Books, NaBloPoMo

My Best Books of 2020

I have always been a big reader. Mr. KK jokes that he goes to sleep and wakes up seeing my face lit up by my Kindle. For me, books are a easy way to escape and take my mind off of life. And there was no better time to escape with a book than this year!

I read a LOT of books in the last 8 months. So many, that I can’t even recall all of the titles. Even when going through my Kindle I had to open up the book and read a few pages because I couldn’t remember if I had read the book or not! Then there were some books I knew I read, but the prose didn’t look familiar at all (we’ll chalk that one up to the book not really leaving a big impression on me).

Here are many of the books I’ve read this year. I have a very technical rating system:

Love it!
Decent read.
Meh.

The following books all receive my LOVE IT! rating:

The Things that Keep Us Here by Carla Buckley.

This is a book about a pandemic that I read during a pandemic. Granted, their situation was a LOT worse than ours was, but still. This was written in 2011, so you may find yourself wondering why they didn’t order groceries online or get dinner from Seamless.

Sometimes you just need to laugh! And both of these books delivered! Do You Mind If I Cancel by Gary Janetti and A Very Punchable Face by Colin Jost had me stifling giggles in the predawn hours while all the boys slept soundly.

Elin Hildebrand will always have my heart. There are no better books to read in the summer. I somehow have lived in New England my entire life and I am yet to visit Nantucket (it’s on the list!), but after reading Elin’s books, I feel like I’ve been to Nantucket; like I’ve felt the warm sand between my toes on the beaches, peeked in the windows of the downtown shops and tasted the plump, juicy tomatoes from Bartlett’s Farm. This summer, in addition to re-reading some of my favorites of hers (as I’m known to do), I also devoured both of her new releases for 2020: Troubles in Paradise (the third book in the trilogy) and 28 Summers. Both were fantastic.

Both of these books brought New York City to life in these stories set decades ago. Park Avenue Summer about a young woman who goes to work at Cosmo for Helen Gurley Brown and The Address about a woman who takes a job at the brand new Dakota Hotel, filled with glitz and glamour.

I loved all of these books for different reasons. Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover was a sweet story by an author I admire. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett tells the story of twins separated and the different paths their lives took. Finding Mrs. Ford by Deborah Goodrich Royce is part love story part mystery with twists until the end. In Five Years Years by Rebecca Serle is the type of book you can read and read and read (and that’s exactly what I did – I couldn’t put it down and read until 3:30am when I finished it!) about a woman who experiences something and reevaluates her life. Lastly, The Wives by Tarryn Fisher is a thriller to the end and all sorts of crazy.

And for the days you just need a little bit of chick lit, Kristan Higgins and Brenda Novak delivers! My One and Only and Always the Last to Know are funny and easy reads. One Perfect Summer tackles the question of what happens if you do a genetics test and find out info that’s suprising.

The following books all receive my DECENT READ rating:

Some of these books are best sellers – and some of you may have loved them more than I did. I’ve read everything by Allison Winn Scotch and Jennifer Weiner, so I was excited to read their new releases Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing and Big Summer. I enjoyed both of them, but they weren’t my favorite, favorite of the year. But worth reading. The Jetsetters and Beach Read were both good – though they started a little slow – but both good for a vacation read.

The following book received my MEH rating:

I am probably alone on this one since this book was an immediate best seller. But I found myself reading Luster by Raven Leilani just to read it – I had invested myself in half of the book and couldn’t just stop. The writing was a little choppy for me and I found it a little far-fetched where the heroine ended up living (no spoiler alerts here).

I know there were more books than this, at one point I was reading 3 books a week!

There were many I started but didn’t finish because either my load ended or I just couldn’t relate to the content to continue and I was only 15% of the way through the book so I felt ok abandoning it.

My bookshelf is full and I’m at my limit for requests at the library so I’m ready to hunker down this winter and lose myself in a book.

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