2020 wasn’t a total loss, when it comes to my reading anyway. Sure, I only made it halfway through my reading goal, but I’m still pretty darn proud of myself. I mean, so much went down last year!
You can check out the first seven books I read on my last post. And here are the rest of the books that made the cut, which in 2020 was no small feat.
8. The Idea of You by Robinne Lee
After struggling to read for the first couple of months in lockdown, I was looking for something lighter than what I had been reading. This definitely delivered.
Quarantine was the perfect time for a little escapism, and this book is like Camp Rock for grown women – a woman meets a younger pop star and they have a whirlwind affair.
It’s fun and vivid and not NOT steamy. Wink, wink.
I liked it so much that I convinced my book club to read it… to a little controversy, but in the most fun way possible.
9. The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni
Thinking back on it, it left more of an impression on me than I originally thought.
Initially, I didn’t find that much “extraordinary” about the protagonist’s life, but now I realize that was the point: finding the beauty and special-ness in the every day.
Truthfully, it still wasn’t my favorite, but I still wouldn’t consider it a total dud.
If you’re looking for something on the life-affirming side…
10. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
This book has both.
Plus, it partially take place in my neighborhood, but the writing is poetic AND the audio book is read by Lin Manuel Miranda. (Let’s face it; him reading a phone book would be entertaining.)
Not to spoil it too much, this one does NOT have a happy ending. And for me… Well, I read and watch movies to get away, and I like things that wrap up at least hopefully.
The prose is beautiful, though. I cannot argue with that.
11. Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult
Jodi Picoult is one of the best known novelists of our time, with several bestsellers including a handful that have been adapted into Lifetime movies (in case that’s any indication of her type of story).
The one, cowritten with her daughter, was a bit of a departure, straddling the YA and Fantasy genres.
I found myself eager to find out what happened next, but the ending was very disappointing to me.
It felt rushed and didn’t entirely make sense, even after the major suspension of disbelief required for the book overall.
12. Beach Read by Emily Henry
Boy meets girl. They don’t like each other. They do like each other. Sad family histories. Happily ever after.
It’s a little more interesting than my brief summary, but you get the idea.
Again, there are a couple of steamy scenes, but for the most part, this one is decidedly PG.
It is a quick read, and probably well suited to waterfront engagement, as the title suggests. Again, though, it’s pretty predictable as far as this type of book goes.
13. The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream by Barack Obama
In such a tumultuous time politically, it’s always so reassuring to come back to him (and his wife, for that matter) for a bit of, well, hope.
I love that despite all the nastiness he has no doubt faced, Obama truly sees the best of America.
After the last few years, it was nice to be reminded that there IS such great potential in this nation we call home.
So, that was it for me. A lucky 13 books on the shelf for 2020, and honestly, I’m pretty proud. I’m looking forward to things ramping back up a bit in 2021, even if that just means I’m getting used to this “new normal.”
Do you have any book recommendations for me and/or my book club? Anxious to get started…