Books I’ve read, 2020

Though I did read these books last year, they are not part of the official list.

What could I possibly write about 2020 that hasn’t already been said? It was a strange year. Add having a baby to the mix, and last year was even further outside of my normal than expected.

The fact that I managed to finish 27 books by year’s end (two more than I planned) makes me happy. I often felt like I wasn’t making the most of my time at home, so exceeding my goal by any amount is a win. Plus, I read 12 of these after my daughter was born – a major accomplishment in any year.

My 2020 reading list:

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow (book club; library loan)
Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (book club; library loan)
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood (book club; library loan)
Expecting Better by Emily Oster
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton (book club)
The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin (book club)
Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? by Jena Pincott
The Butchering Art by Lindsey Fitzharris
The Awakening by Kate Chopin (book club)
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin (book club)
Me by Elton John (library loan)
When Books Went to War by Molly Guptill Manning
Beloved by Toni Morrison (book club)
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (book club; library loan)
The Martian by Andy Weir (library loan)
Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches by John Hodgeman (audio book)
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (book club)
The Grass is Singing by Doris Lessing (book club)
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (library loan)
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (book club)
The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes by Suzanne Collins (library loan)
Meet Molly: An American Girl by Valerie Tripp (reread)
Molly Learns a Lesson: A School Story by Valerie Tripp (reread)
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (book club; reread)
Cribsheet by Emily Oster
Molly’s Surprise: A Christmas Story by Valerie Tripp (reread)

Best books
My book club spent the year reading only women writers, which introduced or reacquainted me with some great writers. I particularly liked The Dispossessed, Beloved, and The Haunting of Hill House. I also read other great books by women on my own, with Persepolis and When Books Went to War being particular favorites.

Towards the end of the year I found myself diving back into my childhood via the American Girls podcast (shout out to Maura for putting me onto this!). When the series reached Molly, the doll I owned as a girl, I dug out my set of books so I could read along. This is a fun bit of nostalgia and the perfect comfort read when I’m feeling overwhelmed by everything happening in the world.

Worst books
The only book that really disappointed me in 2020 was The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes. I love The Hunger Games series, but this prequel was both baffling and irritating. What I did enjoy was the continued world building that Collins continued. However, the story itself was often boring and the ending too abrupt. Character motivations felt all over the place, and I don’t feel like all the dots quite connect between the young Snow presented here and the old man we meet in the HG trilogy.

Looking forward to in 2021
I’m not putting too many expectations on my reading this year. My plan is to read when I can and to not feel guilty about abandoning books that I’m not enjoying. I also hope to use my library more, whether that’s in person or via e-books. Audio books may also become a bigger part of my day, both at home and during my commute.

Please keep your recommendations coming, and connect with me on Goodreads. Happy reading!

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