Hi there! It's time for my 2020 Book Wrap Up and I am so proud of my reading this year. Yes, quarantine obviously helped, but 121 books in a year is quite the achievement! I also completed a year-long reading journal for the first time ever, and it was so fascinating to go back and see what my top genres were.
With that discovery, I wanted to take the approach of wrapping up my top 5 loves from the 5 genres that I read the most this year. Those genres were: Historical Fiction, Romance, Books about Books, Thriller/Mystery, and Nonfiction. Historical fiction was the biggest one so we will start there.
The Grace Kelly Dress by Brenda Janowitz
Oh, how I loved The Grace Kelly Dress. I feel like it is a book I keep thinking about this year because I loved the blending of the three women's stories, the Grace Kelly tie-in, and the growth each woman experiences throughout the novel. It was the PERFECT book for me, and I am excited to read Janowitz's forth-coming novels, The Liz Taylor Ring and the Audrey Hepburn Estate in the coming months.
Other historical fiction books I loved: The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis, The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel, and Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan.
Read more thoughts in my full review:
The Bromance Bookclub Series by Lyssa Kay Adams
I promise this isn't cheating ;) The Bromance Book Club Series does technically reference 3 books and not 1, but I cannot talk about one without the others. This series made me have a greater love and appreciation for the romance genre as a whole. I'll be honest I never considered myself a "romance reader," but I am a romantic at heart so why I did not pick up the genre more in the past who knows!
Anyway, the books center around a group of Nashville elite men (professional team members, club owners, writers, singers, etc.) who create a book club for ROMANCE NOVELS in order to help them with their relationships. It is the sweetest and most fun book series I have ever read. Also, this is an open door romance series with some of the greatest character combinations I have ever read. The next book comes out this year about THE RUSSIAN and I cannot wait...AKA. I already have it preordered!
Other romance books I loved: The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren and Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Dear Fahrenheit 451 by Annie Spence
Books about Books
Dear Fahrenheit 451 spoke to my reader's soul on so many levels. It made me laugh, get nostalgic, cringe in agreement, and most importantly just smile. Annie Spence, a librarian by trade, used this book to write love letters and break-up letters to books in her library. I was absolutely cackling at her letter to Fifty Shades of Grey and smiling big with her letter to Fahrenheit 451. It is the perfect book to pick up when you just want something light especially if you love books about books.
Other Books about books I loved: I'd Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel and Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman.
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
And Then There Were None... why did it take me almost 20 years to read you!! Agatha Christie is a masterful mystery QUEEN. I mean I had no idea who the person was that committed the crime (I won't give it away), and it was completely unexpected. My fiancé urged me to read this last summer while I was dog-sitting for his family. Ironically, this was the weekend before he proposed. ;)
Basically, going with 10 people to a house on a ridge with water everywhere...something is bound to happen when that many people get together. I had to write down all characters and mark when they disappeared or died. Even then, I did not figure out who the culprit was until the end. Best puzzle ever!
Other thrillers/mysteries I enjoyed: Final Girls by Riley Sager, Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel and A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson.
Don't Overthink It by Anne Bogel
Don't Overthink It was the book we all needed in 2020, especially me. I have a tendency to overthink the smallest of things, and I have known that about myself for awhile. Anne breaks down some of those overthinking tendencies, why we do them and how we can overcome them. It was fitting for a year where there were so many things going on and my brain (as well as many other people's) went into overdrive.
I think my favorite part about this book was it helped me recognize when I am overthinking and how I can change my mindset. Oh, and just buy the dang flowers!
Other nonfiction books I loved: The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson, The Intimate Merton by Thomas Merton and Home Work by Julie Andrews Edwards.