top 5 · Wrap Ups

Blogmas Day 25: Five Favourite and Standout Books of 2020

It is the last day of Blogmas and if there any post I would want to wrap it up, it is my favourite books of 2020. I have a lot of books I’ve enjoyed reading but there are five books in particular that have really stood out to be the best books of the year.

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E Harrow

The Once and Future Witches: Amazon.co.uk: Alix E. Harrow: 9780316422048:  Books

If I was highlighting more than five books on this post and not restricting myself to one book per author The Ten Thousand Doors of January would also be on this list. However, out of both books it is The Once and Future Witches that pipped it to the post because I connected to this book in more ways than I could have thought possible. I loved the relationship between Juniper, Bea and Agnes, I thought the connection between classic stories and witchcraft was done very cleverly, and I liked that it played with a lot of the truths that people, especially men and men of significant power, associated with witchcraft.

It was also the book I needed at the moment I came out. It is all of my fictional interests and tastes as one book and I know it didn’t work for quite a few people, but for me, it was perfect.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

The Starless Sea

I never thought I could love a book more than The Night Circus for its vivid imagery, descriptions and escapism, but Erin Morgenstern truly topped it with this book. It is slow, it is a tad confusing, and you’re not entirely sure where it is going at times but once you push those questions aside and simply let yourself fall into the imagery, it is spectacular. I want to be back with Zachary, exploring The Starless Sea and diving into the pure wonder and escapism that is the power of storytelling



Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

Muse of Nightmares: the magical sequel to Strange the Dreamer Strange the  Dreamer 2: Amazon.co.uk: Taylor, Laini: Books

Similarly to Erin Morgenstern, I didn’t think Laini Taylor could top Strange the Dreamer but oh wow, she did it and did it fabulously. Her writing, the expansion of Weep, the even more complex characterisations of Sarai, Minya, Lazlo and all the other characters, the backstories, all the threads coming together sublimely… it was the perfect ending to a duology that is one of my absolute favourites. It is also another book that I came to just at the right moment, like just a month or so before the world went into complete lockdown, and I’m now glad I waited a long time to read it for the first time as it was the greatest escape I could ask for.

Hold Back The Tide by Melinda Salisbury

Hold Back the Tide by Melinda Salisbury

I can’t write about this book without wanting to scream and vent because Melinda Salisbury’s best book to date tore out my heart and shattered it into a million pieces. I knew from the chapter sampler I got at YALC last year that it would be a story about Alva living alongside her murderous father, but I did not expect it to go the way it did, and I certainly wasn’t ready for that ending. I was a wreck and I won’t lie when it say it pulled me out a reading slump and threw me back into it in one day. Despite that, I am still in awe of the atmosphere, the characterisations, and the general storytelling that Melinda Salisbury crafted in this relatively short book. It is fantastic and if you are ever looking for a short book to read in one sitting, this is it!

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by VE Schwab

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue: Amazon.co.uk: V.E. Schwab:  9781785652509: Books

I had no doubt that this book would be included as one of my best books of the year. I knew from the very first line that this book would steal my soul, and damn it has done. It always will do. It is beautiful, heartbreaking in all the right ways, and probably the best book VE Schwab has ever written. It is a slow burner and took me a little longer to read than I thought it would, but as a dual-timeline novel that slowness was necessary in order to feel everything Addie feels and to just be able to live in the moment of this book. I also wanted to savour this story, lose myself in Addie discovering what it is to feel, touch someone’s life and be remembered. At the end of the day, that is all any of us wants and I think that is why this book is so powerful and impactful.


And there we have it.

Five books that I can say for certainty are my top five favourites for this year. Even out of all my four and five star reads, they’d still come out on top. They all just hit me and made a difference at the time I read them and no other books were going to beat that.

What are your favourite books that you’ve read this year?

Thanks for reading and hope you have a Happy New Year.
xx

5 thoughts on “Blogmas Day 25: Five Favourite and Standout Books of 2020

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