2020 – that’s a wrap!

20 5 Stars for 2020

I can honestly say that reading has saved my sanity during 2020.

It has provided an escape when for the months we couldn’t leave the house and a community when we were missing our friends and family.

I read some great, great books that have filled me hope and joy, that have made me laugh, that have made me cry and opened my eyes to world around me.

According to Goodreads, I have read 137 books.

This doesn’t include any of the books I have read with the Little Monster.

Despite smashing my reading target, I started the Popsugar Reading Challenge and only managed to officially complete 36 of the 50 prompts. I have books for most of the other prompts ready to read so hopefully I will tick a few more.of these off in 2021.

I started the year reading loads of Cosy Mysteries – some of which were absolutely brilliant. I didn’t continue the challenge all year because it turns out that you can have too much of a good thing – including books!

I’ve had a look back over the books I have read this year and picked out 20 books that I have loved this year. They are in no particular order but are all books I really enjoyed and gave 5 star review to on Goodreads.

20 5 Star Reads

from 2020

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones was a buddy read and I loved discussing the complex and compelling characters.

If you haven’t read a verse novel before then you definitely need to add Elizabeth Acevedo to your TBR pile Clap When You Land is fabulous.

The Shelf bybHelly Acton was an audiobook listen along and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Great characters and lots of empowering moments.

One of the most remarkable reads of 2020 was Unfollow by Megan Phelps- Roper. Her journey from growing up in Westboro Baptist Church to rejecting its beliefs is fascinating.

Finding Love in Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland was a lovely romantic and uplifting read in the deepest depths of Lockdown looking forward to the sequel which is published in Spring.

The book I have recommended the most this year is The Miseducation of Evie Epworth by Matson Taylor which is just delightful.

Something to Live For by Richard Roper was a book that made me laugh and cry. So sad and thought provoking but also hilarious and hopeful.

Bella Ellis Bronte Mysteries are bloody brilliant and The Diabolical Bones is such a great book. I absolutely love the idea that the Bronte sisters were amateur detective and their cases inspired their writing.

One of the best, twistiest thrillers I read this year was His and Hers by Alice Feeney. Did not see that ending coming.

I love historical fiction and Tsarina by Ellen Alpstein was such an immersive read of an extraordinary life.

The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré is a book that stayed with me long after I finished – can’t recommend it highly enough.

I was very late to The Flat Share party. But I’m glad I got to Beth O’Leary’s bestseller eventually. It was read in glorious sunshine in the garden which may have increased my enjoyment!

Really enjoyed The Guest List by Lucy Foley and the twist on the modern locked room mystery.

I love Sarah Crossan and Toffee was wonderful, poignant tale of an unlikely friendship in verse.

One of my favourite YA reads of the year was And the Stars were Burning Brightly by Danielle Jawando. It’s heartbreaking and wonderful.

A book I think everyone should read is The Extraordinary Hope of Dawn Brightside by Jessica Ryn. Exploring homelessness and mental illness the book shows what is possible if there is more hope and kindness in the world. Something we all need.

Juno Dawson is the Queen of gritty YA and Meat Market is a brilliant novel about the grima and glamour if the fashion industry.

I was so lucky to read an advanced copy of Daughters of Night by Laura Shepherd-Robinson. It’s an amazing novel so look out for it in 2021.

A Snowfall of Silver is a charming YA read by Laura Wood. And the cover is gorgeous.

And my final 5 star read is The Arbella Stuart Conspiracy by Alexandra Walsh. The final part of the Marquess House Triology this is Dan Brown meets Phillippa Gregory is a compelling and complex Tudor mystery with wode- reaching consequences. Loved it.

So that’s a wrap!

Looking forward to reading lots of great books in 2021. Have set myself the challenge to clear my TBR pile – this may be the unicorn of reading challenges but I’m going to give it ago.

I’m starting the year reading Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith which is the longest novel on my TBR pile and will tick off a Popsugar Reading Challenge prompt for 2021.

Thank you for reading, commenting and sharing.

Happy New Year!

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