Books Read – 2020

The Sanctuary of Books


1) Can You Forgive Her?


Trollope, Anthony
2) The Mayor of CasterbridgeHardy, Thomas
3) Under the Greenwood TreeHardy, Thomas
4) The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal WestMcCullough, David
5) A Backward GlanceWharton, Edith
6) Unleavened BreadGrant, Robert
7) A Guilty Thing Surprised (Inspector Wexford, #5)Rendell, Ruth
8) Mason’s RetreatTilghman,Christopher
9) The Hills BeyondWolfe, Thomas
10) The Pioneers: James Fenimore CooperCooper,JamesFenimore
11) Excellent WomenPym, Barbara
12) When We Were OrphansIshiguro, Kazuo
13) The Genuine Article (The Sheriff Chick Charleston Mysteries Book 2)Guthrie Jr., A.B.
14) Mandela’s Way: Lessons for an Uncertain AgeStengel, Richard
15) Dombey and SonDickens, Charles
16) A New England boyhoodHale, Edward Everett
17) The Big Bad City (87th Precinct, #49)McBain, Ed
18) No Second WindGuthrie Jr., A.B.
19) A High Wind in JamaicaHughes, Richard
20) The Vicar of WakefieldGoldsmith, Oliver
21) Nocturne (87th Precinct, #48)McBain, Ed
22) Murders at Moon DanceGuthrie Jr., A.B.
23) Coming Up for AirOrwell, George
24) Keep the Aspidistra FlyingOrwell, George
25) Burmese DaysOrwell, George
26) Benjamin Franklin: An American LifeIsaacson, Walter
27) Twice ShyFrancis, Dick
28) The Eustace DiamondsTrollope, Anthony
29) The WoodlandersHardy, Thomas
30) The Belton EstateTrollope, Anthony
31) Miller’s ValleyQuindlen, Anna
32) Phineas Redux, Vol. 1Trollope, Anthony
33) Phineas Redux, Volume 2Trollope, Anthony
34) The American SenatorTrollope, Anthony
35) The Turn of the ScrewJames, Henry

Writing no matter what

I wish, no matter what, I could write for hours, no matter what, every day, no matter what. I know this to be near impossible for me.

For more years than I will think about I’ve hoped for that moment when I could get myself to sit down and write for hours at a time, every single day. I’ve read about writers who can tuck themselves away in their writing space, and pen away or tap keys for hours on a daily basis.  I keep wondering, what am I doing wrong? Or, am I a fraud as a writer? A fake of some kind? Something like that.

As true as it is that I’m not able to write for hours at a time with any kind of consistency, it’s equally true that I’d likely be a dead man if I did not write at all. It is near fact to say, I wouldn’t know how to function. It’s also stone-cold fact to say that in my darkest moments, writing and books have prevented my suicide.

I often write because I want to, I always write because I have too.

On writing

If you want to write, you need to believe your words are valuable enough to put on paper. They are. I’m dead serious. Your words have a right to be written because they are your words. You are real. Your voice, spoken or written, has as much value as any other voice – on the planet.

And try not to fret or wrap yourself in guilt because you didn’t remember to write something down. My history is littered with now forgotten sentences, phrases and words I fell in love with and wanted to use one day, and never did. I don’t imagine mine is a unique experience, other than it is mine, and no one (that I know of) is living my life but me.

I know that none of what I said here will make writing perpetually comfortable.  I don’t think it is supposed to be. Writing forces you to be fully alone with yourself, and fully connected with yourself. Not easy. Sometimes I write because I want to, always I write because I have to.

The page is your world

This may be the most efficient way of writing. Simply put words on a page, and have done with it. This is your page. These are your words. Here, of all places, you need answer to not a soul, living or dead. This is a statement of fact, friend. This, the page, is your world. Doesn’t matter whether others read this or not. I know ache fills you at this. It’s only life, each sentence, word, one movement closer to the end.