Top Books of 2020 (Because What Else Was There To Do?)


Welcome to 2021 where everything looks exactly the same but we're now upgrading to fancy tracksuits and shoes. Inside. Yup.

If you told me I would have spent a whole year pacing back and forth from the sofa to the fridge with pyjama bottoms on, no makeup, no bra and yet another banana bread in the oven, I wouldn't have believed you.

And yet, we found ourselves trading our mundane routines for a more sedentary life that mostly involved Netflix, multiple naps a day, a whole lot of screen time, Animal Crossing all day long and not even a soul to judge us. The dream!

But the dream came with a cost: solitude. Loneliness. A lot of time for ourselves, by ourselves. So what better way than to fill those empty holes than sneak a book here and there? Especially if you've got a tbr that is growing massively by the hour like I do.

I've read the grand total of 24 books which is not grand at all to be fair but for me, the queen of procrastination, 24 books was a lot. Given the fact that my initial goal was 20 - yeah, I didn't want to give myself an unrealistic goal that would have only made things worse- I think I did pretty okay. We're still struggling, after all.

As much as I tried to stay clear of possible let-downs, they still happened and left me furious but I was also really lucky to have found some gems and I would love to talk to you about them (if you're still here, reading my rumblings)

  1. Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton. This was the last book I've read in 2020 and quite possibly, the one I enjoyed the most. It's Alderton's millennial memoir and a book every twenty-something should read as it's relatable, funny, raw and honest. Now I'm on a mission to read everything Dolly Alderton has ever written - and her recommendations too, like this one.
  2. Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer. My seventeen-year-old self cannot believe the luck and the gift this book was, not only because it was sent to me by a Publisher (what!) but because I've been waiting for this to come out for years! It's basically Twilight but from Edward's POV which was quite interesting and complex and long. Like, really, really, long!
  3. Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan. Totally cheating with this one as it was a re-read but I couldn't resist it since the Netflix adaptation came out - and it was so good! It's basically Tinder but for bookworms where two teens find themselves lonely during the Christmas holidays and start passing this red Moleskine back and forth with dares to do as a way to know each other. Foreplay to a tea, I must say but it's cute and definitely gives all the fuzzy feels. 
  4. The Library of the Unwritten by A.J.Hackwith. This was such a surprise! It follows Claire, the guardian of all unfinished books which end up in a special library in hell. One day a Hero escapes into the real world to find its author and this starts a war that's been long overdue, between hell's realms and heaven. It was so good and fun!
  5. The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver. Of course, I needed a sad one to balance all the laugh out loud/cute reads and this one did deliver! Lydia's boyfriend dies the night of her birthday and since then she's been living a half-life, quite literally! Because when she finds out that thanks to some magic pills she can still be with her boyfriend in a parallel universe, she jumps at the chance but everything good comes with a cost. I really liked this one - although not as much as other books on this list - especially at the rawness of pain and grief that is especially present at the beginning - and that made me shed a few tears. Okay, I fucking sobbed, for fuck's sake!
  6. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J.Maas. Who would have thought I would have absolutely loved some sexy fairy? Because apparently, I do, at least now. I'm not a fantasy kind of gal but boy if I'm obsessed with this one! Passion, betrayal, war, family, friendships, feminist men and troglodytes (we cannot get rid of those, can we?). This book is so sexy and steamy I had to make so many tactical cups of tea to give my brain some time to breathe! 
  7. Consider This by Chuck Palahniuk. If you're a writer and you've only read Stephen King's On Writing, well, let me introduce you to your new best friend. I so needed this book, it's full of writing tips and personal advice from Palahniuk's life and touring experience. A treat!
  8. Big Friendship by Aminatou Sow & Ann Friedman. What I really needed from 2020 - apart from countless batches of home-made bread - was a therapy session and this book was the closest thing to it. It made me reflect on friendship, mine in particular with different people and it helped me see things more clearly and let go of those branches that weren't letting my plant grow greener and healthier without feeling guilty. Because friendships are hard to take care of, but efforts need to happen from both parts.
  9. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. It follows two twins who spend their lives apart from each other, eager to be something else than just two black people in a small, rural American town. One finds love in a black man who ends up hitting her so she runs away with her daughter. The other twin lives her life as a white woman, with a white man and a perfectly white daughter. Until their worlds collide again and they have to deal with what they've left behind. It's a heartbreaking story, a journey of love and forgiveness mixed with hard lessons and the power of sisterhood. Probably my favourite read.
  10. Last Tang Standing by Lauren Ho. This was so fun! As I'm more and more on the hunt for stories about single women who aren't looking for a man to feel accomplished, this one was at the top of my list! But this one has that extra kick that makes things even more exciting: the expectations the Chinese family has on the protagonist which eventually leads her to feel unaccomplished, lonely and overall a loser. Absolutely brilliant.
  11. The Deck of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman. Now, this was one of those books I anticipated for a whole year, basically since finishing the first book. It was so much creepier than the previous one and adventurous but still absolutely enjoyable and with that touch of dark magic I expect from books like these. If only we had a third one...
  12. The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez. I am trash for this book. Literally. I mean, you cannot go wrong when you give a dog the precious role of making two people meet. It's especially awesome when they fall in love without ever seeing each other which also leads to heartbreak and steamy sex under the aurora Borealis which was such a magnificent touch, I now expect nothing less from my personal life. Talking about standards, uh?
  13. Other Words for Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin. I am absolutely in love with the worlds this woman crafts in her books. This one, specifically, was so weird and poetic and out of this world. I mean, a talking cat? An evil owl who lives inside a wall and feeds on human bones? Do I need to say more? Chef's kiss.
  14. The Stars We Steal by Alexa Donne. Take Romeo and Juliet and put them into space. Just kidding but as a fan of books set into space (minus the sci-fi aspect of it) this one was so very good! There were tension and anger and fancy clothes, parties, secrets, an old flame, enemies to lovers romance. Basically, everything I love and more. And boy if I loved this book!
  15. Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare. If there's a Cassie Clare book coming out, you can bet everything you hold dear that I'm going to put it on a favourites list. Her books are my bible, this is obviously why the third instalment of The Dark Artifices had to make it into this list. It was quite cray cray and full of unexpected moments - and sex! which is a running theme on this list but what can I say? #lifeinquarantine doesn't get better than this.
  16. Who Put This Song On by Morgan Parker. 2020 started with a banger of a book! This one was so fun as I read about Morgan as she tries to understand where she belongs to, as a black person, and as a person with extreme anxiety. I understood her on such a deeper level, I ended up highlighting the whole thing. This is to say, when things are good, enjoy them, write on your books, highlight them, tear the pages off, crack that fucking spine!

And here you have a - somewhat - detailed list of my favourite reads of 2020. 
It's been such a crazy year, I feel blessed to have all these books at my disposal and people to work with that always make sure I have great literature on my nightstand. 
Here's to many more of those - if there's no sex, I'm not interested. It's a requirement from now on!

What are your favourite books of 2020?