Books of 2020

Due to health and other life complications, over the last several years I haven’t been able to read as much as I would have liked to. I was lucky to finish more than a few books in a year, so it’s been something of a surprise that in this year that has been hellish in so many ways, I was actually able to get in a lot of reading. Part of that was because my youngest reached a slightly more independent stage, so she doesn’t insist in being in my arms at all times. Another part of is that I just simply gave up on managing any of my responsibilities that didn’t absolutely require my attention right away. (There is a bathroom in our house that I’m pretty sure must be haunted by now because the neglect has made it a prime location for all things creepy.) 

I don’t think I’ve ever put together one of those lists of all the books I’ve read in a year. Probably because it would hardly have counted as a list. This year it actually seems like something worth doing. Even just as a reminder that reading voraciously is one of the few things from 2020 that I want to take with me into 2021. I’m not going to try to remember every book I read, though. Just the ones that really stuck with me. So, in roughly the order I read them, here goes:

The Living by Isaac Marion (final book in one of my favorite series)

Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell (Swoon)

The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow (I’ve been gifting this to everyone I know)

Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard (Best slow-burn, enemies to lovers story of the year?)

Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater (Oh, Ronan Lynch)

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman (Lovely)

A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow (Magical and poignant)

Roar by Cora Carmack (Haunted me for several days following)

Onyx and Ivory by Mindee Arnett (Very cool world building)

A Blade so Black by L.L. McKinney (Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh.)

The Unselected Journals of Emma M. Lion: Volume 3 by Beth Brower (I tell everyone these books are the perfect fall read.)

Merciful Crow by Margaret Owens (Got so into my mind I dreamt about it.)

I also got to be a reader for Volume 4 of Emma M. Lion and for a steampunk sci-fi by Kathy Cowley, both of which I loved. Kathy has The Secret Life of Miss Mary Bennet coming out in April 2021, so be on the lookout for that.

January Comfort Reads

Who didn’t need comfort in January? It’s been a rough month, and you can bet I turned to books for some respite. Here are the ones that were the most comforting to me:

crookedkingdomtheq

Crooked Kingdom: The sequel to Six of Crows (which I loved so much that I literally shed tears when it ended). This series is like a Dickens book, if you added magic and more action and adventure, and if, say, Oliver Twist were an intriguing, ruthless, criminal mastermind out to get revenge while simultaneously ensuring the safety of his ragtag group of friends. The characters are so vibrant and layered. Some of my favorite characters ever written, maybe. Read Six of Crows first, and see if it doesn’t give you a heartache when you reach the end. 

The Q: Aaaaaah. I just loved this book so much. So many moments that made me nearly squeal with happiness. In this story Quincy St. Claire, one of the best business minds in her country and someone who throws herself into her work so fully that it nearly shuts real life out, must learn how to be vulnerable and let other people into her heart in order to save the business that means so much to her. One of the most elegantly crafted romances (and just general character growth) I’ve read in a long time, and it’s not afraid to lay bare the foibles of its characters, though it does it with compassion and affection. 

Books of Imirillia

Finished the Ruby Prince a little over a month ago, and now I’m waiting for Wanderer’s Mark to come in the mail. Ruby Prince ended on a total cliff hanger, so I can’t wait to get back into the story again. How awesome is it that Beth Brower put them out in such quick succession so that we don’t have to wait years to have our curiosity satisfied? (The answer is, “Way awesome.”)