Ports for Plunder – 20 Books in 2020!

Ahoy there me mateys!  As me crew is aware, this Captain be moody about all things but especially what ports to plunder at any given time.  But good adventures sometimes require the right and proper plannin’ for success.  Me 19 in 2019 was a win.  I have been hearin’ the crew talk about certain ports for forever and they keep askin’ me why they haven’t been visited yet.  So ye nattering, raving scalawags, I hereby me making a list of 20 ports for plunder (i.e. books to be read list for ye landlubbers) that I have to pillage in this here New Year.  I will still read based on me mood but come hell or high water I shall visit these ports in 2020.

HOWEVER this year there be a twist.  I have finally officially tallied all the physical books in the hold.  This included purging and pruning the hoard so the ship isn’t in danger of capsizing.  Of the ones I kept, I have 102 that have not been read yet.  Out of those 34 be standalones.  So in 2020 all 20 books have to be from the standalone list.  Arrrr!

Side note: the book covers come from Goodreads and ye can click on the book titles to add the books to yer own Goodreads’ Ports for Plunder List.  Arrrr!

Here be the particulars (by genre):



Zodiac (Neal Stephenson)

I haven’t read a Stephenson book in forever.  The First Mate recommends this one.  I like the fish on the cover.

The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy

the great abraham lincoln pocket watch conspiracy (Jacopo della Quercia)

This steampunk alternate history stars much maligned 27th president and tenth chief justice of the supreme court William Howard Taft.  I kinda love poor Taft.  And then there are the real life conspiracy theories tied in.  I should have read this long ago!

Stung (Stung, #1)

stung (Bethany Wiggins)

This was a cover impulse buy at a library sale.  It sounds weird and creepy.

The Tar-Aiym Krang (Pip & Flinx #1)

the tar-aiym krang (Alan Dean Foster)

This is a sci-fi with a “telepathic catalyst, shoulder-riding stray Pip, a venomous Alaspinian mini-dragon.”  I don’t remember who told me about this but I bought it because of that description.  I didn’t know it was a 15 book series.  I am treating book one as a standalone.  But I want to know about the dragon!

The After War (The After War, #1-2)

the after war (Brandon Zenner)

Okay this be a kindle book and the exception.  I won this from a Goodreads Giveaway in February 2018 and so reading it be overdue.


The Red Tree

the red tree (Caitlín R. Kiernan)

This is a fantasy horror about an evil tree.  Sounds weird but fun.  I got this as part of the 2016 Maine haul.  About time to actually read it.

The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories

the ladies of grace adieu and other stories (Susanna Clarke)

I have wanted to read these ever since I read jonathan strange & mr norrell.  These stories are set in the same world.  The author has a new book coming out in 2020 (Arrrr!) so I want to read these before it releases.

The Ugly Princess: The Legend of the Winnowwood

the ugly princess (Henderson Smith)

A fairy tale with a non-standard princess. Arrrr!

The Quick

the quick (Lauren Owen)

I thought this was historical fiction based on the blurb.  Apparently it has fantasy elements.  Goodreads spoiled the twist.  Still sounds interesting!

The Dragon Waiting: A Masque of History

the dragon waiting: a masque of history (John M. Ford)

This be a crazy mashup.  I have a soft spot for possibly maligned Richard III (thanks Shakespeare).  And another for the Medici family history.  This deals with vampires, magic, and alternative history.  It won World Fantasy Award for Best Novel in 1984.


Sword of the Rightful King

sword of the rightful king (Jane Yolen)

I loved king arthur stories back in the day and then got burned out on retellings and have never gone back.  However I love Yolen’s work and am interested to see her take on this.

The Westing Game

the westing game (Ellen Raskin)

This mystery won the Newbery medal in 1979.


wonder (R.J. Palacio)

The nephew loved this one so I am gonna read it.

OFF THE CHARTS (non sci-fi, fantasy, or YA)


ex-libris (Ross King) – historical fiction

I loved this author’s book about Brunelleschi’s Dome.  This one deals with a missing manuscript in the 17th century.

Blow Me Down

blow me down (Katie MacAlister) – romance

I learned about this one from Matey Melanie @ Grab the Lapels and thought it sounded like a silly pirate read.  I bought in 2018 and meant to read it in 2019.  So 2020 it is!

Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage

endurance (Alfred Lansing) – history

The Ma read this when she went to Antarctica.  I still have her copy.

Orkneyinga Saga: The History of the Earls of Orkney

orkneyinga saga (Anonymous) – history

The Ma read this on our trip to the land of the midnight sun in 2019.  I still have her copy.  This saga was written around 1200 AD.  Cool!

Jane-Emily, and Witches' Children

jane-emily, and witches’ children (Patricia Clapp) – horror

This apparently sounded so interesting that I had two copies in the hold!

The Monster of Florence

the monster of florence (Douglas Preston) – true crime

I enjoyed the author’s book the lost city of the monkey god so I picked up another book by him at a library sale.  This one is true crime which I don’t normally do.

Women of the Air

women of the air (Judy Lomax) – history

This be a super tiny history of female aviators.  It is old but I found it in a “Little Free Library” haul adventure.  After reading nothing but sky about barnstormers, it seems time to check out this one.

So there ye have it, the 20 books for 2020. Of course I do hope to read more than 20 books total this year. Hardy har har!

x The Captain

28 thoughts on “Ports for Plunder – 20 Books in 2020!

  1. Looks like a great list! I want to read more Stephenson also, and I’ve been curious about The Monster of Florence. I like Douglas Preston and I’ve heard a lot of good things about it!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well… No. Lol. It’s his fiction that actually interests me the most (the Pendergast series, which is one of those Crichtonish 90’s scifi horror deals I love so much), though now that I’m thinking of it, a lot of his non-fiction has ended up on my TBR too (Lost City of Z? Or the Monkey God? I always get them confused).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think that series is one where the titles can kind of act as a stand-alone, like there’s no long reaching plot arc that requires you to read all 27 of them lol.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a great list, Captain! So many of these are new to me– I love it when people read their shelves because I’m always exposed to so many books I never would have heard of. I’m with you about The Tar-Ayim Krang— I want to know about the dragon too!

    And stupid Goodreads for spoiling the twist. This happens way more often than it should! I hope that you enjoy The Quick regardless!


  3. Wow – your mother sounds quite a lady, Cap. No wonder you love roaming the seven seas… I am thoroughly intrigued by your list as they are all new to me and sound nicely quirky:)). I look forward to hearing what you make of them.


    1. Thank ye kindly for the endorsement of wonder. Any book that captivated me nephew is worth reading. He turned teenager so he doesn’t read now but I tried encouraging him as much as I could when he was younger. I hope he picks it back up when the teenage years be done. Thanks for reading!
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I also want to read The Dragon Waiting! I haven’t read anything by Ford except one of his short stories for Liavek which is one of my favorite fantasy stories ever. I’ve been wanting to read more of his stuff since then. I think I have a copy in my TBR, if you feel like doing a buddy read of that one let me know. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have never read anything by Ford that I know of. I would be willing to do a buddy read of the novel in the later part of the year. Ye would have to explain how it would work as I have never done one before. Arrrr!
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve never really done one either? I think we just read the book at the same time and then we could each do a post on our thoughts? I’ll have to ask some other bloggers. 🙂 Later in the year would work for me, I’m in no rush. 🙂


  5. Good luck with your 20 in ’20! I read The Westing Game in 2019 and enjoyed it, so hopefully you will too. At least it’s short, so it should be a fast read. But mini dragons and evil trees? I’m really curious to see what you think of the books in this list.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The list is random that’s for sure. The books kept piling up and got to the point where I didn’t even know what I owned. Glad to hear ye enjoyed the westing game. I was told to read that before reading Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts as there be similarities I guess. We shall see. And aye, I be excited for mini-dragons and evil trees too! Thanks for the comment.
      x The Captain


  6. I’m sorry, did you write that your mom went to ANTARCTICA?? What was she doing there? I tried listening to the Shackleton book, but for some reason I got bored really fast. It might be that the narrator read slowly, so all the descriptions right away slogged. In physical form it may be a non issue.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aye, the Ma is a world traveler. She wanted to see the penguins. She has been to all 50 states, all 7 continents, and LOTS of other countries. I lost count. We didn’t have much money growing up but she had a love of travel then which she gave to me. Lots of roadside tent camping and such. Once she was finished raising us kids, she began traveling with a vengeance. Has me beat and I don’t think I will catch up!
      x The Captain


      1. I know you’ve mentioned your mom went to Antarctica in other posts. Each time I see this I get Where’d you Go Bernadette? scenes in my head. Brilliant. But I’m sure your mother didn’t just run away to Antarctica like that… maybe…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.