kelsey lynne

Favorite Books of 2020

Jan 11

It’s not like I need to get into a million details here as to WHY I had so much time to read this year…But, reading is apparently one of my favorite ways to pass the time when I am not shooting weddings.

Last year I read 55 books & to be honest – thought that there would be no other time in my life where I would read that many. Until 2020, when I read 80 books.

80.

WOW. Not only did I read some books that were in genres that I don’t normally read – there were SO many amazing books that came out in 2020. Also, I started a few series’ of books – so there were a few trilogies that I read, which made it really easy to keep reading, because I wanted to find out what happened next in the story!

For the first time, I read some fantasy books – and also some mystery/thriller. I put down some books that I couldn’t get into – and realized over and over again that if a book FEELS like you are walking through mud – put it down and find something different. Reading doesn’t have to feel hard & boring.

Also – a new thing that happened this year, was I created a GoodReads account. It has been SO fun to connect with some friends on there and also, there are about 602x more reviews and ratings on Goodreads than Amazon. So it was really fun to find new books and I really did like their suggestions based on books I’ve read & loved! If you’re on Goodreads or want to track your reading – let’s be friends!

To make things easier – if any of these books sound interesting to you – you can click on the image of the book, or the title – and it will take you directly to Amazon if you want to purchase! These are affiliate links – so I will earn a small commission if you purchase through my link – but it does not change the experience or price for you – it just supports my book buying habit!

Now, let’s get to the good stuff – the book reviews! I’ve also added a new section called “Recommended if you like” where I try my best to help you know if a book is for you.

FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2020 : 

  • Delicious by Ruth Reichl
    • This is my most recommended book of 2020. I told EVERYONE to read it! I love Ruth Reichl’s other books – she is the former food editor of the New York Times. This is her first fiction novel and it is about a girl who gets a job at Delicious, a fictional food magazine. She also comes across some letters from WW2 written between a young girl and James Beard. It was a mix of present day & historical fiction with SO many amazing food references. Loved it. It made me hungry & it made me want to plan a trip to New York City to experience all of this food!
    • Recommended if you like : The Movie “The Devil Wears Prada”, good food, historical fiction, and NYC.
    • Rating : 10/10
  • Anxious People by Frederik Backman
    • This book made me laugh out loud. It made me cry. It made me love people more. Basically – it is a bank robbery turned hostage situation, but in a way that you will actually just love. I read this book in 2 days because I couldn’t put it down. It has some heavy topics, but overall the book is NOT heavy. Does that make sense?
    • Recommended if you like : The Movie “Crazy, Stupid Love” (They are not related. I just feel like if you like one, you’ll like the other)
    • Trigger Warnings : Depression & Suicide
    • Rating : 10/10
  • The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
    • Historical Fiction about set in the Depression era in the mountains of Kentucky. About a group of female librarians who deliver their books ON HORSEBACK. I absolutely loved this book.
    • Recommended if you liked “The Great Alone” by Kristin Hannah and love books that feature strong women and even stronger friendships.
    • Rating : 9.5/10
  • This Tender Land by William Kent Kreuger
    • WOW. Every person I have recommended this book to has loved it. It is an EPIC story about some kids in the midwest during the Great Depression Era – some very intense moments. A grand adventure in the midst of tragedy.
    • Trigger Warning : there is some abuse mentioned – but is not the major theme of the book.
    • Recommended for people who loved “Where the Crawdad’s Sing” and who want to read a story where each chapter ends in such a way where you just HAVE to start the next one.
    • Rating : 10/10
  • Celine by Peter Heller
    • Last year, I shared about “The River” by Peter Heller. This is one of his previous books & I LOVED it. Celine, the main character is a Private Investigator in her 60’s. She’s full of personality. It’s a mystery book with a case for her to solve, but mostly I just loved reading about her quirks. Enjoyable, funny, addicting.
    • Recommended for people who march to the beat of their own drum, or admire people that do. Also good if you want a little mystery but solved by a quirky character. If you like the show “House” you would like this book. Just an idea.
    • Rating : 9/10
  • One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
    • This book made me laugh & I just really liked it. I read a lot of books set in England – because some of my favorite authors are from there. This is kind of a rom-com, but not a cheesy one. I loved it and it read like a movie to me. It was on the longer side, but I didn’t want it to end.
    • Recommended for people who like stories that don’t feel unrealistic. That have an element of “reality”.
    • Rating : 8/10
  • Beach Read by Emily Henry
    • This is more than just a romance book. January Andrews is a romance novel author who is basically done believing in love. She has a deadline so heads to a cabin on a lake to write her novel. She doesn’t realize that the guy living next door, Augustus Everett, is also an author – but her polar opposite. I LOVED this book. I loved waiting to see what was going to happen with them. She is also coping with the death of her dad – so the book had a human element as well as being a “Romance” book.
    • Steamy Rating : 2/5 (There are some sexy scenes, but I also recommended this book to my mom & mother-in-law, so nothing too crazy.)
    • Recommended if you love a chick flick.
    • Rating : 9/10
  • Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan
    • To be honest – I read SO much Jenny Colgan this year, she has a few different series’ and I binged them all. By far – my favorite series is the “Little Beach Street Bakery” series. This book is like a warm hug. It’s a story of Polly, a woman who is going through a rough rough season and decides to move to a little town where she knows nobody, and basically ends up opening a bakery. There’s a little romance and a quirky puffin (the bird). It felt like a vacation. Which was a nice brain break! If you are looking for something light, and maybe a teensy bit like a Hallmark movie, but a GOOD one – grab this. There are 2 other books in the series also that I read and enjoyed, but this one was my favorite for sure.
    • Recommended for people who need a book that feels like freshly baked bread on a cold day, and grew up loving Disney Movies. Just trust me.
    • Rating : 9.5/10
  • The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel
    • Historical Fiction about a Jewish girl in France during World War 2. It has some hard and painful moments because of the content – but well worth the read. THE ENDING. Just read the book. Okay?
    • Recommended for people who like “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah or “Beneath the Scarlett Sky” by Mark Sullivan
    • Rating : 9.5/10
  • How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry
    • For book lovers, for SURE. But also – the book is full of different characters who all have different stories, as you continue to read, some of the stories intersect and it just was like a warm hug. Really enjoyed it.
    • Recommended for people who enjoyed the movie : Love Actually, Valentine’s Day, and New Year’s Eve
    • Rating : 8/10
  • Lovely War by Julie Berry
    • This Young Adult Fiction book was such a surprise to me. I loved it. Greek Mythology mixed with Historical Fiction & a love story? Wow. It was so good. Also was an easy read. Nothing too steamy, I promise. Also – since its a young adult fiction, I felt like it was super easy to get into and read quickly!
    • Recommended if you love historical fiction & Greek Mythology.
    • Rating : 8/10
  • Dear Emmie Blue by Lia Louis
    • This book surprised me. I honestly purchased on a whim, because I liked the cover and also felt like the description would be good. It ended up being a book that I really really loved. Emmie Blue is such a lovable character, and even though the book isn’t what I would consider super light, there was enough lightness mixed in to make it something I will definitely re-read. If you love a quirky character – you’ll love Emmie Blue.
    • Trigger Warnings : Depression & Suicide. Mental Health is a big subject in this book.
    • Recommended if you enjoyed the book “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” or “Evvie Drake Starts Over”. Also – if you love Kate Winslet’s story line in the movie “The Holiday”.
    • Rating : 8/10
  • The Lazy Genius Way by Kendra Adachi
    • THIS BOOK. The Lazy Genius podcast is my favorite – I love Kendra’s easy way of breaking things down from meal planning, to being a friend, to planning your life and busy schedule. This book is one I definitely took many things away from. Instead of giving you her way of doing thing, she gives you principles that can be applied to your own life. THAT is what makes this a good book. Because anyone can apply her principle “name what matters” to their own life. Because what matters to you is different than what matters to me. Read this one with a highlighter or a pen.
    • Recommended if you are overwhelmed and want some practical principles to make your life easier. TRULY.
    • Rating : 9/10
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
    • This was a “Book of the Month” pick for me – and WOW. I am so surprised at how much I loved it. This book is MUCH darker than what I normally read. Addie LaRue makes a deal with the devil. She gets to live forever, but the cost? She will be forgotten by everyone she meets. Until one day…300 years after the deal has been made…she is remembered by a young man in a bookstore that remembers her name. The writing was beautiful and it made me think so much about the importance of being “Known” in regards to being loved. There are some steamy scenes, and it is darker than most of my recommendations – but this is one that I will probably re-read in the future because of how interesting it was and how beautifully written.
    • Rating : 8/10
  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
    • This book was so interesting to me. It moved a little slowly, so that is why it is not as highly rated – but the idea is that between life & death – there is a library. A library with every possible life you could have had, based on every choice you made at any point in your life. Nora visits the “Midnight Library” and has a chance to change some of her answers to see how her life would have been if she would’ve made different choices. It honestly got me thinking a lot – and had a “fantasy” type feel for me.
    • Trigger Warning : Suicide
    • Recommended for people who wonder what it would be like to time travel, and also who ask the question “Is the grass always greener on the other side of the fence?”
    • Rating : 7/10
  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
    • This was a book I saw on Instagram a few different times and based on the reviews & cover of the book – I decided to pick it up. It is a young adult fantasy book. Take a peek on Amazon to read the description and if it sounds like something you would like – give it a try. This is so different than what I normally read, but I really did end up liking it!
    • Recommended if you don’t mind a little movie magic thrown into your books.
    • Rating : 7.5/10
  • This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens
    • This was another “Book of the Month” pick and I just really enjoyed it. It was a Chick Flick type of book and let’s just say, one of my last reads of the year that fit perfectly. Nothing too steamy.
    • Recommended if you love a good chick flick where by the end you just are screaming “KISS HIM”.
    • Rating : 8/10
  • The Switch by Beth O’Leary
    • LOVED this book. Both needing a change – a grandmother & her granddaughter switch places for a few months – think “The Holiday”. I really liked this one. It was soooooo good and easy to read. A little romance. Some family drama. Nothing overly steamy.
    • Trigger Warnings : Grief & Cancer & Depression
    • Recommended if you loved the movie “The Holiday” and kind of wonder what it would be like to trade lives with someone for a while.
    • Rating : 8.5/10
  • The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes
    • I think Historical Fiction is such a beautiful genre. This is another WW2 book and wow, one of my favorites. This one gets a little intense, and there is an element of romance – but I admire authors who tell the stories of tragedy along with beauty at the same time. What a beautiful picture of life.
    • Recommended if you love historical fiction & the book “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah
    • Rating : 8/10
  • Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn
    • This Romance gets a little steamy, which I was not expecting, but I also could not get over how FUN it was to read about all of the hand lettering/font talk. Call me a nerd, but the premise of this book is so addicting. Meg, the main character, is known for her incredibly beautiful hand lettering – but in one wedding invitation she puts a hidden message because she just knows the marriage is doomed to fail. Thinking she’d never be caught – what a surprise when the groom comes and confronts her on it. I COULD NOT PUT THIS DOWN.
    • But also – Steam Rating : 2.5/5
    • Recommended if you love the movie You’ve Got Mail & don’t mind a little steam.
    • Rating : 7.5/10

Well – THAT was fun! These are my 20 favorite books from 2020. I hope that you find some books that you love or books that you want to add to your list! I am hoping to read some more great books in 2021, and will definitely keep you updated on the ones that I like the most!

Also – if you want to see all of these books in one easy place, here’s a list on Amazon of my 2020 Favs : 2020 Favorite Books List

Did you read any books you loved in 2020? I’d love to hear! Comment below or send me a DM on Instagram! Cheers friends, to good books and a better year!

Kels

To See my 2019 Favorite Books, check out this post from last year!

comments +

  1. Mollee says:

    Omg this is the best list. It makes me want to pick up a book right now.

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