2020 – The Year in Books

A few years back when I wanted to kick start my reading life, I decided my book goal was going to be the last two numbers of the year. I’ve continued that tradition so this year, my goal was to read 20 books. I’m currently in the middle of book number 30, and I have an ambitious stack of books to read during the holiday break, so we’ll see where I actually end up!

As I’ve written about before, I worked through the Modern Mrs. Darcy 2020 Reading Challenge this year. Here’s what I read for each category:

1. A book published the decade you were born: The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison
2. A debut novel: Everything I Never Told You, Celeste Ng
3. A book recommended by someone you trust: My Dear Hamilton, Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie (currently reading)
4. A book by a local author: Mrs. Everything, Jennifer Weiner
5. A book outside your (genre) comfort zone: 11/22/63, Stephen King
6. A book in translation: The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery
7. A book nominated for an award in 2020: Clap When You Land, Elizabeth Acevedo
8. A re-read: Acts of Faith, Erich Segal
9. A classic you didn’t read in school: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith
10. Three books by the same author: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J.K. Rowling

The other books the round out my list of 30 are:

• The Year of No Nonsense: How to Get Over Yourself and On with Your Own Life, Meredith Atwood
• Life’s Too Short to Go So F*cking Slow: Lessons from an Epic Friendship That Went the Distance, Susan Lacke
• Untamed, Glennon Doyle
• Rage Against the Minivan: Learning to Parent Without Perfection – Kristen Howerton
• Rodham, Curtis Sittenfeld
• The Queen’s Secret: A Novel of England’s World War II Queen, Karen Harper
• Big Summer, Jennifer Weiner (I love Jennifer Weiner but this book just didn’t do it for me)
• White Fragility, Robin Diangelo
• So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo
• The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas
• I’m Still Here, Austin Channing Brown
• Americanah, Chimanda Ngozi Adiche
• Red, White & Royal Blue, Casey McQuiston
• Party of TwJasmine Guillory
• Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones, James Clear
• Rage, Bob Woodward
• Beach Read – Emily Henry
• Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J.K. Rowling

So out of this list what did I love? Here are my 5 star reads (in the order I read them):

• 11/22/63 by Stephen King – As you already saw I read this one to hit a genre that I would typically NEVER touch. But this book is absolutely riveting. It’s long, but well worth the time investment.
• Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld – I have always loved her books and this one did not disappoint.
• So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo – If you need a primer on race issues in America and what different terms mean, this is the book to start with.
• The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – This book is technically a YA read, but it is powerful.
• Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston – this book is light and fun and not what I was expecting.
• Beach Read by Emily Henry – This book took me a minute to get into but had just the right amount of plot twists to make it one I couldn’t put down.

I’m glad I procrastinated so much on writing this post that I can include that Modern Mrs. Darcy introduced her 2021 Reading Challenge yesterday! It’s much less structured than this year’s, and I have yet to work through the planning documents. Definitely check it out if you’re interested in changing up or evaluating your reading life in the new year.

In my (sometimes endless) scrolling of TikTok this fall, I found @alltheradreads. She has her own 2021 RAD Reading Challenge, and she also keeps a book bullet journal that makes me swoon. #goals

And FINALLY (I’m almost done, I swear, although I could deep dive into books forever…), I asked on my IG and FB a few weeks back what books you enjoyed this year. Here’s the list!

• Beach Read, Emily Henry
• How to Be an Anti-Racist, Ibram X. Kendi
• The Good Sister, Sally Hepworth (comes out in 2021)
• The Dutch House, Ann Patchett
• Ask Again, Yes, Mary Beth Keane
• Little Women, Louise May Alcott
• Queen of Air and Darkness, Cassandra Clare
• Time’s Convert, Deborah Harkness
• Midnight Sun, Stephanie Meyer
• I am Every Good Thing, Derrick Barnes & Gordon C. James
• Rodham, Curtis Sittenfeld
• Radium Girls, Kate Moore
• The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, Kim Michele Richardson
• The Exact Location of Home, Kate Messner
• All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook, Leslie Connor
• So This is Love, Elizabeth Lim

Thanks to all who contributed! What are your 2021 reading goals?

One thought on “2020 – The Year in Books

  • MaryDecember 31, 2020 at 8:37 pm

    Radium Girls is SO GOOD! I think I read that one last year.


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