, right? And a full bingo sheet?

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.