On my 2021 TBR

I never round up my favourite books of the year until after the next one starts because I”m usually reading until the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve. But in the meantime, forget New Year’s Resolutions, let’s talk reading resolutions. 2020 was probably my best reading year ever—possibly in number but almost definitely in quality. However, I still didn’t even get through all of the books I’ve been really looking forward to! With the knowledge that even more incredible books will be coming out in 2021 and my TBR will continue to grow endlessly long, here are 10 books published in 2020 that I’m hoping 2021 will bring me the chance to read:

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What I read in November

November was a great month for reading. I’ve discovered a love for audiobooks—I used to listen to them all the time when I was younger, but stopped for years despite how much I enjoy podcasts, but I’ve found out once more how wonderful they are. I particularly love nonfiction podcasts, and especially memoirs read by the author. In addition, I read a number of truly excellent books this month. I think 2020 is probably one of my best reading years ever. Obviously the sheer number of books I’ve read accounts for that in part (I’m up to 101 as of writing!!) but I feel like there have just been so many absolutely fantastic books on this year’s reading list. I won’t do my end of year list until January because I’m usually reading right up until New Year’s Eve, but for now, here’s what I read in November:

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What I Read in October

Bad weather and a new lockdown meant October was another great reading month. There’s nothing better than curling up with a book when you have nothing else to do and the wind is howling outside. Here’s what was on my reading list this month:

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Comfort food, in media form

The last few weeks have been hard. I mean, obviously the last seven months have been hard, but the last few weeks have hit another downswing.

Cases here in Ireland are going exponentially back up, the government has thus far decided another full lockdown isn’t necessary despite the strong recommendations of the Emergency Health committee (citing mental health and unemployment as a reason despite having spent the last decade being criticised for underfunding mental health services, and the last few months claiming that unemployment support payments are too high), and with the weather changing to autumn (which in Ireland is aka winter lite aka endless rain), it’s hard to find things to get excited about after work when I know it’s going to be shit weather and I won’t even be able to go out for a walk and some fresh air.

When I start feeling like this, it’s nice to have some cosy, happy things to turn to. The media equivalent of comfort food, these are the things that have been making me feel good when everything else feels bad.

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What I read in September

September was a good reading month. Rainy evenings at home, a few long drives, and one last week of unemployment before I started a new job gave me ample opportunity to read some excellent books. I started the month finishing the last of the Women’s Prize winners (and a few 2020 shortlist titles) and finished it with a couple of powerful nonfiction reads. Here they are:

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The Women’s Prize for Fiction winners, ranked (10-1)

Last week I wrote about 14 of the 24 Women’s Prize for Fiction winners. Today the 25th winner is announced, I can’t wait! See HERE for details about the prize. And here is my top 10 ranking of previous winners.

Bonus: I’m not going to try to predict this year’s winner because I’ve only read three of the six shortlisted titles, but my favourite of the ones I’ve read is Dominicana by Angie Cruz (although Girl Women Other by Bernardine Evaristo and Weather by Jenny Offill were also both wonderful). I look forward to reading the other nominees soon.

Bonus #2: My favourite previously shortlisted nominees that didn’t win the big prize are Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Circe by Madeline Miller, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, and one of my favourite books of all time, The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. 

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