The Best Books I Read in 2020

January 12, 2021

Favorite Books I wit & whimsy

In 2020 I read more than I have since I was in college and being required to read. More time at home, more walks, more baths – all led to more uninterrupted reading time. 2020 was also the year I got into audiobooks, the year I got a Kindle and the year I explored memoirs. It was one of the silver lining’s of a tough year.

Given the turn of world events in 2020, I didn’t make as much progress on my 2020 reading list as I had planned and instead kept most of my reading on the lighter side. I couldn’t get into anything dark, any thrillers or books that had depressing narratives. But despite the lack of variety in my reading this year, I still found plenty of books that warmed my heart, had me laughing and that I really, truly enjoyed.

The Best Books I Read in 2020:

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb. A therapist goes to therapy for the first time and asks questions we all often wonder. As someone that has gone to therapy I loved this honest and raw look at how it benefits us and the role it can help us play in further understanding ourselves and our world.

The Chiffon Trenches by André Leon Talley. A fascinating behind the scenes about fashion’s biggest players as detailed by Vogue editor ALT who has lived an amazing life. I listened to the audiobook and absolutely lived for all the fun stories and Andre’s incredible ascension in a cutthroat industry.

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary. Hands-down one of my top five books I read this year. This story had all the feel-good vibes you want from rom-com type reads and just had me smiling throughout.

Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl. A delightful memoir from Gourmet’s former editor in chief. If you love food, you’ll love this read.

Our Stop by Laura Jane Williams. A wonderfully funny will-they-won’t-they romance that was a satisfying and easy read.

Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters. A romantic comedy book that’s perfect for any fan of romantic comedy movies. 

This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens. After thirty years of missed connections comes this reunion between two very different characters who find they have more in common than they could have ever imagined. I sped right through these pages and absolutely loved it.

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert. What a fun and racy read this was! It gave me all the feels for my beloved New York City and was written in such an engaging way. I could barely put it down! Woven in the pages are beautiful reminders that there’s more than meets the eye and that it’s never too late in life to pursue what you want.

Beach Read by Emily Henry. Quite literally – the perfect beach read. So enjoyable, so satisfying and a great romantic read that has you rooting for the characters. 

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes. I loved Evvie so much and felt like the emotions she was experiencing were so relatable in 2020. This book is about the unlikely relationship between a young woman who’s lost her husband and a major league pitcher who’s lost his game. 

Open Book by Jessica Simpson. I couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed this book. It was the first audiobook I ever listened to and it got me hooked on listening to celebrity memoirs. What a life she has led and I appreciated how transparent, honest & raw she was about her life experiences. If you were born in the 80s and loved JSimps- you’ll love this book.

One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London. In a year that reminded me over and over again how important representation is, this book did a beautiful job of showcasing that we all deserve to love ourselves and find love as a plus-size bachelorette brings a fresh look to a reality show.

A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle. 2020 was meant to be a year filled with travel to France for me but alas, it wasn’t so instead I turned to the pages of books to transport me to my favorite country. This is a classic for a reason and it is filled with all the feel-good vibes Provence can give to you. A delightful memoir to savor the French lifestyle.

The Lies That Bind by Emily Giffin. This was the heaviest book I read all year but it was worth it for the narrative and all the NYC feels as it is set during 9/11. 

. . .

I use Libro.FM to listen to audiobooks – if use this link to get a free month of membership and 1 free audiobook. And my Book of the Month remains the best mail I get every month – it definitely encourages me to read more! 

I would love to know – what was your favorite book you read last year?

And don’t miss my recently updated book recommendations page.

p.s. even more books I’ve read and enjoyed and everything I read in 2020’s quarantine.

24 comments on “The Best Books I Read in 2020”

  1. I loved One to Watch and Open Book, too! Another favorite was a romance that actually releases later this month – The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon. I highly recommend it!

  2. The only two books from your list that I have read are City of Girls and Evvie Drake Starts Over – both were excellent! I’m adding the rest to my list 🙂 But the BEST book I read in 2020 was A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum. Set in Palestine and Brooklyn, it was a look into a completely new culture for me , and I highly recommend it!

  3. I also read more in 2020 than ever before — embraced my love of historical romance, and found myself going down a rabbit hole. 🙂 I’ve read many of your recommendations over the years, including seven you listed here. Since we have similar tastes, I wanted to put Anxious People by Fredrik Backman on your radar. It’s a little slow to start, but I think you’d like it!

  4. Always appreciate you book recs! Flatshare, Our Stop, and Would Like to Meet were great escapes while stuck at home. Just ordered One to Watch and This Time Next Year. Thank you!!!

  5. Know My Name, The Vanishing Half, and Red, White & Royal Blue. I’m a teacher and read a lot of short YA novels (One of Us Is Lying, Ghost Boys) in the spring so I could read start to finish in one afternoon and feel like I actually accomplished something haha. Reread Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants for levity but need to add some of these rom coms to my list!

  6. My favorite read of last year was The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro. Very interesting plot and an added bonus if you’re at all curious about perfumes (you will be after reading this if you’re not already)!

  7. Surprisingly, I read less in 2020 because my library was closed for a few months and will now temporarily close if any staff members come in contact with Covid. I prefer physical books but I found it difficult to purchase more than a couple last year because I just don’t have the space to store them. Here are my top 4 books of 2020 (all non fiction): A Knock at Midnight (Brittany K. Barnett), The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace (Jeff Hobbs), From Scratch (Tembi Locke) and Finding Chicka (Mitch Albom).

    My library reopens tomorrow and The Chiffon Trenches is waiting for me. Excited to read it!

  8. I loved The Flatshare and sooo many of the other books you shared! Can’t wait to see what you read in 2021 – I also treated myself to a new Kindle and have been loving it!

    1. In audible, I’ve been enjoying The Bridgerton books – each book is about one of the siblings. It’s fun and I’ve even laughed out loud. I also found Kevin Hart’s memoir, read by him, very entertaining (but lots of bad language). On my kindle, the Irish Country Doctor series is a very fun read by Patrick Taylor

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