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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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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: The Trouble With Peace (The Age of Madness, #2) by Joe Abercrombie

Book Review: The Trouble With Peace (The Age of Madness, #2) by Joe Abercrombie

I received an ARC of The Trouble with Peace (Gollancz) in exchange for an honest review.

Cover illustration by: Tomás Almeida

The Trouble with Peace by Joe Abercrombie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Age of Madness (Book #2 of 3), First Law World (Book, #9 of 10)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Grimdark fantasy

Published: 15th September 2020 by Gollancz (UK) & 15th September 2020 by Orbit (US)


A savagely stunning sequel. 

The Trouble With Peace takes place shortly after the events of A Little Hatred and its ominous conclusion. Whilst peace has been hard-won, it is a peace built on shaky foundations and the title for this second book in The Age of Madness trilogy is not coy about the direction of this story.

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Book Review: A Little Hatred (The Age of Madness, #1) by Joe Abercrombie

Book Review: A Little Hatred (The Age of Madness, #1) by Joe Abercrombie

A Little Hatred


Cover illustration by: Tomás Almeida

A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Age of Madness (Book #1 of 3), First Law World (Book, #8 of 10)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Grimdark fantasy

Published: 17th September 2019 by Gollancz (UK) & 17th September 2019 by Orbit (US)


As ferocious and fun as ever.

It’s been a while since I read a Joe Abercrombie novel, and the truth is that it has been too long. This dawned on me when I recently read one of his short stories in an anthology and was instantly reminded that he is one of the greatest fantasy writers of our era, with a writing style and tone of his own, and a gift for bringing words, thoughts and emotions to life like no other. A Little Hatred moved up on my TBR and when I saw that his latest book, The Trouble with Peace, was releasing soon I decided that there was no time like the present for catching up.

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Book Review: The Trouble With Peace (The Age of Madness, #2) by Joe Abercrombie

Book Review: The Trouble With Peace (The Age of Madness, #2) by Joe Abercrombie

ARC provided by the publisher—Gollancz—in exchange for an honest review.

Cover illustration by: Tomas Almeida

The Trouble with Peace by Joe Abercrombie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Age of Madness (Book #2 of 3), First Law World (Book, #9 of 10)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Grimdark fantasy

Pages: 512 pages (UK Hardback)

Published: 15th September 2020 by Gollancz (UK) & 15th September 2020 by Orbit (US)


Incredibly mesmeric and brilliant. The trouble with reading Abercrombie’s newest book is that there’s no more new Abercrombie book to read.

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TS’s Top 11 Books Read in 2020 So Far (1st Jan to 30th June)

TS’s Top 11 Books Read in 2020 So Far (1st Jan to 30th June)


2020 has so far been a truly strange, stressful and complicated year, but reading wise it has been pretty incredible for me.  I’ve read/listen to 73 books during this first six months of the year and quite a sizeable chunk of these garnered 4-stars and above.  In fact, I can’t remember the last time I’ve added so many books onto my favourites shelf in the same period of time.  If you’re interested, you 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 three, of which two are tied for first place.  The rest, I’ve listed them in the chronological order of when I’ve read them this year.  All of these have been reviewed by me on Novel Notions and Goodreads.

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Book Review: Last Argument of Kings (The First Law, #3) by Joe Abercrombie

Book Review: Last Argument of Kings (The First Law, #3) by Joe Abercrombie

Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The First Law (Book #3 of 3), First Law World (Book, #3 of 10)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Grimdark fantasy

Published: 20th March 2008 by Gollancz (UK) & 8th September 2015 by Orbit (US)


I’ve been meaning to read The First Law trilogy for years, after hearing loads of accolades from far and wide across the fantasy bibliosphere. Now that I’ve done so, I could safely say that Abercrombie deserved all those praises, and I’ll contribute by heaping on more of the same.

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Book Review: Before They Are Hanged (The First Law, #2) by Joe Abercrombie

Book Review: Before They Are Hanged (The First Law, #2) by Joe Abercrombie

Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The First Law (Book #2 of 3), First Law World (Book, #2 of 10)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Grimdark fantasy

Published: 15th March 2007 by Gollancz (UK) & 8th September 2015 by Orbit (US)


This is when I start to bemoan about picking up this trilogy so late. To think that I actually met Abercrombie at WorldCon last year before completing The First Law. It was such a travesty of an opportunity, and I’m repentant for it.

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Book Review: The Blade Itself (The First Law, #1) by Joe Abercrombie

Book Review: The Blade Itself (The First Law, #1) by Joe Abercrombie


The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The First Law (Book #1 of 3), First Law World (Book, #1 of 10)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Grimdark fantasy

Published: 4th May 2006 by Gollancz (UK) & 8th September 2015 by Orbit (US)


Before anyone gasped in surprise that I’ve not read this excellent grimdark entry by Joe Abercrombie, allow me to provide a little backstory.

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Emma’s Best Books of 2019

Emma’s Best Books of 2019

The featured image above was specifically designed by Felix Ortiz for Novel Notions’ Top 20 Lists. 


Ok, I’ll admit it, I’m cheating… my Best Books of 2019 post is a little different from the rest of the Novel Notions team.

It’s felt like a bit of a strange reading year for me, with a lot of study, non-fiction, and comfort rereads. My number is sitting at 164 so far, with a whole load getting that very respectable 4 star rating. However, there have only been a small amount that have truly floored me, that have deserved the 4.5 or the big, shiny 5 star rating. These are the kind of books that stay in your memory forever, that you recommend EVERYWHERE and as often as possible. They’re the ones where it’s almost impossible to stop your eyes from flicking forward to see what’s coming next because you’re so excited to get there. When I made that feeling the criteria for my list, it made things immediately clear. I don’t have 20, I have 10. They were all published this year and I loved them all. I hope you consider giving them a go too…

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