The 50 Books I Read in 2020

books on table

If you follow along on my Instagram account (and if you don’t this is a shameless plug for you to start!), it is no secret I love to read. Here are the 50 books I read in 2020 and what I thought about them. 

1. Where The Crawdads Sing– Read it.  I FINALLY read this book. I attempted to start it several times throughout the last year and never succeeded…until now. Apparently it just took a pandemic to get me interested. I am glad I read it. It was a good book and super descriptive. It is one of those books where you definitely have an idea in your head of what everything looks like.

2. Transcendent KingdomRead it. I got this book through Book of the Month Club and I have since seen it on many Must-Read lists. It was very well written. I definitely would recommend this book. It touches on some hard subjects including depression, opioid addiction, racism, religion, family dynamics and so much more. 

3. 28 SummersRead it. I really loved 98% of this book. It is one of those books that your emotions gets wrapped up in. I didn’t want it to end. It was a little bit of a tear jerker, but great romance book. If you like Nicholas Sparks books, definitely read this one.  

4. Beach ReadNot may favorite.  Let me start by saying that this book is on so many lists of books to read and lists of best romance and I just don’t get it. I was drawn out. It wasn’t anything special in my opinion. It wasn’t horrible, but I just didn’t get all the hype. I have a ton of other books I loved more. 

 

5. Just MercyMUST READ!  This should be required reading for the entire nation. If you saw the movie and didn’t read the book. READ THE BOOK. It has so much more detail and information than the movie. This REALLY made me think about my stance on the death penalty and prison reform. This examines racism in a way that everyone should have to read it. 

 

6. The Brave LearnerRead if you are or planning to homeschool. I read this when we made the decision to homeschool this year. Parts of it I was like “Heck yes!” and other parts I was like “Um heck no!”, but overall it was a great place to start when entertaining the idea of homeschooling. 

 

7. The Silent PatientRead it! This book is on tons of must-read lists because it is really good. It is suspenseful and you might not see it coming, but it was a great book. 

 

8. Behind Closed DoorsRead if you like intense thrillers. This book was a gripping thriller with some very dark intense topics. Behind Closed Doors came up as a recommenced book because I like The Silent Patient. This subject matter is much darker in my option than The Silent Patient, but it was a good book. It was a very well written thriller though and kept me gasping in suspense. 

 

9. The WeddingRead if you like Nicholas Sparks.  This is a Nicholas Sparks book that takes place after The Notebook and has a few of the same characters. It isn’t a typical Nicholas Sparks book though, so don’t let you scare that off from reading it. It is a good read for anyone, but especially those of us who has been with our spouses for 10+ years.

10. Women TalkingHard to read, but good. This book was a hard read for me because of the subject matter. It is about a group of Mennonite women and a decision they have to make after many of them have been raped. Again, tough subject matter. 

11. Little Fires Everywhere Good Read.  I felt like there was a lot of hype about this book being real good and they even made a Hulu show off of it. I read it book and it wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read. It was entertaining enough though. I tried watching the Hulu show after I read the book and only made it through half of the first episode because I wasn’t a fan of how it was done. #JustMyOpinion 

12. The Two Lives of Lydia BirdNot my favoriteOk, this one was about 200 pages too long for what the author accomplished. The first 3/4th of the book are very drawn out. It wasn’t horrible, but also wasn’t great and a little predictable in my opinion.

13. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn HugoRead this oneI really enjoyed this book. It was good. It had an ending that I don’t love, but really enjoyed the book, especially the first half of it. 

14. Evvie Drake Starts OverGreat easy read.  This book was a super easy read and enjoyable. I finished it in half a day. If you like Sophie Kinsella, you will like this book. It is a little romance and a tiny bit if drama. 

15. GhostedIf you are looking for a little suspense with a little romance. This book took me a little bit to get into. A friend read it and passed it on to me and insisted I read it. She told me it had an ending that I wouldn’t guess and she was 100% right. I really liked that it wasn’t predictable. 

16. The ProposalNot my favorite romance, but not horrible, just slow. This is totally different than the movie by the same name. It was an easy read, but not what I considered a page turner. This falls in the same category as Evvie drake Starts Over, but Evvie Drake is better (in my opinion).

17. American Dirt-  Read it. American Dirt has a lot of people talking about for good and bad reasons. It was well written and I was sitting on the edge of my seat the entire time. It was intense, but really well written.

18. The Wives-Read if you like suspense. This book was a whole lot of crazy. Just when you think you have everything all figured out they turn it around on you. Great suspense filled book. 

19. Then She Was Gone- Read it. This book was my first Lisa Jewell book I ever read and it was good. It was a page turner. I have since read several others and realized she writes a lot of her books the same way. This was definitely one of my favorite’s of hers. 

20. One Day In December- Read it. I read The Two Lives of Lydia Bird before I read this one and they are both by the same author. I definitely liked this one way more than The Two Lives of Lydia Bird. This is a cute love story. 

21. Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It- Skip it. I wanted to love this, but it just wasn’t there. These are all 2-3 page essays of people who read Eat Pray Love and it changed their life in some way. Some left their spouses, some moved to a foreign place and some didn’t change must, but just loved the book. I wanted it to be something more than what it was I guess 2-3 pages isn’t enough to get invested in each person. 

22. Big Lies In A Small Town- Read it. I enjoyed this one. It was a great story within a story and kept me turning the pages. It was a little suspense a mild romance and it was an easy read. 

23. The Devil In The White City- Interesting read. This one was really intense and not a super easy read, but really interesting. I didn’t know much of anything about the World’s Fair in Chicago 1893. This book follows the building of the World’s Fair and also that of a serial killer that lived in the shadows of it. I found the history part of it really interesting. It was very thorough and in depth. 

24. Sorry Not Sorry- Meh. Not my favorite. I know I read this book, but as I was typing this I couldn’t for the life of me pull up from memory anything it was about. 😂 I Googled the book to to read the synopsis to jog my memory…still nothing. 🤦🏻‍♀️ So I physically went over to my bookshelf, read bits and pieces of the end and then I remembered. That should probably tell you something about the book. It wasn’t bad, just not my favorite. It was an easy read. If you like Sophie Kinsella books, this is similar. 

25. When We Believed In Mermaids

Read it. When We Believed in Mermaids was a really good book. I also grew up in the Santa Cruz area so while the actually restaurant wasn’t real, the areas around it and the earthquake was all very real and it brought me back memories. The content was a little hard, but so well written. 

26. Untamed- Depends. Ok, I like Glennon Doyle. I liked Love Warrior, but after that, each book was a new epiphany of hers and contradicted her previous books. This one is no different. If you are a book fan I know a lot of people say this is their favorite book. If you are on the fence then skip it because it might just frustrate you. 

27. Daisy and the SixRead it. If you ever wanted to be in a 70’s rock bank, here is your chance. This book is really well done and I really loved it. The book is written as interviews, which makes it really interesting. It is the same author as The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, which I also loved. 

 

28. The Unraveling of Cassidy HolmesRead it. This was another Book of the Month Club book I read. This book reminded me a lot of Daisy and the Six. I liked them both. Cassidy Holmes was really enjoyable to me because of the time period it took place in too. It was my high school years. It again follows a band, but this time it was a pop band jumping from modern days back to their rise to stardom days. 

 

29. The Gift of Love Cheesy romance, but not a great one. Skip it. This was a Target shelf impulse buy. The cover looked like a Christmas Hallmark Movie, but it wasn’t nearly as good. I’ve read worse, but this isn’t winning any literary awards anytime soon. It had two books in one. The first story was oddly religious and the second story wasn’t at all. That was weird to me.

30. The Family UpstairsRead it. This is another book from the author Lisa Jewell, who also wrote Then She Was Gone. If you liked that book, definitely read The Family Upstairs. It was another suspenseful book that will shock you a couple times. 

31. This Time Next YearRead it. This book was another on of my Book of the Month Club books. It is a cute romance and I liked the writers style of writing. It makes you wonder if your path ever crossed with anyone who you found later on in life.

32. The ReturnSkip it. I hate to say it, because I love a good cry from a Nicholas Sparks book, but I didn’t love it. I didn’t cry. This was his newest book that just came out in September and it left me a little disappointed. 

33. In A Holidaze- Maybe yes, maybe no. I liked this one way better than The Return, but I felt like the story was a little bit of an after thought. It was entertaining enough though. It was a December Book of the Month Club book pick, which is why I read it. 

34. The Girl in the Mirror- Read it!  This book was a really good suspenseful thriller. I didn’t see many parts of it coming. I was a page turner for sure.  

35. Things You Save in a FireRead it. This was the first book I read by author Katherine Center. I like her style of writing. There is something heart warming about it, even when circumstances are sad. I cried 3 times in this book, both happiness and sadness and really enjoyed it. 

  

36. What You Wish ForWorth a read. Same author as Things You Save in a Fire, but I didn’t love it as much. It was an ok read though. If you like the author then it is worth it. It does bring up a great message about choosing joy. 

37. I Owe You OneRead if you like Sophie Kinsella. If you were a fan of the same authors Confessions of a Shopaholic series, then read this one too. It definitely sticks to Sophie Kinsella’s formula of a heroine who is kind of a hot mess and needs to put on her big girl panties and deal with life. Not my favorite of hers, but wasn’t horrible. 

38. I Found YouNot Lisa Jewell’s best, but worth a read. Same author again as Then She Was Gone and The Family Upstairs, but not quite as good. I felt like this one was a little to thrown together compared to her others, but it wasn’t bad. If you are a fan of the author it’s worth a read. If this is your first experience with Lisa Jewell though read one of her others first.  

39. The Boyfriend ProjectDidn’t love it. I really wanted to love this one. It was a Book of the Month Club pick, but it took so damn long to get going that it was over by the time it finally started…if that makes any sense. It wasn’t a page turner. 

40. Beauchamp HallSkip it 😂. This was my first (and quite possibly my last) Danielle Steel book. I feel like she took so long to write the first 3/4th of the book that she got bored and just need it. I wonder if this is what all her other books are like. 🤔  

41. A Stranger in the HouseRead it. Great suspenseful thriller. I had no idea what was going to happen, but it was a good read. If you liked the Silent Patient, give this one a read.  

42. The Other WomanWorth a read. This one had a twist that you might not see coming at first. It was a decent enough thriller and an easy read.  

43. Sex and VanityWorth a read. This is the same author as the Crazy Rich Asians series, which I loved. This one was ok, but not nearly as good as those. I didn’t feel like it was as well thought out and was a little all over the place, but it did make me want to plan a trip to Capri.

44. That Month in TuscanyMaybe read, maybe not. This was one of those books that was ALWAYS popping up as a sponsored ad in my Amazon book searches, so I eventually just gave in and bought it and read it. I’ve read worse, but it was entertaining enough. I also loved being back in Italy…even though it wasn’t in real life. 🤷🏻‍♀️

45. The Summer HouseIf a fan of cheesy romance this is worth a read. A friend sent me this when my husband was in the hospital for open heart surgery. It was exactly what I needed, an easy read romance that was the perfect amount of cheesy without being over the top.  

46. The Girl He Used to KnowWorth a read. It wasn’t my favorite, but it was different than other books in this genre. It touches on romance with someone who is on the autism spectrum.  

47. The Unhoneymooners Read it. This was a good romance that was also a little comedic. I enjoyed it more than I even thought I would. I really enjoyed the writing. She also wrote In A Holidaze, but I recommend The Unhoneymooners more. 

 

48. Meet CuteRead it. This was an easy read and a fun romance novel. It was a little cheesy, but entertaining enough. You find yourself really rooting for them. 

 

 
49. The Playground- Worth a read it. It was a decent suspense, but in a different way. It was a twisted circle or friendship and parenting and relationships and so much more. Parts were a little shocking, but worth a read. 

50. The Rescue- Typical Nicholas Sparks, but not his best. It followed the normal Nicholas Sparks plot, but it wasn’t my favorite of his books. I liked it better than his newest book, The Return, though. 

What’s up next? 

Here is what is currently on my nightstand:

Leave the World Behind

The Friend Zone  

The Wife Upstairs 

Nine Perfect Strangers

 

The Hate U Give  

The Kitchen House

 

Where the Forest Meets the Stars  

If you have a favorite book, leave it as a comment below! I would love to add to my reading list. I’m setting a goal of reading 100 books in 2021. 

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Open heart surgery during a global pandemic…

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