There’s something about a new year that gets my reading juices goin’. Maybe it’s just that a fresh start, figuratively or literally, is something humans need. We need a point where we can look and say, “this is when I do more/less of this” and we need periods of our life to be definable. We need the chance at rebirth, again and again. People scoff at the reflection of a year or the excitement of a new one, and I can be as cynical as the rest when it comes to that. One of the major things I can look back at this year with joy about is the books I read. I completed my goal of 110 and read 151. I read independently published novels, guilty pleasure reads, nonfiction, and my favorite: fantasy. This year, I jumped across so many genres and truly enjoyed it. I read things that were definitely NOT the epitome of fine literature and still LOVED them. Reading truly became an escape this year. Receiving advanced copies from publishers or indie authors got me out of my comfort zone and introduced me to books that I might not have read otherwise.

So, here’s going to be a jumbled, long list of my favorites this year. I am not going to limit myself to top ten or anything, so I hope you are able to find some things that interest you! Not all of these were 5 stars for me but they all imprinted themselves in my mind. We will start with indie and self published and move to different categories!

The Best of Indie/Self Published:

•ML Wang – The Sword of Kaigen (favorite standalone of the year, fantasy)

•Matthew Samuels – Parasites (sci-fi and YA)

•L. Steinworth – Asunder (fantasy and romance)

•Dan Fitzgerald – The Maer Cycle (fantasy)

•Marcus Lee – Kings and Daemons (fantasy)

•Eddy Telviot – The Stone Thieves and the Honourable Order of Inventors (fantasy, historical)

The Best of Fantasy:

•John Gwynne – The Faithful and the Fallen series (favorite series of the year)

•Evan Winter – The Rage of Dragons

The Best of Non-Fiction/Memoir:

•Jia Tolentino – Trick Mirror

•Mikel Jollet – Hollywood Park

•John Moe – The Hilarious World of Depression

•Lori Gottlieb – Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

•Ava Homa – Daughters of Smoke and Fire

•Molly Wizenberg – The Fixed Stars

•Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman – The Greatest Love Story Ever Told (must listen to audio version!!)

The Best of Rom-Com/Romance:

•Casey McQuiston – Red, White, and Royal Blue (bonus points for being LGBTQ+)

•Hannah Orenstein – Head Over Heels

•Lyssa Kay Adams – The Bromance Book Club series

•Jen DeLuca – Well Played (read Well Met first)

•Beth O’Leary – The Flatshare

•Rosie Danan – The Roommate

•Christina Lauren – In a Holidaze

The Best of Contemporary/Literary Fiction:

•Mary Pauline Lowry – The Roxy Letters

•Cristina Henriquez – The Book of Unknown Americans

•Sally Rooney – Conversations with Friends

•Taylor Jenkins Reid – The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

• Gabriella Burnham – It is Wood, It is Stone

•Brit Bennet – The Vanishing Half

•Sophie Cousens – This Time Next Year

The Best of Guilty Pleasure:

•Sarah J Maas – A Court of Thorn and Roses series (also could fall under YA/NA)

•Cate Tiernan – The Sweep series (also could be under YA and reread)

The Best of YA:

•Brigid Kemmerer – A Curse so Dark and Lonely (fantasy)

•Lori Lansens – This Little Light (pretty heavy dystopian fiction)

The Best of Historical Fiction:

•Bernard Cornwell – The Last Kingdom (and the Saxon Stories books 1-4)

The Best of Thrillers:

Alice Feeney – His and Hers

The Best of Poetry:

•Kate Baer – What Kind of Woman

The Best of Rereads:

•Patrick Rothfuss – The Kingkiller Chronicle

•Robin Hobb – The Farseer Trilogy

•Brandon Sanderson – The Way of Kings/Words of Radiance


I hope you enjoyed your year of reading and I hope this year is even better! Let me know your favorites

2 thoughts on “The Highlights: 2020 Book Edition

  1. Looks like you got a lot of reading done in 2020! Congrats on completing your goal! The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, The Vanishing Half, and The Flatshare were some of my favorite books I read this year! I also need to finish A Heart so Fierce and Broken so I can read the finale when it comes out this month! 🎉 Happy New Year! ❤️

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