2020 has been a strange and difficult year for all of us. But in amongst all of the stress and worry and fear, I found solace and comfort in something that has never let me down before. Books.
Reading has always been my go-to escape mechanism, and never has that been so important as it was over the past several months. In 2020, I managed to read or listen to 83 books and all of them gave me something different. In this post, I’m sharing my favorites in three categories: Fiction, Debuts & Audiobooks.
This was not the year we imagined debuting in, but I think that experience bonded all of us 2020 Debuts in a special way and I am so grateful to have connected with so many talented and wonderful authors. I read more debut novels this year than I ever have before and have many more waiting on my enormous TBR pile.
Here, in no particular order, are my favourite debut novels from 2020:
- The Secret French Recipes of Sophie Valroux by Samantha Vérant (review)
- The Butterfly Effect by Rachel Mans McKenny (review)
- Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes by Kathleen West (review)
- The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes by Elissa R. Sloan (review)
- Secret Lives of Mothers and Daughters by Anita Kushwaha (review)
- The Second Home by Christina Clancy
- How to Fail at Flirting by Denise Williams
- The Exit Strategy by Lainey Cameron (review)
- You and Me and Us by Alison Hammer
- The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner (review)
Special mention goes to every author that released their debut novels during a global pandemic. All of your books brought light and hope and happiness to people all around the world and we must celebrate that.
Many of my favourite authors released books this year and there was something so comforting about losing myself in them. Reading their words kept me grounded at a time where I felt like I had no control over anything. These were my favourite fiction reads from 2020:
- Recipe for a Perfect Wife by Karma Brown
- The Swap by Robyn Harding (review)
- What You Wish For by Katherine Center (review)
- Waiting for a Star to Fall by Kerry Clare (review)
- The Bright Side of Going Dark by Kelly Harms (review)
- You Can’t Catch Me by Catherine McKenzie (review)
- She Lied She Died by Carissa Ann Lynch (review)
- This Won’t End Well by Camille Pagán
- Side Trip by Kerry Lonsdale (review)
- Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing by Allison Winn Scotch (review)
As my debut novel came out in audio-only format, this is clearly a category near and dear to me. During this year of lockdowns and restrictions, it was nice to see so many people trying audiobooks for the first time and learning that they are great company for many activities. This is a list of my faves that accompanied me on runs, helped me solve countless jigsaw puzzles and made cooking three meals a day, every single day that much more bearable:
- A Terribly Private Club by Ashley Sands (review)
- Beach Read by Emily Henry
- Last Couple Standing by Matthew Norman
- No Bad Deed by Heather Chavez
- Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore
- Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
- They Never Learn by Layne Fargo
- The Lady Upstairs by Halley Sutton
PS – Audiobooks definitely count as reading. I still don’t get why that is even something that needs to be discussed or debated.
It’s important to note that since my preferred genres are contemporary women’s fiction and thrillers, all of my faves tend to be in those categories. In 2021, I am committed to expanding my reading horizons and would love to hear your recommendations in other genres.
Finally, I just want to say that I know just how much effort goes into bringing a book to market and I am so grateful that all of these authors persevered to get their words into the world so I (and others) could read them.
These books are proof that art and creativity can make even the hardest time a little easier to bear. ❤️