New Reading Challenge: 2020

What a horror story 2020 was eh? Who would have thought at this time last January we’d all end up living in a world of travel restrictions, infection apps and no pub. No pub! Inevitably, without my favourite writing spot, my prose turnout dropped a bit this year… But three weeks of furlough did give me time to read lots of books, and I achieved my new Reading Challenge for 2020: reading 52 books in the year.

Reading Challenge 2020

We know I like to record every book I read. It’s good to read widely and to treat reading as entertainment just as worthy of your time as gaming, scrolling and Netflix. As an author, you pick up tips and learn more about your own place in your genre (or out of it). A challenge helps to push you to read more and to try new books for new experiences.

You even got a preview of what’s been on my hit-list when I posted my mid-year reading roundup in the summer. I hope you’ll still enjoy scanning a half-interested eye down the full tally.

Challenges of 2021

I know a lot of creative people have struggled this year. In the all the upheaval and ever-changing rules, your mentality recalibrates from creative to survival mode. It’s nothing to beat yourself up about. Usually, I make resolutions for the new year. But this January all I’m resolving to do is take things as they come. I’ll roll with the punches and deal with things in a positive way that might inspire others to do the same.

Who knows, I might even squeeze some writing in. I’ve got a doozie of an idea about a Victorian séance, and it would suit chapter titles named after tarot cards…

Watch this space! And now, to our headline act, the Reading Challenge 2020.

All the Books I Read in 2020

Macbeth – William Shakespeare

The Hanged Man – Simon Kernick

Diary of a Somebody – Brian Bilston

A Noise Downstairs – Linwood Barclay

Murder Being Once Done – Ruth Rendell

The Three – Sarah Lotz

The Tattooist of Auschwitz – Heather Morris

The Body – Bill Bryson

Night Shift – Stephen King

The Stonehenge Legacy – Sam Christer

Do No Harm – Henry Marsh

The Missing – Tim Gatreux

A Pocketful of Rye – Agatha Christie

This is Going to Hurt – Adam Kay

(I actually read this twice! It’s hysterical and you will love it)

A Head Full of Ghosts – Paul Tremblay

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams – Stephen King

The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾ – Sue Townsend

Broken Monsters – Lauren Beukes

The Grand Design – Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow

Gobbolino, the Witch’s Cat – Ursula Moray Williams

Relics – Tim Lebbon

Penpal – Dathan Auerbach

World War Z – Max Brooks

Harvest Home – Thomas Tryon

Paperbacks from Hell – Grady Hendrix

The Cabin at the End of the World – Paul Tremblay

Let’s Go Play at the Adams’ – Mendal W. Johnson

Horrorstör – Grady Hendrix

Dialogues of the Dead – Reginald Hill

The Other People – C. J. Tudor

John Dies at the End – David Wong

Bone China – Laura Purcell

Off Season – Jack Ketchum

Lockdown – Peter May

Things in Jars – Jess Kidd

(which I now give as an example of a similar novel to my own, when I contact agents. I use one of Laura’s Purcell’s too)

The Dark Portal – Robin Jarvis

At the Mountains of Madness – H.P. Lovecraft

Beloved – Toni Morrison

The Turn of the Key – Ruth Ware

Black Butterfly – Mark Gatiss

Ring – Koji Suzuki

Rosemary’s Baby – Ira Levin

All Hallow’s Eve – Richard Laymon

My Best Friend’s Exorcism – Grady Hendrix

In the Downtime – Simon Zec

The Crystal Prison – Robin Jarvis

Danse Macabre – Stephen King

The Starless Sea – Erin Morgenstern

The Final Reckoning – Robin Jarvis

Anno Dracula – Kim Newman

The Thursday Murder Club – Richard Osman

Liam Smith

Writing twisted gothic tales and drumming whilst I think up more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *