It’s been a while since I listed out some favorite books of the year. My last post like this was in 2016. Egads! This would be an odd year to resurrect it, because 2020 was not a productive year of reading for me. According to Goodreads I have read an average of 62.33 books a year over the last 9 years. In 2020, my 10th year of keeping track, I only read 29, fewer than half of my usual rate. One would think that, by staying at home 95% of the time for 10 months straight, that one might read more, but there seemingly was much to do that wasn’t reading.
The last few summers I participated in Seattle Public Library’s Book Bingo which guaranteed at least 24 books read over the summer, but I skipped it this year. There was other pandemic activities to be had, such as knitting, bread baking, remote learning supervision, job searching, coding, and then puppy life. Puppy life is really something, right?
I read a lot of YA and middle grade books, and reread some favorites due to some of the pieces I wrote for ParentMap. So, my favorite reread is definitely Are You There God, It’s Me Marageret, and I already wrote about that.
Here are some of my favorite books from 2020. The list is shorter this year. See above paragraphs about how I didn’t do as much reading
Such a Fun Age, by Kiley Reid.
A young black woman finds herself in the center of controversy when she is accused of kidnapping a child she babysits for. An engaging and realistic look at how we view race, white privilege, and woke culture.
Clap When You Land, by Elizabeth Acevedo
Two teenage girls who have never met are met with devastation of a loved one after a plane from New York to the Dominican Republic crashes. Surprise twist is when they learn they share the same father.
Written in free verse, this novel does a beautiful job at describing the lives and challenges and the emotional upheaval for these two girls. Also, I wrote a little bit about it already, in an upcoming piece that I’ll link to when it’s live.
Big Summer, Jennifer Weiner
This was one of the few books I actually wrote a review for on Goodreads, so I think that meant I liked it! Weiner is known for her chick-lit hits, but for her last two novels, I feel like she’s made a stretch out of that zone and has gone exploring a bit. Big Summer starts one way that seems familiar and then takes a twist into mystery, which is refreshing coming from the author. I think the unexpectedness of it is what made it so enjoyable for me.
I will end this post with one observation, which is that there are a number of franchises/series I have been reading, some for the past 10 years, that published within their respective series in 2020 that left me less impressed than usual. I won’t give names. Okay, I will. Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files is slowly killing me. I am still trying to get through the final epic. I am not sure if it was me, or the books themselves. Normally, my faves, including Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs and Sarah Maclean knock them out of the park. I’m deciding if it was the mood I was in (like for all of 2020), or the books themselves. I’ll have to do some rereads in 2021 to make my final decisions. So, there’s that.
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