2020, huh? At the start of last year, I set my usual reading goal, not realizing the madness that lie ahead. I don’t think last year was what anyone signed up for.
While my goal was to read 25 books, I’m actually pretty proud of the fact that I was about to read what I did — 13 books in all. I am bummed that I didn’t keep up with the blog. Lord knows I could’ve used the outlet. But rather than my usual quarterly reading update, I’ve split 2020’s books into just two posts.
Without further ado, here are the first seven books I made it through in 2020.
1. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Unfortunately, I feel victim to that with this book. I say unfortunately because there is a pretty wild twist here that I ruined for myself.
Rarely do I regret my internet sleuthing, but I really do in this case. I can’t give you a genuine reaction to the twist, but I will say that I really enjoyed it overall. It was dark but not graphic, and I could really feel the anguish of the characters.
This is far from the typical books I tend to choose, but I definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a change of pace.
2. Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
After trying (unsuccessfully) to get my book club to read this, I finally decided to just take it on independently.
While it definitely wasn’t a typical narrative, I found the creative way the book was written as a series of compiled interviews super engaging.
The story focuses on the rise and fall of a fictional rock band in the 1970’s. The sex, drugs, and rock and roll? It’s all in there. It’s compelling and fun, and it transports you to that crazy era in music.
If you’re a music-lover (especially classic rock of that time), I think you’d really enjoy this one.
3. Just Jessie: My Guide to Love, Life, Family, and Food by Jessie James Decker
The pro footballer and country singer, well, let’s face it. They’re hot. On top that, it was very fun to watch a couple be happy and fun and successful – quite a change of pace from many reality shows these days.
This book is a typical this-is-how-I-do-things from a beautiful, wealthy woman. By all I accounts, I should have hated it, but I just didn’t.
Decker comes off as someone you’d want to be friends with… even though she cover things like being sexy and having dinner on the table for her man and being bullied as a teen (pretty sure that’s a requisite for fame these days).
4. Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn
Plus, the book is set in NYC, and we all know how much this city has my heart.
Overall, it’s a cute if predictable story. And there is definitely a pretty steamy chapter in there that made me blush.
I’ll admit to having read it partly out of obligation, but I did end up enjoying it. And I can see it transitioning to the screen fairly easily, too.
If you’re looking for a light, easy read, you could do a lot worse than this.
5. Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
While I remember the film bordering on dark, the book was definitely darker. And yet, I still enjoyed it.
At its core, this is a story about sisterhood. No matter how different or how far removed from each other Sally and Gillian are always there for each other. And their aunts. And Sally’s daughters. #GirlPower
This is another one that I wouldn’t normally choose, but it’s a fun, spooky, Halloween-y pick.
6. “Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?”: A Psychologist Explains the Development of Racial Identity by Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum
With all of the political unrest and exposed systemic racism of this year, many of us were left ignorantly wondering what we could do.
Educating myself felt like a natural step, and I had been meaning to read this book for a while.
I admit it’s not an easy read, both for the content and the fact that it reads like a textbook for much of the time. However, so much of the information it conveys is shocking, which really only speaks to the one-sidedness of our education system.
If you, like me, have been left looking for a way to be part of the solution to one of the many problems facing our nation, the book may be a good place to start.
7. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy this book – because I did. It just didn’t make me feel good at all. It actually struck me as a pretty sad story, amusing at times for sure, but not the uplifting novel I was expecting.
In my opinion, the best part of this book is the very interesting characters, all flawed and real and still likeable. The protagonist experiences real growth through some very difficult experiences, and despite her, shall we say, challenging personality.
It’s different and enjoyable in its own way.
How did you do with your reading in 2020? Did you find the happenings of the world made it easier or harder for you to get your reading in? I’m super curious, but I’m guessing we’re pretty split.
Until next week… Happy Reading!