Best Books I Read in 2020
This was a year where I thought I’d do a lot of reading. Once the pandemic hit, I lost some motivation. Thankfully, I quickly reminded myself that books make you feel less lonely. I want to give a shout out to books in general as one of my personal heroes this year. Couldn’t have done 2020 without them.
Every year, I make a GoodReads goal. I increase it by ten (sometimes five) every year. Most years I surpass my goal. This year I barely made it. Either way, I read a lot. Here are the best books I read in 2020. I want to say I finally got through a lot of my books on my TBR list but I also bought a ton of books and kept the pile going.
Best Books: Fiction
It was so hard to narrow this list down. I made a conscious effort to read more diversely and was happy to discover that the best books I read this year were written by Black women. Here are a few that I loved and recommend.
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
We read this amazing book in November as our Find A Lovely Book Club pick and loved how real and truthful it was. Whether you’re into relating to bad dating experiences or are in the middle of your own messy self-love journey, I will continue to always recommend this book. Check out our discussion here.
The Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
A beautiful work of art. I loved how it was organized. I couldn’t put it down. Each section felt like a scene. I felt as if I was going through the boxes myself. Luiselli did a really remarkable job bringing sound to life on the page. The family road trip element really moved the story forward and made you pause to think about every stop and train of thought. Beautifully written and planned out.
Best Books: Non-Fiction
This year’s non-fiction list was a combination of self-growth, memoir, and timely topics to include in my reading curriculum. One of my favorite audiobooks this year was Naturally Tan by Tan France. My curiosity peaked with COVID so I went back in time and learned history repeats itself with The Great Influenza by John M. Barry.
Forward by Abby Wambach
This captivated me, therefore I devoured it. It’s written so well! I loved the vulnerability and directness. There are also nuggets of wisdom. Wambach takes the labels that defined her throughout life and uses them to tell her story. The ups and downs come with the human ability to want to be better.
There are also chapters where she describes the moments right before a goal is made and I feel like I’m watching the match, hearing her as my sports commentator. I had to stop reading and look up that 2011 FIFA Woman’s World Cup goal on youtube. No joke—I cried.
The Diary of A Young Girl by Anne Frank
I have owned this book for more than half of my life. It has sat on my shelf patiently waiting for the right season. I added this as a letter in my first ever a-to-z challenge a few years ago. This was the second to last book I picked up. I lost track of time with this. Anne came alive in my mind. I related to her aspirations, anxieties, independence, and self-awareness so much. I now know what to reach for if I ever feel alone.
Best Books: YA/New Adult
I love reading YA/New Adult because I believe we are always coming of age. There were so many new YA books that came out this year, I have some still on my TBR shelf and a bunch more waiting for me to buy or go pick up at the library. This genre is expanding. It has always been the most inclusive I’ve ever read and I’ll always keep it in rotation, even when I’m old. Here are two that I highly recommend.
The Stars and the Blackness Between Them by Junauda Petrus
I really loved this book. It had everything from love, family and spirituality. It spoke truth and sprinkled nuggets of wisdom and Spirit throughout. I loved the poems and astrological organization of the book too. Beautiful read.
Looking For Alaska by John Green
I found my favorite John Green book. This one hit differently. Green’s voice really activated itself in random, yet thoughtful places. I really liked how he was able to take you away from the plot by capturing a feeling or metaphorical anecdote that connected the characters throughout. He leaves things unanswered so that you keep thinking about them. I really loved this one.