Books I Read in 2020

As is tradition, here is the complete list of books that I read last year.

  1. LIKED I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn | Finished 1/16 | This one started out at 3 stars for me but slowly worked its way to 4. A slow burn, I started out annoyed by how dense the main character was and just perplexed by the whole argument she was having with her mom that leads to her impromptu trip to Japan. But then I got distracted by the descriptions of Japan and the overall love story and ended up liking the book almost in spite of myself.
  2. REALLY LIKED Guts by Raina Teglemeier | Finished 1/19 | This is another graphic memoir from when Raina was in the 4th and 5th grade. It details her struggles with anxiety, fear of getting sick, friend struggle and learning to talk out your problems. My 10 and 13 year old both enjoyed this one, as did I.
  3. REALLY LIKED Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley | Finished 1/28 | At first I was sort of dubious about the main character and her whole theory that she’s doomed to be the “girl before.” But as the story progressed and we learned more about her, she eventually won me over. And the love story was pure 😍😍😍.
  4. LOVED Waiting For Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey | Finished 2/2 | I slightly blew threw this book, staying up way too late for a couple of nights. I loved all of the rim com movie references but I especially loved the heart behind the story and the banter between the characters. The next book is definitely on my wish list!
  5. LIKEDFriendship to the Max (Lumberjanes Vol. 2)| Finished 2/2 | Such a fun graphic novel. I love how tough these girls are and enjoyed the mythology element in these chapters.
  6. REALLY LIKEDEleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman | Finished 2/26 | I’d like to subtitle this book ‘For fuck’s sake, Eleanor”. This was my second attempt to read this book. The first time I barely made it through 2 chapters before backing away slowly as it became clear that the main character is a bit… Off. But my book club is discussing it this month and I decided to give it another go, this time listening to the audio book at the recommendation of a friend. I loved the narrator and a few more chapters in I started to realize WHY Eleanor is so strange and found myself anxious to see the book through. Also, I adored Raymond. His friendship with Eleanor was everything. I ultimately ended up really liking the book so I’m glad I gave it a second chance. (February Book Club)
  7. REALLY LIKED I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella | Finished 3/2 | Such a wacky premise. I loved the characters, even when they were being obtuse. Fun, addictive read. This was a staying up past my bedtime to finish kind of book.
  8. REALLY LIKED The Magic Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris | Finished 4/7 | TThis was a really fun story and I couldn’t help but hear NPH in my head narrating it. It kinda reminded me of the tone of A Series of Unfortunate Events. My son really liked it too. Planning on reading the next book.
  9. REALLY LIKED Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center |Finished 4/18 | I really enjoyed this but The Rookie was occasionally almost too amazing if that makes sense. Still, I found the book more relatable than I was expecting and loved all the Boston references and the peek into the world of firefighting.
  10. REALLY LIKED Pretty in Punxutawney by Laurie Boyle Crompton | Finished 4/23 | Andie is doomed to relive the first day at her new high school until she gets it right. This book really came to me at just the right time. Reading it during quarantine when every day feels like the one before, put me in the perfect mood for reading this. I really loved this book. I thought it was really well done. The whole time loop premise is thoroughly fleshed out and examined and although you kind of know how things should end, I had no idea how we were going to get there.
  11. REALLY LIKED Lucky Caller by Emma Mills | Finished 4/27 | I blew through this sweet ya love story. I liked the main characters, even when they were frustrating and rooted for the little tag tag radio team.
  12. REALLY LIKED P.S. I Like You by Kasie West | Finished 5/2 | This book really grew on me in the end. The love story really comes together. It’s got a kind of You’ve Got Mail storyline and I definitely stayed up way too late to finish it.
  13. LOVED Starring, The Babysitters! By Ann M. Martin | Finished 5/2 | I reread this with my ten year old and it was nostalgia for days. I love Peter Pan and reading about the Babysitter’s being a part of one of my favorite plays was great. Reading it with my daughter was fun. I was coming in with a mom’s perspective this time and it was fun to compare our points of view and to share a book from my childhood is always a fun bonus.
  14. REALLY LIKED This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith | Finished 5/11 | The premise of this book was fun and the characters were easy to root for even when they were bad at decision making. I plowed through the book and definitely plan to check out more books by Smith.
  15. REALLY LIKED Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer | Finished 5/23 | I read this at the recommendation of my 14 year old and my husband who both loved it. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this – a fantastic blend of fantasy, action and sci fi starring an villainous but brilliant twelve year old. This is a fast paced read and a lot of fun. Looking forward to book two!
  16. LOVED Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng | Finished 5/30 | This book was a slow burn for me (pun intended) but the more I read, the more it grabbed me. The second half went by fast. I think the author did a great job peeling away the details at the right time. Very well done.
  17. LOVED Aloha, Babysitters by Ann M. Martin | Finished 6/2 | Read this with my daughter for a little mother daughter book club. I don’t remember reading it before actually so it was fun not knowing what was going to happen. I don’t remember Abby and liked getting to know her character. This super special had a lot of action and adventure and I loved the descriptions of Hawaii. 🥰🥰🥰
  18. REALLY LIKEDUprooted by Naomi Novik | Finished 6/6 | Howls Moving Castle meets Moana meets The Witcher. This reads like a dark, adult fairy tale and sweeps you away.
  19. LOVED Tweet Cute by Emma Lord | Finished 6/21 | Sort of a modern YA You’ve Got Mail. There are multiple layers to this adorable love story that eventually all come together beautifully. This one kept me up late reading several nights in a row.
  20. LOVED 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston | Finished 6/25 | I blew through this one. The premise is fun and wacky. The characters are easy to root for and the love story is everything. Loved it.
  21. LIKED Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon | Finished 6/30 | This was a fun premise. I’m a sucker for a good retelling and this loose take on beauty and the beast was a lot of fun. Menon has created a great cast of characters and I spent several nights staying up too late to finish it.
  22. LIKED Witchy by Ariel Slamet Ries | Finished 7/5 | Very intrigued by this story. I sort of felt thrown into the middle of a larger plot but I hung in there and eventually settled into what was going on. Hoping there will be a second book out soon.
  23. LIKED Happy Birthday, Babymouse by Jennifer L. Holm | Finished 7/7 | These are a fun, quick read. Babymouse tries to plan the perfect birthday party but nothing seems to go right. More fun literary references and a feel good ending.
  24. LIKED Dragonslayer by Jennifer L. Holm | Finished 7/7 | My ten year old loved this and was adamant that I read it, too. This is an adorable series about a little mouse making her way through life and school, with a pretty big imagination. Dragonslayer sees our hero taking on the ferocious monster: math. I loved the fantasy elements mixed with everyday life.
  25. LOVEDCrime and Poetry by Amanda Flower | Finished 7/23 | I really got into this one. A cozy mystery set in a magical bookshop? You had me at hello. I really liked the overall writing style and definitely plan to continue the series.
  26. REALLY LIKED Babysitters at Shadow Lake by Ann M. Martin | Finished 7/28 | I reread this with my eleven year old and really enjoyed experiencing it a second time. A lot of stuff I’d honestly forgotten. I love super specials because you get to see the same experience through multiple eyes, including some of the younger kids this time.
  27. REALLY LIKED The Unlikelies by Carrie Firestone | Finished 8/1 | This book was heavier than I expected, but engrossing. I thought the premise was really interesting and the characters were so inspiring. We should all be Unlikelies.
  28. LOVEDProse and Cons by Amanda Flower | Finished 8/19 | I pretty much blew through this book. I think I can officially declare myself hooked on this series. I didn’t figure out whodunnit until the last possible second. Love the characters. Looking forward to book 3.
  29. REALLY LIKED Karen’s Roller Skates by Ann M. Martin (graphic novel) | Finished 8/23 | My daughter loves the graphic novel series of BSC books and just read this one – and promptly handed it to me. It’s just as adorable as the other books in the series and perfect for younger readers. Definitely brings me back to my own childhood reading every BSC book I could get my hands on.
  30. LIKED The King’s Fifth by Scott O’Dell | Finished 8/24 | It took me about halfway through to really get into this book. It seemed to start really slow and it took me time to adjust to the dialect and unfamiliar vocabulary. But the action definitely picks up halfway and I can see a lot of value in the story told. My eleven year old and I will be discussing the book for history and literature next month.
  31. REALLY LIKED Stargazing by Jen Wang | Finished 8/24 | Another graphic memoir handed to me by my eleven year old daughter. This one got heavier than I was expecting – I teared up a little towards the end. Very sweet with a happy ending.
  32. LOVED The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary | Finished 8/30 | I pretty much devoured this one. Love the concept, loved the characters. It had action, humor, and a love story to swoon for.
  33. LIKED102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum by Cathy Duffy | Finished 9/6 | A little out of date, but lots of useful information about teaching and learning styles, homeschooling philosophies and priorities and how to apply all of that to choosing a curriculum.
  34. LIKED The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez | Finished 9/12 | I have mixed feelings about this one. The writing style was good, the chemistry between the main characters was palpable and there were plenty of funny and entertaining scenes. But the whole story was also overwrought with drama that could have been avoided by people just being honest with each other to a degree that became irritating after awhile. And there were some traumatic moments that seemed almost unnecessarily cruel that I think the whole story could have been successful without. I’ll avoid saying more on that though, because spoilers.
  35. REALLY LIKED The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn by Dorothy Hoobler | Finished 9/13 | This was a story that kept me on my feet trying to guess what would happen next. My eleven year old is supposed to read this next month and I’m debating reading it with her instead of having her read it on her own so that we can discuss it in real time, because as much as I found it engaging, I’m concerned that the frequent discussions of seppuku might be distressing for her. It’s important to the plot, but still pretty distressing.
  36. REALLY LIKED Homeschool Basics by Tricia Goyer and Kristi Clover | Finished 9/15 | There’s plenty of practical advice and also just some emotional cheerleading. You won’t find that everything applies to you and your situation but it will probably answer most of your questions.
  37. REALLY LIKED Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark | Finished 9/17 | My 6th grader and I read this out loud as part of our homeschool curriculum and she loved it to pieces. It was very engaging, with plenty of rich details about the Incan people, the Andes mountains and Peruvian culture. The little mystery definitely kept us guessing. And of course the llamas were her favorite part.
  38. REALLY LIKED Master Cornhill by Eloise Jarvis McGraw | Finished 9/18 | This is the next book in our 6th grade homeschool curriculum, set in London in 1666. The story is nestled between the great plague and the great fire, but mostly centers around the title character, eleven year old Michael, who searches for family and purpose in the middle of one of the toughest years in London history. I found the book very engaging and I’m looking forward to hearing what my own eleven year old thinks of it.
  39. REALLY LIKED Murder, Plain and Simple by Isabella Alan | Finished 10/10 | This one kept me guessing until the end. I really enjoyed the setting and characters. Definitely planning to read the next book.
  40. REALLY LIKED The Ravenmaster’s Secret by Elvira Woodruff | Finished 10/13 | This is the next book my 6th grader will be reading this year and I think she’ll really enjoy it. Lots of action and a good pace. A fun story that manages to be educational and show what life was like in that part of England’s history.
  41. LIKED The Arrow Over the Door by Joseph Bruchac | Finished 10/27 | Short read about the Abenaki and the Quakers during the Revolutionary War. An interesting perspective.
  42. REALLY LIKED Calm the F*ck Down by Sarah Knight | Finished 11/9 | Some of the book was repetitive or read like common sense, but I also found some pointers in it for better managing my anxiety so worth the read.
  43. REALLY LIKED The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy | Finished 11/12 | Loved the audiobook narration, it really brought the story alive. Started dry, but was very funny and suspenseful once it got going.
  44. LOVED Murder, Simply Stitched by Isabella Alan | Finished 11/12 | Definitely hooked on this cozy mystery series. Looking forward to the next book!
  45. LOVED The Sherwood Ring by Elizabeth Marie Pope | Finished 11/14 | The Revolutionary War through the eyes of a teenage girl and her ancestral ghosts. A romping good time with three love stories to cheer for!
  46. REALLY LIKED The Princess Rules by Phillips Gregory | Finished 11/18 | Recommended fervently by my tween, this was an adorable collection of stories about a princess breaking all the rules, finally. Girl power!
  47. LIKED People of the Breaking Day by Marcia Sewell | Finished 11/27 | a little long for a picture book but engaging and informative with beautiful pictures. Loved the glossary of Wampanoag words in the back.
  48. REALLY LIKED Pilgrims Fact Tracker by Mary Pope Osborne | Finished 11/27 | Loved the format of this companion book to Thanksgiving on Thursday. Informative but entertaining and engaging.
  49. REALLY LIKED Thanksgiving on Thursday by Mary Pope Osborne | Finished 11/27 | This was a quick fun read that brought a little bit of history alive. My eleven year old loved it.
  50. LIKED Calico Bush by Rachel Field | Finished 12/23 | I had a love hate relationship with this one. We really enjoyed most of it, but some of the passages seemed too intense for the intended audience.
  51. LIKED Only the Names Remain by Alex W Bealer | Finished 12/31 | While it was informative, it was very dry and not very engaging. Not my favorite.

You might also enjoy this round up of my favorites of the year.

Books Read in: 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019