Namo Namaha friends. It’s almost the end of the year 2020, and as is the norm, yearly reviews are in order. It’s common enough to reflect and see how well we have been doing the entire year. The cleanse that we need before we embark on the new journey next year.
Note: If you would like to skip my yearly reading review given below and want to just check out my Top 5 reads of this year, right away, then please click here.
As I mentioned in my Top 5 Worst Reads of 2020 post. I have completed 85 books and counting (I might complete 2-3 more books by the end of 2020). Reading-wise I consider 2020 to be a solid year! As you can see from the breakdown of book ratings, below. I had a few great books, some surprises, a few duds, and many average reads.
Also, if you see the breakdown of the books I read by genre. I seem to have read all over the genre spectrum. I am a little bummed about not reading as many adult fantasies as I would have liked. But am more shocked at having read more classics & middle-grade than I imagined. 😮
Also, I seem to have kept up a steady streak of contemporary reading, a genre that I found tedious the last quarter of this year.
Now that we are done with a small review of my reading year. Let’s move on to the Top five of my favorite reads, shall we?
There’s no particular order to the display of my Top five books of this year, as I adored every single one of them for various reasons. Besides, each of them is from a different genre. It’s meant for different kinds of an audience and is suited for different phases of our lives. The books are too varied from each other to be compared and ranked.
Also, I have an honorable mention. Though I gave that book 4 ⭐s, it’s still one of the best books I read this year.
Top five favorites
1. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Cinder is the first book from a hugely popular YA Fantasy series called The Lunar Chronicles. This series is a Quartet, with each book being a retelling of a fairy tale.
Cinder is a retelling of, as you might have guessed, the Cinderella story.
This book was so unique and creative that I got pulled in right away into the world of Cyborgs, Moon dwellers, and Earthlings.
The whole series is so good that during the entire time I read it, I was raving about these books like a star-struck teenager. (This, from a lady who’s left behind her teenage years way too long ago 😉)
2. Malice by Keigo Higashino
Malice is my entry for the best book in the Mystery Thriller category. This book simply blew my mind. Originally a Japanese novel, Malice is a translated work. The author Keigo Higashino is one of my favorite mystery-thriller authors. A masterful storyteller, his books also give you a glimpse into the amazing Japanese culture that I so love.
I have given a detailed review of this book, so do check that out here.
3. Night by Elie Wiesel
Night is also a translated work. Originally written in Yiddish, it was later published as a French novel and then translated to English in 1960. A memoir of sorts, where the author Elie Wiesel writes about his experiences at the Auschwitz concentration camp. This is a holocaust survivor story told poignantly and is a classic World War II read.
Check out my detailed review of this book, here.
4. The Book of M by Peng Shepherd
This is a very under-rated but excellent Science Fiction novel about people losing their shadows and hence their memories. I initially picked up this book because there were references to India in it. But, once I started reading I couldn’t set it down. It was amazing and I couldn’t help but add it to my top reads of the year list. Read my raving review of this book, here.
5. Wonder by R.J. Palacio
I have no idea how I stumbled upon this book, but I thank the lord of the books for introducing me to this book. Wonder is a middle-grade novel about a boy named August who is born with a severe facial deformity and related disabilities. The story is a heart-warming, simple tale of how August navigates, in his unique and sweet way, in a world that’s vastly not very disabled-friendly. Read my review of this book, here.
The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss
I completed this book just last week, and I had to include this as an honorable mention here. This book was super fun and humorous to read. A story about girls who had horrible but famous scientist parents’ that experimented on them. This book is an example of the found family trope done well. These girls find themselves thrown together while they attempt to solve a mystery along with, wait for it, Sherlock Holmes and his loyal companion Watson.
You can even join me at my book club in discord or @ bookclubz, and buddy read some exciting books with me. I have atleast 21 books that I absolutely want to get to, next year. So let’s keep the bookish conversation going.
Till then, stay safe and blessed. Om Shanti. 🙏