I always set myself a reading goal of 52 books for the year (so on average a book a week). Well, somehow (lockdown), I’ve hit that goal 5 months into 2021. Here are the top 10 fiction and top 5 nonfiction books I’ve read so far this year — what should I put on my to-read list for the rest of the year?
The Rain Heron by Robbie Arnott Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas The Yield by Tara June Winch Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu
Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe Born a Crime by Trevor Noah Can’t Even by Anne Helen Petersen Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner
Okay, so after all my big talk last month about how I might have to split up this month post’s into two because of all the books I was going to read, I actually had a pretty slow reading month. I got a just a wee small little bit obsessively hooked on a podcast (The Magnus Archives) and so instead of listening to audiobooks I found myself listening to the podcast, and instead of reading… I also found myself listening to the podcast. 90 episodes in means it was a quieter reading month than the last couple (and I still have half the podcast to go so May might have fewer than usual books in it as well). That said, I still got through a good few excellent books; read on for my reviews or check them all out on Goodreads.
Thanks to Libby and my local library (well, *cough*, the library where I used to live that has an amazing selection), last year I read a lot more brand new books than usual. However, I still picked up plenty of slightly older reads (usually because the hold lists weren’t quite as long). Following on from my Favourite Books of 2020 (Published in 2020), here are my favourites that were published before last year.
For all its many, many faults, 2020 was a great year for reading. I had plenty of time for it, meaning I got through a whopping 107 books. I rediscovered a love for audiobooks. And a glut of incredible new titles meant that I already had something exciting and fresh to read (and a great selection on my library’s Libby meant that there were always new ones coming in on my hold lists, so I read more newly-released titles this year than in some other years), along with my endless list of to-reads from years past.
In fact, I read so many great books this year that I found it really hard to narrow down my favourites. I’ve decided to split my list into two parts: books published in 2020, and books published earlier than 2020.
So whether you’re looking for something hot off the press or a modern classic, here are my picks for best of the year, starting with books newly released in 2020.
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:
2020 has been, I don’t need to tell anyone, a weird year. There have been days when moving from the bed to the couch has seemed a herculean feat, days when the effort of pouring a bowl of soup from a can has been similar to the work put in to make a five-course gourmet meal. There have also been days when things have gone swimmingly—exercise, cleaning, work, play, all sorts of productivity in a single 24-hour period, with minimal doomscrolling in between. It was in anticipatory hope of a strong of days like that which made me decide to sign up for NaNoWriMo once more.