2020 – what. a. year. The good, the bad, and the ugly. And 107 books. In such a crazy year, I found my happy place in daily walks around the neighborhood and reading (often at the same time). Looking back at this list of some of my very favorite books of 2020, I almost feel nostalgic at the strange times that I was living through as I experienced these books. Some of them were read during the first few weeks of lockdown back in March and April, and the world feels so different even from then. I read so many good books last year, so narrowing down this list was difficult, but I can’t stop recommending these wonderful reads below.
This book should be recommended reading (listening?) for everyone in our generation to learn about the events that unfolded on September 11, 2001, and what followed. I was literally glued to this book, most of the time with chills, and some of the time in tears. The format, the hundreds of different accounts, the details that were included. I couldn’t stop talking about it to everyone I crossed paths with, asking them questions about what they remembered. I think it has something to do with a historical event that I was alive for but remember very little of that causes me to want to learn everything I can. It was a very tough, but very necessary read.
What a story! I have seen this book raved about since it was released but it took me forever to finally pick it up, and wow, I loved it! Set in the 1940s, it’s the story of Vivian Morris, a 19-year old Vassar dropout who moves to New York City and moves into her Aunt Peg’s play house. Escapades ensue, and it really is a story that I didn’t expect. I was a fashion major in college, so whenever Vivian talks about her sewing machine and designing showgirl costumes and wedding gowns, I’m all in. I highly recommend!
HOLY MOLY. I could not put this book!! I received this one in my Foxed Box because I told them I loved fast-paced thrillers, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. A woman drives by a car in the middle of a storm and doesn’t stop to help, and the next day the passenger is found dead. She feels responsible, and the entire book follows the aftermath of the mysterious murder. I could not predict what was coming, and the ending was a total surprise to me! Highly recommend.
I don’t have the words to describe this book. You probably know the name Brock Turner because of the media, but you don’t know the name Chanel Miller. Chanel is the woman that Brock Turner sexually assaulted in 2014, and she is now sharing her story. Her writing is beautiful, and her story is heart-breaking and at times difficult to read, but so, so important. If you haven’t, add this one to your list.
Wow. Just wow. I believe that this should be required reading for every living, breathing human being. If you’re looking for a book that will open your eyes and teach you something about the justice system and humanity as a whole, look no further. I listened to this book narrated by the author, and I was captivated from the very beginning, finding myself listening through my lunch break and crying in public because it’s just that good. It’s also now a movie, so even more incentive to pick it up!
HOLY MOLY. I bought this book at my local used bookstore solely for the cover and the fact that it was a Book of the Month edition. I knew absolutely nothing about it, but decided to pick it up a few weeks ago as I’m burning through books like crazy during quarantine. I finished it in approximately 3.5 hours because I couldn’t put it down. It was suspenseful from the very first moment, sometimes a little bit hard to read, but worth every single minute of reading it.
This has been on my list forever, but it’s a daunting book to pick up. I finally started it and devoured it in less than a week. We start out in 2011, introduced to Jake, a high school English teacher, who somehow gets tasked with traveling back in time to stop JFK from being assassinated in 1963. It sounds crazy (I’ve never been into sci-fi or that kind of story in the past), but I couldn’t get enough. It was about the JFK assassination, but also about so much more than that, and I was sad when it wrapped up. After I started reading, I realized there’s an Amazon Prime series based off the book that I’ll probably watch soon.
I loved this! Romantic, funny, quirky, the list goes on. It slightly reminded me of an Elin Hilderbrand novel, just without the Nantucket backdrop – family drama and secrets, romance, etc. It absolutely lived up to the hype!
I have heard people rave about this book ever since it came out, and I finally got a real copy for myself. I could not stop reading until I figured out how it ended. I remember listening to part of this book on a walk one day and literally crying while walking through the neighborhood! I never saw the movie because I wanted to read it first, so now it’s time. Couldn’t recommend enough.
I truly love Frederik Backman’s story-telling abilities. This is one of those books where you sort of know the ending from the very beginning, but all of the little details in between are what truly make the story riveting. So many twists and turns that I didn’t expect, and of course, everyone is somehow connected in the end. This is the story of an apartment showing that accidentally gets held up by a bank robber, and how it all plays out in the end.