As you can tell by my very clever title, I am going to tell you the best and worst books from this year.

My Best Books– these books are in the order that I read them this year- I could not give you a favorite of my favorites. The bottom line is that all of these books made me feel something-

  1. The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
  2. The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  3. Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano
  4. The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Dare
  5. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb
  6. Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance
  7. The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue
  8. Here for It by R. Eric Thomas
  9. Fifty Words for Rain by Asha Lemmie
  10. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

My Worst Books- again just in the order that I read them this year. Though, some of these made the list because they were SO OVERHYPED and did not meet my expectations. There are also 14 instead of 10 because I couldn’t decide which were actually the worst.

  1. The Giver of Stars by JoJo Moyes (Moyes should stick to what she does best and not delve into historical fiction because she’s convoluted at this genre)
  2. American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins The most interesting thing about this book was all the hype surrounding it.
  3. Writers and Lovers by Lilly King- Nothing worse than a book that tries to be literary fiction
  4. Recipe for a Perfect Wife by Karma Brown- First- this book was not what I expected, so this is a case of it being tagged wrong. Secondly- the ending was horrendous and didn’t make sense with the rest of the book
  5. Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore- This was sooooo boring. I really didn’t care.
  6. Topics of Conversation by Miranda Popkey- Clearly this was the worst book I read this year. It’s so full of itself. Again, a case of literary fiction gone soooooo wrong
  7. Conjure Woman by Afic Atakora- Just bored me
  8. Normal People by Sally Rooney- Over hyped- Don’t know what the big deal is/was over this book
  9. The Light Years by Elizabeth Jane Howard- I don’t think I like multi generational sagas
  10. Parakeet by Marie-Helene Bertino- Tried to hard to tell a story but failed to tell a story
  11. THe Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis- Ridiculous non historical historical fiction
  12. Death by Tea by Alex Ericson- I like cozy mysteries. I don’t know what this was
  13. The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams- I get very bored by books that rely on sex to get from point A to point B
  14. The Cold Millions by Jess Walter- I do not know what people like about this author

Let’s take a look at my Goodreads stats:

I read 177 books.

Total pages: 55,261

Average Book Length: 312 Pages

Average Rating: 3.6

My reading goal for 2021 will be 100 books.

If anyone would like to be my Goodreads buddy, email me at:

wakinguponthewrongsideof50@gmail.com

81 thoughts on “My Favorite and Least Favorite Reads of 2020

  1. 177 books, OMG! That’s nearly one every two days. Have you ever thought of having a (additional) blog that just does book reviews? Now that I think about it, knowing you were going to review a book might spoil the enjoyment of reading. Anyway, thanks for the tips.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This was an anomaly. Last year I read 65 books. My goal is two books a week this year. I definitely don’t ever again expect to read as much as I did this year! But if you want to buddy up, im good with that!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. As I know you to be a woman of taste I will avoid the books which you have given then thumbs down. 🙂

    And probably the ones you liked.

    I’ve just finished “Bomb Disposal in WW2”. I feel that you probably wouldn’t enjoy it. Although it’s historically accurate, there is little story development and then ending is a bit obvious.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, it’s hard to build up the suspense, isn’t it? I used to take tea on the site of the house where Churchill had been held after his capture in the Boer War. Unfortunately, the original house had been torn down in the 1920s.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, Churchill invites Edward VIII back onto the throne and they all have tea with Hitler on Buckingham Palace lawn.

        To us it’s alternative history, but if a Hollywood scriptwriter passes by it may become the starting point for a new script. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Very impressive – I usually read about 60/year, maybe a few more this past year. I used to review every book I read on Goodreads but I haven’t bothered for a long time, so I wouldn’t be any good as a Goodreads buddy. I used to link to them here on WordPress but I can’t figure out how to do it on the Blockeditor…..need to copy and paste the url in but not sure where.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow! That is a lot of books! I screen shot your favorites list and am
    Determined to start reading again. It is weird but when my husband bought me a kindle I lost interest in reading. It is great for the car or on trips but at home I just want to read a real book. With The pandemic I have only been to the bookstore once. So I need to mask all up when this snow storm is over and go buy a book or two! Thanks for inspiring!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s about one every other day! You one fast reader lady. I’ve found this year, more than ever I have gone back to books that I consider my old faithfuls, like a cheese and tomatoes sandwich they are my literary equivalent of comfort food, Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood, Janet Evanovitch the Stephanie Plum Series anything from 1 – 14, after that forget it and my beloved Lion, Witch & The Wardrobe because this year we’ve all stepped into a parallel universe.

    Just read The Cold Stuff by David Gordon, an action packed caper with more twists than a mince pie plait, a fun read and totally forgettable afterwards. Good luck with your reading list 2021

    Like

    1. Literary fiction is usually a book that tries to go beyond telling a story. It uses language or literary tropes or some device that is supposed to take it too the next level. Does that help?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m with you on Normal People. I couldn’t figure out why people loved it. I also read The Water Dancer and liked it a lot. Didn’t love Dear Edward because I didn’t feel like there was enough emotion. I read Hillbilly Elegy when it came out and remember liking it very much.
    My average rating was 4.6 and I read 74 books this year.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes…but spoiler alert to anyone that reads comments and wants to read book…”I wouldn’t have done that to you….because I know what it’s like to be left behind”

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow! Here I was feeling accomplished because I’ve read 62 books this year but see now that I’m a complete slacker. Pull of the Stars was one of my faves this year too. Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell is also set during a time of plague, although a very different one. Was going to read Normal People but may skip it now. Thanks for both lists.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m so lazy I don’t even bother to try to keep track of much of anything in my life. I’d rather read than do just about anything else. My reading is not usually limited to books alone but since my relocation I don’t have access (or really want it since there’s so little happening in the “old normal ways: right now) to the entertainment and sports magazines we subscribed to at this point in my almost-over marriage.

    I may join you on goodreads (I am a member but rarely post reviews) so I can see your reviews, which will probably not influence my own review. Generally I go into whatever I’m starting to read with an open mind. For instance, I read “Crawdads” after a friend had given it a poor review but quite enjoyed it anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t really write reviews. But I do love to see what people are reading cause I like to look at their reviews, and I like to discuss books if it’s something I read. I like seeing how people are doing on reading challenges as well

      Like

  9. I think I select my books to read in a manner similar to yours i.e. by checking reviews and sometimes even on goodreads. Most of the time I use these as sources to evaluate whether I want to tackle a book club selection or not, esp the new fiction that one group I’m in read. I use those to determine if it’s worth the time or $ to try to locate and/or get through, esp really long or currently popular (i.e. hard to get and/or expensive) works. Based on your reply, even though you sent me your email, I don’t think I’ll try to become your goodreads buddy but will continue to look forward to your reviews with which I may not always agree i.e. re Hillbilly Elegy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. People won’t agree on everything. That’s what makes life so interesting. I did start a new feature though. The last Friday of each month I’m doing a list of books I read and put them in order of liked most to liked least, and I’m noting where I got the recommend from if I remember it

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I so agree with you about Normal People! I wanted to read American Dirt, but now I don’t 🙂 And yes, Hillbilly Elegy is such a great autobiography. I wish the film was better, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed! The film could have been so much more. I don’t like how they made it more about the mm and grandmother. The story was his! And Normal People…why?!?

      Liked by 1 person

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