The Best Books I read in 2020

The Best Books I read in 2020

I’ll spare you all my contribution to the noise about how terrible 2020 was. We get it, that sucked. I miss normal life too. 

One hugely positive thing about 2020 is that it was a good year of reading for me. Nothing like a cozy novel to make you feel in control when the world’s on fire, I guess. 

Despite growing and birthing a new baby this year to add to my little family, I was able to read 32 books. I think my goal for 2021 is going to be 40. Hopefully putting that in writing will keep me motivated. 

Today, I’m rounding up my favorite reads from this year. 

Fiction

Ask Again, Yes – Mary Beth Keane 

This is a stunning family drama that I still think about to this day, despite having read it last January. I fell in love with the characters and was glued to the storyline until the very last page.

The Silent Patient – Alex Michaelides 

This is the best thriller I’ve read. I read it in a weekend and then made everyone I know read it too so I had an excuse to talk about the ending.  

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman

I love a quirky narrator. This reminded me a lot of A Man Called Ove and The Rosie Project, both of which I loved too. This book is hilarious and deeply profound. 

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith

Apparently this is an American classic, but this was a blind spot for me as I only just discovered it this year! UGH I LOVED IT. It’s a story of a girl growing up in Brooklyn and was written a century ago, but I still found it relatable and lovely. 

Olive Kitteridge – Elizabeth Strout 

This book won the Pulitzer in 2009 and made me laugh and cry and everything in between. The book centers around an outspoken middle school teacher named Olive Kitteridge but has several separate narratives woven throughout. 

The Flatshare – Beth O’Leary 

CUTE CUTE CUTE. This “rom com” is a warm cup of coffee on a rainy day (although I guess I should say tea since it’s set in the UK). The author alternates points of view between a young man and woman who are sharing a flat but have never actually met in real life. 

Writers and Lovers – Lily King 

Okay, this was so, so good. It’s definitely a heavier read about grief and struggle but the writing truly took my breath away. 

The Woman in the Window – AJ Finn

Another captivating thriller. My blood pressure was off the charts from start to finish, and then I was up all night Googling the author’s laundry list of real-life scandals. 

Nonfiction

The Whole-Brain Child + No-Drama Discipline – Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson

I’m basically basing my entire parenting strategy off of these two books. The approach centers on how kids’ brains develop and process emotions as they grow. It then explains how we, as parents, can help mold them into grounded, self-aware adults. I learned SO much from both of these and will probably return back to them over the years. 

Genius Foods – Max Lugavere 

My whole family loves Max and refers to him in the same way we would a close friend. His Instagram and podcast are awesome resources about healthy eating and living. In Genius Foods, Max walks through the foods our brains and bodies need to perform and thrive. This is a great place to start for anyone looking to overhaul their eating habits but it’s not a “diet” book by any means. 

Atomic Habits – James Clear

This is one of the best nonfiction books I’ve read, and I can’t think of a better read to help kick off the new year. After reading this book, I felt both inspired and practically equipped to fold some new habits into my life. 

Last Year’s Roundup:

The Best Books I Read in 2019

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