As I’m sure is true of many others, I read more in 2020 than ever before. Here is a little snippet into what I read this year and some of my favorites of 2020.
- Books Read: 90
- Pages Read: 20, 508
- Average Book Length: 327
Favorite Reads of 2020
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
- Release Date: 6/13/17
- Publisher’s Summary: Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. When she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career. Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.
- Why I recommend it: I immediately fell in love with Evelyn Hugo, and I was enthralled by her story. I needed to know what happened and why Evelyn chose Monique to be the one to tell her story.
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
- Release Date: 12/31/19
- Publisher’s Summary: In the midst of a family crisis one late evening, white blogger Alix Chamberlain calls her African American babysitter, Emira, asking her to take toddler Briar to the local market for distraction. There, the security guard accuses Emira of kidnapping Briar, and Alix’s efforts to right the situation turn out to be good intentions selfishly mismanaged.
- Why I Recommend It: This story addresses the important issues of racism and implicit bias. It was entertaining and also left me thinking.
You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
- Release Date: 6/2/20
- Publisher’s Summary: Liz Lighty has always believed she’s too black, too poor, too awkward to shine in her small, rich, prom-obsessed midwestern town. But it’s okay — Liz has a plan that will get her out of Campbell, Indiana, forever: attend the uber-elite Pennington College, play in their world-famous orchestra, and become a doctor. But when the financial aid she was counting on unexpectedly falls through, Liz’s plans come crashing down . . . until she’s reminded of her school’s scholarship for prom king and queen. There’s nothing Liz wants to do less than endure a gauntlet of social media trolls, catty competitors, and humiliating public events, but despite her devastating fear of the spotlight she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get to Pennington. The only thing that makes it halfway bearable is the new girl in school, Mack. She’s smart, funny, and just as much of an outsider as Liz. But Mack is also in the running for queen. Will falling for the competition keep Liz from her dreams . . . or make them come true?
- Why I Recommend It: Liz is a funny and passionate main character, and I couldn’t help but root for her. This was a fun and quick read.
I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn
- Release Date: 5/28/19
- Publisher’s Summary: Kimi Nakamura loves a good fashion statement. She’s obsessed with transforming everyday ephemera into Kimi Originals: bold outfits that make her and her friends feel like the Ultimate versions of themselves. But her mother disapproves, and when they get into an explosive fight, Kimi’s entire future seems on the verge of falling apart. So when a surprise letter comes in the mail from Kimi’s estranged grandparents, inviting her to Kyoto for spring break, she seizes the opportunity to get away from the disaster of her life. When she arrives in Japan, she’s met with a culture both familiar and completely foreign to her. She loses herself in the city’s outdoor markets, art installations, and cherry blossom festival — and meets Akira, a cute aspiring med student who moonlights as a costumed mochi mascot. And what begins as a trip to escape her problems quickly becomes a way for Kimi to learn more about the mother she left behind, and to figure out where her own heart lies. In I Love You So Mochi, author Sarah Kuhn has penned a delightfully sweet and irrepressibly funny novel that will make you squee at the cute, cringe at the awkward, and show that sometimes you have to lose yourself in something you love to find your Ultimate self.
- Why I Recommend It: The descriptions of Japanese landscapes and food in this novel made me want to get on a plane immediately. I want to be friends with Kimi and Akira, and I found their passion and drive so inspiring.
The Power of Ritual by Casper ter Kuile
- Release Date: 6/23/20
- Publisher’s Summary: Casper ter Kuile, a Harvard Divinity School fellow and cohost of the popular Harry Potter and the Sacred Text podcast, explores how we can nourish our souls by transforming common, everyday practices—yoga, reading, walking the dog—into sacred rituals that can heal our crisis of social isolation and struggle to find purpose.
- Why I Recommend It: I am an avid listener of Harry Potter and the Sacred Text, and I was eager to read Casper’s book. It is insightful and made me examine the ways I could add more ritual into my daily routine.
Happy Reading and Happy New Year!