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Between the Covers

This year, I took the goodreads challenge and set a goal to read 50 books. I surpassed that thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.


Turns out not being able to leave the house is really conducive to reading. It's also conducive to streaming a lot of TV. If there were an app to track how much TV I watched, I wouldn't come across as quite so literate.


One of the reasons I was able to consume so many books this year is because I figured out how to borrow Kindle books from my public library. Where Kindles or ebooks weren't available, I borrowed actual books. I figure the St. Tammany Parish library saved me about $1,200 this year.


You may find something that interests you here. I read mostly literature - I look for good writing over good stories. Southern lit is always a favorite. No thrillers or true crimes or page-turners here, I'm afriad.


Early in the year, as the country faced social unrest following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, I made a concerted effort to read more authors of color. (Marked with * below) It really paid off, too - these books ended up being some of my favorites of the year. Not only that, but the authors of color really upped my reading game; you'll notice a lot less chick-lit this year.


Here is a list of my top book recommendations from what I read in 2020.


5 Stars:

The Yellow House, by Sarah M. Broom*

The Scent Keeper, by Erica Bauermeister

The Vanishing Half, by Britt Bennett*

The Water Dancer, by Ta-Nehisi Coates*

The Heir Affair, by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan (sequel to The Royal We, also a 5-star read)

Crazy Rich Asians, by Kevin Kwan*

Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward*

Salvage the Bones, by Jesmyn Ward*

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin

Kindred, by Octavia E. Butler*

The Flatshare, by Beth O'Leary

Red, White & Royal Blue, by Casey McQuiston (LGBTQ)

Such a Fun Age, by Kiley Reid*

Oligarchy, by Scarlett Thomas

Fates and Furies, by Lauren Groff (a re-read)

Solutions & Other Problems, by Allie Brosch

The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas*


4 Stars:

Shiner, by Amy Jo Burns

The Women in Black, by Madeline St. John

The Margo Affair, by Sanae Lemoine

Once Upon a River, by Diane Setterfield

The Herd, Andrea Bartz

The Eighth Life, by Nino Haratischwili

The Last Romantics, Tara Conklin

Patsy, by Nicole Dennis-Benn*

American Spy, by Lauren Wilkinson*

Queenie, by Candice Carty-Williams*

A Good Neighborhood, by Therese Anne Fowler

The Jetsetters, by Amanda Eyre Ward

Ask Again, Yes, by Mary Beth Keane

Me Before You, Jojo Moyes


Overrated:

Yankee Doodle Dixie, by Lisa Patton - the follow up to Whistlin' Dixie was a real let-down

Deacon King Kong, by James McBride* - I didn't love this as much as the critics did. Only gave it 3 stars.

My Year of Rest and Relaxation, by Ottessa Moshfegh - Ugh...were we supposed to root for the heroine? Because she was awful. I kinda hoped she flew out the window.

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