The featured image above was specifically designed by Felix Ortiz for Novel Notions. We are ever so grateful for the opportunity to showcase his talent on our blogsite.
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.
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. …
Published: 17th November 2020 by Tor Books (US) and Gollancz (UK)
Brandon Sanderson is a storming genius. Rhythm of War is another scintillating masterpiece in The Stormlight Archive series—one of my top favorite series of all time, and easily the best ongoing series right now.
“Words on the page define men to future generations.”
Rhythm of War is hands down my favorite book of the year, and I’ve read some truly incredible books over the course of 2020. At the moment, it’s also my favorite fantasy book I’ve ever read. That title has been held by The Name of the Wind for over a decade, but in Rhythm of War Sanderson has usurped it.
Humans are a poem. A song.
For ones so soft, they are somehow strong.
For ones so varied, they are somehow intense.
For ones so lost, they are somehow determined.
For ones so confused, they are somehow brilliant.
For ones so tarnished, they are somehow bright. Radiant.
First published: November 14th 2017 by Tor Books (US) and Gollancz (UK)
That Storming genius has outdone himself. Again!
Words of Radiance was easily the best book I’ve ever read, which naturally resulted in some pretty high expectations going into Oathbringer. As much as I’ve tried to dampen it after waiting for over 3.5 years, I just had to accept that it was futile.
Who am I kidding? Sanderson has completely smashed all my expectations by offering yet another best book I’ve ever read.
Is Oathbringer a masterpiece? I certainly think so. Is it a fantasy classic that will stand the test of time and be remembered in the same vein as Lord of the Rings? That might stretch it a bit too far, but only time will tell. I wouldn’t also call it flawless, as it is not. As far as I am concerned, however, it is a singularly brilliant creation which is both epic in its scope and intimate in its soul. …
First published: March 4th 2014 by Tor Books (US) and March 6th 2014 by Gollancz (UK)
Words. Of. Radiance. – End of review –
Jesting aside, the title of the book does pretty much sum up the magnificence of this sequel to The Way of Kings. Words of Radiance should be the paragon of excellence by which all sequels should hold themselves to as it was the best second book of a series that I’ve ever read.
If you have read my love letter to The Stormlight Archive, you would know that I pretty much adore everything about The Way of Kings – the characterisation, the worldbuilding, and even the minimal plot progression, given the significant portion of the book dedicated to the former. Words of Radiance took every element which I loved in the first book and enhanced it beyond my imagination. …