Book Wrap Up 2020

 Two years ago, I made a New Years resolution to read 12 books, and mainly it was because I hadn't finished more than a book or two in as many years. I'm full of excuses, but most honestly, I think I was just out of the habit. 

I'm very motivated by a goal, which is why I stand by resolutions, and I think I wound up reading 30-ish books that year. So then, last year, I made a goal to read 12 non-fiction books and midway through 2020, I realized I was on track to read a book per week. I got a little overconfident, so I thought I'd make that my new goal. I read my 12 non-fiction books, but ended the year at 44 books total. I missed the big goal, but I'm pretty happy with 44 books. I guess, to me, it feels like validation that writing down a simple goal can take me from reading zero books, to just under 80 in two years. I should make it a goal to be a millionaire or something. See how that goal goes.  

A Few Favorite Reads from 2020 |

First thing, here's everything I read in 2020

Best Reads of 2020


Best Fiction | White Oleander - Janet Fitch

It's not new, which in my opinion is a good thing. That just means it's readily available at your library and probably doesn't have a hold list 17 people long. Also, there's a Michelle Pfieffer movie waiting for you when you're done. 

This book is troubling. It follows a young girl who grows up in the foster system, while still being manipulated from afar by her mother, who is in prison for murder. 


Best Non-Fiction | 999: The Extraordinary Young Women of the First Official Jewish Transport to Auschwitz - Heather Dune Macadam

This book is exactly what it sounds like, and it will break your heart. Young, unmarried Jewish women were among the first in Auschwitz. This book will stay with you. 


Honorable Mentions

I loved these books and would happily recommend them to friends. They're all non-fiction. 

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - Barbara Kingsolver

Kingsolver moves her entire family to a farm and commits to eating only what they grow themselves or can source from folks who have grown it locally for an entire year. I came out of this with plans for a garden in my backyard and wild dreams of canning hundred of pounds of tomatoes. 

Kitchen Confidential - Anthony Bourdain

If you enjoy Parts Unknown or No Reservations, this book is for you. Bourdain is every bit as witty, cutting, and delightful in written format as he is on-screen. 

Educated - Tara Westover

I almost parked this in my favorite non-fiction position and it is deserving of it. Westover comes out of this book with a doctorate, but first she must grow up in a fundamentalist AND survivalist family that eschews education and modern medicine. What could go wrong?! People get seriously burned, okay. That's what can go wrong. 


I don't have a book goal this year, so I have no idea how this year will turn out in terms of quantity. I am hopeful that, without a looming number, I will quit books that I don't like a little more easily. It's been some time since I've read a book that I just couldn't put down, and that's what I'm always looking for. 

What's your reading goal this year? Do you make book goals? 

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