It's that time of the year again. 2020 has been a stressful year for many.
I was able to beat my original plan of 24 books to expand to 30 then to 36 and finally 40 books.
I was hoping to read more and write more this year, but 2020 had other plans for me. My freelance writing career took a leap and my reading progress varied and slowed but still I finished over 36 books, with about 3 or 4 more open.
So here's my list of the best books I read in 2020, not arranged in any order whatsoever!
Topic #Murder by Sarah E. Burr
It's one of those rare occasions where you find the sleuth working in field related to you.
That and I've been going over the idea of making the main character of my cozy mystery novel a social media guru. Then comes Sarah E. Burr and her fashion blogger Coco to serve me a 5-star read.
"Stacy Lockner was killed with an eighty-thousand-dollar teapot."
This is the first book in the Trending Topic series and I can't wait to see what Sarah will do in the coming books.
It's fast-paced, exciting, and kind of like reading a CSI novel.
Madison is hell-bent on bringing a killer to justice. She vows "to protect and serve the city of Stiles meant something to her down to her marrow."
main character is a black girl, something you don't see often. She's smart,
she's flawed, she's funny, she's beautiful; she's amazing.
The author literally throws a ton of trouble in her way but she acts as herself and she flourishes.
"What if I told you that living among us are all the things we've come to pass off as myth? Dwarves and sphinxes, mermaids and oddities you could see with your own eyes and still not believe – these and countless more dwell in our towns and walk our streets. One might be your neighbour or even your favourite teacher."
Amari and the Night Brothers is by all means a 10-star read.
The Body Lexicon by Kathy SteinemannThis is book is just WOW. And I'm not saying that because I wrote the foreword. But because it is.
I read another book in this series The Writer's Lexicon in 2018 and loved it.
Here's a quick quote from The Writer's Lexicon:
“A groaning heart paints a different picture than a cartwheeling one. In each case, a single word tells how the protagonist is feeling.” (From examples on replacing “pounding”)
The Body Lexicon offers synonyms, word variations, ideas, writing prompts, colors, and everything you can thing of related to each part of the body.
Currently writing my book review of The Body Lexicon so stay tuned and keep checking my book reviews page.
Beast and the Bethany by Jack Meggitt-Phillips
This middle grade story is literally about three mean characters. And it's surprisingly awesome, hilarious, and a must-read.
"For the first time in his life, Ebenezer was sad that he didn't have a family of his own. It would have saved so much time and energy if he could have just fed one of his children to the beast."
It also includes several fun illustrations, in case you're not visualizing enough.
An absolute 5-star read.
I started the Detective Graham Mystery series one night when I was overwhelmed. Little did I know that I'd fly through three books!Plus author Alison Golden was doing a one-free-book-a-week to help people stay busy during the early days of the COVID-19 lockdown.
The Case of the Broken Doll was my third read in the series and I couldn't put it down. Unlike the rest, this was more of a cold case from Detective Graham but it was just WOW.
"People don't just vanish into thin air, Marcus. I know the world is a strange and mysterious place, but I'm still a big fan of cause-and-effect when it comes to explaining what people do and why."
Amazing writing, plot, mystery; amazing everything!
A 10-star read.
don't remember where or how I downloaded this short e-book but it was definitely
a book I wish I'd read two years ago, when I first started my freelance writing
and blogging career.
gathered much info in that time but still enjoyed reading How My Blog Got 1 Million Visits in 7
Months. It offers lots of actionable tips and ideas plus Stewart gives
examples from his own writing and blog.
I believe it's available for free via the writer's website.
Note: This is a non-fiction read.
I'd almost forgotten I'd read this book in 2020. It's been a long year I thought I read it sometime in 2019 but great that it was last year so I can include on this list.Past Deeds by Carolyn Arnold is a mystery thriller but from the Brandon Fisher series.
Like the Madison Knight book, it's fast paced and both books share a mystery or punned-book-title.
"Humans were much like wild animals, feeding of the carcass of misfortune, sucking it bone dry for their own advantages, whatever those may be."
The Brandon Fisher books are a lot like the TV series Criminal Minds and less about the forensic details in CSI and Madison Knight.
That said, this is a must-read. If I had to pick between Brandon Fisher and Madison Knight, I'd go for Brandon Fisher.
Alison Golden read and another series I started in 2020 was the Reverend
Annabelle Dixon Mystery Series.
Death at the Café is the first book in the series, introducing Reverend Annabelle, whose curiosity turns her into a sleuth.
"Where are we going?"
"Home of Sherlock Holmes," Mary added, joviality returning to her voice.
"Perhaps he can help us with this confounding turn of events!"
Another 5-star read.
When the sleuths are bookworms from a book club, count me in.
Young kept me guessing the whole time and when I finished I was breathless!
"Digging into these types of cases shines a great big spotlight on the one holding the shovel. Those responsible won't like it."
Young has a lot to live up to when she writes other books in this series and I look forward to reading them.
It seems I've read way too many mysteries in 2020. But who can blame me when there are so many amazing authors out there and of course blog tours and ARC copies? :D
But I've been enjoying reading mysteries and thrillers lately. I've also been postponing working on my first cozy mystery novel. I have a completed first draft but lots of work that needs to be done.
What were your favorite books from 2020?
Let me know in the comments below.