It was the best of years; it was the worst of years.
I think we can all probably agree that this was the worst year in our memories for all the obvious and well-known reasons, but for me, it was also the best year in my memory and that is all down to the books that I read. I read 91 books this year, of which 41% received a five-star rating from me.
Now I'll be the first to admit that I may sometimes be too generous with my ratings. On the other hand, sometimes I take a dislike to a book and I may be hypercritical. So sue me!
Anyway, I say all that to explain that it has been extremely hard for me to narrow down a list of the best of the best of 2020. I've tried to limit my final list to books that were actually published this year or last year, even though that means I've left out a few terrific books. Here then, in the order that I read them, is a list of my favorite reads of 2020, with links provided should you want to look at my review.
Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anaparra
Weather by Jenny Offill
A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende
Run Me to Earth by Paul Yoon
The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich
Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler
Deacon King Kong by James McBride
Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo
Death in Her Hands by Ottessa Moshfegh
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi
Vesper Flights by Helen Macdonald
The Searcher by Tana French
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell
Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart
The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donaghue
A Children's Bible by Lydia Millet
Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke - My last read for 2020 which I haven't reviewed yet, but trust me when I do it will get 5 stars.
I am so grateful to all of these wonderful writers for taking me out of myself and showing me other worlds and other ways of being in a year when this world was too much with us. I hope that your reading year has been equally enjoyable and worthwhile and here's looking forward to an even better year for all of us on every level in 2021. Happy New Year!