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01 Jan 2021
The best books I read in 2020

Books I loved reading in 2020 which had a strong sense of place

  • Meddling and Murder: an Aunty Lee Mystery by Ovidia Yu - Murder mystery solved by a Singaporean aunty who runs a restaurant. Very foodie, very cute. Latest book in a series I love.
  • Sightseeing by Rattawut Lapcharoensap - Thai short stories. Reading these made me feel ridiculous about my tourism. Excellent.
  • The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin - A love song to the real NYC where I live. She gets it. (The plot is almost beside the point with this one, for me.)
  • If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha - Young women in Seoul, beauty standards and plastic surgery, what we do to survive.

Romance novels I loved reading in 2020

  • The Bride Test by Helen Hoang - Autistic love interest. Protagonist was chosen by the mom to be the bride (mom went back to Vietnam to find a candidate), agrees because she wants citizenship, and is brought to the US as a housekeeper to try to win him over. It’s all loving and respectful and sweet.
  • The Truitts: Appetites & Vices by Felicia Grossman - Historical romance (1800s Philly) with a Jewish protagonist who came across to me as probably on the spectrum. Not accepted because of her religion, but also she’s always just too loud and direct and confident and blunt. I love her.
  • Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston - Adorable romance between the UK prince and the son of the US president. Light and warm and fuzzy and just solidly comforting.
  • The Worth Saga: Mrs. Martin’s Incomparable Adventure by Courtney Milan - Queer old women, one rich one poor, falling in love. I live for stories of old ladies having fun!

Scifi/Fantasy I loved reading in 2020

  • Strange the Dreamer (series) by Laini Taylor - Dark, creepy, awful, sickening. (First book was a reread, but I finally read the sequal this year.)
  • Species Imperative (series) by Julie E. Czerneda - This was a reread, I love it so much. Evolutionary biology scifi! Written by a scientist, and it shows!
  • The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle - Reread, of course. Lives up to the memories.
  • Docile by K.M. Szpara - Feels like this should’ve been sexy but in fact it was creepy and depressing. I wouldn’t actually say I loved it, or even liked it, but it certainly stayed with me.
  • The Scapegracers by Hannah Abigail Clarke - What this one really gets right is the feeling of being a teenage girl - all sharp and gross and ridiculous and dangerous and desperate and confused and powerful. Really excited for the rest of the series to come out!

Books I loved reading in 2020 that related to parenting

  • How To Talk So Little Kids Will Listen by Joanna Faber and Julie King
  • The Montessori Toddler by Simone Davies
  • Go To Sleep / I Miss You: cartoons from the fog of new parenthood by Lucy Knisley

Other non-fiction I loved reading in 2020

  • The Sting of the Wild by Justin O. Schmidt - By the Schmidt Sting Pain Index guy! Fun anecdotes (though at least one rather horrifying one, too)
  • An Elegant Puzzle: Systems of Engineering Management by Will Larson
  • Turn the Ship Around! by L. David Marquet
  • Making Comics by Lynda Barry

Other fiction I loved reading in 2020

  • Shirley & Jamila Save Their Summer by Gillian Goerz - Sherlock and Watson as two middle school girls solving kid problems. Exactly the wholesome content I needed this year.
  • An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
  • The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly

Total number of books read in 2020: 159