This year was a difficult year for many reasons.
Normally I find comfort in reading, in the words and stories written by others. To me, reading and writing are like breathing to me. Which is why it was terrible that I had trouble losing myself in the written word. I just couldn’t concentrate enough to let a story take me away. There was too much on my mind, too many thoughts that wouldn’t quiet themselves, so that I could concentrate enough to read a book.
Thankfully, there were books that were able to cut through the fog and they were able to take me on journey’s that I needed to go on. Each of the books on this list healed me in some way and they were able to take me away from myself and the thoughts that were swirling around in my head. I normally read between sixty and seventy books in a year. I was only able to read fifty or so books this year and each book seemed to take an eternity.
These are the books that stood out from the crowd and were books that filled me with joy in 2020.
The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V. E. Schwab
I have rarely read such book that is both awe inspiring and moving. Have you ever read a book so wonderful that it consumed your every thought? That you were thinking of it even when you weren’t reading it? A book so good that you wished you could peel back the cover and live within the pages? The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue was like that for me. It just reached in and grabbed hold and didn’t let go. Even when I wasn’t reading the book, I was thinking of it and the story that it was weaving. It will be a favourite for years to come.
Home Body by Rupi Kaur
I finished this book over the course of one day. Throughout reading the poems contained in this collection, I had several aha moments and I actually felt seen. Rupi Kaur writes openly about abuse, feminism, self-love, personal acceptance. I just loved everything about this book and was moved many times while I was reading it. It felt like Kaur was reaching into m head an putting my thoughts down on paper. I love poetry, the ability to move someone and make them feel emotions with only a handful of words. I was moved again and again while reading Home Body. It will be a journey that I will take again and again with Rupi Kaur. I heart this book so much. It was like I was reading music instead of mere words.
Blossoms and Bones by Kim Krans
Kim Krans is the creator of The Wild Unknown Tarot turns to personal truths and the journey she went on. Blossoms and Bones is a memoir of loss, change and it’s a thing of beauty. It’s a hand drawn memoir told through words and pictures. I really took my time reading this and savoured every word, every illustration. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read and it left me changed. The emotions on the pages within this book are so real, so absolutely raw. I am a different person for reading it. It’s a thing of beauty and a completely moving story. After reading it, I thought about what really matters in my life and my journey to find myself that has taken me to so many different places. This book will stay with me for a long time and I think ot it often.
The Unwrapping of Theodora Quirke by Caroline Smailes
a wonderfully gorgeous book! It’s so absolutely perfect! I laughed, shed a tear and followed Theodora on her amazing journey. There is so much heart in The Unwrapping of Theodora Quirke and it filled me with hope. What more do you need than a fowl mouthed St. Nick who takes Theodora on a journey through her past in order to show her what she is really made of? Why not add magic, unexpected twists and turns, characters that are so real you could swear that you know them. I will be reading this book every year from now on to get myself into the holiday spirit!
Hell Bent by Marie Bilodeau
I love books that can make me laugh, especially during a pandemic. Hell Bent is the second book featuring Tira Misu and I just love her so much. In this book, she is on a journey to protect the traded, those like her with special abilities. This book has everything! Fighting, magic, shape shifters, great characters, fabulous world building. It is such a great read and it’s so damn funny! Tira is a fantastic protagonist with a quick mouth and a quick shot. It’s not necessary to read the first book in the series, but it does help you get to know Tira better. Read this book and prepare to have a fabulous time!
Heart Minded by Sarah Blondin
Sarah Blondin is one of my favourite meditation teachers on Insight Timer and I was keen to find out what she had to say in this book. It took me on a journey within myself and it left me changed. Each chapter helped me to look deeper into my relationship with my heart and with myself and almost all the chapters included a meditation that led me further on that path. It was a beautiful and incredible book that helped me examine my relationship with myself and healed me along the way. I’ve read this book three times already!
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
This was the prequel that I didn’t know I needed. When The Hunger Games Trilogy ended, I was left desperate for another novel by Suzanne Collins. I was surprised to hear that she was writing a prequel and about Coriolanus Snow. Was a prequel novel about the evillest person in The Hunger Games trilogy even necessary? Turns out that yes, it was. The whole novel was gripping and it was so good to be back in the world of the Games. Moreover, it was fascinating to see how the whole thing began and how it became the Games that we read about in the original trilogy. It was amazing to see Coriolanus become the person we knew him as and to watch as his character changed and developed. It was amazing and I loved every word!
Death by Association by Madona Skaff-Koren
This book is a thrilling whodunnit of the highest order. The pages flipped by quickly for me and I was desperate to figure out the mystery. Thankfully Skaff-Koren’s writing is so good that every guess I had about the who did what and why was wrong. I love when that happens! I love the minutiae that Skaff-Koren works into the novel. Every small detail is full of red herrings and the plot is full of twists and turns. Madona’s power is in her characters and the strength of her storytelling. Naya is a diverse and amazing character and she propels the story along as you are drawn along with her to discover everything right alongside her.
Zee by Su J. Sokol
Zee was an amazing novel all about the nature of gender and family. It made me examine my own notion of what makes up a family and what gender really is. Its poetic writing took me right into Zee’s world and I wanted to hug them tightly and let them know everything would be okay. I *heart* this book and will now look at the alphabet in a different way. I loved the books structure, the characters and the writing. Zee is an incredible character and one that will live on within my mind for a long time to come.
Scorpion Scheme by Melissa Yi
Scorpion Scheme was flat out incredible. Set against the sands of Egypt, Dr. Hope Sze and her fiancé Dr. John Tucker go to Egypt and hope to see the sights, but they are drawn into a fight for their lives and a mysterious treasure. I loved this book so much! I was drawn into Hope’s adventure and taken on a thrill ride that came to an explosive conclusion. This is a fantastic book and really made me take a deeper look into the idea of justice, what is right and what is wrong. I loved every minute and every page. It’s a thrilling whodunnit that had me stumped until the end. Egypt came alive in this book. What a privilege to read it!
I implore you to read any or all of the books on this list. They are truly amazing and incredible reads!