Top Reads of 2020

[Collage made from cover photos on Amazon.com, as most of these were read through hoopla or library checkout.]

In last year’s Top Reads post, I said that I was bumping the goal up to 36 books for 2020. I made it with 3 hours to spare. I must admit that I checked at least as many books out of the library and returned them unread, due to a brief spell of being a library employee. I’d wander around shelving books, see something that looked good, use the library card barcode that I’d pasted on to my badge…and then realize I had far more books than time.

  1. Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane: I saw the movie many years ago, and remembered enjoying it, but very little about the plot. When I had too many books and needed to return some, I thought I’d just read a couple of pages of each and decide if I still wanted to read them after that. This was the first one I picked up, and didn’t put it down until the final page.
  2. Some Day by David Levithan: The original book, Every Day, was on my Top Reads list a couple of years ago and this one was quite possibly even better. It added depth to the strange premise that, in the first book, was primarily a teen love story.
  3. How to Make Friends With the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow: Another repeat author (from last year’s pick, Girl In Pieces), although this one is not a continuation of a series. I am very impressed with her treatment of teenage characters as being complex individuals.
  4. Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter: I have a confession…I can’t even remember much about the plot of this book. It’s fairly graphic, and I don’t use the 5-star rating lightly, but I’m having some significant memory issues this year. So in all likelihood I could think, “I want to read a good book” and go grab this one, with the knowledge that I loved it but the absence of knowing what’s about to happen.
  5. Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life by Gary John Bishop: I think this might be the only thing in the self-help category I read all year, and I picked it up as a joke, thinking my therapist would be amused by the title. I actually found it rather inspiring. Another case of not remembering the details, just that the overall concept was stop thinking so much (an unhelpful habit of mine).

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