2020 Books – First 60

2020 books

2020 is half way over. Can you believe it? Because of COVID, I have been doing more reading than usual, and am 10 books ahead of my goal. Today I finished my 60th book of the year. I really enjoy doing these book round ups, even when they’re super long and nobody else cares, so here we go – first 60 books of 2020.


FICTION

The Luster of Lost Things by Sophie Chen Keller – young boy’s journey through NYC looking for something special, meets various people along the way, 5/5

He realized that by showing a little kindness to the people he came across, he could make his life a little brighter and it would matter that he was there, everywhere he found himself. – The Luster of Lost Things, Sophie Chen Keller

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce – old man’s journey through Britain, lots of internal growth, 5/5

I’ve begun to think we sit far more than we’re supposed to. Why else would we have feet? – The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Rachel Joyce

Late Bloomers’ Club by Louise Miller – nice little read, touch predictable with some fun surprises, 5/5

The Round House by Louise Erdrich – mom recovering from trauma from the perspective of her son, heavy, had to take my time but it was worth it, 5/5

The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce – Harold Fry story from Queenie’s perspective, a little disappointing that it was all about unrequited love, 4/5

People always assume that just because something is true for them, it must be true for everyone else. It’s a very narrow way of looking at life. – The Love Song of Queenie Hennessy, Rachel Joyce

The Covenant by Beverly Lewis – Amish romance, enjoyable Amish fiction, 4/5

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan – four mothers and their daugthers, jump around stories, really enjoyable, 5/5

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – young boy on a magical journey/treasure hunt, 5/5

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George – man owns a barge bookshop, he’s nursing heartbreak and then goes on a journey and meets some new friends, 4/5

I like being alive, even if it’s occasionally a real struggle and fairly pointless in the grand scheme of things. – The Little Paris Bookshop, Nina George

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray – a couple is arrested and then we see how their daughters and family cope, 5/5

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri – stories about Indian-American individuals/families, Lahiri’s storytelling is beautiful, 5/5

The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald – a woman opens a bookshop, pretty boring, 2/5

The Girl in the Tree by Şebnem İşigüzel – teenager runs away from home to live in a tree, narrative jumps around from sentence to sentence, 3/5

If something drives you from yourself, cast it from your life. – The Girl in the Tree, Şebnem İşigüzel

Life by Lu Yao – small country man heads to the big city, there is some romance, anticlimatic end, 3/5

Women Talking by Miriam Toews – based on a true story, women in a Mennonite community were repeatedly raped in the night by various men and are trying to decide how to respond, 5/5

If we are created in God’s image it allows room for our souls, for us to have them and to be in service to them. The power that we have is to give in to the power of our souls. – Women Talking, Miriam Toews

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi – the story of a girl with multiple personalities, interesting, focused a lot on sex, 3/5

The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks – precious little love story, the “problem” didn’t seem like a problem to me, 3/5


FANTASY

Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver – friendly ghost story, super cute, 5/5

The sparrows jumped before they knew how to fly, and they learned to fly only because they had jumped. – Liesl & Po, Lauren Oliver

Blackbringer by Laini Taylor – faerie story (with crow friends), so many twists and turns and friends, the prince uses magic to knit, 5/5

Dreams are real. They’re seed and water and sun. They’re everything. – Blackbringer, Laini Taylor

The Ropemaker by Peter Dickinson – series of events with very little dialogue, emotion, or characterization; magic was often either too convenient or too convoluted, 2/5

Rule & Rise by Ellen Goodlett – (two book series) three very different sisters are thrown together, fantasy kingdom, magic, mystery, blackmail, romance, 5/5

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo – ghosts and secret societies, dark and exciting, 5/5

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone & the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling – this was honestly probably the 10th or 11th time I’ve read these, love them every time, 5/5

The trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them. – Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, J.K. Rowling

Realm of Dragons by Morgan Rice – magic, three very different sisters show the very different ways to live in this world, 4/5

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin – magical race is oppressed and used, intertwining storylines (surprise!), polyamory, 5/5

Daughters of Nri by Reni K. Amayo – sisters separated at birth grow up and discover secerts and magic, 4/5

Isn’t it wonderful? This world, this life, even in the midst of its horror, delivers you such beautiful gifts. – Daughters of Nri, Reni K. Amayo

The Power by Naomi Alderman – women have powers and men do not, a world where WOMEN are the powerful and MEN are the oppressed, interesting thought experiment, 5/5

Gender is a shell game. What is a man? Whatever a woman isn’t. What is a woman? Whatever a man is not. Tap on it and it’s hollow. Look under the shells: it’s not there. – The Power, Naomi Alderman


HISTORICAL FICTION

Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan – awesome story of the many adventures of Robert Louis Stevenson’s wife, 5/5

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris – different perspective of a concentration camp, tragic story with some hope, 4/5

The Price of Paradise by Susana López Rubio – very full love story, 5/5

The First Mrs. Rothschild by Sara Aharoni – historical retelling of the Rothschild business dealings, not much about the actual Mrs., 2/5

Dominicana by Angie Fruz – young woman moves from the Dominican Republic to New York with her new terrible husband, 5/5


CHILDREN & YOUNG ADULTS

Junie B. Jones and Her Big Fat Mouth & First Grader (At Last!) by Barbara Park – read alouds to my third grade classroom, super fun, 5/5

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera – young queer Latina moves across the country to work with her idol, her self-discovery helped me think critically about who I am as an ally and who I want to/should be, 5/5

If liking girls is a phase, so what? If it’s your whole life, who cares? You’re destined to evolve and understand yourself in ways you never imagined before. – Juliet Takes a Breath, Gabby Rivera

Every Day by David Levithan – spirit who wakes up in different bodies each day, teenage romance, 5/5

People use the devil as an alias for the things they fear. The cause and effect is backward. The devil doesn’t make anyone do anything. People just do things and blame the devil after. – Every Day, David Levithan

Swallowed by a Secret by Risa Nyman – young boy’s dad died and there’s more to the story than he’s been told, 2/5

If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson – young Jewish girl falls in love with young Black guy, precious romance, heartbreaking ending, 5/5


CRIME / THRILLER / HORROR

Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson – the author wrote what her ideal relationship would be, but there’s no emotion in it, surprise ending was not surprising, still enjoyable, 3/5

Penance by Kanae Minato – one girl in a group of young girls is assaulted and murdered, this follows the other girls as they grow up, 5/5

Thr3e by Ted Dekker – seminary student is being stalked, pretty good mystery, my rating went down because Dekker used the r-word repeatedly, 3/5

Hard Rain by Irma Venter – journalist meets a photographer with secrets, 5/5

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter – so many twists and turns, not for the squeamish, one sister went missing when they were teenagers, the other two are now adults and another teenage girl has gone missing, 5/5

Look for Me by Lisa Gardner – LG is my go-to for crime thrillers, four family members are found murdered in their home and the 16-year-old daughter is missing, 5/5

Alone by Lisa Gardner – since I’ve read a few Detective D.D. Warren books by Gardner and decided to go back to the beginning, I love that her mysteries have various parts and pieces, 5/5

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite – easy read, interesting perspective of serial murders, 5/5

Pet Sematary by Stephen King – saved all of the juicy stuff for the end, 4/5

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White – should have been called the rising of EF, 3/5

The Between by Tananarive Due – man is being haunted or is schizophrenic or has died and come back to life… very interesting and creepy, 5/5


NONFICTION

Runaway Amish Girl by Emma Gingerich – title says it all, well organized with several grammatical mistakes, 3/5

Well, That Escalated Quickly by Franchesca Ramsey – basically just instructions on how to be a decent person, (I listened to the audiobook) 5/5

Over the Top by Jonathan Van Ness – very full memoir with ups and downs and challenges and triumps, (I listened to the audiobook) 5/5

Untamed by Glennon Doyle – all about finding, knowing, and trusting yourself, 5/5

This is the most revolutionary thing a woman can do: the next precise thing, one thing at a time, without asking permission or offering explanation. This way of life is thrilling. – Untamed, Glennon Doyle

North of Normal by Cea Sunrise Person – author’s story of growing up in the wilderness, some hard/sad parts, 5/5

Dancing at the Pity Party by Tyler Feder – illustrated memoir about the death of the author’s mom, gorgeous, 5/5

Inspired by Rachel Held Evans – all about the bible and what it actually means for us, 5/5

Faithful engagement with Scripture isn’t about uncovering a singular, moralistic point to every text and then sticking to it. Rather, the very nature of the biblical text invites us to consider the possibilities. – Inspired, Rachel Held Evans

The Bible Tells Me So… by Peter Enns – specifics about what the bible actually communicates to us and what it means for us, 5/5

Respecting the Bible does not require us to endorse everything the Bible says about God or Israel’s past. The Bible won’t fall apart in the process. Neither will God. Neither should we. – The Bible Tells Me So, Peter Enns

Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad – thought-provoking information and journal questions, 4/5

You will have to learn to wean yourself off the addiction to instant gratification and instead develop a consciousness for doing what is right even if nobody ever thanks you for it. – Me and White Supremacy, Layla F. Saad

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