What are my favorite books read in 2020? While on the surface it could be difficult to pick anything good or favorite from 2020, there definitely were some good books that came across my desk. Here’s a look at my Top Ten.
This post is linking up with Elza Kinde for the #NewYearsReads2021 challenge. Technically, today’s question is 5 books from your 2020 Wish List, but I don’t really have a 2020 wish list, so instead I’m taking on the photo prompt…without a photo. Hopefully it’s still in the spirit of the challenge?
Top Ten Books I Read in 2020
(in alphabetical order by author)
*=published in 2020
by Joseph Bottum
Nonfiction, Memoir, Christmas
Wreaths and holly, fruitcakes and mistletoe, ornaments and snowflakes, St. Nick and Scrooge’s humbug, Joseph and Mary, a young child in a manger and magi from the East. These words automatically stir up the season of Christmas and invoke memories of family and friends and hope and faith. By turns sweet and comic, sentimental and serious, the former editor of First Things magazine shares his reflections of the mad joys and wild emotions of the season while growing up on the South Dakota plains.
Read in December.
by Charlotte Bronte
Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre is an extraordinary coming-of-age story featuring one of the most independent and strong-willed female protagonists in all of literature. Poor and plain, Jane Eyre begins life as a lonely orphan in the household of her hateful aunt. Despite the oppression she endures at home, and the later torture of boarding school, Jane manages to emerge with her spirit and integrity unbroken. She becomes a governess at Thornfield Hall, where she finds herself falling in love with her employer—the dark, impassioned Mr. Rochester. But an explosive secret tears apart their relationship, forcing Jane to face poverty and isolation once again. One of the world’s most beloved novels, Jane Eyre is a startlingly modern blend of passion, romance, mystery, and suspense.
Read in April
by Vanetta Chapman
Spring has arrived in Middlebury, Indiana, and Amber Wright can see profits in sight for her collection of Amish artisan shops—until she receives a call that Ethan Gray is dead. Hurrying over to A Simple Blend, she finds a single hole in the front window and Mr. Gray dead from an apparent heart attack. All the money is still in his register. Hannah Troyer takes over the shop’s duties, and she and Amber become fast friends as well as amateur sleuths. The police believe Gray’s death to be a by-product of vandalism, but Amber and Hannah aren’t so easily convinced.
Read in October.
by Aileen Fisher
This work of creative nonfiction crafts Alcott’s mother’s journals and letters into an informative and inspiring story of their life.
Read in July.
by Sarah Grace Grzy
Tyler Collens has seen grief and loss in his years of experience as a paramedic—but he never expected it to touch his life in such a personal way. The death of his wife eighteen months ago shook his steady world and changed him in more ways than he can count. Time and routine have steadied his feet, and he looks toward the future as he raises his infant daughter—but the past has a tighter grip on him than he knows.
Alyvia Emmerson has never been certain of who she is or where she belongs. Her dad’s abandonment as a teen broke a fragile piece of her heart, but ten years later, she has moved on. Living on her own, she at last has a project to devote herself to: revitalizing a shabby bookstore. But she didn’t count on her dream job revealing the shattered pieces of herself she thought mended long ago.
In this sophomore novel featuring beloved characters from Live Without You, Sarah Grace Grzy explores themes of grief, hope, and second chances in a story that touches both the heart and spirit.
Read in July.
by Shannon Messenger
Twelve-year-old Sophie has never quite fit into her life. She’s skipped multiple grades and doesn’t really connect with the older kids at school, but she’s not comfortable with her family, either. The reason? Sophie’s a Telepath, someone who can read minds. No one knows her secret – at least, that’s what she thinks….
But the day Sophie meets Fitz, a mysterious (and adorable) boy, she learns she’s not alone. He’s a Telepath too, and it turns out the reason she has never felt at home is that, well…she isn’t. Fitz opens Sophie’s eyes to a shocking truth, and she is forced to leave behind her family for a new life in a place that is vastly different from what she has ever known. But Sophie still has secrets, and they’re buried deep in her memory for good reason: The answers are dangerous and in high demand. What is her true identity, and why was she hidden among humans? The truth could mean life or death – and time is running out.
Audiobook listened to in April.
by O. Alan Noble
We live in a distracted, secular age. These two trends define life in Western society today. We are increasingly addicted to habits―and devices―that distract and “buffer” us from substantive reflection and deep engagement with the world. And we live in what Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor calls “a secular age”―an age in which all beliefs are equally viable and real transcendence is less and less plausible. Drawing on Taylor’s work, Alan Noble describes how these realities shape our thinking and affect our daily lives. Too often Christians have acquiesced to these trends, and the result has been a church that struggles to disrupt the ingrained patterns of people’s lives. But the gospel of Jesus is inherently disruptive: like a plow, it breaks up the hardened surface to expose the fertile earth below. In this book Noble lays out individual, ecclesial, and cultural practices that disrupt our society’s deep-rooted assumptions and point beyond them to the transcendent grace and beauty of Jesus. Disruptive Witness casts a new vision for the evangelical imagination, calling us away from abstraction and cliché to a more faithful embodiment of the gospel for our day.
Read in March and June.
by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.
Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever. Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises, and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.
Audiobook listened to in March.
A Strand of Hope (Librarians of Willow Hollow #1)
by Amanda Tero
Lena Davis is the daughter her mom never wanted. But she survived. Through stories. Because books didn’t judge. Books weren’t angry she was alive. Books never expected her to be anything but who she was. As she grows up, her beloved library becomes her true home. So when the library is designated part of President Roosevelt’s Packhorse Library Project, Lena is determined to get the job of bringing books to highlanders, believing she’ll finally be free of her mom forever. But earning the trust of highlanders is harder than she imagined, and her passion for books might not be enough to free her from her chains.
Read in July.
by Corrie ten Boom
Here is a book aglow with the glory of God and the courage of a quiet Christian spinster whose life was transformed by it. A story of Christ’s message and the courage woman who listened and lived to pass it along—with joy and triumph!
Read in March.
I still need to do a formal wrap-up for all of 2020, but I hope that you enjoyed seeing my top ten favorite books from the year!
What was your favorite book from last year?
Until the next chapter,