2020: A Year in Books

Previously: January TBR|Coming Soon: January Wrap-Up

2020 was a rough year in a lot of ways but it was an excellent year for books. I read 172 books, which is the most amount of books I have ever read in a single year. Not only did I read a great number of books, I also read a number of great books. 30 of these were 5-star books, and my average rating was 3.6.

Today I want to tell you about my favourite books of 2020. The way I do this is by picking ym favourite book for every month. The only caveat is that it has to be a book I read for the first time in 2020.

Before we get to the months proper, here are a couple of honourable mentions…

The Lost War by Justin Lee Anderson|A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Bridgid Kemmerer|Conventionally Yours by Annabeth Albert|Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

And now, onto the rest of the year…

January: Lady Chatterly’s Lover 

February: North and South 

North and South is an 1854 novel that follows Margaret as her father leaves his role as a clergyman and moves the family from a charming southern village to the industrial north. I picked it up as part of my #ClassicsCommunity reading challenge since I’d watched and really enjoyed the BBC adaptation. Little did I know that this book would quickly become a favourite. Gaskell is adept and handling the romance between Margaret and Mr Thronton, a mill-owner, with buckets of angst. The result feels surprisingly modern, especially when compared to other romances written during the same time. What was also very unusual, at least in my experience was the changes in point of view, something which I really love in my books. Overall I don’t think I could have enjoyed this any more.

March: The Most Fun We Ever Had

April: The Wrath and the Dawn

May: Red Hood, Vol.1: Dark Trinity

June: The Last Wish

July: The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires

Review should be posted 20th of Feb.

August: Bringing Down the Duke

Full Review (to come)

September: The Devil and the Dark Water 

October: The Thursday Murder Club

Richard Osman is an English TV personality, and The Thursday Murder Club is his debut novel. This cosy murder mystery follows a murder connected to a retirement community and catches the interest of four of the residents, who call themselves the Thursday Murder Club. I am always suspicious of ‘celebrity’ authors and, as this is a genre I particularly enjoy, I went into this book with a critical eye. It didn’t take long for Osman to completely seduce me with his lovely prose, perceptive humour, and twisty mystery. I am utterly in awe of just how brilliantly charming this book is. You could tell that the author is a remarkably clever man, but at the same time, it did not feel as though he were trying to show off or leave the reader behind. I listened to the audiobook and feel that I must mention Leslie Manville does a brilliant job narrating, so much so that I listened to all twelve and a half house of it in three days. Although I listened to it through the library I am so utterly in love that I know I will have to get my hands on my own copy soon.

November : Blood Trial 

Do you ever read a book in such a frenzy that when you get to that final page and close this book your mind is spinning? Blood Trial is that book for me. I picked this book up without knowing a single thing about it because it was free and looked like it would involve romance and vampires. My assumption was correct as this is the first book in an urban fantasy romance series that follows Basi, determined to make it without her rich family’s help, but who stumbles across a society of vampires games with the city. I refuse to go into detail because the more I could say the more ridiculous it would sound. It was extremely ridiculous, perhaps the most ridiculous vampires I have ever read, but for some reason, I just could not put it down. The vampires are able to compel humans, and I feel as though I need to call foul because I have been compelled. Basi was so annoying that by page 11 I was ready to put the book down, but then the plot started happening, and the next thing I knew I’d finished it. Upon finishing it I wasn’t relieved to be able to shelve it but instead, I find myself itching to read more. Have I lost my mind? Maybe. Do I care? I don’t think so! Blood Trial is a little bit insane and had me rolling my eyes a lot but I can’t tell you that I didn’t enjoy it. I am not entirely sure what I just read, but I do know that I am obsessed with it. Maybe it was the vampire, or the blood-drinking, or the hot guys, or alpha-male vampire prince that did it for me. For all, I know it could be the thrill of realty. Long story short I could not put this book down and there is no better review than that.

December: The Pale Dreamer 

The Pale Dreamer is a prequel short story to Samantha Shannon’s genre-defying Bone Season series. Taking place in 2059, in a Victorian-esque London, where clairvoyance has been outlawed by the government. Under threat for simply existing Paige joins a crime gang, run by the charismatic, Jaxon Hall, and, in this story is hunting a murderous poltergeist. This is a series that is very dear to me but my first time reading this prequel. I absolutely adored it, and think that it is a great way to try the series without committing to the first book. Samantha Shannon achieves a lot in such a short amount of pages, from establishing the world, to turning this version of London into a living and breathing place, to introducing the characters. This is a masterclass on how to deliver a novella. It had an overarching plot, the hunt for the poltergeist, which gave us moments of action, but this was well balanced enough that there were plenty of quieter character-building moments. It works brilliantly both as an introduction to the series, and as an addition to the series. As someone who isn’t usually a fan of novellas or short story additions to a series, this really impressed me, and I feel utterly immersed in this world once again.

Coming Soon: January Wrap Up

3 thoughts on “2020: A Year in Books

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