Well, well, well. It turns out that when you have more time on your hands, and you’re stuck at home a lot more than usual, you might turn to books more…because goodness knows I didn’t see many friends this year.
I read 30 books this year (link opens in a new page), compared to the 18 I read last year. It was a fun escape from the long, mundane days we experienced throughout 2020.
While I love reading book reviews, I’m not going to sugar coat this: I’m not the best at writing/leaving book reviews. My friend Jenna, though, has that skill mastered and read a whopping 90 books in 2020 in an array of genres.
One of my goals for 2021 is to take better notes in for what I thought of each book as I read them while they’re fresh in my mind.
I attribute reading more books this year to the Book of the Month Club, and joining a little book club at our new base. That means I have at least two books to read each month!
What I read in 2020.
Out of the 30 books I read, I’m still working on finishing one of them (a devotional I started at the very end of last year…that totally counts, right?), and there was only one book I just couldn’t finish (Anxious People by Fredrik Backman—so technically, I only read 28 books.
Which, if I’m being honest, 28 is about 25 more books than I thought I’d read in a year, so I’m feeling good about that number.
Here are several that stuck out to me:
This book is simply captivating, and was my number one favorite from the year. Kristin Hannah has a way of weaving her words so precisely that they leave you captivated and longing to hear more. She also does her research; so much so that even though this was a work of fiction, the historical facts were still precise.
I’ve thought about this book long after I finished reading it—it’s one that will stick with you in the days, weeks, and months after you’ve turned that final page.
This book is notable, but not because I loved it. Little Women is a classic, and if someone asked, I actually used to say it was m favorite book…despite the fact that it had been at least two decades since I read it last.
But interestingly enough, I had a really hard time reading it this time around. I resonated with the “little” women more when I was younger; dreaming I’d be a writer and free spirit like Jo, get married and find love like Meg, travel like Amy, and find someone who’d fall in love and look at me the way Laurie looked at Jo (thankfully I found someone who does!). But now that older and in a different demographic, I found the story filled with too much fluff. No, not fluff…too many morals and—dare I say it—goodness.
This is due to Alcott’s upbringing, of course, but it was just interesting the parts I picked up on more now than I did back then.
My heart went out to the mom (Marmee) more often than not, and I just wanted to knock some (common) sense into the girls. Have you read this lately? I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.
I read this at the very beginning of the year, so the details are fuzzy, but I remember wanting more and wanting the story to continue—not in a way that it was incomplete, but because the characters became so well developed that they were part of my life, too.
Note to self: pick up more by Dykes in 2021. This story was put together so well, and was a unique twist on a WWII story. I loved every page of it.
I saw this on the shelves everywhere during the summer and was excited to get my hands on it. However, it wasn’t exactly a “beach read.” The plots were a little heavier and different than I expected.
But still, I really liked it. It had the romance, interesting/different plot themes and kept me yearning for more as I continued to read it.
If you liked The Nightingale, you’ll absolutely love this. Pick it up and read it ASAP….but not so soon after reading the aforementioned Hannah book.
I finished it in less than a day—eight hours. It’s a page-turner that had me on my toes until the very, very end.
While it didn’t stick with me the way I still think of The Nightingale, Harmel’s writing and research of that time period is spot on, intense, and absolutely worth a read.
This book had so much potential. The premise was absolutely perfect, but it just fell short, and I’m still sad about that months after I read the last page.
Long story short: I wanted needed so much more from every aspect: the writing, the plot, the characters.
Don’t hate me, book lovers, but I didn’t like this book. I figured out the “plot twist” fairly early on, and just couldn’t believe or relate or even get behind the main character.
It was just too….far fetched, and I can’t believe so many people loved this book! With that said: I’m glad I read it so I could be in the know with what everyone’s been talking about.
This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens
One Day in December by Josie Silver
In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren
So, I read all three of these almost back to back. I loved them all, (because if you haven’t figured it out yet: I really love the chick-lit, romcom book genre), but I do recommend you space these out so they don’t all run together.
Ironically, they all have a similar premise and I could easily see all of them as a Hallmark movie. That’s not a bad thing for me since I clearly love this type of story, but just space them out before you read all three.
What did you read last year?
I’d love to hear your favorite reads from last year, especially the ones that stuck out to you. This year I’m going to try to do better at jotting down my thoughts right after I finish a book so I an have better recaps on them.