Ten Books I Hope to Read in 2020 and Challenges in Which I Hope to Participate


2020 has me wanting, for once, to plan a little of my reading. There are two books to be revisited, a few classics I want to try, and some other interesting books I’ve stumbled across to be prioritized on my TBR this year. Because I constantly listen to audiobooks on my commute, I have become a consumer of the newest books. I would like to continue some of my backlist reading this year–whether or not I can get them on audio.


New Releases



The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson A new Erik Larson book–with Churchill?? Sign me up! Can’t wait till the end of February for this one to launch!



I’ve written about this one before, and the majority of it has been serialized in the Daily Mail, but I’m still very anxious to read it. Lady in Waiting by Anne Glenconner hits U.S. shelves in late March.



Anne De Courcy’s books are good–she’s one of the authors whose backlist I’m working on as well. Chanel’s Riviera will help with the interest in her I developed after reading the novel, Mademoiselle Chanel: A Novel by C.W. Gortner, in 2018.


I just got this with Prime for my Kindle and am anxious to get started! In a Field of Blue: A Novel by Gemma Liviero, releases in February.


Reading Challenges and Similar

Japanese Literature Challenge


Thanks to my dear friend Silvia Cachia for altering me to this challenge, which is hosted by Dolce Bellezza.


January Thru March 2020


A very dear friend adores this book and I want so much to enjoy it, but the first time I tried it I failed. My life was filled with angsty, super-busy teenagers back then. My life is much calmer now, so I’m giving it a much more enthusiastic try! The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki.



This book was an impulse buy for Kindle and has languished unread for years. I’m pretty sure I’ll love it, yet I’ve not sat down and read it.  The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide



Historical fiction is a great love of mine. This challenge then was made for me! It is hosted by Passages to the Past. I could easily end up being a “Prehistoric Reader” with 50+ books done but will keep my options open and only try for “20th Century Reader” with 2 books. [You can view the list of participation levels by clicking on the link.]


I, Claudius checks off another reading list for the year–that of the excellent Ambleside Online homeschool curriculum. I’ve read from it annually since finding it way back in about 2004. I, Claudius by Robert Graves.

Persephone Books



If you have not “met” Persephone Books yet, then please click on the link and visit their site–you are in for a treat! They keep alive the works of women authors of the twentieth century. I’ve found some wonderful reads here. So, this year I am renewing my pledge to read at least one of their books. This year’s choice is Miss Pettigrew Lives For the Day by Winifred Watson. [Yes, there was a movie made of this, but I haven’t seen it.]


Other Books



I found Year of Wonder by Clemency Burton-Hill via the fabulous Simply Luxurious Life blog, which I’ve read avidly for years. One of my great joys in life, until I became a parent, was classical music. When someone who will not be named broke my last item for playing recorded music that had decent speakers (no names here, of course) I gave up. I miss it too much. So, while I’m learning about playing recorded music in the modern age via laptops and tiny speakers and whatnot, this book should be a good companion. Year of Wonder by Clemency Burton-Hill.


When I first started my current job, I used the long commute to catch up on many great books I missed as a child because they were out-of-style in the 1970s. My mother introduced me to many, but for whatever reason, I did not encounter the works of Lucy Maud Montgomery until 2008–2009 when I listened to all of the Anne books. A pair of friends keep insisting I will love the Blue Castle. Recently, a blog reader also said it was excellent. It has resided on my Kindle since the day I received my first Kindle, so hopefully, this will be its year. The Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery.


Here is a link to my previous post on my Winter 2020 TBR List



Check out the rules at That Artsy Reader Girl and join in next week!


Imagining the Movie While Reading the Book

I’m a huge fan of books. I enjoy movies–mostly old ones. There’s a difference. One is a passion, the other a diversion. Once in a while the two worlds collide nicely–when I read a book and the cast just appears in my mind. But, when I love a book I’m usually afraid to see the movie. I always prefer the book and I always read the book first. Once in a blue moon the movie is better [that’s another post for another day] and about as rarely as re-make exceeds the original [ditto].

I thought I’d share a couple of examples of when the book casts itself.

The Light of Amsterdam: A Novel by David Park. This books was tailor-made for British Actor Robert Bathurst–Downton Abbey’s ill-fated Older Man romance Sir Anthony Strallan. Bathhurst is exactly the sort of man to be an art college professor, to be a hand-wringing Dad and to get caught up in all that happens in this book. So, whoever is shopping this book to the film people–Mr. Bathurst needs to be the father, ok? And, yes, that’s my favorite photo of him, too. Photo source

I can just hear Bill Nighy as narrating this story in the film version of this marriage tale told from the man’s perspective. Nighy epitimizes the hard-done husband. And wonderful Julie Walters would be the perfect flighty wife for him. US by David Nicholls

Nighy Source

Walters photo Source

This book mesmerized me, in part because I could just see Christopher Plummer as the Uncle and Max Irons as Werner. I hope Marie-Laure will be played by an unknown. All the Light We Cannot See


A masterpiece of a legal novel. Jeremy Irons as the husband, Kristin Scott Thomas as the wife–the judge who must decide the case. Children Act by Ian McEwan


Photo sources

I have no idea if any of these books are already being filmed, but I’d love it if even one of my casting decisions was used.