I’ve been a big reader my whole life, but this year really got me lost in the world of books again. I’ve made a list of every book I read this year as well as a brief synopsis of my thoughts on each one. With some fiction, some non-fiction & everything in between there should be something on here for everyone.
- A Tree Grows In Brooklyn – The story of a young girl and her family growing up in Brooklyn in the 1910s. Despite being written 75 years ago it is an easy read and very enjoyable. It is so well written I would often find it difficult to put it down. This book is quite long too so it makes a perfect story to get lost in! Recommend
- Pride and Prejudice – I went into this book with very few expectations, and to be perfectly honest found it a difficult read for about the first 100 pages. Despite being difficult to get into and challenging to follow at times I ended up thoroughly enjoying this book! I will definitely be adding more Jane Austen novels to my reading list. Recommend
- The Opposite of Loneliness – This book is absolutely beautiful. It’s heartbreaking to think that the world will never get to read more by Marina Keegan, but I highly recommend everyone read this. I love that this book contains both fiction and non-fiction stories. It was such an easy book to get lost in. I could not put it down. Recommend
- Peaches – Peaches was the most YA fiction book I have read this year. I thought it was a cute read, but definitely not a must-read.
- Lean In – I truly believe this is a book that every girl should read. I loved that it was a combination of personal anecdotes about being in a leadership position as a woman, as well as statistical information. I found it incredibly inspiring and motivating. I didn’t feel like it was a book I couldn’t put down by any means but I definitely loved how much I learned from it. Recommend
- The Handmaid’s Tale – this book was definitely on the creepier side compared to what I normally read, but WOW was it good. It is the most fascinating (and horrifying) story, and I couldn’t put it down. Definitely a great book for putting things in perspective. Recommend
- Eat, Pray, Love – This was another book I couldn’t put down. I loved how the book was broken up into three sections, Italy, India and Bali, which all taught different lessons. If you’re currently in need of a story to get lost in, I’d definitely add this one to your list. Recommend
- Today Will Be Different – I really enjoy Maria Semple’s writing style and thought this was a really fun book to read. I love that it takes place in Seattle because it’s so fun being able to identify with places. If you haven’t read her books before I highly recommend them, they tell great stories! Recommend
- Becoming – I’ve always loved the Obama’s, and after reading this book, more so than ever. Not only is this incredibly written, it tells the incredible story of Michelle Obama’s life and provides many insights into her world. It made me cry, laugh out loud and really want to be the recipient of one of Michelle Obama’s famous hugs. Recommend
- Little Women – I’m really happy I read this book because I made it a goal of mine to read more classics this year, however, I must say it’s not the easiest read. The story is sweet but isn’t the most captivating. It was definitely a long read that I wasn’t motivated to move through very quickly.
- The Sharper the Knife the Less You Cry – Normally this isn’t a book that I would be drawn to, but after being recommended a couple of times I decided to give it a read, and it was definitely worth the recommendations. I loved the author’s writing style, it was an easy read that was engaging and fun. It told the story of making new friendships and trying new things. I’ve got a huge travel bug to get to Paris and try all the new foods after reading this. Recommend
- The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules – I thought this was a charming story, and I enjoyed reading it, but it wasn’t a book that got me hooked very much. Though being a pretty easy read, it was slow.
- 180 Seconds – First things first I can tell you I FLEW through this book. Once I picked it up I couldn’t stop reading. It definitely had its cheesy moments and I wouldn’t say it was my favourite book but it kept me thoroughly entertained and I did love some of the takeaways from the book. A sweet reminder that love can come when you least expect it and life can change in a matter of seconds.
- How It All Began – I will be honest, I picked this book up because of it’s VERY cute cover. I really liked that it is the type of story told by a number of perspectives, and the characters’ stories interlock as it goes on, however, I did find it a really slow read. As much as I thought that it was cute, I don’t know that I would recommend it.
- Where the Crawdads Sing – It seemed as though everyone and their mother was raving about this book (yes my Mumma too) and I 100% understand why. I can honestly say I don’t think I have ever read a more beautifully written book. Once I started it, I could not put it down, and I’m honestly sad that it is over now. If you haven’t read it yet, please go pick it up. Recommend
- Fahrenheit 451 – Although this isn’t the type of book I generally prefer reading, I thought this book was incredibly thought-provoking and a very interesting story. A world where they burn books?! I don’t necessarily see myself picking up this book again, but I was happy to cross another classic off my to-read list and definitely understand why this is considered a must-read. Recommend
- Tuesdays With Morrie – First, I will start by saying this book is a tear-jerker. I regularly had tears streaming down my face while reading it. With that being said, I think it is a truly incredible read. Despite being terminally ill Morrie had the most positive and beautiful outlook on life. Although it is a short book, it was full of so many lessons, and I would highly recommend that everyone reads it, I think there is something for everyone to learn from Morrie. I will absolutely be reading Morrie: In His Own Words next because I want to continue soaking up all the knowledge he had to share. Recommend
- Morrie: In His Own Words – I thought this book was really sweet, and I’m really happy that I read it after Tuesdays With Morrie however I definitely didn’t love it as much.
- Big Little Lies – I thought this book was so interesting, it was a super easy read but also tackled some really difficult topics. It took a while to get into but once I did I couldn’t put it down. As y’all know I love books that are told from multiple perspectives and this book does just that!
- Eleanor Ophilient is Completely Fine – I really enjoyed this book, it was an easy read and I didn’t find it super predictable. I would absolutely pass it onto a friend if they are looking for a book to read, but I felt like everyone I heard about it from thought it was incredible and absolutely loved it and I didn’t feel the same. It was a little bit over-hyped in my opinion.
- Saint Anything – I had to read this book because I’ve read every book Sarah Dessen has written & fully intend on keeping it that way. I definitely didn’t enjoy it as much as I used to love her books and I thought this one was pretty slow most of the time.
- This Is Where I Leave You – I thought this was a super easy, entertaining read but wasn’t a favourite by any means. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the book, but I’m not one to quit reading a book.
- Beloved – I decided to read this book because it has a lot of historical significance to it and I heard that it was a book that everyone should experience. I am very happy I did read it and I am a firm believer that Toni Morison’s books are essential reads. With that being said I found this book incredibly difficult to get through and quite confusing at times.
- Girl, Stop Apologizing – I’ll be honest, I listened to this book rather than read it and sister let me tell you, I am so happy I did. Rachel Hollis can give a pep talk like no other and I seriously needed it. If you’re ready to make some changes in your life then this book is a MUST. Recommend
- In Five Years – I thought that this was a really sweet book. It was a pretty short read, but I really enjoyed it (and it definitely made me shed a few tears)!
- The Great Alone – This book surprised me a lot! I wasn’t anticipating getting really into a book about a young girl who moves to Alaska with a less than ideal family dynamic, but I could not put this book down. I found it to be a bit of a tear-jerker in the end! It was so well written and I will absolutely be picking up more Kristin Hannah books in the future. Recommend
- Such a Fun Age – This was another book that I enjoyed this year, but I found it didn’t live up to all the hype it had. While it was an entertaining story I felt like I was never left wondering what was going to happen next.
- The Giver of Stars – This was another book that I found despite being a storyline I didn’t really get into, was so well written that I couldn’t put it down. I found the beginning to be quite slow but it definitely got more interesting as it went on. The last couple nights I was reading it I could barely put it down! Recommend
- Three Wishes – Well this is my second Liane Moriarty book in a couple of months and I have to say I am hooked on her writing style. Her books are all so funny and keep me very entertained. I love books that flip between storylines and this follows the lives of triplets who all live wildly different lives. It had its sad moments and made me laugh out loud at other points. A great read! Recommend
- Beartown – Let me start by saying that I love Fredrik Backman’s writing. At this point I’ve purchased almost all, if not all, of his books and cannot wait to read them all. This book was about a tiny hockey town in Norway and was told by the perspective of many of the residents. Once I actually got into this book it was hard to put down, however, I do have to mention that I didn’t love how abruptly it ended. Recommend
- The Rest of the Story – Another Sarah Dessen book to add to the list for the year. This was a super easy read, and I quickly fell into the world of the characters and could not put the book down! It isn’t a favourite book of mine by any means but it would definitely make a great beach read.
- A Promised Land – This is another book that I decided to listen to as an audiobook instead of reading the hard copy of, and I couldn’t be happier about this decision. I always think there is something really incredible about an author reading their own story and this one certainly didn’t disappoint. When Obama was in office, especially for the first term I was too young to understand what was going on. I remember being in elementary school and going to one of his speekings, getting my little pink toque, but that was the extent of my knowledge. As I grew up my admiration for Obama continued to grow as I understood more and more of what he stood for, but this book has exemplified that admiration tenfold. This was truly one of the most well written stories I have ever listened to, it made me laugh, cry & understand how the government functions much better than any government class in high school ever did. I truly believe that regardless of political beliefs, we could all learn something, especially compassion, from this book. Recommend
- Untamed – I’ll be honest, I heard A LOT about this book, and I was really excited when I finally purchased it. I started reading it almost right away (back in August) and I’m sitting here December 31, and I have just finished reading it. I found this book really difficult to get into & I would often forget about it for weeks at a time. With that being said though, I think it is a really incredible book. I think it is full of really important lessons and certainly gave me the kick in the pants I needed after the end of a ROUGH year. I’m really happy this is the book I chose to finish off the year on & I can’t wait to take the lessons I learned from it into 2021. Recommend
Well that is all from 2020, please let me know what your favourite book from 2020 was & I’ll add it to my 2021 reading list!
XO Cassidy Hannah