Normally the new year isn’t such a big deal to me but I find myself quite relieved to
close slam the door on 2020. Though nothing is actually different or better yet and though much of 2021 will be spent recovering from the numerous disasters of last year, it feels good to start a new chapter even if it is largely symbolic.
I know that the turmoil and uncertainty of last year made it harder for some people to enjoy reading or to focus on it the way that they would under normal circumstances, and that is completely understandable. While I experienced difficulty focusing right at the beginning of the pandemic, reading soon became one of my favorite escapes and coping mechanisms as I isolated from friends and family. I found myself reaching for fiction at regular intervals when the weight of everything else in the world was too much on top of my already heavy mental load.
While it was a crappy year in many respects, when I reflect back on what I read in 2020 I realize that it has been some of the best reading of my life. I read 41 books, not including those I read out loud with my kids and not including those I started but did not finish (there were a handful that just didn’t grip me.) I discovered some absolutely incredible books which have become forever favorites. There are many that consumed my thoughts, have deeply impacted me, and that I believe are life changing for nearly everyone who opens them. I hope this list is able to offer some reading inspiration for all of you and that this beloved pastime can bring more learning, mindset expansion, escape, and pleasure in 2021.
(A quick note: a few of the reviews below are copied from my holiday gift guide, simply because writing this many book reviews – even short ones – is quite an undertaking. Thanks for understanding!)