Well… 2020 was some year, wasn’t it? In what was a year for the books, I turned to the books. With more free time than we could have ever predicted and a lot more time spent indoors, books became a solace. Even fantasy novels seemed to be a little less far-fetched than the dystopia we found ourselves in.
So in a book-worthy year, here are my favourite books of 2020.
Space Hopper – Helen Fisher
Faye loves her family but she keenly misses her mother who passed when she was eight years old. How much would you give up to spend time with a missed loved one? Space Hopper is a fresh take on the time travel trope – completely refreshing and like nothing I’ve ever read before.
I have a few words to describe this book succinctly. As someone who is incredibly close with their mum, I can imagine Faye’s desperation just to spend a few additional moments with her. I found Helen Fisher’s plot premise so utterly intriguing and compelling that I devoured this novel. Space Hopper teetered the line of whimsical nostalgia and ridiculous-ness but never ever crosses it.
I adore this book and recommend it to all.
Thank you to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for giving me a copy of an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review
The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton
Evelyn Hardcastle is dead. And every night she will die again until Aidan Bishop solves the murder. Waking up in a different body each day, he unravels a little bit more of the mystery.
I went into this book not knowing a whole lot about it, just that it was a ‘who dunnit’ murder mystery and I am so glad I went into it blind. Once the premise begins to unravel, you find yourself on a rollercoaster of twist and turns. I was tearing through this book desperate to know who the murderer was and I’m happy to say I didn’t manage to guess.
Despite being a book with numerous plots happening at once, I didn’t find it confusing. Plot points were solid and wrapped up with a neat little bow by the conclusion.
I would definitely recommend!
The Switch – Beth O’Leary
The highly anticipated second book from the talented Beth O’Leary, The Switch was a breath of fresh air in a bleak 2020.
Leena Cotton is highly driven, has a successful career in London but is majorly burnt out. When her frayed nerves almost cost her company an important client, her boss orders her to take a sabbatical. Her grandmother, Eileen lives in a sleepy Yorkshire town, is recently single and is wanting a second chance at love and life. So the solution is simple…they switch.
As Eileen discovers life in the big city and the excitement (and pitfalls) of online dating, Leena learns to slow down and begins to rediscover herself as she finally begins to process the pain of her sister’s death.
Beth O’Leary creates well-rounded, endearing characters that are entirely loveable. Even those that are a little cranky and rough around the edges. I loved the dynamics in The Switch, the shift in pace and tone depending on the setting and even between different characters. There were many uplifting and laugh out loud moments. In particular, I loved the passive aggression during the Hamleigh Parish meetings. We now all know how these meetings can go after seeing the absolute shit show of the infamous Handforth Parish zoom meeting. “You have no authority here, Jackie Weaver!!”
Reading The Switch was like being enveloped in a warm hug.
The Thursday Murder Club – Richard Osman
Who says retirement has to be boring? When a cunning and ruthless property developer is murdered a savvy set of pensioners are on the case.
There was a lot of hype upon the initial release of this book. I was skeptical, to be honest, and wondering whether a lot of the excitement was based around the celebrity author, Richard Osman rather than on the book’s merit. I was wrong.
The Thursday Murder Club was such a fun read – full of suspense, laughs and brilliant, vibrant characters. The plot was totally engaging and charming. I really enjoyed the premise of this book. It’s not often a novel’s protagonists are a bunch of septuagenarians, especially a motley crew so vivacious and full of life.Me and my friends always like to tease and say we can’t wait to be reeking havoc in a nursing home together, and this book really made me feel so happy to see that fun doesn’t stop at retirement.
Natives – Akala
As someone that has often watched videos of Akala speaking, I have always been impressed by how succinct he is whilst debating or on a panel, so when I saw that he had narrated his book Natives, I knew I wanted to read/listen it.
Unsurprisingly, he produces level-headed, succinct, watertight arguments whilst framing them against his own experiences and history as a whole. A shining example of what everyone should be like when dealing with ignorance or straight up prejudice – no mudslinging, no name calling, just facts.
I originally listened to the audiobook of Natives, narrated by Akala, but since then I have also purchased a physical copy so I can take notes.
I full heartedly believe that this book should be on every school curriculum. Not only could it potentially broaden viewpoints of those at an influential age but I found that there are plenty of reference points that I wasn’t familiar with which allowed for some personal research.
So these are my favourite books of 2020. Have you read any of them? In a tumultuous year, I enjoyed a varied reading selection and I hope to expand my reading more in 2021. What is your favourite book you read in 2020?
Until next time,