2020 has been a really great year of reading for me – after years of reading for educational purposes, I finally got back into the habit of reading for fun and I’ve really enjoyed it!
This year, I set a target on Goodreads to read 12 books, thinking it would take me a while to get back into the habit, but I surprised myself by finishing 42 books this year – a lot more than I thought!
As a result, I’d like to share my top 10 books for this year. Let me know in the comments if you’ve read them too!
Feel Better in 5 by Dr Rangan Chatterjee
This was the first book I read in 2020 and I’m so glad it was because it set me up well for the year ahead! Dr Chatterjee is most widely known for his podcast Feel Better Live More which I’ve been listening to for about a year now. He’s such an inspiring doctor – someone who really listens and looks at people’s health problems in a holistic manner, promoting wellbeing and mental health tips to fight illnesses. His book Feel Better in 5 is how you can change your life in only 15 minutes every day. Don’t believe it? Read it. It’s amazing!
Insomniac City by Bill Hayes
This is one of the most unique books I’ve read. Filled with snippets of diary entries and black and white photography from across New York, it was a very real account of what it was like for Bill in the final few years of his life with Oliver Sacks, who was suffering from cancer. I loved how this book was like a snapshot into lots of different people’s lives, and I really did feel consumed by the New York bubble he portrayed, feeling a little lost when I came out the other side.
Outline by Rachel Cusk
Again, such a beautifully unique book. I really can’t describe Cusk’s writing style, but it completely blew me away. There is a certain honesty and exposure of human life in the work she produces that delves deeper into what it is like to think and feel in the world. It is philosophical, like a stream of consciousness, and bursting with questions and reflections. I remember reading this one in a matter of days!
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Before anyone asks, don’t worry, I had read this book previously! It had been a few years since I studied it for A levels so during lockdown I dug it up, re-read it and it was just as wonderful the second time! I remember sitting in the blazing sun in the garden during the summer heatwave whilst reading it and reminiscing on all the quotes I would write endless essays about. It was nice to read it just for what it is, to soak it all up for my own purposes. It’s one of those all-consuming books, and the Baz Luhrmann film is a brilliant adaptation!
Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom
There are so many things to say about this wonderful book! Another lockdown read for me earlier this year, this really got me thinking about what it means to truly live. Beautiful, heart-breaking and all a true story, this is one of those books I will forever be recommending to everyone I know!
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
I started this book very much hoping it would live up to all the amazing reviews, and it certainly did! There is an internal conflict to the characters in this novel – you find yourself debating who to believe, who to root for, and who to ultimately side with, but there is no right or wrong. It’s a book full of honesty yet secrets, love yet misunderstandings. The relationship between mother and daughter is explored brilliantly, and, although hesitant at first, I ended up loving the TV adaptation of it too.
The Humans by Matt Haig
This was another re-read for me this year, because it’s one of my all-time favourite books! Funny, honest and so heart-warming, this book may have a super weird premise, but it’s ultimately a reflection on what it means to be human and how important the people in our lives really are to us. I enjoyed it just as much the second time around, so can confidently recommend this one!
The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom
Mitch Albom, author of Tuesdays with Morrie, makes a second appearance in this blog post! That’s because I’ve been on a bit of a spree collecting and reading his other books. Although Albom has a very simple writing style, I love the philosophical concepts to his books and they really touch upon the important aspects of life – what it means to be alive, and how we find meaning in the way we relate to and help others.
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
And Matt Haig makes a second appearance too, but I’m not surprised about this one! I’ve reviewed 7 books of his on my blog so far, and I never seem to stop! The Midnight Library is his most recent publication and it might even be his best yet. When Nora enters the Midnight Library, she can take out any book and go back to a life she would have had if she’d made a different decision. Reflecting on regrets and the search for a meaning to life, this book is truly amazing, and the overall message is something I really relate to.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
I don’t think I’ve ever had such a change of heart from the beginning to an end of a book. Eleanor is such an odd yet unique character and the more I read, the more I wanted to understand what it must be like to be her. This book was a wonderful reflection on what it means to be lonely, how important human connection is, and how to overcome past trauma – sometimes all we need is just someone to listen and stand by us, no matter what.
What’s your favourite book you’ve read in 2020? (or top 3, if you can’t decide!)
Let me know in the comments below!