One thing for sure, I haven’t had a big reading slump this year at all. In less than 6 months, I have finished 100 books (well, 104 now) and it’s partially because I have suffered super long commute from East London to Oxford daily before the lockdown started and now, for the last couple of weeks, I had more free time than usual.
Some books I loved, and I will remember forever, and I can’t wait for re-reading them, and others, I have enjoyed, and yet each of them has been a journey.
I don’t have space here to talk about each and every book from my list of 100 here, but I have listed ten of my favourites this year so. They all are five stars reads for me. I tried to include books from a variety of genres. I haven’t included re-reads, so Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston didn’t make the list even though it’s one of my favourite contemporary romances.
I will do another round-up of my favourite books from 2020 from the second half of the year at the end of the year, but for now here are my favourites.
My top 10 of 2020 (Part 1)
Dear Reader by Cathy Rentzenbrink
This book was such a comfort read, a literal letter to books, and I loved every second of it. The love for books and stories, and everything offered by them is so clearly visible in Dear Reader at every each page. I honestly cannot recommend this book enough, and I will be talking more about it closer to its release date.
Becoming by Michelle Obama
This book is absolutely amazing. Michele Obama’s voice is so powerful, which has been emphasized even further as I have managed to listen to Becoming narrated by the author herself. She’s such an inspiring figure, and that’s another book that I simply cannot recommend enough. Dear Reader is also full of recommendations, many of the books I loved and those I’m looking forward to reading.
This Book Will Change Your Mind About Mental Health by Nathan Filer
I’ve already mentioned briefly Nathan Filer’s book in my May reading wrap up here, but it certainly has been one of my favourite – and most powerful – books I have read this year, highlighting the diversity of human experience regarding mental health.
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab (and 2nd and 3rd part of Shades of Magic trilogy)
V.E. Schwab is quickly becoming one of my favourite fantasy writers. I haven’t read her books prior to this year, but I’ve fallen in love with V.E. Schwab’s The Near Witch in January, and then in this series. Shades of Magic trilogy has such a great cast of characters! Their adventures often put a smile to my face, while at the same time, some parts – of the especially last book – have been simply heartbreaking. I have my flatmate to thank for introducing me to this trilogy.
The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty (and the 2nd part of The Daevabad Trilogy)
It’s another fantasy series that my friend has recommended to me this year, and the world-building is amazing in The Daevabad Trilogy. With the third part of the trilogy just released, I know what I will be reading soon!
Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
There are some brilliant books in the portal fantasy genre, and this is definitely one of them. Every Heart a Doorway explores what happens to the children who crossed to different (magical) worlds after their return. The book itself is short (176 pages), making it a lovely short read, but the writing is amazing. I haven’t enjoyed as much the 2nd part of the series, but I definitely recommend reading Every Heart a Doorway.
To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
When I started this book, I haven’t thought I’d enjoy it as much as I did. A darker retelling of The Little Mermaid, To Kill a Kingdom is dark and enchanting. Lira and Elian are both complex and well-written characters. It’s definitely one of a few YA fantasy books I have enjoyed so much in recent years.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is another book I’ve already mentioned in my May wrap up. Becky Albertalli’s book is such a lovely read – with interesting and honest characters. It’s one of those books, I will probably end up re-reading on a day when I need some cheering up.
The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver
While technically a contemporary romance, The Two Lives of Lydia Bird is in many ways about dealing with grief and moving forward. When Lydia loses Freddie in an accident, her whole life changes in a moment – suddenly there isn’t a place for their future. What follows, is the interchange between chapters in the real life and dream-like state, where Freddie is still alive, while Lydia comes to terms with what happens. It’s heartbreaking but also hopeful.
In an Instant by Suzanne Redfearn
This is another book that deals with grief and how to carry on. It’s absolutely beautifully written, and your heart aches as you follow the story narrated by Finn, who dies in the accident, while some other members of her family survive. Those surviving the immediate crush, are facing the impossible decisions as they struggle to survive and carry on.
What are your favourite books you’ve read this year so far? I’m always open for new recommendations….