Best books of 2020 (published before 2020)

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.

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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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The Best Debuts I’ve read This Year

Every author has to start somewhere, but while some writers take a few books to find their stride, others manage to create incredible works straight out the gate. Or, perhaps, these authors haven’t even hit their peaks yet, and these debuts are that good but there’s something even more amazing to come. I can’t wait to find out. Here are five of the best debut novels I’ve read so far this year. 

Note: These are not all 2020 debuts, just my favourite first novels I’ve read so far in 2020.

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What I read in August

In August I did something I rarely do these days: I read a book I didn’t like. Between Goodreads, friends’ recommendations, and just having a very good sense of what I enjoy, I rarely start a book I’m not pretty certain I’m going to like. Which is good, because I hate to DNF (short for “Did Not Finish”) a book. I did finish this one, but I wish I hadn’t taken the time. Still, it was a great month for reading, with some quiet days and extra free time and a couple of long commutes and travel times meaning I read eight (!) books in August. And the others ranged from good to an absolutely incredible new favourite. Here they are:

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What I read in July

It’s time for my monthly what-I-read post! As always, you can follow me on Goodreads if you want my ongoing thoughts and reviews (sneak preview of next month’s blog: I’m about to finish a book that I’m giving a very poor review), but here’s my roundup of books I read in July. It was another good reading month with four books read, all of which I really enjoyed. I’ve just (as in, one second ago, scrolling through Lithub) found out that August is Women in Translation Month, so I’m going to make a goal to read at least one translated book by a female author (and ideally a female translator) in August—see below for my review of one I read in July!

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What I read in June

June was a great month for reading. Not only because I read quite a few books, but because I also discovered a new favourite book. Now, when I say “favourite” I don’t mean my number 1 favourite of all-time, because I don’t have one. I believe books are like friends, you don’t necessarily have a #1 best friend above all others (although to be fair, I happen to), but they’re more like a tier. Your favourite books can come to you at certain times in your life, and that doesn’t make them better or worse than the ones that come to you at other times. I wouldn’t consider the Harry Potter series the absolute best thing I’ve ever read, but I would still call them a favourite because they are special to me in a way no other books are. In conclusion, read Normal People by Sally Rooney.

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