top book of 2020

normally i write a blog post about the best books i read in the year prior. it’s a tradition. this year, i acknowledge that i read a fair amount in 2020 and it was so hard to do, with the pandemic and resultant anxiety, and the creeping sadness of isolation. but i managed to read 44 books and, also, did a fair amount of writing–200 pages–which surprises me.

i’m too tired to write a top 10 list.

the top book i read was NIGHT BOAT TO TANGIER by Kevin Barry. what a novel. two aging gangsters talk the night away in a seedy Spanish port, but really it’s about family. it’s difficult to even say what is so captivating about this novel but it starts with the sentence, because Kevin Barry is a sentence level writer.

all communication starts with the sentence. here’s podcast featuring George Saunders where he talks about sentences: