In 2020, I read (or listened to) 59 books. It's more than my goal of 52, but significantly lower than my average over the past 5 years of 65. Often, when people learn that I read a lot, I am asked what my favorite book is. I have a go-to answer, but I'm not actually certain that it's honest anymore. It's just the answer I've been giving for 30 years. My all-time favorite book is The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. I re-read it every five years or so and I've refused to watch any of the screen adaptations because I know that nobody could possibly cast it how I envision it. I think I'm due for a re-read, but having just finished the prequel in December (hint: you'll see it below) I think I'll wait until 2022 when it will feel more fresh. The other question I field with frequency is what were my top reads of the past year. I always have to whip out my phone and look at Goodreads to remember. Partly because at my age, I think 2015 was last year and partly because I cannot remember what I read last week. And now that I'm always reading at least two books at a time...it's a legitimate issue.
I thought it might be fun to compile a list of my top reads of 2020. I read a really mixed bag during this "unprecedented year"-ranging from poetry to science to YA to True Crime, and almost everything in-between. I plan to do a couple of recommendation posts, knowing that not everybody has the same unusual (weird??) range of interests that I have. Below you will find my top 10 fiction reads of 2020. Only 7 of them earned a full 5-stars. I'm stingy with that 5th star, even when I really like a book. But I did have a LOT of 4-star reviews so when it came to choosing the top 3 of those, I really just went with my emotional reaction to re-reading my reviews. Please do get back to me with your thoughts on these books if you choose to read them based on my recommendation. And if you've already read them, let me know what your thoughts are!
Alrighty then! With no further ado, in order of date read, the BroccoliMom Top Fiction Recommendations of 2020 follow. To read my original Goodreads review, click on the image. I apologize in advance for the brevity of some of these reviews. I stand by the five star ratings, regardless of how little actual specificity I provide in my reviews. I will attempt to be slightly more detailed in my future reviews.
Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee, read January 2020
Circe by Madeline Miller narrated by Perdita Weeks read February 2020
A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum read March 2020
American Dirt by Janine Cummins narrated by Yareli Arizemendi read May 2020
Writers & Lovers by Lily King read May 2020
The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Daré read May 2020
The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi narrated by Sneha Mathan read May 2020
Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner read June 2020
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett read September 2020
The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett read December 2020