2020 in Lists
This year didn’t turn out like anyone planned. However what hasn’t changed is my enjoyment of making lists out of inane subjects.
- My cat, Bast
- Amazing roommates / friends / fam
- Bike rides and walks in the woods
- Local foods - including locally roasted coffee beans 🤤
- Hot showers
- My bed
- Time to work on art or to curl up with a book
- You Look Like a Thing and I Love You by Janelle Shane - Janelle Shane is one of my favorite scientists and her book is a passionate and delightfully quirky exploration of artificial intelligence.
- Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman - This is a must read. I loved this book. I still reference information from it in day-to-day conversations. Overall it’s great for understanding your biases at the unconscious level, which is originally why I started reading it. I ended up coming out of the experience with ideas of how to address negative or emotionally charged thinking that impacts decision making as well.
- Algorithms of Oppression by Safiya U. Noble, PhD - Eye-opening and, in a lot of ways, heartbreaking. It probably comes as no surprise that internet is tailored to the cis, white man. However, I don’t feel like that prepares you for reading this. Highly recommend, even if the writing style is not the best.
- Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia - This book was okay. I’m not a huge fan of lovey-dovey stuff, but it was doable to read even if you’re not into it. The symbolism is not subtle. Read this for a book club.
- Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami - Absolutely the fuck no. Murakami is a great writer, but the two things I’ve read by him (the other being 19Q4 ) have some moments when I want to tear the characters apart. This particular character was a mysogonist asshole and all the women were hollow.
- House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski - Wonderfully creepy and in an unusual format. Definitely not a before-bed book – both in terms of nightmares and in terms of needing to have your wits about you while you read it.
- Semiosis by Sue Burke - I had so much hope for this book, but the author was just trying to be like Ursula K. Le Guin. And no one can be Le Guin. So overall, it was meh. I don’t plan on continuing the series.
- Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James - Filled with beautiful imagery and epic fantasy. I loved the African mythology woven in.
- Wanderers by Chuck Wendig - It was over 1000 pages, but I finished it in a week. It grips you. There were some fundamental issues I had with parts of it, especially the ending, but overall, it was an enjoyable ride.
- The Raven Tower by Anne Leckie - this was ~okay~ but I think I liked the Ancillary series better. I appreciated the homage to the Shakespearian format, though.
- The Testaments by Margaret Atwood - More uplifting than I would’ve expected, and that was much needed with this trash fire of a year. Atwood is probably one of my favorite writers, after Le Guin, so nothing she does can really disappoint me.
- The Elementals by Michael McDowell - Gah, so good! Creepy and crawly. Characters jump from the page. You feel like you are at Beldame yourself, experiencing everything. There are some dated and unfair treatments of women and people of color by the author, though, which irks me. The book is from the 80s, which doesn’t excuse it, but it is why I label it as “dated”.
- The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates - extremely well written and provoking. It is definitely “fantasy-lite” even though it is labeled as “fantasy”. I would put it more under historical fiction.
- Just ink/marker
- Ink and Marker
- Instax Mini 90 (photography)
This year was all about comfort food.