Saturday, January 2, 2021

Books Read in 2020

 I read 60 books in 2020: 8 more than my goal of 52. I probably have the pandemic to thank for that, right? Here are the books and some comments about each collage.

This is a particularly good set of books! Some of my favorites of the year (a 4 or 5 star ratings on my Goodreads) are here: Dear Edward, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, The Gifted School, Stay, The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell, Writers and Lovers, Defending Jacob, Your Perfect Year, and Between the World and Me. 
Persuasion and The Bean Trees were both re-reads, and both were for book clubs. Persuasion still bored me, and I still loved The Bean Trees. It's been 30 years since I read them! 
Prep was one of my least favorite books of the year. The main character was intriguing and I had high hopes for her, but ultimately....she just turned out to be self-absorbed and without any sort of growth. Pizza Girl was horrid. Unfortunately, it was the book I picked for book club for 2021, as it sounded rather fluffly and fun! I have already taken it off the list, begging my fellow clubbers not to read it. 

This collage has more of my favorites and a few I did not like at all. The Silent Patient, March, The Other Wes Moore, Where the Crawdads Sing, The Vanishing Half, The Islanders, and The Silent Treatment all garnered 4 or 5-star ratings from me on Goodreads. I also really liked The Operator and found Carole King's autobiography fascinating.
The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, Messy Grace, and the Lager Queen of Minnesota were three of the five worst books of the year for various reasons. Death Cleaning was actually interesting, but it was a terrible book to read in the midst of a pandemic. Also, one of our best friends had just passed away as I was listening to the audiobook, and it really just made me cry a lot.

And this last collage is full of wonderful memories! These are actually the first 20 books I read of the year, pre-pandemic. Remember those days? I loved Dear Mrs. Bird, This Is How It Always Is, Matchmaking for Beginners, The Sweeney Sisters, and Southernmost. 

Becoming, Just Mercy, and Born to Run were my favorite nonfiction books of the year. Oh man. I loved each of those so much!

Things Fall Apart was a re-read for me. I used to teach this in high school literature classes and decided to re-read it, as my college sophomore was reading it for a class. What an amazing book!

I really disliked Mrs. Everything. I don't remember much about it except that way too much happened. Snow took a long, long time for me to plow through. It was a book club choice, and I think we all agreed that we wish we had understood it better. The prose was beautiful, but the topic was difficult and the history largely unfamiliar to us. Dear Mrs. Bird and Courting Mr. Lincoln were also book club books. Heart in the Right Place may have been also, but I do not remember that one.

Here is my 2020 Top Reads List, although really, I could have added many more for fiction!

Top 10 Best Fiction:
Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano
The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger
Stay by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
The Sweeney Sisters by Lian Dolan


Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates


Becoming by Michelle Obama
Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
March by John Lewis

Happy reading! 


Lydia said...

Becoming was such a good read.

My post.

Lady In Read said...

i have so many books from your list on my tbr; and my son is insisting i read where the crawdads sing within the next couple of days so he can discuss it with me :) looks like i really need to get to it