Mario Villalobos


Caste by Isabel Wilkerson should be required reading for everyone on the planet. The book is endlessly quotable, but this one jibes with my current life philosophy:

Even the longest lived of our species spends but a blink of time in the span of human history. How dare anyone cause harm to another soul, curtail their life or life’s potential, when our lives are so short to begin with?

Highly highly recommended.

Finished Normal People by Sally Rooney, and I’m really not one for reviews, but my god, what a well-written and unbelievably beautiful book. It’s one of those rare books that filled me with so much inspiration with each page I read. Highly recommended.

Like McCarthy, Rooney doesn’t use quotation marks for dialogue. I like that. Simplify the English language to just periods, commas, and question marks, and maybe an exclamation point here and there.

Do these books spark joy?

2020 Books

I read 17 books this year. For me that’s low, but 2020, by all measures, wasn’t a normal year. I struggled with attention and focus, and there were months when I didn’t read a single page. But I’m proud I read anything at all.

My favorite fiction book of the year was Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami. Last year I read 1Q84 and fell in love with Murakami’s style immediately. The same went for Kafka on the Shore. I love how he tells stories, and I want to read the rest of his bibliography in the coming years.

My favorite non-fiction book of the year was Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. I just finished reading it a few minutes ago, but I knew from the beginning that I would love it. I haven’t read many biographies, but I loved this one. I’m an American and I love the story and the promise of America, and Alexander Hamilton embodied all of it.

Other books I loved this year were The Expanse series of books by James S.A. Corey and Spark Joy by Marie Kondo. Both influenced my year in different ways and made living through this hectic year better.

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