Over the last few years I made a commitment to myself to get back into a groove of reading more regularly. I was stuck in a bad cycle of ending my days with mindless TV and endless instagram scrolling, so I set a goal to start reading every night instead. It was a huge shift and now has become a part of my routine that I look forward to daily — a great motivator to turn off my phone, get lost in a good book, and power down my brain. I ended each year with a massive review of all of the books I read (see 2018’s list and 2019’s list) and this year I thought I’d do something a little bit different. I’m sharing a running list of my mini book reviews as I go, because 2020 just calls for escaping into a story more than years past, you know? Scroll down for my list and reviews, and let’s see if 2020 is the year I finally beat my reading list goal! We Met in December by Rosie Curtis. Such a cozy, feel-good book! It was about a girl who starts to fall in love with her roommate over the course of a year of living together — a perfect romantic comedy set in London. My husband and I were roommates before we started dating, so I particularly love stories where roommates fall in love.
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid. This book was so hyped up at the beginning of the year so I was nervous I would be let down going in with such high expectations, but it definitely delivered. There were some good plot twists, and I loved how much I struggled with how I felt about the complexities of both character right up until the very last pages.
Modern Love edited by Daniel Jones. I read this around Valentine’s Day and love the look at love from so many different perspectives. Some of them are uplifting, some of them are heartbreaking, and all of them pulled at my heartstrings.
Growing Good Food: A Citizens Guide to Backyard Carbon Farming by Acadia Tucker. If you’re into making some positive impacts on the environment or getting into gardening I highly recommend this read! It’s full of very simple explanations and actionable steps that show how building carbon-rich soil through small backyard gardens, can help capture greenhouse gases and mitigate climate change. It’s a super quick read and really informative!
The Two Lives of Lydia Bird, by Josie Silver. Without giving away too much of the plot, I’ll say that I cried my eyes out for the first half of this book, and then my heart was healed in the second half with the most perfect, feel-good ending. Josie Silver is one of my faves!
The Holdout by Graham Moore. Sometimes you need a suspenseful thriller to keep you engaged and this fit the bill as it followed a high-profile jury that reunited a decade after the blockbuster case they served on, and one of the jurors ends up murdered. It was a quick, neatly tied up little package of a mystery and I really enjoyed it.
The Guest List by Lucy Foley. This one kept me guessing until the last ten pages and I gasped as we solved the whodunnit murder that on a remote Irish island during a luxe wedding weekend. I loved the moody vibe of this book.
Beach Read by Emily Henry. This book got very mixed reviews, but I thoroughly enjoyed following the main character through some complicated issues with her family, career and quest for love — it felt like chick-lit with just a bit more grit than you’d expect.
All Adults Here by Emma Straub. I love her writing, it’s a book that’s sort of about nothing and at the same time a book about everything — she builds such real, deep, relatable characters that are easy to get invested in. Highly recommend this book, and anything else by Emma Straub!
The Last Flight by Julie Clark. A heart pounding page turner that follows two women who are looking to escape their own lives, and switch plane tickets to make it happen. I love when stories are told from alternating perspectives, and the two main characters in this book had such interesting parallel stories that happened because of their brief intersection at the airport.
The Second Home by Christina Clancy. My favorite genre is family drama by the seashore, and this one hit the spot following three siblings stories and perspectives from their childhood on Cape Cod to their adult life where they are grappling with selling the family summer home. It’s a great summer read with Cape Cod as the backdrop.
Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner. This book had a lot going on, comentary on body image, the dangers of social media and bullying, plus romance and murder and a celebrity wedding. Jennifer Weiner is the queen of the summer beach read for a good reason, this one had me engrossed from beginning to end.
28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand. If you’re looking for a summery book, Elin Hilderbrand always paints the perfect picture of warm days by the water on Nantucket — you’re pretty much guaranteed a good beach read! I really enjoyed this one, about two friends who fall in love and life’s circumstances keep them apart, except for one weekend a year over 28 years where they meet on Nantucket for a secrete affair. A lot of the book is about infidelity, which can leave a sour taste, but I appreciate how the author tells the story from all of the different perspectives of those involved to create a bigger picture of how complicated relationships can be.
Friends and Strangers by J. Courtney Sullivan. This book was a little slow moving for me, but I ended up enjoying the sort of quiet, subtle way the story wound around a young mom and her college aged babysitter and the unlikely friendship they build as they both deal with finding their way through a lonely time period.
The Herd by Andrea Bartz. This book is about an elite, women-only co-working space and the magnetic founder that started it. The night before a big company announcement, the founder goes missing and the book follows her friends as they try to solve what happened to her, where did she go, and who wanted to hurt her? It’s a page turner and it kept me guessing until the very end.
Majesty: American Royals II by Katharine McGee. This was the much anticipated sequel to American Royals (the first book ended in a cliffhanger!) so I cracked the book as soon as I got my hands on it. The concept follows three young royals in a reimagined America where the country is a monarchy ruled by George Washington’s descendents. Without giving too much away, the book is like Gossip Girl meets the royal family, with tons of love triangles, family drama, galas and tiaras — a very fun read.
This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens. I had some dejavu reading this book; it follows two people whose lives interconnect on new year’s eve over the course of several years. It was fun and lighthearted and easy to read, but I feel like I’ve read a few other books like this that come back to the characters each year at the same time and that made a few parts of it feel predictable.
The Star-Crossed Sister of Tuscany by Lori Nelson Spielman. After nearly a year of no-travel, this book gave me major wanderlust. It follows two cousins and their great aunt on a trip through Italy to break a family curse. I didn’t expect some of the twists and turns in the plotline, which made up for a few of the characters being a bit one-dimensional for me. A fun read to get you daydreaming about running off to Tuscany.
Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory. I bought this book to read last year and held onto to read specifically at the holidays (I love an on-theme seasonal book!). I really liked that the book followed a main character who was a bit older than I normally read, it’s rare for romance stories to be about anyone that’s not in their 20s-30s. The English country-side/London setting was also another big plus for me, sweeping me up in some good old fashioned rom-com storylines with a picturesque backdrop. I have a read a few other Jasmine Guillory books and this one has been my favorite of hers.