2020 ended up being an interesting reading year for me. I have read ninety-six books so far and will probably finish one or two more before the end of the year. When it comes to the number of books that I read, I did great, but my list included way more fiction than I normally read.
There is nothing wrong with fiction, but I usually read mainly nonfiction. I love to read memoirs, biographies, and books about history, but in 2020, those are not the books that felt like picking up.
2020 was not a normal year, so I guess it should not be a surprise that my reading was not normal either.
I had trouble coming up with a top ten booklist for 2020 or even a favorites list. Instead, I decided to share twenty books I read in 2020.
As I looked over my list of books for the year, it was hard to choose, but I did finally find twenty that I read in 2020 that stood out.
They are the ones that I am glad that I read. They are the ones that I can’t stop thinking and talking about.
I have convinced others in my family to share what books they read in 2020. Grace will be sharing a list next week. My husband and oldest daughter have also agreed to guest post sharing a list of twenty books they read in 2020. We will be sharing all of those lists next week!
Twenty Books I Read In 2020
The Day The World Came To Town is a book about 9/11 but also about so much more. On September 11, when the U.S. closed its airspace, thirty-eight jetliners were forced to land in Gander, Newfoundland. Gander was a small town of around ten thousand people, and in less than twenty-four hours, it almost doubled in size. This was a great read!
This book is one that I can’t stop thinking about. I kept telling my daughter that it was so good that I didn’t want to put it down, but at the same time, it was so sad that I wasn’t sure I could keep reading it. Before We Were Yours is based on the real-life story of the Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage
Before and After is the real-life story behind Before We Were Yours. I am so glad I read both these books this year. They make for a great book pairing.
The Tattooist Of Auschwitz has been in my TBR pile for a while. A friend read it and really liked it, so I bought it over a year ago. I picked it up and read it in two days. I loved it! I am picky when it comes to fiction. But this is based on a true story, and it reads like a true story.
The Fountains of Silence shares a part of history that I didn’t know anything about. I am pretty sure I am not alone on that. I don’t think a lot of people know about this time period in Spain. I loved how the author wove the characters’ lives together. She took characters from totally different backgrounds and classes and made them work in a believable way. One of the reasons that I struggle with historical fiction is that so much of it seems unbelievable. This book isn’t that way. This book reads like a real story. What the author does with the characters in this book, feels real.
The book The Blue Castle was written by L.M. Montgomery for adults, not kids. It is considered historical fiction or historical romance. It is also the only L.M. Montgomery book set entirely outside of Prince Edward Island. Grace loves this book and has tried to get me to read it for a long time. I finally read it and loved it.
I have heard 84, Charing Cross Road described as a love story, and in a way it is, but it isn’t so much a love story between people. This book is more of a love story and friendship of people who love books. And not just any books. This is a love story of people who cherish old quality rare books. I loved this book!
The Jane Austen Society was just the type of reading that I needed for summer 2020. I needed a cozy fun read, and this book was just that.
Lisa Wingate is quickly becoming one of my favorite fiction writers, and The Prayer Box is now one of my favorite books of hers.
I have read several books by Katherine Reay, and The Printed Letter Bookshop is now one of my favorites. The book is about a bookshop in a small town in Illinois. It is about love, friendship, second chances, and forgiveness. If you like books by Katherine Reay or books about books, this is a great read.
The Splendid and The Vile by Erik Larson was an example of the right book at the right time. I am sure I would have enjoyed this book no matter when I read it, but reading it, in the spring of 2020 with all the crazy stuff going on, made me appreciate this book even more. Reading about other people’s difficult times is encouraging to me because it reminds me that we can do this. Others have overcome much worse, and we can overcome this.
I have lived in Oklahoma for twenty-six years, and for four of those years, I lived in the Oklahoma City area. I thought I knew a lot about Oklahoma, but I learned so much by reading Boom Town by Sam Anderson. This book covers the history of Oklahoma City, but in doing that, it covers a lot of Oklahoma history. Same Anderson made the history of Oklahoma City fun and interesting. Boom Town was not dry or boring. This was a fun nonfiction read.
Ruth, A Portrait: The Story of Ruth Graham Bell is a book I picked up to read because I do not know a lot about Ruth and Billy Graham besides the basics that most people know. A few years ago, I read a book about Billy Graham and have been wanting to read something about Ruth Graham.
I loved Canyon Dreams. I am not a huge sports fan, but many in my family are football and basketball fans. What I loved about this book is that it shared a story that very few people know about. If you love nonfiction, I highly recommend this one.
The Book of Lost Names is the first book by Kristin Harmel that I have read and I can’t wait to read more by her. I loved this book. This is a story about WWII that I had no idea about. The characters and story drew me in. I finished this book in just a couple of days because I could not put it down. If I would have had a bigger block of time, I would have finished it in one sitting.
Dark Clouds Deep Mercy is a book about the grace of lament. This book was recommended in a sermon I listened to, and I knew it was a book that I wanted to read. This is not an easy Christian read, but I think it is an important one.
I read The Matriarch for my nonfiction November challenge. One of the reasons that I enjoyed this was that it was a reminder that not much has changed in politics. We think they have, but they haven’t. Politics have always been fairly nasty. Yes, social media and 24-hour news have made the problems more visible, but politics have always been about the same.
I bought Adorning the Dark for my daughter last year, and I finally picked it up to read. To me, this book was part autobiography and part tips for creative people. But it was also so much more. I really enjoyed this one. It would make a great gift for anyone who loves to write or is creative.
I decided to put Three Sisters, Three Queens on my list because it was a book that made me think. It is the first book by Philippa Gregory that I have read. I wanted to love this book. I have heard great things about it. Readers that love historical fiction love it. But I didn’t. However, it was a book that I couldn’t stop thinking about so I am glad that I read it.
I almost didn’t put The Creaking On the Stairs on my list. It was one of the most difficult memoirs that I have ever read, but it was also one of the best. This book shares a story that is incredibly heartbreaking and honest, but it also offers hope. Hope and the power of love and forgiveness. This book is a Christian book and is written from that perspective. This book isn’t for everyone, but it is a powerful story that I think some people may need to hear.