My 2020 Book List

Being home for most of the year allowed me to read many more books than I usually do. My prime reading time is found while the boys run free at playgrounds. Once those reopened during the pandemic I found myself with daily free time to escape into hidden worlds and go on adventures in reading.

I read 111 books this year, not including the picture books I read with Elliot and Henry (see the next post for those). In 2020, my favorite books were either fantasies or those that helped me delve into the human condition – what makes us contradictory individuals who dream and hope and grieve and fight. So I guess I really used reading to try to figure myself out, and I’m still not there.

I probably won’t ever understand my self and my selfish motivations. But I keep trying, and here’s what I’ve puzzled out so far.

I am a lot to handle. And that is okay. I don’t like everyone, so it’s okay if not everyone likes me (I definitely need to work on being fine with that second part). Even though I don’t like everyone, I can be kind.

And that begins with being kind to myself.

I guess what I’m trying to say in my yearly review of books is that I plan to seek kindness through reading to find new ways to let it burst through my being and extend outward to others.

If you’ve made it this far through my ramblings, your reward is seeing my top 9 fictional books, top 6 young adult reads, and top 6 non-fiction books of 2020, followed by a list of everything I read this year.

I know the books I love aren’t for everyone, but if I ever come up to you and tell you that you NEED to read something, I recommend you do it. I’m rarely wrong (ask Keith if you don’t believe me).

My Favorite Reads This Year & Published in 2020

  1. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
  2. The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
  3. The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow
  4. Writers and Lovers by Lily King
  5. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  6. Long Bright River by Liz Moore
  7. The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi
  8. Anxious People by Frederik Backman
  9. Apeirogon by Colum McCann

Young Adult

  1. You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
  2. Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
  3. Long Way Down: The Graphic Novel by Jason Reynolds, Danica Novgorodoff (Ill.)
  4. The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane by Kate O’Shaughnessy
  5. Dear Justyce by Nic Stone
  6. Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

Nonfiction

  1. Untamed by Glennon Doyle
  2. Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, & You by Jason Reynolds & Ibram X. Kendi
  3. Please Like Me [But Keep Away] by Mindy Kaling
  4. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
  5. Humans by Brandon Stanton
  6. Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations by Mira Jacob

Books Read in 2020

*****

  • Anxious People (2020) by Fredrik Backman (12/20)
  • The House in the Cerulean Sea (2020) by TJ Klune (12/20)
  • Long Way Down: The Graphic Novel (2020) by Jason Reynolds (12/20)
  • You Should See Me in a Crown (2020) by Leah Johnson (11/20)
  • Dear Justyce (2020) by Nic Stone (11/20)
  • Before the Ever After (2020) by Jacqueline Woodson (11/20)
  • Humans (2020) by Brandon Stanton (11/20)
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue (2020) by V.E. Schwab (10/20)
  • The Once and Future Witches (2020) by Alix E. Harrow (10/20)
  • Kind of Hindu (2020) by Mindy Kaling (10/20)
  • Searching for Coach Taylor (2020) by Mindy Kaling (10/20)
  • Please Like Me [But Keep Away] (2020) by Mindy Kaling (10/20)
  • Once Upon a Time in Silver Lake (2020) by Mindy Kaling (10/20)
  • Help is on the Way (2020) by Mindy Kaling (10/20)
  • Big Shot (2020) by Mindy Kaling (10/20)
  • Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics, 1954-1981 (2010) by Stephen Sondheim (10/20)
  • The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane (2020) by Kate O’Shaughnessy (10/20)
  • Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson (10/20)
  • The Vanishing Half (2020) by Brit Bennett (9/20)
  • The Henna Artist (2020) by Alka Joshi (9/20)
  • Nothing to See Here (2019) by Kevin Wilson (9/20)
  • The Comeback (2020) by Ella Berman (9/20)
  • The Death of Vivek Oji (2020) by Akwaeke Emezi (8/20)
  • The Song of Achilles (2011) by Madeline Miller (8/20)
  • This Tender Land (2020) by William Kent Krueger (8/20)
  • How We Fight for Our Lives (2019) by Saeed Jones (8/20)
  • Dear Edward (2020) by Anne Napolitano (7/20)
  • Wonderstruck (2011) by Brian Selznick (7/20)
  • Summer Sisters (1998) by Judy Bloom (7/20)
  • Writers and Lovers (2020) by Lily King (7/20)
  • Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations (2020) by Mira Jacob (7/20)
  • Station Eleven (2014) by Emily St. John Mandel (7/20)
  • Ghosts (2016) by Raina Telgemeier (6/20)
  • The Public Library: A Photographic Essay (2014) by Robert Dawson (6/20)
  • Dear Martin (2017) by Nic Stone (6/20)
  • Pet (2019) by Akwaeke Emezi (6/20)
  • All American Boys (2015) by Jason Reynolds (6/20)
  • A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder (2019) by Holly Jackson (6/20)
  • Clap When You Land (2020) by Elizabeth Acevedo (6/20)
  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You (2020) by Jason Reynolds (6/20)
  • Circe (2018) by Madeline Miller (4/20)
  • They Called Us Enemy (2019) by George Takei (4/20)
  • Apeirogon (2020) by Colum McCann (4/20)
  • Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (2012) by Benjamin Alire Saenz (4/20)
  • Untamed (2020) by Glennon Doyle (3/20)
  • Other Words for Home (2019) by Jasmine Warga (3/20)
  • The Turtle of Oman (2009) by Naomi Shihab Nye (2/20)
  • Long Bright River (2020) by Liz Moore (2/20)
  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January (2019) by Alix E. Harrow (2/20)
  • Esparanza Rising (2000) by Pam Muñoz Ryan (2/20)
  • The Other Half of Happy (2019) by Rebecca Balcarcel (2/20)
  • The Poet X (2018) by Elizabeth Acevedo (2/20)

****

  • Plain Bad Heroines (2020) by Emily M. Danforth (12/20)
  • Fifty Words for Rain (2020) by Asha Lemmie (12/20)
  • Hamnet (2020) by Maggie O’Farrell (12/20)
  • When No One is Watching (2020) by Alyssa Cole (12/20)
  • Catherine House (2020) by Elisabeth Thomas (11/20)
  • The Last Story of Mina Lee (2020) by Nancy Jooyoun Kim (11/20)
  • Mexican Gothic (2020) by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (10/20)
  • The Mall (2020) by Megan McCafferty (10/20)
  • The Book of Second Chances (2020) by Katherine Slee (10/20)
  • Her Last Flight (2020) by Beatriz Williams (10/20)
  • Red, White & Royal Blue (2019) by Casey McQuiston (10/20)
  • Piranesi (2020) by Susanna Clarke (10/20)
  • Beach Read (2020) by Emily Henry (9/20)
  • The Lions of Fifth Avenue (2020) by Fiona Davis (9/20)
  • The Underground Railroad (2016) by Colson Whitehead (9/20)
  • Girl, Serpent, Thorn (2020) by Melissa Bashardoust (8/20)
  • The Pull of the Stars (2020) by Emma Donaghue (8/20)
  • The Lost and Found Bookshop (2020) by Susan Wiggs (8/20)
  • The Jane Austen Society (2020) by Natalie Jenner (8/20)
  • 28 Summers (2020) by Elin Hilderbrand (7/20)
  • On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (2019) by Ocean Vuong (7/20)
  • The Lies that Bind (2020) by Emily Giffin (7/20)
  • Weather (2020) by Jenny Offill (6/20)
  • The Grace Year (2019) by Kim Liggett (6/20)
  • The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2020) by Suzanne Collins (5/20)
  • The Night Watchman (2020) by Louise Erdrich (5/20)
  • The Glass Hotel (2020) by Emily St. John Mandel (5/20)
  • A Wizard of Earthsea (1968) by Ursula K. LeGuin (5/20)
  • There There (2018) by Tommy Orange (4/20)
  • Yes No Maybe So (2020) by Becky Albertalli (4/20)
  • Such a Fun Age (2020) by Kiley Reid (3/20)
  • Chain of Gold (2020) by Cassandra Clare (3/20)
  • The Birchbark House (1999) by Louise Erdrich (3/20)
  • New Kid (2019) by Jerry Craft (3/20)
  • All the Real Indians Died Off: And 20 Other Myths About Native Americans (2016) by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (3/20)
  • The Sun is Also a Star (2016) by Nicola Yoon (3/20)
  • With the Fire on High (2019) by Elizabeth Acevedo (2/20)
  • Children of Blood and Bone (2018) by Tomi Adeyemi (2/20)
  • Maybe You Should Talk to Someone (2019) by Lori Gottlieb (1/20)
  • The Family Upstairs (2019) by Lisa Jewell (1/20)

***

  • The Near Witch (2019) by V.E. Schwab (12/20)
  • The Midnight Library (2020) by Matt Haig (11/20)
  • The Guest List (2020) by Lucy Foley (10/20)
  • Friends and Strangers (2020) by J. Courtney Sullivan (8/20)
  • In Five Years (2020) by Rebecca Serle (8/20)
  • Sex & Vanity (2020) by Kevin Kwan (8/20)
  • The Holdout (2020) by Graham Moore (6/20)
  • Chosen Ones (2020) by Veronica Roth (6/20)
  • The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise (2019) by Dan Gemeinhart (6/20)
  • Ember Queen (2020) by Laura Sebastian (5/20)
  • Olive Kitteridge (2008) by Elizabeth Strout (4/20)
  • Twisted Twenty-Six (2019) by Janet Evanovich (3/20)
  • The Martian (2011) by Andy Weir (1/20)
  • Stardust (1997) by Neil Gaiman (1/20)

**

  • White Ivy (2020) by Susie Yang (12/20)
  • Big Summer (2020) by Jennifer Weiner (9/20)
  • A Good Neighborhood (2020) by Therese Anne Fowler (5/20)
  • The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires (2020) by Grady Hendrix (5/20)
  • The Bookish Life of Nina Hill (2019) by Abbi Waxman (4/20)

2 thoughts on “My 2020 Book List

  1. Thank you for sharing your list. I struggle with deciding what to read. I finally finished Stamped today. I have put a hold on a digital copy through my local library for Anxious People after seeing it on your post.

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