I’m a little late to posting this, but better late than never right? Is anyone else trying to read more this year? I’m not trying to read more volume wise (I made no goals this year), but I am trying to end every night with reading. I fell into a bad habit last year of opting for Netflix instead of reading and then I’d feel guilty and try to “make up” for that the next night. So I’m taking the pressure off and just trying to read every day, even if it’s only one page.
Last year (so weird to say that when it was only 10 days ago, but you know!), I read 66 books. Some were better than others, but I felt like I read (and listened to) a TON of fantastic books. In this post, I want to highlight what I thought was the best of the best and share my 5 Star reads.
BEST BOOKS of 2020
I am still not over this book. I think about it often and when I recommend it, most people haven’t heard of it which is a shame because it is beautifully written. This is an unbelievable fictional story, though it’s based on the true family secrets of Tiffany McDaniel’s mother’s childhood. It’s a coming of age novel about a young girl with a Cherokee father and a white mother. There are eight siblings and their childhood is filled with equal doses of magic (mostly at the hands of the stories Betty’s father tells) and hardship. It’s a heartbreaking story, but one that is more than worthwhile reading. Absolutely brilliant. I went into this book completely cold. Had no idea what it was about and was immediately pulled into the dynamic story.
(Warning here: there are multiple scenes of rape, suicide, infant/child death, and incest. Also there’s another scene where a cat is killed.)
I felt a little iffy about the book in the beginning and then found myself completely sucked in. It’s about Black, but light skinned, twins who runaway from their family home in Louisiana. The two twins end up leaving completely different lives: one marries the darkest man she can find in DC and the other passes as white. I thought it was genius.
I had heard pretty incredible things about Glennon Doyle’s latest book and it did not disappoint. WOW. I don’t even have enough words to describe how much it resonated with me… It’s a memoir, with each chapter holding its own anecdote that ties into a life-lesson. I couldn’t stop reading it and I couldn’t stop talking about it. It covers a broad spectrum of topics: advocacy, parenting, body-confidence, addiction, love, friendships, family. I had so many aha moments while reading– I feel like I had some genuine life-altering realizations.
This is an action-oriented book with touches of a memoir about how to handle, enter, and engage in conversations about race. I REALLY liked how Oluo laid everything out and described why certain things were problematic or what works and doesn’t work when talking about race and racism. Even on points and terms I felt like I had an okay grasp of, she’d make it even clearer. From privilege to intersectionality, I understood a lot of things in a deeper, more productive way.