I honestly can’t believe I managed to read 78 books in 2020. I set out with a target of 16 back in January and once lockdown came into force and I knew I would be surpassing that number, changed the target to 52 books.
Then came more lockdowns and more down-time to read, which let me finish the year with 78 books!
I’ve listed below every single book that I read in 2020. The reviews here will be a lot shorter than the ones you can find in my five book blog updates that were added on Fridays. For the full reviews, you can find those by clicking on the book titles below.
If you want to keep up to date on social media, I add each book that I read to my Orlagh Claire Instagram story highlights, but I also have a separate Instagram, @ocbookshelf where I post more in-depth reviews.
Here are all of the books that I read in 2020:
1. YOU ARE A BADASS BY JEN SINCERO
I loved this book. It’s definitely one of the best motivational books I’ve read in a long time. It was an easy read and cut the crap about why we aren’t being our best selves, why we procrastinate and gives you the motivation to get your life in order.
2. THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE BY STEPHEN COVEY
This book took me quite a while to read as it’s lengthy and very technical. It was first published back in 1989 and a lot of the anecdotes in the book are relevant for that time, more so than now. However, the majority of teachings in this book are still relevant today.
3. THE CHALLENGER SALE BY MATTHEW DIXON AND BRENT ADAMSON
I won’t have too much to say about this book. I was in the midst of not having any new books and wanting to read a book without having to spend $20. One of the interns gave me this book that he had been given to read for work. I can see why he hadn’t bothered to read it.
4. GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER BY SARAH KNIGHT
Have you ever wanted to quit your job and move to the Dominican Republic? Well you will after you read this book. It does what it says on the cover and basically tells you how to get your shit together.
5. THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF NOT GIVING A F**K BY SARAH KNIGHT
I had read this book before during my second year of university as it had been a Christmas present along with my #GirlBoss book. I’ve re-read that #GirlBoss book many a time, but this was my first re-read of Sarah Knight’s book.
This book literally says, “You do you hun!”
6. SO GOOD THEY CAN’T IGNORE YOU BY CAL NEWPORT
I borrowed this book from my flatmate, wanting to read it ever since I saw it on his bedside table. The title of the book is one of my favourite quotes. It’s a quote by Steve Martin, the actor and comedian.
The book talks about not doing what you love for a living. Instead of following your passion, follow your skills. In my humble opinion, I think you can do both. You can be passionate about the skills that you possess in a certain industry. I believe that you can have your dream job if you really want it.
7. WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE BY OPRAH WINFREY
I loved this book. It was such an easy read that I read it in two days. The book is made of short columns that Oprah has written over the years for her O Magazine.
The book gave an insight into her extravagant life, her connections to the Universe, her love for meditation and love for friends and family. It’s an uplifting book and so good that I might even go back and read it again.
8. A NEW EARTH BY ECKHART TOLLE
I had read another of Eckhart Tolle’s books, The Power of Now which I reviewed in June 2019. I wasn’t a huge fan of that book because a lot of it went over my head and I found it too technical. I think if I went back and read it now, I would have more understanding of its teachings.
A New Earth was an easier read and made me think about things a lot differently. It teaches you about the Ego and how you can attach your Ego to things to make them yours. It’s an enlightening book and may make you change the way you see the world and more importantly, yourself.
9. REPORTING THE TROUBLES BY DERIC HENDERSON & IVAN LITTLE
Quite different from my usual reads, but I wanted to add a history book and a fiction book into my book order for isolation. I think it’s good to mix between genres and not to get stuck reading psychology books forever.
As I come from Northern Ireland, I had a deep interest in this book and didn’t take long to finish it as I wanted to read all of the stories in one sitting. The book is a compilation of short stories from journalists that covered the Troubles during the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s.
The Troubles is quite a taboo subject back home, and it’s not often that people like to talk about it as they were very dark days. I would definitely like to learn more about it, but this book is a great way to start, if you would be interested in reading about the troubled history of Northern Ireland.
10. THE UNIVERSE HAS YOUR BACK BY GABRIELLE BERNSTEIN
I liked this book, but I didn’t love it. I love reading about the ‘Universe’ or the ‘Source’ or whatever name other people have for that higher power that dictates what happens to us. Some people call it God, but a lot of people have different names for it.
There are a lot of great teachings in the books, and it helped me get back on track with how I put things out into the ‘Universe’ in order for them to happen. It’s quite like manifesting in that what you ask for, you shall receive.
11. MINDSET BY DR. CAROL DWECK
This book taught me that there are two types of mindset – a growth mindset and a fixed mindset. From what I can tell, growth minded people are open minded people. They want to learn, are open to new viewpoints and being wrong.
It’s a great book to learn more about mindset and also the mindset of sports stars, business leaders and every day people like you and me.
12. POSITIVE THINKING BY NEIL FRANCIS (GIFTED)
I read this book in two sittings. It was an incredibly easy read but also a very insightful read. The author, Neil Francis, suffered a stroke at the age of 41. He was a top man in business with a family and a lot going for him.
There are a lot of benefits to positive thinking. In his book, Neil Francis outlines a lot of them and gives a real-life perspective. A great book.
13. INSPIRING INNOVATION BY GILES LURY
Another book that I read very quickly in just over two days, this was an easy read but also a very engaging read. The book compiles 75 products and brands and tells the story of how they began.
14. ATOMIC HABITS BY JAMES CLEAR
This is one of the best self-help books I’ve read in a while. There are so many things to learn from this book, but it’s so brilliantly written. There are models you would see in textbooks, references to psychologists and even some mathematical formulas, but James Clear makes it so easy to understand.
15. THE ENERGY BOOK BY RICHARD MADDOCKS (GIFTED)
This book had 50 chapters of 50 different energy-boosting techniques. An easy read, and something that you can pick up and open at random at any time that you may need.
16. POSITIVE MENTAL HEALTH BY DR. SHAUN DAVIS & ANDREW KINDER (GIFTED)
First off, you don’t need to have a mental health problem to read this book. The subtitle of the book may be “Overcoming Mental Health Problems,” but it is not a requirement to read it.
Just like a book that I’ve previously read and like to recommend, Lost Connections: Why You’re Depressed and How to Find Hope, you don’t need to be feeling down or mentally-ill to understand its contents and to learn from it.
17. EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT LOVE BY DOLLY ALDERTON
I loved this book. It’s a memoir of Dolly Alderton’s life until she turns 30. It covers growing up, boys, men, relationships, friendships, getting older, employment, living in London, heartbreak and death.
The book reminded me of how much I liked that kind of genre – fiction and biography-style. It was a welcome change to the non-fiction that I’ve been reading recently and I think I’m going to keep alternating between genres, just to keep things interesting.
It’s a great book, and one I would highly recommend.
18. GRACE UNDER PRESSURE BY LISA WENTZ (GIFTED)
I’m not the best at public speaking, so when it comes to tips and tricks, I need all of them. This book is a very helpful guide to public speaking and covers all bases.
19. A LUCKY LIFE INTERRUPTED BY TOM BROKAW
I had never actually heard of Tom Brokaw before reading this book. The book was left in my apartment by previous tenants, and I thought I would just give it a go as it’s not something I would usually buy for myself.
A very famous news anchor and TV personality for NBC, Tom has a lot of famous friends and had a very successful career. The book covers Tom’s battle with Multiple Myeloma cancer and his journey of treatment.
20. THE BUSINESS OF GETTING BUSINESS BY JOE MANAUSA (GIFTED)
This book is a guide to digital marketing for small businesses. Although I don’t own a small business, the book details the basics and more advanced processes of digital marketing.
21. ASK AND IT IS GIVEN BY ESTHER AND JERRY HICKS
I heard about this book through Irish social media influencer, Sinead Hegarty’s Instagram stories and she recommended it along with The Secret, The Power of Now and other books in the same genre.
If you’re into manifesting and positive thoughts, the Law of Attraction and that kind of thing, then I would fully recommend it. If you’re more of a fact-focused person then this one may not be for you.
22. TENDER IS THE NIGHT BY F. SCOTT FITZGERALD
Although this book was written in the 1920s, it was actually a very enjoyable and easy read. I have read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald two or three times, so thought I would also enjoy another of his books.
The book is set mainly in France and other parts of Europe. It’s a very good book about love, affairs, and living a luxurious lifestyle in the 1920s.
23. NORMAL PEOPLE BY SALLY ROONEY
I read this book in the space of two days, maybe a little less. I had seen the TV show and heard the book was very similar, if not identical to the show, so wanted to read it for myself.
24. THE PERFECT WORLD OF MIWAKO SUMIDA BY CLARISSA GOENAWAN
What a book. I read this in two days, just like Normal People. It seems like I’m getting through the fiction books a lot quicker than the non-fiction. I think my love for fiction has been fully restored.
25. BECOMING BY MICHELLE OBAMA
What a book. And what a time to read this book. Five stars, without a doubt.
26. SHOE DOG BY PHIL KNIGHT
I read Shoe Dog in the space of three days. It was personal, funny and a great insight to the beginnings of the Nike sports brand.
The book was a 5/5 for me as I hadn’t the slightest clue about the brand, how it came about or that it started in Oregon. It’s a truly great book that shows how something so small can grow into something much larger than you ever imagine.
27. WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING BY DELIA OWENS
Oh my word, what a book. At the beginning, I wasn’t convinced and it did take me a while to get into it as the book flits between past and present quite a lot. However, I’m so glad I stuck with it as it took me two full days to read.
An excellent book that is written so perfectly. I can even imagine that this book might be made into a movie in the future.
28. THE TATTOOIST OF AUSCHWITZ BY HEATHER MORRIS
Another book I couldn’t put down, I finished reading The Tattooist of Auschwitz in just one day. It’s a relatively short story, so was easy to get through quickly, but the story is what kept me reading. A harrowing, awful insight into the concentration camps during the second world war, this book tells of a Slovak prisoner who finds love within the camp walls.
29. THE ONE THING: THE SURPRISINGLY SIMPLE TRUTH BEHIND EXTRAORDINARY RESULTS BY GARY KELLER
I purchased this book on New York-Irish influencer @retroflame’s recommendation, but I have to say, I didn’t really rate it. The entire book was centered around the ‘one thing’.
The ‘one thing’ you could do right now that would get you closer to your goals. The ‘one thing’ you could do this week, this month, this year etc. I just feel like this could have been written as a blog post instead of a book.
30. BIG LITTLE LIES BY LIANE MORIARTY
I watched the TV series in the space of two days last summer and I was obsessed. I was so eager to read the book to see how it would compare.
I loved this book. I got through all 500 pages in the space of one weekend because it was so easy to read. There were a few changes from the TV series, like the setting and the ending, but other than that, I couldn’t put it down.
31. A SPARK OF LIGHT BY JODI PICOULT
A Spark of Light focuses on the topic of abortion. The story works backwards from a hostage situation where a gunman storms an abortion clinic in Mississippi.
The concept of the book was very good, but I wasn’t totally gripped by the telling of the situation. The book is split in chapters by the hours of the day and told by everyone’s accounts.
32. LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE BY CELESTE NG
This is the book of the recent TV series starring Reese Witherspoon on Hulu and I was greatly anticipating reading this as I had heard great things about the TV series and wanted to read the book before watching the show.
If the book is anything to go by, I don’t have great hopes for the TV series.
33. THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME BY MARK HADDON
It took me just over a day to read the book as it’s quite a short story. I really enjoyed it and loved that it was told from the perspective of Christopher who has autism.
The book really gives you his perspective and why he acts the way that he does and the way that his brain works. A great book, a great story and a great narrative; very well written.
34. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD BY HARPER LEE
There’s a reason that this book is on every ‘must-read’ list, because everyone should read this book at least once in their lifetime and then pass it on to someone else.
A story of race, injustice and the operations of the Deep South in 1930’s America, told by 8-year-old Scout Finch. The book teaches that sometimes children are the best of all of us.
35. BITTER IS THE NEW BLACK BY JEN LANCASTER
I really, really enjoyed this book. I thought it would just be another run-of-the-mill chick flick kind of book, but Jen Lancaster talks about her career and how she was unemployed for two years.
It was interesting to see her go from designer handbags to having $5 in her bank account very quickly. The book teaches you what you should value in life and that no matter how hard you work and how much you earn, you can come crashing down to the ground very quickly.
36. ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE BY GAIL HONEYMAN
I had heard amazing things about this book before reading, but I really wasn’t overly impressed. It was an enjoyable book, but definitely wasn’t a five-star in my eyes.
I had a little chuckle here and there, but for the most part I found it quite predictable really. It’s a good read and I would recommend it, but I wouldn’t be rushing to the shop to buy a copy.
37. WHY ARE ALL THE BLACK KIDS SITTING TOGETHER IN THE CAFETERIA? BY BEVERLY DANIEL TATUM, PHD
I had been wanting to get my hands on this book for quite a while and came across it in a Free Little Library in Jersey City. I would say there is no better time than the present to be reading and educating yourself on race, but we should constantly be educating ourselves on matters such as these.
The book read quite like a large dissertation as a chunk of the book is notes and references, but it didn’t get too technical or too professional for me at any point.
The book was eyeopening, educational and thought-provoking. This book doesn’t just deal with Black racial issues, but issues for all people of colour and matters that they have to deal with that White people like me, would never even have to imagine. I recommend that everyone read this book.
38. QUEENIE BY CANDICE CARTY-WILLIAMS
I finally got my hands on this book after seeing so many great reviews on Instagram! This book details the life of 25-year-old Queenie in London as she deals with heartbreak, men, her childhood, mental health and racism.
Although fictional, this book was hard to put down and I read it in the space of two days and deals with hard-hitting issues and everyday racism in the UK. Thoroughly recommend.
39. PERFUME BY PATRICK SUSKIND
Back when I worked in the fragrance industry, I had heard of this movie quite a few times yet never got around to watching it. I spotted the book in a Free Little Library in Jersey City and thought it was the best opportunity for me to finally know the story.
I don’t think I’ll be rushing to watch the movie any time soon as I didn’t rate the book. I expected a lot more murders, a lot more gruesomeness as that’s the vibe I received when people spoke of the movie, so I was quite underwhelmed by the story.
40. HOME BY HARLAN COBEN
I really enjoyed this book, and hoped that I would so that I could read some of his many other books. After watching two TV series based on his books on Netflix recently, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on one of his books to read for myself.
It was an incredibly easy read and I got through it quite quickly. I liked that the book had a lot of dialogue, so I can imagine how his writing would play out on screen. An author I would definitely recommend if you fancy some mystery literature!
41. LADY IN THE LAKE BY LAURA LIPPMAN
Another mystery book that I really enjoyed, this book was a bargain find at The Strand Bookstore in New York for $2! It’s currently on the New York Time’s Bestsellers list and in the shops for $20.
The story reminded me of Where the Crawdads Sing as each chapter flipped between character perspectives which I really liked. The twist at the end was clever and the book touches on racism, classism, feminism and oppression in the 1960s.
42. THE HUSBAND’S SECRET BY LIANE MORIARTY
The Husband’s Secret revolved around three women, all with a secret that connected the three. Like Lady in the Lake, the chapters flipped between perspectives which I really liked. At the beginning it was hard to understand as it wasn’t overly clear that the chapters were changing between perspectives.
It was an easy read and I really enjoyed it. I could see the similarities between this and Big Little Lies and would love to read more from Liane Moriarty.
43. MAGGIE & ME BY DAMIAN BARR
I picked this book up in a Little Free Library in Princeton of all places – a book set in Scotland. It was a nice slice of familiarity reading about Celtic and Rangers, Protestants and Catholics and about a Margaret Thatcher government.
The book is a memoir-of-sorts of Damian Barr’s life growing up as a gay kid in the deprived areas of Scotland. An excellent read that also teaches you a lot about life back in the 1980’s with Thatcher’s taking away of milk from schoolchildren, privatizing coal and gas and Clause 28.
44. SULLY BY CHESLEY B. SULLENBERGER III
Do you remember the time an airplane landed in the Hudson River in New York? The one they made a movie about? Well this book tells the story of the event from the perspective of the very pilot that landed the plane in the Hudson and managed to save everyone on board.
I didn’t overly enjoy the book as it didn’t really get to the landing part until the last chapter of the book. I think I’d rather watch the movie instead.
45. MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS BY AGATHA CHRISTIE
This was my first Agatha Christie novel, and one I picked up in a Little Free Library in Long Island. I loved it. I don’t usually read detective novels, but I really enjoyed this one with all the twists and turns.
Another book-turned-movie that I haven’t yet seen, but I’m definitely going to buy some more Agatha Christie books soon and add more detective novels to my collection.
46. MONEYBALL BY MICHAEL LEWIS
Ok well this book was not for me. I gave it two out of five stars on Instagram and I think I was being quite kind. I basically read a 300 page thesis on baseball and I have no interest in the sport whatsoever.
The book follows Billy Beane, General Manager of the Oakland A’s baseball team and investigates how he hacked baseball by winning so many games with players no one had ever heard of or had any interest in drafting.
47. RIVERDALE: GET OUT OF TOWN BY MICOL OSTOW
I picked up this book in a Little Free Library as I’ve watched a few seasons of the TV show on Netflix (and gave up recently as it was all getting to fantastical for me).
I read this book cover to cover in one day as it was a very easy read and I could imagine all of the characters so clearly in voice, tone and face which made the book go by a lot quicker. An enjoyable but very easy read (much needed after Moneyball!).
48. MAESTRA BY L. S. HILTON
What a book. Spoiler alert: it ends with a ‘to be continued…’. But a book all about murder, the art world, fraud, money laundering and quite erotic in places.
I’m hoping the book gets adapted into a movie because I loved the sleuthing and luxury high-life that this girl was frauding her way into (and that she was from Liverpool).
49. MY FRIEND ANNA: THE TRUE STORY OF A FAKE HEIRESS BY RACHEL DELOACHE WILLIAMS
I had read this story a few years ago about Anna Sorokin and how she frauded her way into the elite social scene in New York.
I quite admired her story, so when I saw a book dedicated to the story lying in a box in Brooklyn, I quickly picked it up, sanitized it and took it home. From the author’s point of view (Rachel DeLoache Williams who was majorly scammed by Anna) it’s a pretty horrific read, hearing about someone being scammed out of so much money.
50. HOW THE GARCIA GIRLS LOST THEIR ACCENTS BY JULIA ALVAREZ
I picked this book up in the Strand bookstore for $2 as the blurb intrigued me with four sisters making their way in New York City. However, I must say that I didn’t really enjoy it.
It was like Little Women was set in the Dominican Republic, but the stories were less interesting and all over the place. There was no real plot to the book and I have no idea why the book ended the way it did. Not one I would recommend.
51. THE RUNNING MAN BY STEPHEN KING
This book was written by Stephen King’s pseudonym, Richard Bachman and was published in 1982 but set in the future, 2025. There were flying cars and a lot of poverty (it seems Back to the Future and Stephen King had high hopes for cars in flight).
The concept of the story was a little bizarre, but also seemed like an early version of The Hunger Games. I’ll need to watch the movie adaption to see whether I like it.
52. HIDDEN BODIES BY CAROLINE KEPNES
So you know the hit/creepy TV series on Netflix YOU starring Dan Humphrey from Gossip Girl being a class A stalker/serial killer? Well this book is the sequel in that story, the second series if you will.
I thought since I had watched both seasons of the series that I could start the second book without reading the first. However, the book is very different from the second season.
I enjoyed the book as I could imagine all of the characters, but the twist at the end of the TV series doesn’t seem to happen here. Obviously they’re holding out for a third series.
53. I HEART NEW YORK BY LINDSEY KELK
I thought I would depress myself further by reading about the city that I had just left less than a week ago. The book mentions all of the areas of New York that I had come to be familiar with and it did pain me to read about them.
However, this was probably the most far-fetched book I’ve ever read and the amount of happily ever afters that kept happening just weren’t realistic in the slightest.
54. HOLES BY LOUIS SACHAR
A very famous book that I’ve had in my library for a long time, but never actually read, nor have I ever seen the movie. The book is more of a children’s book than an adult, but it’s a famous one at that and I was eager to finally read it and add it to my list.
Final verdict: A very easy read and a very enjoyable read. A great twist at the end and I can see why this is a very popular kids novel.
55. HOLD TIGHT BY HARLAN COBEN
This is my second Harlan Coben book that I’ve read as I loved the first and found this one in a Little Free Library in Ithaca, New York. Again, this was a thriller/murder-mystery type of novel and I loved how everything came together at the end.
Harlan Coben writes so well and I can see a lot of his books being made into TV series at some point, just like a few of his others.
56. FIVE DAYS IN PARIS BY DANIELLE STEEL
At the beginning, I was really getting into it as it seemed like a romance novel from the perspective of the male instead of the female which you would usually find with romance novels.
However the book progressed to be a husband cheating on his wife with another married woman. Albeit that both relationships were toxic and probably best to end, but the whole book was based around cheating so I wasn’t a huge fan.
57. BOUNCE BY MATTHEW SYED
The book revolves around sports psychology and the main takeaway is that practice makes perfect. It does relate back to both Outliers by Malcom Gladwell (the 10,000 hour theory) and Carol Dweck’s Mindset book both of which I’ve previously read and enjoyed.
My main takeaways from this book are that practice definitely does make perfect and that more often than not, talented people aren’t ‘born with it’, they work damn hard for it.
58. I AM WATCHING YOU BY TERESA DRISCOLL
I’ve been recently getting more and more into thrillers and crime novels as I find them much more of a page-turner and a far more exciting read than your typical romance novels.
I read it quite quickly as it did keep me engrossed flipping between characters with each chapter and I wanted to find out what happened in the end. An enjoyable read.
59. THE LUCKY ONE BY NICHOLAS SPARKS
I had already seen the movie of this book, but I didn’t realize until I started reading and picturing Zac Efron as the main character (it helped me read the book a lot quicker).
I mean, it’s a typical Nicholas Sparks novel so don’t expect anything out of this world, but if you want romance, a little scare and some heartbreak, you don’t need to look any further.
60. MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON BY ELIZABETH STROUT
I mainly picked up the book because I’ve been feeling very homesick for New York lately and this had a picture of the Chrysler Building on the cover so I hoped it would be about New York.
It was a very short story, one I read over two days. The chapters were very quick and abrupt, but I just didn’t get into the story at all. It was a little all over the place but dealt with a lot of issues at the same time.
61. THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR BY SHARI LAPENA
Loved this! I’ve really been getting into thrillers this year and loved the twists and turns of this story.
I was a bit confused when the main plot of the story was given away in the middle of the book, but it got even juicier as the story unfolded. I would definitely recommend if you’re into crime/thriller books!
62. CRAZY RICH ASIANS BY KEVIN KWAN
After reading this book, I want my next travel destination to be Singapore. I want to see whether everyone there is filthy rich, how the other half live and eat all of the amazing food that they talk about. Asian is my favourite cuisine after all.
I found the book incredibly funny and also quite educational as there are Mandarin phrases added in throughout the book. Even though there were a lot of characters, it wasn’t overly confusing at all. Great read!
63. ME BEFORE YOU BY JOJO MOYES
I’m not usually one for a soppy book, and I knew what to expect having already seen the movie, but I loved this book. So much so that I’ve ordered the remaining two books in the series.
It’s identical to the movie, like you’d expect, but it was funny, quirky, sad and heartwarming. A brilliant book.
64. THE ADVENT KILLER BY ALASTAIR GUNN
Since I’ve put my Christmas tree up (yes, I know it’s November) and am starting to get into the Christmas spirit, I thought it would be a good time to read a Christmas-themed thriller.
I enjoyed this one, and didn’t guess who the murderer was at all. I liked the short chapters and the change of voice between characters. Some things I thought were left a little in the air as I had a few questions near the end, but otherwise I really enjoyed it and wanted to keep reading to see what happened.
65. GUNG HO! BY KEN BLANCHARD
This was a very short and quick read that I finished in one day. However, it’s probably a book that will stay with me for a very long time. A little like, The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, it was related to the business world and running and organisation.
You don’t need to be Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos or any company-owner to read this book in order to understand it. If you want to understand how you can make your own working life better, then I would recommend reading this book. Once you’ve read it, pass it along to someone else because everyone should know the story in this book.
66. CILKA’S JOURNEY BY HEATHER MORRIS
After reading The Tattooist of Auschwitz and learning about Heather Morris’s second book about Cilka, I had to purchase it straight away. Thank you Tesco for the bargain at £3.50!
Just like The Tattooist, it didn’t merit a rating – how can you rate out of five stars a book about concentration camps and WWII? I will say that Cilka’s Journey, along with The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a must-read and it’s stories like these that make us appreciate the times in which we live and how fortunate we are.
I have The Choice on my bookshelf to read next month and have got my eyes on The Librarian of Auschwitz, as I want to read as many of their stories as I can.
67. THE FLAT SHARE BY BETH O’LEARY
A completely different kind of book compared to Cilka’s Journey, I had heard so many good things about this book all year and had it recommended quite a few times after loving Me Before You so much.
I can definitely see why it was recommended so much and would recommend you to go and read it for yourself. It’s a hopeless romantic kind of book which I’m really not into, but I loved it. It made me laugh and almost cry. A lovely read.
68. THE MIRACLE MORNING BY HAL ELROD
I’m not a huge morning person and never have been. I go through stages where I’ll wake up at 7am for two weeks straight and hit the gym every day, but it never sticks. At the minute, I’m waking up at 8am every morning and reading for an hour before getting out of bed.
In his book, Hal Elrod gives a list of six S.A.V.E.R.S to include in the first hour of your morning routine; Silence, Affirmation, Visualisation, Exercise, Reading, and Scribing. Of those, I currently do one. There are a lot of great reviews included in the book, some great quotes to pull and who know’s, you might just be extremely motivated by this book.
69. THE SILENT PATIENT BY ALEX MICHAELIDES
Oh my word, what an ending. I was trying to figure out how the characters were connected the whole way through the book but I really did not see it coming.
The Silent Patient is a gripping thriller, and may even have you shouting ‘WHAT?!’ when you realise the plot twist. And what a plot twist indeed.
Definitely a book to add to your list if you’re into thrillers/crime novels!
70. GIRL, WOMAN, OTHER BY BERNADINE EVARISTO
This book has been on my list all year, and I finally got around to reading it in the last month of the year. The book details the life of Black women in England, focusing on important topics including LGBTQ, racism, oppression and miscarriage among others.
A very important book that everyone should read and at times made me laugh out loud whilst also hitting home the things that women across England go through today and years before.
71. THIS IS GOING TO HURT BY ADAM KAY
The minimum wage, the long hours, unpaid overtime, stress, abuse and negligence in our NHS is appalling. I don’t have any close friends that work in the health sector so had no idea just how awful it is.
The book made me laugh out loud and I actually learnt some new things that I hadn’t picked up when watching all 16 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy. Read this book!
72. A MAN CALLED OVE BY FREDRIK BACKMAN
It took me a little while to fully get into this book, but by the end it had me (almost) weeping. The story follows a grumpy old man very set in his ways and rules, who wants to end his life and be with his recently deceased wife. However, it seems that there is always someone getting in the way before he can actually do it.
Nosy neighbours, small children and a cat somehow worm their way into Ove’s grumpy life and over time change him into a more caring man. A very wholesome read that makes you see that there’s a better way to live life than to always seeing the negative in everything.
73. BLOOD ORANGE BY HARRIET TYCE
A great crime novel with many twists and turns, and running up to the end I finally figured out what was going on. If you’re looking for a novel to keep you engrossed, this will be the one.
This is Harriet Tyce’s debut novel and I can’t wait to read her next release.
74. THE CHALET BY CATHERINE COOPER
I gave the book a 3 star rating, as even though the book was good, there were a lot of loose ties at the end and characters I thought would play a part that really didn’t. It got a little confusing towards the ending but the story in itself was good and intriguing.
I just wish there was more of a twist or more of a detective aspect to the story.
75. WONDER BY R. J. PALACIO
Excuse me while I try to stop crying. This book is honestly one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve ever read. Kids can just be so mean. Now to watch the movie and cry all over again.
Even though this is a kids book or young adult, to me, it should be required reading for anyone of any age. It teaches us to be kind to everyone, not to stare, not to laugh, not to point and go that extra mile to be kind to everyone we meet.
76. VOX BY CHRISTINA DALCHER
Hmm, I don’t really know how to feel about this one. The premise of the book was very good but I don’t think it was told that great.
It seemed to get quite confusing with the different characters, who was who, what was happening and why. I think it could have been told really well if there was less technical and scientific parts to it, but it was a good read all the same.
77. THIS TIME NEXT YEAR BY SOPHIE COUSENS
A very cute book to round off the year. This Time Next Year is definitely one to snuggle up with over the Christmas holidays. It’s a book I can see being adapted into a movie; think The Holiday or Me Before You – very cute and very romcom.
The book follows Minnie Cooper (yes, really) who was born on New Year’s Day and believes the day brings her bad luck every year. Minnie happens to bump into her birth twin – someone who was born on the same day just a minute before, who also stole her name. A great romance novel.
78. WE WERE LIARS BY E. LOCKHART
We Were Liars was a short read in just over one day. I had seen it recommended on Beth Sandland’s Bookclub Instagram so bought it to check it out for myself.
A young adult/teen book which was different for me but it was so beautifully written, almost poetic. The story ended with a great twist and was told brilliantly. I would definitely recommend reading this, but it probably won’t take you long.