2020: My Year in Books

That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Happy New Year, friends! There’s no denying that 2020 was a gigantic dumpster fire to put it kindly. It’s bee a rough year, but one of the few things I’ll look back on fondly this year was the sheer number of books I got to read. My reading has been described as voracious and I love that. I almost always have a book on or near me. If it doesn’t seem like I have one, I just might be listening to an audiobook.

I usually read around 60-75 books a year, but I ALMOST hit 100 in 2020. I came so close with 97 books and a little over 40 magazines. My goal this year is 100, but before I moved on I wanted to share my reads based on how I ranked them. This year I read so many incredible books and went pretty far out of my comfort zone for a decent number of reads. I challenged myself to diversify my genres, discover new authors, and read more books by women and people of color. Since I couldn’t travel, I did the next best thing and read as much I could so at least my imagination could get some travel miles in.

🎧 = audiobook

5 Star Books

🎧 The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride by Cary Elwes

Don’t Read the Comments by Eric Smith

Sold On a Monday by Kristina McMorris

Enemy of All Mankind: A True Story of Piracy, Power, and History’s First Global Manhunt by Steven Johnson

🎧 Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

The Return by Rachel Harrison

🎧 So You Want to Talk About Race by Oluo Ijeoma

Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? Big Questions from Tiny Mortals About Death by Caitlin Doughty

The Breakdown by B.A. Paris

🎧 The Whisper Man by Alex North

🎧 Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gates

🎧 Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones by James Clear

🎧 Killing the SS: The Hunt for the Worst War Criminals in History by Bill O’Reilly

🎧 A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah

We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter

🎧 A Woman is No Man by Rum Etaf

4 Star Books

You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria

🎧 The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

🎧 The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

🎧 The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan

🎧 Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

🎧 The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

🎧 Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

🎧 The Guest List by Lucy Foley

This is Really Happening by Erin Chack

🎧 In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

🎧 Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

🎧 Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

🎧 Dear Girls: Tales, Untold Secrets, and Advice for Living Your Best Life by Ali Wong

🎧 The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane by Julia Nobel

🎧 Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

🎧 The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

🎧 Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling

🎧 Splinter in the Blood by Ashley Dyer

The Night Tourist by Katherine Marsh

Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko

The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride

🎧 The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson

My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

🎧 Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

3.5 Star Books

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

The Tenant by Katrine Engberg

🎧 Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

🎧 Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

🎧 Untamed by Glennon Doyle

🎧 Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

To Have and To Hoax by Martha Waters

The Other Mrs by Mary Kubica

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes and Other Lessons From the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty

🎧 Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Mr. Churchill’s Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith

The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

Through Violet Eyes by Stephen Woodworth

🎧 Lethal White by Robert Galbraith

🎧 Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

3 Star Books

🎧 The Answer Is…: Reflections on My Life by Alex Trebek

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home by Joseph Fink

🎧 The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate by Gary Chapman

The Fever Megan Abbott

Awkward Family Pet Photos by Mike Bender

Does This Beach Make Me Look Fat? by Lisa Scottoline

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

🎧 The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

🎧 Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know by Malcolm Gladwell

Deadly Instinct by Melissa Farris

High Profile by Robert B. Parker

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Call For the Dead by Jean le Carre

Sudden Mischief by Robert B. Parker

1 and 2 Star Books

The House of Whispers by Laura Purcell

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

Cold Service by Robert B. Parker

The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay

The Carpet Cipher: The Agency of the Ancient Lost and Found by Jane Thornley

What Were Your Favorites?

Let me know in the comments below! If you have any books you love I am always all ears! Want more book recommendations? Feel free to message/contact me and I’ll send you some of my all-time favorites!

Published by Emma Browning

Hey everyone, my name is Emma Browning. Thanks for stopping by. I like to think of myself as a modern day renaissance woman since I basically do a little bit of everything. Here's a few of my jobs/hobbies in case you're curious: Group Fitness Instructor (Zumba, BodyStep and BodyPump), small business owner (string art& travel photography), archaeologist/anthropologist, actress, SCUBA dive master, reading addict, dog mom, cellist, and of course travel enthusiast. I've traveled to over 21 countries and speak French fluently and am learning Spanish. Traveling is one of my all time favorite things to do whether it be a day trip with my dog or a massive international adventure. I created this blog to help others see the world vicariously through my wanderings and also to give useful tips and essential information that will hopefully inspire more people to travel. Hopefully you have as much fun reading these posts and get a lot of useful information from them!

9 thoughts on “2020: My Year in Books

  1. Wow congrats on nearly making it to 100, that’s amazing! Some great reads here that I enjoyed this year too, and quite a few I still have on my list. I love the idea of travelling through books when we can’t in real life. Hope you have a great 2021 in reading too!

  2. My 5-star books this year were:
    The Searcher by Tana French
    Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
    Defending the Border by Mathijs Pelkmans
    The Eighth Life by Nino Haratischwili
    Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
    Russian Cuisine in Exile by Pyotr Vail and Alexander Genis
    Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory
    Fascism: A Warning by Madeleine Albright
    On the Way Home from the Revolution by Sonya Bilocerkowycz
    The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
    The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

    1. I haven’t heard of about half of these, but I put all of them on my TBR list. Thanks so much for sharing your picks! Getting new book and author suggestions is always so much fun.

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