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My 2020 Book Tropes

Tropes - also known as book themes - are a completely fascinating topic in the world of bookworms. In classic literature, you find common tropes like the star-crossed lovers, coming of age story, or the reluctant hero.

2020 has been quite the reading year for me, and I know that is the same for many other readers throughout the world. With that, comes a lot of reading of different tropes and I have read a lot of the same ones for some reason. Here are a few I have noticed I keep picking up more and more this year.

Bookish Themes

Books about Books...oh how I love you. You have a book set in a library, centered around a bookshop or about a girl who get sucked into a book and lives in an alternative universe? Hand it over because I will be reading it.

In 2020, these bookish books have truly satisfied my love for books inside themselves:

  • The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis

  • The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

  • I'd Rather be Reading by Anne Bogel

  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

The Historical Heroine

The power of a woman who has historical significance is undoubtedly my favorite of all book tropes. In 2020, I have constantly drifted to this trope probably because it is my comfort read. 2020 has been a year, and these adventurous books make my brain happy.

If you love women who take history by the horns and make the most of their unique situations, these books are for you:

  • Eighty Days by Matthew Goodman

  • The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

  • A Well Behaved Woman by Therese Ann Fowler

  • The Kommondant's Girl by Pam Jenoff

  • The Winemaker's Wife by Kristin Harmel

Hate to Love

Girl meets boy, but loathes him. Boy likes Girl, but doesn't say and teases her constantly instead. A classic contemporary romance trope that always gets me in a great mood. A perfect mix of laughable, face palming myself thinking, "oh why did she say that," and steaminess...this trope is right on the money if you need something light-hearted.

Here are a few to get you started down this trope avenue:

  • Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

  • Things you Save in a Fire by Katherine Center

The Untold Stories of Wartime

Lots of historical fiction about untold secrets of other civil wars, atomic cities and underground resistance fighters are breaking the book surface this year. I am so here for it! When you get a book that tells you a different story of a genre you already love (for me historical fiction), you just can't get enough.

Here are a few I've loved this year and a hint to the war stories they revealed:

  • The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel: Jewish children's real names coded in a book with numbers

  • Lovely War by Julie Barry: Music and World War I

  • The Atomic City Girls by Janet Beard: the women who helped create the atomic bombs of WWII

  • The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys: The disapperance of babies during the Spanish Civil War of 1950s.

Find all these good books and more at your local indie bookstore! Find the nearest one to you on If you live in St. Louis, my personal favorite is The Novel Neighbor. Currently, they are hosting Novel November where they are hosting great book deals, giveaways and prizes. Be sure to visit their store or check them out online for more details!


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