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Great Reads 2020

by John Wroblewski

Dec 20, 2020

My list of the best books I read is one of my yearly blogs. This year, books were even more important while spending more time inside.

In Liberty: Life, Billy and the Pursuit of Happiness, drummer Liberty DeVitto tells his life story, from immigrant roots to providing the beat for Billy Joel for three decades and his contentious split with Joel. DeVitto also gives a detailed look into the making of every song on each of Joel’s albums. As a long-time Joel fan, this was highly anticipated, and it delivered. Liberty could almost be two books, one about DeVitto and one about the Billy Joel band, and both would be great reading.

Paranormal researcher Kitsie Duncan and her crew at Oddity Files have investigated haunted locations and contacted spirits for more than a decade. Duncan shares fascinating stories from those locations, including interactions with spirits, in I’d Rather Talk to Dead People: My Journey as a Paranormal Researcher. Check Kitsie Duncan and Haunted Locations, my recent blog interview with Duncan, to learn more about her and this fascinating book.

Into the Fire is the fifth book in the Orphan X Thrillers series by Gregg Hurwitz. The Nowhere Man, formerly known as government assassin Orphan X, Evan Smoak attempts to help Max, a desperate man whose brother was killed, leaving behind a mysterious key. Having thoroughly enjoyed the Orphan X series, I am anxiously awaiting Prodigal Son, the next in the series, due early next year.

Finishing out my list is Arkhamaniacs, a graphic novel fresh off the press. On Sunday I walked to Aw Yeah Comics, my local comic book store owned by Art Baltazar and Franco, two comic legends. The pair wrote Arkhamanics, the story of a young Bruce Wayne attempting to discover what causes the fun and excitement at the Arkham Apartments in Gotham City. The story is clever and humorous. The characters are wild. The art is colorful and fun. This is simply a fun read.

It was a great year for reading, and I already have a few books I am anticipating for 2021. Tops on that list is Greek Mythology: The Gods, Goddesses, and Heroes Handbook: From Aphrodite to Zeus, a Profile of Who’s Who in Greek Mythology. Written by Liv Alberts and illustrated by Sara Richard, it gives the origins of Greek mythological characters. I am just as excited about seeing Richard’s artwork as I am about the stories. Together they will make the characters come alive. I talked to Richard about this book and her other work at On the Beat with Sara Richard.

Michael West wraps up his Legacy of the Gods series with Book Four Kronos’ Return. A fantastic mix of horror, fantasy and sci-fi, Kronos’ Return is a fitting conclusion to the story West started with Poseidon’s Children and continued through the next two books in the series. Main character Earl Preston is back battling dark forces as he prepares for one final battle to determine the fate of future generations.

Other books I am awaiting are two from John Cosper whose books on wrestlers Chris Candido and Princess Victoria. I talked to Cosper about those books at On the Beat with John Cosper.

I’m sure I will find some other gems, too. Either way, I’ll be back here late next year for my 2021 list.

— John Wroblewski, online writer



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FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

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