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My life in books 2020

December 18, 2020

As I started reading other people’s contributions, I said that I might play the “my life in books” meme – and I have not decided that I will! So, thanks to Lisa for bringing it to my attention and to Annabookbel for managing this fun meme.

It’s a simple meme, and goes like this:

Using only books you have read this year (2020), answer these prompts. Try not to repeat a book title. (Links in the titles will take you to my reviews where they exist)

Book cover

I’m sorry about the paucity of images, but darned if I could get the columned gallery work in block editor. WordPress’s support page said that even if you choose the number of columns you want “Your images will automatically arrange themselves to look good no matter how many columns you select.” Well, no thanks, WP. I want the columns to do what I want them to do and not what you think looks nice! (I think it’s to do with desktops vs tablets vs phones, but the end result is no control at all, it seems to me.)

49 Comments leave one →
  1. December 18, 2020 23:24

    Ha! I’m still sticking with the classic editor
    (until one day they take it away from me and you will hear the howls of dismay all the way from Canberra).
    I like your choice for parties…

    • December 19, 2020 08:08

      Yes I know you are, and I think that’s fair enough. Karen said it’s the Magi issue she hated most about classic but it’s the thing I so far hate most about block . the rest, really, is pretty straightforward. Mr Gums believes it’s about trying to make the blog look ok on different devices, which I think classic editor doesn’t do so well. But I think they have put too much effort – from my point of view – into making it work for phones! Harrumph for us who prefer reading and working on desktops and laptops!

      My parties one was one of my favourites here.

      • December 19, 2020 11:45

        You know how if you notice a typo on an old post and you use the edit link on that post to fix it, it defaults to the new. And that is how I know it still hasn’t addressed the issues I have with it. Sure, you can fix the typos, but you can’t edit a photo, for example, say to add a border if a bookcover is pale and you need to define it, or if you just want to resize it. I look at my posts on my phone from time to time, and they seem just fine to me so I don’t see what the issue is, so I don’t think it has to do with phones, I think it has to do with the use of WP for selling products, they wanted to make it easier for users with visual content rather than text. We wordsmiths are not their target audience any more.

        • December 19, 2020 21:23

          Yes, I’ve had similar problems with editing old posts – you have to make sure you stay in classic, or revert to classic, or it can get very messy.

          Maybe you are right about the phones, though I thought there was an issue there. I rarely look at my blog on my phone because I hate doing blog stuff there.

          However, I think the other things is that they want it to be more flexible and usable for website development, not just blogs. Which I understand, I suppose. We get focused on how we use something, and don’t always realise that others want to use it other ways. For our travel blogs we have a WordPress website, to which we “attach” our blogs, but we don’t do anything fancy. A lot of people use WordPress for websites, so maybe that’s what it’s all about?

        • December 23, 2020 02:36

          Who knows? I do worry that one day it will all be over because they’ll have changed it so much it won’t be usable.

        • December 23, 2020 08:38

          Yes, I know … it’s the risk we take. I think this is partly why it’s good to try to keep up?

        • December 23, 2020 18:20

          A vain hope, my friend!

        • December 23, 2020 20:03

          Haha Lisa, perhaps, but, you know, hope springs eternal – and I’m one of those people, for better or worse!

  2. December 19, 2020 01:13

    Great meme and what a wonderful list.
    Oh and – WordPress at the moment? – grrrr.

  3. December 19, 2020 01:19

    Such a shame we won’t see you hitching a ride. Maybe you can just do the redhead part?

  4. December 19, 2020 02:51

    That was fun! I think at the end of a long day we’d all enjoy quiet days in Malibu! And yes, the block editor stinks. I’m with Lisa and will use classic until WP takes it away. And if they do that, I will send a sharply worded email of complaint 🙂

    • December 19, 2020 08:14

      Good luck with that Stefanie!

      I loved the Quiet days in Malibu option for that one.

  5. December 19, 2020 03:45

    A house on endless waters sounds like bliss!

    • December 19, 2020 08:16

      Thanks, Cathy. I can just see myself living at my days gazing across the endless waters, in a recliner with my book and glass of wine!

  6. December 19, 2020 06:38

    Tsk tsk ! – did I hear a bit of a WordPress Whinge ?
    You’re a real person then, ST: if you’ve never whinged about WP you’re not. [grin]
    Delighted to see Bruny there, of course: did you ever review The Butterfly Man ?

    • December 19, 2020 08:20

      Ha ha MR. Mr Gums has been the brunt of many WP whinges over the years!

      No, I haven’t read any others of hers except The museum of modern love. I should though.

      • December 19, 2020 17:24

        That one you SHOULD read.

        • December 19, 2020 21:25

          Which one M-R? I have read The Museum of Modern Love … wonderful book.

        • December 20, 2020 21:03

          The Butterfly Man. Mesmerising.

        • December 20, 2020 21:16

          Ah, I wasn’t sure if you were referring back to that one or not. Thanks.

  7. December 19, 2020 09:03

    Maybe don’t worry too much about the images. (Although I sympathise re your WordPress frustration.) The list itself is the main thing, and it is lovely and clear. I did so enjoy your skill in compiling the list. (And it was really a thrill to see you picked Poppies.) Have a Happy Christmas. Joy, Health, and Great Reading in 2021.

    • December 19, 2020 09:11

      Thanks Carmel. I’m glad you feel that way ie images. I decided not to stress about them and just do the first and last book.

      Of course I would include Poppies!

      And back atcha with all those wishes too.

  8. George permalink
    December 19, 2020 10:40

    I guess that I haven’t been reading enough fiction and history this year. Foreign Affairs might serve for “Wish I had”, and The Splendid and the Vile could serve for “At a party you’ll find me with.” The Index of Self-Destructive Acts is a fine title, but seems to fit only with “my life during lockdown”. I guess that the family reunions might be Appearance and Reality.

    • December 19, 2020 10:47

      Haha George, great choices. Your family and party ones made me laugh in particular.

  9. Sara Dowse permalink
    December 19, 2020 13:11

    Happy Christmas, Madame Gums. Many thanks for all your insightful, entertaining reviews, and here’s to a less challenging New Year.

    • December 19, 2020 21:26

      Thanks Sara … and Happy Christmas to you too. Keep safe over there – are you in the lockdown area or a bit south of there? I suspect you are a bit south. I hope they can quickly nip it all in the bud.

  10. tmlcp permalink
    December 19, 2020 16:05

    • In high school I was (told I had) Too Much Lip by Melissa Lukashenko
    • People might be surprised by Extinctions by Josephine Wilson
    • I will never be The Arsonist by Chloe Hooper
    • My life in lockdown was like The Lost Man by Jane Harper
    • My fantasy job is (being a) Teacher by Gabbie Stroud
    • At the end of a long day I need Something for the Pain by Gerald Murnane
    • I hate being (a) Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe
    • I wish I had Little Gods by Jenny Ackland
    • My family reunions are Not Just Black and White by Tammy and Lesley Williams
    • At a party you’d find me with (a) Little One by Peter Papathanasiou
    • I’ve never been to The Bridge by Enza Gandolfo
    • A happy day includes Certain Admissions by Gideon Haigh
    • Motto I live by: Wish by Peter Goldsworthy
    • On my bucket list is Take Me to Paris, Johnny by John Foster
    • In my next life, I want to have A Change in the Lighting by Amy Witting

    • December 19, 2020 21:29

      Great responses Teresa … thanks for playing along. Love the family reunions one, and good on you for the high school one, I say!

      Did you enjoy Something for the pain. I thought it was a fascinating read.

      (PS Lovely to hear from you.)

      • December 19, 2020 21:38

        Yes, I loved Something for the Pain! Gerald Murnane’s work can be rather opaque, but SFTP was a fairly easy read, and my Oz Lit group (mostly) enjoyed it too.

        • December 19, 2020 22:23

          I know a couple who didn’t like it, too Lisa, but like you I loved it, because it was a bit sly. On the surface it was straightforward but he did convey other things to us I thought.

  11. tmlcp permalink
    December 19, 2020 16:06

    And a very happy and safe Christmas and New Year to you and yours, Sue!

  12. tmlcp permalink
    December 19, 2020 16:07

    PS: I don’t know how to create italics here, sorry!

    • December 19, 2020 21:32

      No it’s tricky in the comments – html usually works I think but if it doesn’t, it looks ugly. Don’t worry about it, I say.

  13. tmlcp permalink
    December 19, 2020 18:15

    I posted a response to this meme earlier today when I was on my desktop, but now I’m on my phone and I can’t see it. Did it not go through?

    • December 19, 2020 21:34

      Sorry Teresa. You went into moderation and I haven’t looked at my blog for hours so have only just approved your comment. I usually get to my blog more often in the day but, silly season, you know!

  14. December 19, 2020 18:24

    I’m enjoying seeing what people are choosing for family this year. It’s a fairly even balance between happy, loving families and anxious, angsty families 🙂

    • December 19, 2020 21:40

      I agree Brona. I’m enjoying that particular question too. To some degree you can only work with what you’ve read this year, can’t you, but presumably we’ve all chosen titles that ring as true as possible to our experiences. There were some high school answers I’d like to have given for myself but I knew they weren’t true!

  15. Gay Lynch permalink
    December 19, 2020 19:24

    What fun. I think I’ll try it. 🙃

    • December 19, 2020 21:41

      Oh do Gay … your book had two places for me … the one I chose and the high school one.

  16. GAY LYNCH permalink
    December 21, 2020 11:55

    Oh, I didn’t notice that. 🙂 I really need to process all the wonderful books I read this year. 🙂

  17. December 22, 2020 02:05

    This is a very neat and creative post.

    I hear a lot of people complaining about WordPress lately. I still think that it is much better then Blogger.

    • December 22, 2020 08:30

      Thanks Brian. Oh yes, it absolutely is much better. I’m still involved in a Blogger blog and I don’t like it anywhere near as much as WordPress. You haven’t thought of migrating over?

  18. buriedinprint permalink
    December 28, 2020 12:31

    I like your House on Endless Waters wish. Very peaceful. And I laughed at the commenter above who selected Too Much Lip for the first one. *giggles* What a fun game! I hope you have a good year ahead, WG.

    • December 28, 2020 22:14

      Thanks Buried. Yes, I would have chosen Too much hp for the first one if I’d read it in 2020 . It’s a good’un isn’t it?

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