The Best Books I Read in 2020 (All Genres)

Hello readers!

As usual, some books were really hard to categorize as one thing or another, and some categories were so difficult to narrow down to 3 books! I read dozens of thrillers and mysteries, whereas classic fiction I read maybe 5 a year, so it’s much easier to choose only 3. I also change the categories every year a little bit, in order to reflect my reading trends of that particular year – for example, if I read a bunch of new authors (more than 1 book by them, that is), I like to include a Best New-To-Me Authors, which I didn’t do this year, but I did include a Best Brazilian Books & Best Translated Fiction, since I’ve been reading lots of both this year, and also added more Non-Fiction categories.

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Contemporary Fiction

Funnily enough, none of the books below were 5 star reads, but they were still favorites that I LOVED and want to re-read. Also they all broke my heart. Breasts and Eggs was witty, smart and insightful into the lives of women in Japan; Little Gods made me fall in love with the main character just to break my heart; and My Dark Vanessa is one of the most complicated, dark books out there and deserves recognition for all the nuance and sensitivity with which the author wrote about its heavy themes.

Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami / Review

Little Gods by Meng Jin / Review

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell / Review

Historical Fiction

A really strong year for historical fiction! I loved all three books below, although I admit they’re mostly bleak stuff, all three are wonderfully written. How We Disappeared shines a light on the fate of Singaporean women who were kidnapped and forced to serve as “comfort women” to Japanese troops – it’s also not as difficult a read as I thought it would be, the author mixed a bit of mystery in which made this not as hard. I knew I would love The Mirror and the Light and so it was not a surprise when I did – this is such a worthy ending to the wonderful trilogy of Thomas Cromwell. The Mercies broke my heart in a million pieces with its story about witch hunting in 17th century Norway, love, suspicion and loss.

How We Disappeared by Jing-Jing Lee / Review

The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel / Review

The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave / Review

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30 Books I Loved in My 30 Years (Birthday Post)

Hello readers,

I just turned 30! I thought it would be a fun trip down memory lane to take a look at the books that helped shape who I am today and how my reading tastes changed over the years. This is a rather long post, but I am indulging myself this one time.

First I’ll start with my favorite childhood books! I’ve read a lot since I can remember, with my parents also being big readers and my little sister, too. We spent countless Summers at my grandmother’s house reading all the books we could put our dirty little hands on.

I was tending towards fantasy back then, which is still one of my favorite genres nowadays! I also read a lot of comics (hundreds of the Turma da Mônica, for sure).

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2021 Releases I’m Anticipating

Hello readers!

It’s this time of the year again – when Best Ofs and Most Anticipated lists come out. I love reading those! So below are the books to be released in 2021 I am most looking forward to.

January

Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo
January 19, 2021

This is a story about two girls falling in love in 1950s, one of them a Chinese-American whose father is in danger of being deported. This sounds like such a lovely and intense historical romance, I’m so looking forward to reading it!

A Dowry of Blood by C. L. Clark
January 31, 2021

This is a novella about Dracula’s bride and I heard “Sapphic yearning” and “vampires” and so here we are! This is a Gothic story about Dracula’s bride discovering his dark secrets.

February

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Non-Fiction Recommendations: From an adventurous Antarctic expedition to scandal in Silicon Valley

Hello readers!

November has just started and a lot of us realize at this point we’ve been reading lots of fiction all year and would like to catch up with something different. I particularly enjoy Non-Fiction November because it makes me realize all the books that have been on my radar sometimes for years but I haven’t picked up because I’m normally more focused on recent fiction releases, plus it’s a great opportunity to hype amazing books I haven’t recommended often enough.

I realize that since I read so much more fiction than nonfic, most of the books below are no news to most of you, but I’m hoping something will spark your interest – I’ve separated the books by theme and offered a few different options on each, depending on what you like to read. I’m hoping on future recommendation posts to add some books on feminism and more biographies. Let me know in the comments your favorite recent nonfic read!

First I’m selecting here some books that I can only describe as “history but make it thrilling“, starting with The Endurance by Caroline Alexander, telling the story of Shackleton’s disastrous/heroic Antarctic expedition during WWI times. It’s full of photos, which I really enjoy. Next we have one of my favorite topics to read about, Space Race by Deborah Cadbury. It has everything: space, geniuses, political drama, things exploding. I don’t love von Braun’s charecterization here, but it’s still a great book! And last, one of the best books I’ve read in my life: Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe tells a true story of murder in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. It’s intriguing, intense and so humane, a very good introduction for those who don’t know much about the conflict.

I also loved The Calculus Wars by Jason Bardi several years ago and I’m looking forward to reading a biography of von Braun (which I’m hoping is a more sober portrait).

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Books I Want to Read until the End of the Year (please send help)

Hello readers!

I am currently on vacation so this post is pre-scheduled and I SURE HOPE vacation-Naty is getting LOTS OF READING DONE. The year is slowly coming to an end and I realized lately that my “Best of” posts is missing a lot of books on some genres simply because Miss I-Can’t-Follow-TBRs reads whatever she feels like and then it’s all thrillers and literary fiction and then her ARCs get late and she’s like Oh how did THAT happen.

So I like writing these posts to remind myself that there are some books I want to finish still this year.

Do I absolutely need to read all the books below? Of course not. But most of these are 2020 ARCs that I’d like to post and talk about before the new year comes around and I receive a boatload of new ARCs and get gifted books for my birthday and Christmas and the books below are forgotten. Plus, it’s always nice to read ARCs in a timely fashion.

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Halloween Reading Recommendations (2020 Edition)

Hello readers!

Every year I like to come up with a list of creepy or atmospheric reads to read in October, when the days become colder and darker in the northern hemisphere, and it hypes me up for Halloween. This year a lot of us will be staying home for that, and I think it’s a great opportunity to consider doing a readathon of great October reads! I also added a few not scary recommendations, because I know some people would like to join a Halloween-themed readathon but hate spooky reads, or simply need a break from horror.

You can get a few more ideas from my October TBRs:

Halloween Reading Plans (2020 Edition)

My Halloween-themed TBR for October, 2019 Edition

My October 2018 Spooky TBR

If you like supernatural horror & mystery

Sisters by Daisy Johnson

Something unspeakable has happened to sisters July and September.

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Anti-TBR: Popular New Books I’m Not Gonna Read (2020 Edition)

Hello readers!

I like writing these posts because they make me feel in control of my TBR (a lie). These are books that for one reason or another I’ve decided not to add to my TBR, although they are very popular in the bookish community. If you read and loved any of the books below, let me know! I could surely change my mind. I am fairly sure these books all come out on 2020.

I am not including YA books on my list because I have been moving away from YA for the past couple years so a list of popular YA books I won’t read would be redundant.

House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City Book 1) by Sarah J. Maas

I read the entire ACOTAR series, which I definitely don’t regret but also don’t remember fondly either. I think it’s just a matter of having outgrown her books and craving different kinds of stories at this point. I’ve heard that her fans are really enjoying this new book, though!

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Sapphic Books Recommendations Part 2

Hello readers!

I was going to take a while longer to post this when I had around 30 books like on Part 1, but it’s Sapphic September and I thought it would be timely to post it now.

I did include in this list some books I decided not to finish or weren’t particularly of my taste, because it occurred to me that these books weren’t for me but could be another reader would actually enjoy them!

You can read other parts of this series here:

Sapphic Books Recommendations Part 1

Other recommendations and lists here:

Upcoming F/F Books On My Radar

February Wrap Up incl. what I read for #FFFeb + March Reading Plans W9/2020

#FFFeb TBR and Recommendations

If you liked this book, try this F/F book!

Top 10 F/F Books on my TBR

My Favorite F/F Book by Genre

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kept animals kate milliken snare lilja sigurdardottir exciting times noise dolan

Kept Animals by Kate Milliken

If you love coming-of-age stories and don’t mind getting your heart broken, this is such a beautiful story of a girl named Rory, whose life is turned upside down when an accident happens, ending in death and so much pain. The lives of everyone in the town are affected by it, and as Rory starts riding her beloved horse competitively and falling in love with Vivian, catastrophic events are set in motion. This was one of the best representations of relationships, love and hurt that I’ve seen, and it was bleak but also warm and beautiful. Continue reading

SciFi Books for People Who Think They Don’t Like SciFi

Hello readers!

There are several reasons why a lot of readers shy away from SciFi: maybe you think it’s dry and boring and too tech-y; maybe you would rather read character-driven, emotional stories; maybe you prefer down-to-earth books and can’t relate to fantastical worlds; maybe you associate it only with alien-shooting and wars between planets (which, fair).

BUT. I brought the good stuff today! SciFi can go in so many directions, and doesn’t have to be the dry action-packed books that are so stereotypical of the genre. If you think you don’t like SciFi, maybe you just haven’t found a book that suited your personal reading tastes – there’s really all kinds of SciFi out there!

I’ve compiled a list with some fun, light-hearted stuff, some character-driven and emotional reads, some thrillers, and some cozy reads, too. Maybe you’ll find something that fits your reading taste!

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The Power Naomi Alderman Dark Matter Blake Crouch neverworld wake marisha pessl

The Power by Naomi Alderman / Goodreads

This is a bit of a divisive read, but I really enjoyed it! In The Power, women wake up one day with the power of electricity, shifting the power balance and changing who gets to lead the world. If you like dystopias, you might enjoy this Women’s Prize for Fiction winner! Continue reading

More Fun and Light-Hearted Reads for Anxious Times

Hello readers!

In April I posted Fun and Light-Hearted Reads for Anxious Times, and I thought it would be nice to do a part 2 with books I’ve read in the meantime and some I had forgotten about before. These are feelgood stories I enjoyed and helped bring a smile to my face when I felt anxious or needed to take my mind off something. I think a lot of us could use that!

meet cute club jack harbon before the coffee gets cold toshikazu kawaguchi beach read emily henry

Meet Cute Club by Jack Harbon / Review

This is a sweet romance about Jordan and Rex, who meet in Jordan’s favorite bookstore and immediately dislike each other (while being also really attracted). Rex decides to join Jordan’s book club, where he and some old ladies read romances. It’s cute and with a super satisfying ending! Continue reading