Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Books of 2020

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

2020 was a topsy-turvy reading year for me, and I wouldn’t be surprised if many of you feel the same way. We’ve all been through a lot this year.

dried plants on top of a small stack of books.The Deep by Rivers Solomon

(My review of it is here).

What I Liked Most About It: The world building was well done and there were many scenes I thought would be memorable on the big or small screen.


Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter” by Kate Clifford Larson

What I Liked Most About It: I had a vague notion of the existence of a member of the Kennedy family who was lobotomized, but I didn’t know why that happened or what their fate was afterwards. Her tale was a sad, poignant one.


The Ghost Child” by Sonya Hartnett

What I Liked Most About It: The magical realism added such a nice touch to the main character’s descriptions of what life was like for her in retirement.


Zombies Run!: Keeping Fit and Living Well in the Current Zombie Emergency” by Naomi Alderman

What I Liked Most About It: Zombies might not be real, but there is a ton of great advice here about how to live as healthily as possible when your community is in lockdown, say, due to a worldwide pandemic.


The Pull of the Stars” by Emma Donoghue

What I Liked Most About It: The descriptions of the 1918 flu pandemic, the medical treatments for it, and how hard these characters worked to keep their patients alive were mesmerizing.


A Good Time to Be Born: How Science and Public Health Gave Children a Future” by Perri Klass

What I Liked Most About It: It gave so many reasons to be grateful to live in 2020, and it provided personal accounts from various historical eras on a topic that isn’t generally discussed in history classes. For the vast majority of human history, about half of all children died before reaching adulthood.  It took us multiple generations and the cooperation of countless scientists, politicians, and ordinary people to slowly create entire societies where the vast majority of children live.

128 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Books of 2020

    • I totally understand that. Feel free to leave Pull of the Stars on your TBR until the 2020 pandemic has ended. It’s a timeless read.

      And I did leave a comment on your post! 🙂

  1. There was a hidden/ lobotomized Kennedy? :O Had no idea, and somehow this is the book that I want to read the most from this list. Probably because it reminds me of Dumas’s The Man in the Iron Mask?
    And as another commenter said above, Zombies Run has the best title. And from zombies we learn so much more about containment of viral outbreaks. There are two Asian/ Korean shows that I’d recommend if you’re interested in Zombielore: Train to Busan and Kingdom.

    • Yes there is. I highly recommend reading the story of her life. It’s quite sad, but it’s filled with important lessons about the past (as well as how people with disabilities should be treated right this very moment) .

      I’m looking up Train to Busan and Kingdom now. They sound awesome!

  2. I’ve been meaning to pick up some more nonfiction, and you have some great recommendations here! I’m especially interested in Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter and A Good Time to be Born.

    Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  3. Oh, I didn’t know that about the Kennedy family! How awful! Zombies Run sounds like a great read for the times we live in. Fab list and thanks for visiting my post! 🙂

  4. Rosemary Kennedy was such a tragic figure (I haven’t read the book but I know a little about her). Zombies Run is kinda perfect for this year. It seems like 2020 was a year where my main focus was on survival (exercising, taking vitamins, wearing a mask so hopefully I don’t get the coronavirus, and if I do, that I’m more likely to survive).

    • Yes, she absolutely was. Her life would have turned out so differently if she were a young woman today.

      I hope you like Zombie Run. It was a fun but also very practical and informative read.

  5. A Good Time to Be Born sounds worth it. I read one of the two bios of Rosemary Kennedy that came out about the same time–I collect books on the Kennedys and have been reading about them since I was about 10!

    • That’s totally understandable. I hope you enjoy Pull of Stars whenever you’re emotionally ready to read it.

      Now I’m curious about As Bright As Heaven.

  6. Zombies sounds like a fun (and timely) read! And the last one as well. Makes sense- I often think, as bad as things are now, we are so blessed with technology and medicine, it IS a good time to be alive??

    Happy NY!!

  7. I definitely want to read Pull of the Stars and I hadn’t heard of the Zombies Run book, but Naomi Alderman’s The Power was an amazing audiobook, so I definitely want to get to that one now, too. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  8. I didn’t put it on my list since I had already gone way over 10 books, but I did love The Pull of the Stars. I never would have thought I’d be so captivated by a book about a pandemic, especially this year lol, but it was a fantastic read.

  9. Excellent list, very versatile. I want to read ‘The Deep’ and ‘An Unkindness of Ghosts,’ by the same author. I’ve heard really good things about both of them. I’ve never heard of a few of these books.

  10. Lydia, you have read a real spread there. I particular like how you have read some books on health, which is perhaps even more relevant with the year we’ve had! Here’s to a happier, healthier and easier 2021!

  11. I never read that many books in a year, so sometimes I think that’s why it’s tough for me to find ten TRULY good (to me) reads. Or maybe it’s more because I know what I like and so that makes it more confining. Either way, it’s a challenge to create a best of list, but at least it’s also creatively fun! 🙂 Glad you enjoyed some good reads, Lydia.

  12. I haven’t heard of a lot of these books, but I did read The Deep and also enjoyed it! I’d love to see it turned into a movie. Daveed Diggs should have a part. Mostly because I just love him. But also, he did marvelous on the audiobook.

    I’d never heard of it before, but I love the sound of Zombies Run! It sounds like a really cute way to give legit advice, but in a way that’s maybe not as dry as normal nonfiction. I might have to check that one out!

    • Now I must listen to the audiobook version of The Deep. Wow, it sounds good!

      I think you’d really like Zombies Run! It was super unique and not dry at all.

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