If you’re like most people, you’re ready to shut the door on 2020. If you’re like me, you read a ton of books in 2020 because what else was there to do?
Here in the US we were quarantined for several months, and for many more months the places where we might find entertainment on a Friday night or a Saturday were closed.
This year, Goodreads says I’ve read close to the 150 books I planned to read. I’ve actually read more, but since I can’t count the advance copies or the manuscripts I read to give beta input (or the dozen books I re-read because I wanted a “sure thing”), we’ll go with the Goodreads calculation.
Even though I read and review what I read, I don’t post book reviews here very often. Mostly because no one comments or shares when I do, so I can take the hint. That’s not why you came to the page.
I did think that an overall recommendation of the “best books” would be appreciated. I decided to post this when I realized I hadn’t read a five-star book in quite a few months. I mean, I enjoyed several books and give them four stars. You can see all of them here, but it had been some time since I raved about a book.
The last five-star reads I’d had are what I will consider my best books of the year. There’s a nonfiction and a fiction title.
I really loved the latest from Holley Gerth. I’ve talked about her books before.
This fall, I participated on her launch team, earning a free paperback and a free audiobook, along with the review copy of the ebook.
The Powerful Purpose of Introverts changed things for me. Mostly, it changed my self-perception.
There is science and scripture in this book. They mesh together with Holley’s conversational writing style to lend empowerment where before there was only a bit of apology and a large dose of cowering.
Seriously, the world of business acts like only extroverts can and will succeed as entrepreneurs and businesspeople. But that isn’t the truth. This book shares dozens of examples of successful introverts.
And to really blow your mind? Statistics say that nearly half the world’s population is introverted. And if you think that means they’re shy, then you’ve never met me. Most people would not say I’m shy, but I tested as 89 percent introvert. (Yes, there’s a handy quiz you can take.)
If you’re an introvert, this book will change the way you see yourself. Even better, it offers you tools to help you succeed in ways you’ve often ascribed to the extroverts of the world.
The best book I read this year was Year One by Nora Roberts.
I reviewed the series here, so I’m not going to give a recounting. I was insanely disappointed in the series, especially the final book. But I was fully engaged in the first book, and it could have been because it is set during a pandemic that changes the face of the world.
It combines fantasy and dystopian, which are two of my favorite genres, and that is another reason I enjoyed it so much. In fact, I’m considering re-reading it to discover the nuances I know I missed as I devoured it on my first pass.
After all, that nonfiction I recommended? I’m already on my third read-through because it needs to be highlighted.
Normally, I read indie authors. The ones I follow are exceptional storytellers who don’t scrimp on editing or design. You would never know their books are self-published.
A close second in the fiction category is Hear Me Roar by Katie Cross. I reviewed the full series here, but this is book four and it stands completely alone. It’s an excellent story about facing down eating disorders and the power of female friendships.
If you love fantasy, I highly recommend Lindsay Buroker and the Death Before Dragons series. Although I have long adored the case from the Emperor’s Edge, her contemporary cast is winning me over. I laugh out loud whenever I read these books.
If you’re looking for a great book, I hope you’ll check these out. If you’ve read a great book this year, tell me about it in the comments. I’m always looking for my next favorite book.