2020 favourites

Hello everyone! Here is the second of my wrap-up posts, and the first of the superlatives: my 2020 favourites!

I read so many amazing books this year, so I have quite a few favourites. All these books got at least four stars, and most of them were five-star reads.

So, in no particular order because I’m really bad at that, here are my favourite books from this year!

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

This short story collection was one of my first reads of the year, and it has stuck with me all year. The stories are just expertly and perfectly written. They’re all so dark and interesting and compelling. Machado has been added to my list of auto-buy authors, and I’m looking forward to reading more from her.

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

I read this book expecting to enjoy it, but it blew me away. This book felt like it was written for me specifically. I loved everything about it: the characters, the plot, the groundhog day-esque element, the seven-year time jumps. It was just amazing, and I highly recommend it.

Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice

This dystopian also blew me away. It was so slow and ominous, and overall interesting. I read it in the middle of our first lockdown, and it was a really timely read. I was really impressed by Rice’s writing, and will definitely be looking for more.

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

I finally read Crooked Kingdom, and wow was it good. I loved it. I loved the story, I loved the heist, I loved that we got to see more of the characters and their backstories. I loved the ending except for that one thing. It was just so great, and exactly what I needed to read at the time.

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

I went into this book with relatively low expectations, and it flew past those expectations. I just loved this book a lot. The plot was so interesting and had so many things I enjoy in fantasy novels: a competition, an adventure, reluctant love interests, magic. It was so good, and I’m so excited to read the second one.

Check, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu

I finally read this graphic novel and it was amazing! It was everything I needed and was so cute and sweet and funny and made me so happy. If you’re looking for pure fluff, I highly recommend this one.

Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins

Same here. I mean, it’s a royal sapphic enemies to friends to lovers, boarding school roommates in Scotland. Literally what more could you want. It was so sweet and I had a ton of fun reading it.

Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe

If I haven’t talked enough about this book, here’s another reminder to read it. It’s one of the best nonfiction I’ve ever read, and it’s so interesting. I talked about it for weeks and bought it for my dad and brother for Christmas to convince them to read it.

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

I read this book on a bit of a whim this year, knowing that a ton of people loved Butler but not knowing much about this book. And I totally get the hype now. This book is so well-written and interesting, and Butler has such great ideas. I’m definitely planning on reading her backlist now.

She Would Be King by Wayétu Moore

I read this book knowing literally nothing about it except that I liked the title, and it quickly became one of my favourites ever. It’s so good. Everything about it is perfect, and I can’t believe it isn’t more hyped. If you haven’t yet, please read this book.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

This was another book that felt like it was written for me specifically, and I understand the hype. It was so well-written and interesting, and I loved every page of it. I also had a really emotional connection to it.

(!! sad story alert, TW: parent death !!)

My mom passed away at the end of March, but a few weeks before she passed away, we were talking about what happens when you die. She said she suspected it felt like waking up from a really realistic dream, and that kind of disorienting feeling you feel when you realize everything was a dream. I finished reading Station Eleven a month to the day after she died. Two characters are talking about how it felt when the other died, and he said “exactly like waking up from a dream”, which is the exact sentiment my mom had said. I don’t think she or the universe were trying to tell me anything, but it was a weird coincidence and I think it made me love this book that much more.

Honourable mentions: The Only Girl in the World by Maude Julien; Sabrina by Nick Drnaso; Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin; Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer; We Are Okay by Nina LaCour; The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang; and I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver

These are also books I gave 4.5 stars or 5 stars and that I loved, but aren’t necessarily favourites of the year. But I highly recommend all of them.

So those are my favourite books of 2020! Have you read any of these? What were your thoughts? What were some of your favourite books of 2020? Let me know!

Ally xx

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27 thoughts on “2020 favourites

  1. Ohh I loved a lot of these books too! Especially Crooked Kingdom and Spin The dawn! I am hoping to read Unravel the Dusk soon.
    I also really want to read Her Royal Highness and have heard such great things about it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a wonderful list! I also loved Station Eleven – the book was so layered and lovely, and the writing had such a wonderful rhythm to it. I’m glad to hear it brought you some comfort in a difficult time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved Middlegame also! And sadly, my experience with Spin the Dawn was basically the opposite of yours. I enjoyed reading it, but my expectations for the book were so high that the actual reading experience didn’t live up to them. I wish my expectations had been lower going in. Oh well.

    Liked by 1 person

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