What I'm Watching/Reading 2020

As of October 2011, I created an index of books I reviewed here. I will continue to list books I am currently reading here, but I will not attempt to write capsule reviews or even to link to them. For that you should check the index of books I reviewed. Movie Reviews will continue to be listed and annotated as before. See also my 2019 reading list, 2018 reading list,  2017 reading list,  2016 Reading/Watching List, my 2014 Reading/Watching List, my 2013 Reading/Watching List2012 Reading/Watching List, 2011 Reading/Watching List,  2010 Reading/Watching List2009 Reading/Watching List2008 Reading/Watching List , 2007 Reading/Watching List my previous Sept 2004 to Oct 2005 reading list or my Nov 2005 to Nov 2006 Reading List , so definitely check that out as well. See also my Best of 2006 for a scoop about favorites. See also Writers who have Changed Me. A few remarks. I’m reading several books at a time, and to be honest, sometimes I don’t read all of them depending on the content or my interest. Usually however, it’s been a matter of attention span and what other projects I’ve been doing. Also, you might want to check my favorite novels, and my Amazon.com wishlist. Also here’s an annotated photo of my bookshelf Also, I haven’t read most of these books, but I’ve been setting up Amazon lists of classic Texas novels (100 novels and counting). You also might enjoy reading my Amazon list of Unforgettable Forgettable Novels. Also see my Best of 2017 list. I’ve also started adding my book inventory to librarything.com. At the bottom of this page you will find a list of movies I’ve been watching.

Starting in late 2018 I started writing a weekly Robert’s Roundup column of ebook deals. This actually gives you a better idea of what I’ve been reading.


  1. Second Flowering by Malcolm Cowley. Great litcrit about Lost Generation authors.
  2. Decameron. Good plague literature.
  3. Empson. Seven Types of Ambiguity
  4. Listen Liberal
  5. Collected Essays of Elizabeth Hardwick
  6. Collected poems of Marya Zaturenska
  7. Diane Williams. Excitability
  8. There’s Something I want you to do. Charles Baxter
  9. 2 books of poetry by Robert Hillyer: In pursuit of Poetry and Principles of Verse.
  10. Collected Poetry by Robert Hillyer.
  11. Mark Schorer State of Mind
  12. Awake in the Dark (Stories) by Shira Nayman
  13. Borrowed Time: Science of how and why we age by Sue Armstrong. Readable medical science.
  14. Various Marco Vassi novels
  15. Second Reading by Jonathan Yardley
  16. History of American Poetry 1900-1940 by Horace Gregory and Marya Zaturenska. Indispensable guide by two poets.
  17. Now and Then by Robert Hass (Poetry reviews). Hass is a must-read now.
  18. Bomb: Author Interviews
  19. Madness of Art by Robert Phillips. Great interviews by an important poet and critic.
  20. More than Human by Theodore Sturgeon
  21. Nabokov’s Favorite Word is Mauve by Ben Blatt. primer on computational linguistics.
  22. Orphans of Mecca by Harvey Havel Book 1.
  23. Sex on Six Legs by Marlene Zuk. Brilliant entomology book.
  24. Devil’s Sperm is Cold . Vassi
  25. Earth Abides by George Stewart
  26. Writers in Paris by David Burke
  27. You won’t remember this (stories) by Kate Blackwell.
  28. Sexual Behavior in the Human Female by Alfred Kinsey
  29. Paris 1919 by Margaret MacMillan
  30. Unexpected Universe Loren Eisley. Philosophy and Science essays.
  31. Vampsey, Shortcut and Fleeting Recollections by Steven Feldman. An illustrator I interviewed a while back.
  32. Borges: Personal Anthology, extended volume of famous and less famous pieces.
  33. Various 1920s issues of the Dial literary magazine.
  34. Watership Down by Richard Adams. Started reading books that I’d put up reading for a long while. (More here).
  35. Precipice by Toby Ord. philosopher ponders how we should cope with the possible end of the world.
  36. I contain multitudes by Ed Yong
  37. At the Mind’s Limits by Jean Amery.
  38. You play the girl. Essays by Carina Chocano
  39. Fiction Writer’s Guide to Dialogue
  40. Kid who batted 1000. Childhood favorite
  41. Improvement by Joan Silber
  42. Ginger Man by JP Donleavy
  43. Natural Causes by Barbara Ehrenreich. Interesting take on medical consumerism and the absurdities of the American health care system.
  44. Vassi
  45. Beyond Words: What Animals think and feel by Carl Safer
  46. Collected Stories. by Lydia Davis
  47. Collected Nonfiction by Jimmy Breslin
  48. Disgrace by J.M Coetzee
  49. Perfection of the Paper Clip by James Ward.
  50. Star Trek: How much for the planet by John M. Ford
  51. curious incident of the dog in the night time


  1. Downton Abby, the film.
  2. For Whom the Bell Tolls
  3. Frenzy (Alfred Hitchcock)
  4. Angel has fallen. Terrible military suspense film. Thanks, mom!
  5. Two Popes. ell-done, funny and visually spectacular drama about a meeting of minds between Pope Benedict and Pope Francis before Benedict left the papacy. Steeped in Catholic doctrine, the drama brings up many turmoils afflicting the church while not losing sight of the humanity of its two main characters. I didn’t expect to like it (or to laugh) as much as I did, but the film succeeded — capturing the drama, the sadness and beauty of the papal office.
  6. Parasite
  7. Dark Waters
  8. Plot against America. Great alternate history miniseries. TV series added a twist not found in Roth’s book.
  9. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Funny at times, but overrated.
  10. Get Smart
  11. 63 Up. Will write about later.
  12. Tigertail
  13. Tiger King. didn’t finish
  14. Dolemite is my name
  15. Motherless Brooklyn
  16. Nightengale (Australian)
  17. Jojo Rabbit
  18. Judy
  19. Good Liar
  20. Can you ever forgive me.
  21. Wrecking Crew (again)
  22. Irishman
  23. Comedy specials: Great Depresh,
  24. Phantom Thread
  25. Post
  26. Black KKKlansman
  27. Blow The Man Down
  28. Richard Jewel. Clint Eastwood.
  29. Veep (rewatching)
  30. Clemency — great film about a prison warden
  31. Clueless, watched for the 10th time
  32. Rosehaven. Further Seasons
  33. Ann, PBS production of biographical monologue of Ann Richards
  34. Satyagraha
  35. Into the Night Netflix
  36. Hamilton. Film version of original Broadway production.
  37. Simpsons. Later episodes.
  38. Divorce, HBO Special with Sarah Jessica Parker
  39. Hustlers.
  40. Hidden Life by Terrence Malick
  41. Wild Life starring Carey Mulligan, adapted from a book by Richard Ford.
  42. Outcry, documentary series about a Texas football player wrongly accused of child molestation.
  43. Harriet .. About the life of Harriet Tubman
  44. Ace in the Hole starring Kirk Douglas
  45. 400 Blows. Truffaut.
  46. Doctor Who Season 12. Fun and interesting! (especially the popdown to Byron and Shelly’s house when they were writing Frankenstein!)
  47. Komisky Method starring Alan Arkin and Michael Douglas. Old people comedy, with an acting school thrown in. Rich characters though.
  48. Queen’s Gambit — Netflix miniseries
  49. The Crown (4th season)
  50. Community (TV sitcom)
  51. Away — mediocre Netflix-produced space soap opera.
  52. Eurovision: Story of Fire Saga.
  53. Schitt’s Creek — surprisingly a mediocre final season.
  54. Waco — Netflix miniseries. Good fair miniseries, though it should be noted that it was written by one of the Branch Davidian survivors who was unduly sympathetic to Koresh.
  55. Trial of the Chicago 7 — another zeitgeist film, but it was very well done and credit is due the film for recreating the topsy-turvy atmosphere of the courtroom
  56. Safety Not Guaranteed (again).
  57. McMillions, HBO documentary about McDonalds prize scam.
  58. Endless, Strange low-budget sci fi film written and directed by Justin Benson.