Top 8 Books of 2020!

Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!

This may be a tad depressing, but I have truly never been more excited for a to end! 2020 has been a year straight from hell, and I am hoping for a lot of positivity, health, and healing for everyone in 2021. Fortunately, one of my favourite strategies to escape from all of the horrible things this year brought on was to read a lot of books! I completed my original 2020 Goodreads reading challenge of 45 books, and ended up reading a total of 50 books this year! Last year I completed 58 books, and I definitely could have surpassed that goal if I continued reading at a high pace during the last quarter of the year. With school and some other personal things, I had practically no motivation to read if the book was not for school, but I hope things will change and I will be more motivated heading into 2021.

That being said, I managed to read some phenomenal books in 2020! I read loads of 2020 new-releases (thanks to some book shopping retail therapy!), and was so happy with all of the novels I picked up this year. Out of the 50 books I completed, I have selected eight novels that solidified themselves as new all-time favourite novels!

#8: Playing Nice by J.P. Delaney

This was one of my favourite thrillers of 2020! Ironically, last year, JP Delaney’s 2019 publication was on my top books of 2019 list, but I have to say that I enjoyed this one even more! I love a good family driven thriller, and that was exactly what this book was all about. This thriller had SO many unexpected twists and turns, and I absolutely loved it. You can read my full review of this novel here!

#7: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

This book absolutely blew me away. Believe it or not, prior to 2020 I had never had the chance to fully read this novel, and I am so glad I did. This book features some of the best written characters I have ever read about. Additionally, this book moved me to tears on several occasions, especially since so many of my elder family members have memories from WW2 that are just as frightening as the ones featured in this novel. Because of this book, I plan on reading some more historical fiction novels next year!

#6: The Switch by Beth O’Leary

Beth O’Leary’s 2019 release, The Flatshare, just missed my top reads of 2019 list, so I am incredibly happy that this one made it so high on my 2020 top books list! This book was such a delight to reader, and featured some incredibly memorable characters and storylines. Historically, I tend to avoid adult contemporary novels because I often find them very predictable and forgettable. However, this one was not like that at all! I had such a fantastic time reading this novel, and I cannot wait to read all of Beth O’Leary’s future releases! You can read my full review of this novel here!

#5: The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Thousands of people are placing this book in their #1 favourite book of the year spot, and that makes perfect sense to me! This book was absolutely stunning in every single aspect. The characters, plot, and themes present in this novel are handled and written about so beautifully. I am not normally a big fan of hard-hitting contemporary, but this book is an absolute must-read.

#4: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

I was a very late member of The Silent Patient train, but once I read this book, there was no stepping off it! This novel will go down as one of my favourite mystery-thrillers of all time. This novel was written so carefully and precisely, and the plot-twist was one I had never experienced before. If you ever find yourself craving a perfect thriller, I would highly recommend picking this one up! You can read my full review of this novel here!

#3: The Passengers by John Marrs

If you are a frequent reader of my blog, it should not come as a shock to see a John Marrs book land on this list! This year I purchased Marrs’ entire written collection thus far, and while I am still making my way through it, the Marrs novel I enjoyed most this year was The Passengers. This book was an absolute delight to read, and I hope it gets adapted into a TV series one day! You can read my full review of this novel here!

#2: Beach Read by Emily Henry

In the year that was 2020, I often seemed some fun, adventurous romance novels, and this one was my favourite by far! While there was not much actual romance, the conversations between the two main characters were so interesting to read, and my overall experience of this novel was one of the ones I have had in a long while! You can read my full review of this novel here!

#1: The Mothers by Brit Bennett

There are very few words that would do justice to my experience and emotions towards this book. I find it quite amusing that this book made it to the top of my favourite books list of this year, as the experiences the characters go through in this novel are unlike any I have yet to experience. That being said, the writing, characters, and themes in this novel are written to perfection. This book will remain an all-time favourite throughout the depths of time, and I cannot wait to read every future Brit Bennett novel in the future!

Those were my absolute favourite reads of 2020! If you would like to see all of the books I read this year, click here. What was your favourite book of 2021? 

Wishing you all a fabulous and safe New Years Eve, and I am looking forward to reading with you all next year!

Good Night Book Owls!

In My Mailbox #15: Late 2020 & Early Winter 2021 Releases

Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!

Over the past two days, I celebrated finishing my first semester of University (as an English Major… more on that later!), and celebrated SEVEN YEARS of Reading, Reading, Reading! Whether you have been reading my posts starting in 2013, or starting today, I am so incredibly thankful for you! My life has changed so much since I started this little blog, and I could not be more thankful for everyone who reads my posts!

Over the past few months, I have received quite a few books from a few different publishers, which have come out just recently or are scheduled to be released in the coming months! I always enjoying share new releases with you, which is why I love to both make and read these kinds of posts!

A quick disclaimer: This is in no way a form of bragging. I truly love sharing the books I receive from publishers, and since I share them periodically on my Bookstagram account, this is a way for my blog readers to see them all featured in one spot. Additionally, if you cannot afford to purchase new releases, or can only access books from your local library, you are just as important in this book community as someone who can afford such luxuries! Buying new books does not make you any “more” or “less” of a reader!

The first pile of books I am featuring all came from Hachette Book Group Canada, including one of my most anticipated releases of 2021, None Shall Sleep by Ellie Marney! This book has received some insanely amazing praise recently (the Goodreads reviews for it are STELLAR), and I plan on reading it very soon!

The second book I received from HBG Canada was A Tale of Witchcraft by Chris Colfer. As many of you know, Chris Colfer’s first middle grade series, The Land of Stories, is one of my favourite series of all time! His newest series is a spin-off of that series, and includes new characters and new adventures! I cannot wait to read this second instalment!

The first book I received from HBG Canada was Horrid by Katrina Leno. I have read a handful of Katrina Leno’s previous releases over the course of the last few years, and have enjoyed most of them, so I hope I enjoy this one just as much!

The fourth book I received from HBG Canada was The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I have been seeing this book pop-up everywhere on Bookstagram and BookTube, so I plan on reading it quite soon to find out if it is worth the hype!

The final book I received from HBG Canada was very unlike the books I usually receive, but I am incredibly excited for it! Accidentally Wes Anderson by Wally Koval is a “coffee-table book”, featuring hundreds of photographs that all look like they come from Wes Anderson films! I skimmed this book when it first arrived in the mail, and I am so excited to take a closer look at all of the beautiful photos! Thanks to HBG Canada for all of those incredibly new releases!

One of my biggest bookish goals of 2021 is to read more contemporary/literary fiction novels, as that is the genre I have enjoyed reading from the most this year! Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason is a contemporary novel featuring some very interesting literary themes, and I am really looking forward to reading it! This book was released in Australia this year, and is set to release in North America on February 9, 2021! Thanks to Harper Collins Canada for sending me an ARC!

These last four books were all graciously sent to me from Simon and Schuster Canada! The first book I received from them was Yolk by Mark H.K. Choi. Choi wrote both Emergency Contact and Permanent Record, two incredibly well-know YA contemporary novels, and this is her third YA release! I have not read her previous novels, but am looking forward to reading this one nonetheless! This book is a tale of two sisters, which already intrigues me more than her other two novels!

The second book I received from S&SC was Milk Fed by Melissa Broder. All I know is that the two main characters in this book are Jewish women, which places this book near the top of my TBR pile (I rarely see any overt Jewish repersentation in Adult literarture)! I truly cannot wait to read it!

The third book I received from S&SC was Other People’s Children by R.J. Hoffmann. To be honest, I remember next to nothing about the synopsis of this book, but am still very intrigued by the title and cover! Another book I will be adding to my growing list of literary fiction to read in 2021!

The final book I received from S&SC was Good Eggs by Rebecca Hardiman. While the cover of this book is beautiful, what really hooked me in was the first sentence of the synopsis “perfect for fans of Where’d You Go, Bernadette and Evvie Drake Starts Over” – two books I loved! I am really looking forward to this novel, and hope to read it before it releases on March 2, 2021!

Those are all of the books that showed up in my mailbox over the past few months! Again, I would like to extend a huge thank you to Hachette Book Group Canada, Harper Collins Canada, and Simon and Schuster Canada for these new books! I cannot wait to read and review them for you!

Good Night Book Owls!

Non-Fiction November Haul

Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!

If you are American, I hope you had a lovely, thought provoking and reflective Thanksgiving with your immediate family! I have never been one to typically celebrate Thanksgiving (especially since it’s not as popular in Canada), but I certainly understand the purpose of it, especially during the exhaustive year we have all had. Additionally, I apologize for my disappearance on both my blog and Instagram. School has been really hectic lately, but I only have a week and a half to go until I’m finished this semester, so expect a lot more posting from then until the beginning of January!

In the month of November, I have pretty much been only able to read books I am required to complete for school. However, I have been dabbling into a few of my previously purchased non-fiction books, which inspired me to pick up a few more! All of the books I purchased this month were non-fiction, and all but Barack Obama’s memoir were purchased from A Different Booklist, which is an independent black-owned bookstore located in Toronto. I purchased from them a few months ago (see that haul here), and wanted to support them again as Toronto is going through their second lock down since COVID-19 began. If you can afford to, I highly recommend shopping at independent local bookstores for this upcoming holiday season, as they need all of our support now more than ever!

The first book I picked up was Disfigured by Amanda Leduc. This book has been on my to-buy list since I first heard about it during this past spring. I am a huge fairy tale lover (and am even completing a course on fairy tales in university this year), and I think this book will be so interesting!

The second book I picked up from A Different Booklist was So You Want To Talk About Race by Iljeoma Oluo. I have heard some exceptional things about this novel, and am going to read it to advance my read list of anti-racist literature.

The final book I picked up from A Different Booklist was Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall. Similarly to the last two books, I have heard some fantastic things about the information presented in this book, and I hope it is a very insiteful and informative read!

The final non-fiction book I picked up this month came from a pre-order from Indigo, and it was A Promised Land by Barack Obama. This is the first of two political memoirs that Obama is writing, and while I am only six chapters in thus far (hence the bookmark), I’m loving it! There is a 1% chance that I will be able to finish this book by the end of 2020, but I still hope to read it as much as possible over the next month!

Those are all of the non-fiction books I picked up this November! Did you read or pick up any new non-fiction books this month?

Good Night Book Owls!