My favourite books of 2020

It was an odd year but I really enjoyed reading. I made it through a book every couple of weeks – 26 in total – and these were my favourites. Maybe this year I’ll make it to a book a week.

Non-fiction

  • Wilding by Isabella Tree – my review here. This genuinely changed the way I think about nature and the countryside.
  • The Man Who Solved the Market by Gregory Zuckerman. A brilliantly written story of Renaissance, the incredibly successful investment firm created by Jim Simons. The problem was it didn’t have a purpose other than making money and that eventually made monsters or bitter men of its senior staff – including one of them becoming the biggest backer of Donald Trump’s election 2016 campaign.
  • Eat a Peach by David Chang – a great book about business and mental health with the odd bit of cooking thrown in.

Fiction

  • Exhalation by Ted Chiang – Chiang is the author of the piece that became the movie Arrival. This collection of short stories is a great selection of new writing.
  • The Great Fire by Shirley Hazzard. It won the US National Book Award in 2004 and is set in the aftermath of the Second World War in Asia and Europe.
  • Agency by William Gibson. He’s still cyberpunk and still great. His new novel is set in near-future/current San Francisco and a future London. I loved it.

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