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Month: December 2020

TS’s Top 20 Books Read in 2020

TS’s Top 20 Books Read in 2020


2020 has been such a strange, stressful and complicated year.  I took a one-year sabbatical leave from work from mid-2019 and managed to do quite a bit of travelling for about six months before the world got completely turned upside down.  I’ve read/listen over 120 books this year, 73 of which was completed during the first half when I wasn’t working and the entire world was on lockdown.  Getting back to work during the second half in the midst of a global pandemic and a new challenging role did affect my ability to read and also write reviews on a regular basis.

Despite 2020 being such a watershed/dumpster year, it’s been an incredible one for my reading as I’ve completed a lot books ranging from great to masterpieces.  In fact, I can’t remember the last time I’ve added so many books onto my favourites shelf (many of which were from the same series).  If you’re curious/interested, you also can see my year in books for 2020 right here.

Similar to my previous list, I do not limit this to only books released this year.  There are simply too many great books that have been published prior and that I’ve yet to read, so there will always be older books included.  Below are the parameters that I’ve set for the list.

  • Rereads don’t count
  • One book per author
  • Not limited to books which are released this year.

None of these are ranked except for the top five.  The rest, I’ve listed them in the chronological order of when I’ve read them this year.  Almost all of these have been reviewed by me on Novel Notions and Goodreads, albeit some are quite brief.

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Celeste’s Top 20 Books of the Year (2020)

Celeste’s Top 20 Books of the Year (2020)

The featured image above was specifically designed by Felix Ortiz for Novel Notions’ Top Books Lists. His work is amazing, and we feel incredibly fortunate to have been favored with it. Thank you so much, Felix!

 

If you’d like to see a list of everything I’ve read this year, you can click here to see my year in books for 2020!

2020 was an incredible reading year for me. I read over 150 books, and have found a number of new favorites. I haven’t read as much fantasy this year, but I still managed to find some wonderful new stories that I know will stick with me for a long time to come.  Thank goodness for books, right?  I don’t think I could’ve gotten through the dumpster fire that was 2020 without them. It was incredibly difficult to narrow my list down to twelve books, but I finally managed it. There will be a handful of honorable mentions at the end of this post, for those I just couldn’t bare to not include. I’m taking a page from Petrik and following three rules for my list:

1. Only one book per author.
2. Rereads don’t count.
3. The books were new to me, but didn’t have to be published this year.

Once again, I’m ranking my reads. That being said, every single book on this list was a 5 star read and I highly recommend them all.  You can view my full review of each book (including the honorable mentions) by clicking the link  in each title.  And now, without further ado, here are my favorite books of 2020.

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Book Review: Across the Green Grass Fields (Wayward Children, #6) by Seanan McGuire

Book Review: Across the Green Grass Fields (Wayward Children, #6) by Seanan McGuire


Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher, Tor.com, in exchange for an honest review.

Over the past few years, I’ve come to love Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series fiercely. And thanks to the wonderful people at Tor.com, reading the newest installment a bit ahead of its publication date has become something of a Christmas tradition for me. These novellas are all beautifully written and poignant and full of heavy topics handled with a light but respectful touch. Across the Green Grass Fields is no exception to this rule.

“Girlhood wasn’t destiny unless you wanted it to be, and she had accepted her destiny wholeheartedly. Anything to be normal.”

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Petrik’s Top 20 Books of the Year (2020)

Petrik’s Top 20 Books of the Year (2020)

The featured image above was specifically designed by Felix Ortiz for Novel Notions’ Top 20 Lists. Check out his portfolio, he’s brilliant.


This list is also available on my Booktube Channel if that’s what you preferred: https://youtu.be/1gXaV7SQVio

 

Click here if you want to see the list of all the books I’ve read this year: Petrik’s Year in Books (2020)

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Book Review: Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #2) by Tamsyn Muir

Book Review: Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #2) by Tamsyn Muir

I have a Booktube channel now! Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/petrikleo

Review copy provided by the publisher—Tor.com—in exchange for an honest review.

Cover illustrated by: Tommy Arnold

Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Locked Tomb (Book #2 of 3)

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Science Fantasy, Space Opera

Pages: 512 pages (Hardback)

Published: 4th August 2020 by Tor.com


Harrow the Ninth was insanely confusing, and I am both annoyed and impressed at the same time.

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Book Review: The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix

Book Review: The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix

ARC received from publisher, Gollancz, in exchange for an honest review.

The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix

My rating: 4 of 5 stars.

Genre: Urban fantasy, historical fantasy, young adult

Published: 24th September 2020 by Gollancz (UK) and 22nd September 2020 Katherine Tegen Books (US)


The Left-Handed Booksellers of London was an enjoyable urban fantasy romp in an alternate 1980s-London which left me wanting more from this clever and fascinating world of magical secret service booksellers.

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Book Review: Wintersong (Wintersong, #1) by S. Jae-Jones

Book Review: Wintersong (Wintersong, #1) by S. Jae-Jones


Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve been in the mood for anything wintry, and this book seemed like just the thing. It’s young adult, which I’ve struggled with in the past, but I decided to give it a go anyway. I’m so glad I did, because Wintersong is a beautiful story. A retelling of the movie Labyrinth, it’s a captivating take on the Goblin King and his Underground, with music at its core.

“You are the monster I claim.”

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Book Review: We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker

Book Review: We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker

I have a Booktube channel now! Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/petrikleo

We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Thriller, Literary fiction, Crime fiction

Pages: 344 pages (Kindle)

Published: 26th March 2020 by Zaffre


Melancholic, compelling, and so beautifully written.

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Book Review: A Deadly Education (The Scholomance, #1) by Naomi Novik

Book Review: A Deadly Education (The Scholomance, #1) by Naomi Novik


A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The synopsis for A Deadly Education filled me with so much excitement when I first read it a year ago. And yet I put of reading it for months after its release, because I was scared. The reason for that fear? In a word: Uprooted. While I didn’t loathe it with every fiber of my being like my co-blogger Petrik did, I very much did not understand the love for that book. So many people adore it. And I desperately wanted to share in that adoration, I really did. On paper, it should have absolutely worked for me. Rich setting, interesting magic, a fairytale retelling that flips its source material on its head. It should have become an instant new favorite for me. And yet, it didn’t. I struggled my way through it. So you can see why I’d be scared to try A Deadly Education, right? I have a huge weakness for magic schools, but I wondered if maybe Novik’s writing just wasn’t for me.

I am excited to report that my fears proved themselves to be unfounded. I took to this book immediately and loved every single page. Whatever my disconnect was with Uprooted, Novik’s a gifted author with a talent for immersive writing, and I’m already counting down the days until The Graduate, the second book in the Scholomance series, is published.

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Book Review: Why She Wrote by Hannah K. Chapman and Lauren Burke, Illustrated by Kaley Bales

Book Review: Why She Wrote by Hannah K. Chapman and Lauren Burke, Illustrated by Kaley Bales


Why She Wrote: A Graphic History of the Lives, Inspiration, and Influence Behind the Pens of Classic Women Writers by Lauren Burke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher, Chronicle Books, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Why She Wrote is not a book I would have stumbled upon without NetGalley, and I would have been missing out. This collection of graphic biographies takes 18 women who wrote and, in sets of three, seeks to illuminate their lives and motivations just the tiniest bit. I really like the way this is presented. Each author gets a page-long bio, followed by a short comic answering the titular question of why she wrote, and finished off with a list of published works and important facts. It reminded me of Rejected Princesses, though I can see where it would have even more in common with Monster, She Wrote, which I have yet to read.

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