We’re coming upon the end of 2020 and it’s time for my annual favourite reads of the year post!
After finishing my English degree, I was really burnt out in terms of reading. I had forgotten what reading for pleasure was and I just needed a break from having my nose stuck in a book. That led to me creating New Year’s Resolutions around reading goals. This year, my reading goal was 24 books, which I hit in October!
Now I’m feeling like I’ve got my reading mojo back (it helps to only read books you enjoy – check out that blog post here) and my reading goal for next year will probably have less to do with quantity and more to do with diversity.
And now, here’s the list: my favourite reads of 2020!
The Power of Kindness by Brian Goldman
In this work of non-fiction, Brian Goldman – a Canadian surgeon – asks the question why does he and other doctors start to show apathy towards their patients after practicing for years, which led to his pondering over the science of kindness. I thought this book would be a little more about Brian meeting up with gurus around the world, but in actuality, he gathers stories of Tim Horton’s employees, the homeless in Brazil, Japanese AI, care-givers for dementia patients, and more. This is a really great read for exploring not just kindness, but also different walks of life.
The Matchmaker’s List by Sonya Lalli
This book tells the story of an Indian-Canadian woman who feels pressured by her family and community to settle down and get married. Cue some terrible first dates, a heart-wrenching romance, and some fun characters, and you’ve got yourself a great read. I whipped through this book so fast because it was so entertaining.
Wordslut by Amanda Montell
Amanda Montell is a feminist linguist and in her book, she explores how the English language has historically attacked women, and how women have started to take the language back. She also examines how people speak and how that’s interpreted, the history of curse words, and some options for making our language a little more female-friendly. Amanda’s writing style is super saucy and so fun to read!
Into the Planet by Jill Heinerth
In this memoir, Canadian deep-sea diver Jill Heinerth tells the stories of her diving the longest and deepest underwater tunnel systems. She takes the reader on her trips to Mexico and Antarctica. She shares her experiences with triumph, love, and death. If you want to read about the life of a badass b****, this is the book for you!
Embrance Dragon Daughter by Rebecca K Sampson
Looking for a new series to read? Like supporting indie authors? This is the first in a fantasy series by Sampson. (It’s got dragons, but it’s not your typical medieval fantasy.) I loved how quickly I was immersed in the world she created and how much I was rooting for the protagonist. This was another read I went through very quickly because I enjoyed it so much.
Starfall by P.S. Malcolm
This is the fourth book in a series that jumps between the present and the very distant past. This book takes place just before the first in the series, which is a fun journey to go on as the reader. Even though I knew a lot about what was going to happen in the characters’ futures, I was hooked reading this book because of their complex and interlinked relationships (I’m a sucker for character-driven and emotional stories). Plus, this is another indie author you’d be supporting if you gave this series a read!
Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince
I struggled with putting this book on my list, since I don’t agree with the author’s stance on certain human rights issues (I think cancel culture isn’t exactly productive, but this is one cancelation I can get behind since the author has repeatedly stood by this stance). But one of my goals for 2020 was to re-read this series and I just fell in love with book six. It has become my new favourite (although, I bet book seven has a real shot at taking the title when I read it this month!) because it is just a little bit darker and a little bit more of a psychological exploration of the world’s biggest supervillain. Plus, I love it when a book makes me cry – you know if you know.
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
When the first sentence of a book includes bullets showering a room, you know you’re in for an adventure. American Dirt tells the story of Lydia and Luca, a mother and son who suddenly find themselves forced to leave their Mexican home in order to escape a drug lord and become migrants on their way to the United States. Besides being an intense adventure-filled novel, this book is written so artistically that I often found myself stopping just to re-read a beautiful sentence. Then remind yourself that even though this particular story is fiction, it’s all based on real-life events that real people go through every day and you’ll be reminded of your own good fortune.
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That’s it for my favourite reads of the year. If you’d like to check out my other lists, you can find them here.
What were your favourite reads? I would love to know if you have any recommendations for my 2021 reading list!
Do you have any recommendations for making my reading list a little more diverse, too? I’ve got a few places to start, but any suggestions are appreciated.
Enjoy the journey,