While I can’t say that there is much about 2020 that I reflect fondly on, one of the brightest spots was the BABs book club with some of my dear friends. Having the gentle deadline to actually step away from my computer to dive into a good book was a welcome respite.
Plus it is fun to look back at what you’ve read in a year, right?
Here is my round up of books that I read in 2020, both for pleasure and business.
And please tell me: what books do you recommend I read next? Comment below!
Fluffy books – a year in review
The Sweetness at the Bottom of The Pie
There is no stopping Flavia, the main character who is 11 years old and determined to get to the bottom of the murder mystery that happened in her very own back yard. The combination of her intelligence, gumption and her bicycle make Flavia unstoppable.
A hysterical re-telling of the real life of Jesus Christ, as told by his best friend, Biff. Join the two of them through adventure and mystery as they contend with their godliness and humanity in charming and relatable ways.
The Girl on The Train
How long can you keep the loss of your job a secret?
The main character is far from loveable, even likable.
But through it all, you’re rooting for her.
And hope that she isn’t killed, too.
The Woman in the Window
While I read this before the pandemic, this tale of being stuck inside due to a huge fear of the outside world is interesting to reflect on now that the pandemic continues in midswing. What is going on with the family across the street? Can she trust her own vision, her own memory? Are things really as they seem? You’ll have to read to find outl
This lovely book inspires both my business self as well as my everyday, want to be a fulfilled and well rounded human. It was recommended by my Write Your Way to Freedom writing group and my book club enjoyed it, too.
The Recipe Club
This book is told through letters between two friends over the years. Such a charming method of storytelling as these women grow and evolve and contend with jealousy, disappointment and seek to find their own place in the world. And as with my own friends, much of their conversation centers around their newest recipes.
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
I have never loved an animal as a character as much as I did the mule Junia in this book. This book is the tale of a librarian in very rural Kentucky who, with Junia, makes her rounds to deliver books and make connections with her patrons. The librarian has a genetic condition that makes her skin have a pale blue color. Lots of interesting parallels between her experiences with racism and the racism that plagues our country today.
The Book Charmer
While I can’t say that books directly speak to me, they do for the main character. This is the coming home tale of a woman who returns to her home small town to care for her niece and aunt after the sudden death of her sister.
The Quiche of Death
This is the charming little tale of murder, possibly done by a curmudgeon of a character that you can’t help but love at the end. Also, I can’t wait to vacation in a tiny English Hamlet.
Death by Darjeeling
This book starrs Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop set in Charleston. Theodosia is savvy, the tale is charming and fluffy and fun and just what I needed.
How to Murder a Millionaire
Don’t marry an XYZ sister – you’ll likely end up dead!
How to murder a millionaire is a perfect fluffy quick read that follows XYZ, the sister who went from attending all of the fancy dinners and fundraisers to writing about them after her parents lost the family fortune. Dressed in her grandmother’s timeless vintage couture and driven by her chauffeur (she has seizures), she writes her columns and solves murders.
Alanna’s twin brother is the one who is supposed to go and learn to be a knight. But he hates to fight.
And Alanna is a talented fighter. So – they switch, and the adventure unfolds with courage, mystery and later, romance.
The Girls at the Kingfisher Club
“The cabs come at midnight”
For twelve sisters hidden in the top floor of their mansion, never to be seen or heard, the joys of their days come when they sneak out to go dancing. The General, the oldest sister, keeps a careful eye on her brood to enable her sisters the chance to let loose and feel free, even if it is a lie, even for just a moment.
A modern take on the tale of Beauty and the Beast. In this version, beauty is the eldest daughter of a fine huntsman. After the death of her father, she goes on a mission to kill the beast…or will it be to save the beast and embrace her own future?
Island of the Blue Dolphins
This is a book I read about 593 times as a kid and totally loved as I pictured myself as the girl on the island and wondered how well I would survive her perils. (self review: amazing survival skills, obviously)
As an adult? Not so much. How disappointing to find this book dry and dull as an adult. Dang!
Gods of Jade and Shadow
Hanging out with death…and he’s charming?
This is a fabulous fairy tale, combining Mexican mythology and the jazz age. And perhaps a new age retelling of a bit of Cinderella with an unexpected ending?
The Vine Witch
In a land where the local witches cast casual hexes against rival wineries, the main character must uncover who hexed her and turned her into a frog, all to be able to save her family winery and her love.
P.S. I hope that this becomes a movie!
Beware of the wood! Every ten years the local wizard collects one teenage girl as payment for protecting the local valley. The characters and scenery are rich and the fear of the wood is heavy and ever present. I loved the parallels between this character and the main character in a discovery of witches. Unbridled magic that cannot be contained or controlled…you are your most powerful when you trust yourself and are yourself.
The Book of Life
Y’all – have you read A Discovery of Witches yet? I was an early adopter of this trilogy and it is marvelous. A reluctant witch, a reclusive vampire and a love story set in the rich scenery illustrated by an honest-to-god historian turned writer. This book is the third in the series and I’ve re-read all of them several times.
The House of Salt and Sorrow
The imagery of this book is incredible…and who is killing the sisters, one by one? This is another retelling of the fairy tale of the 12 dancing sisters that takes place enmeshed in the oceanside castle.
Business books – a year in review
The Slight Edge
Progress is made through little steps done consistently.
The book is simple in concept but illustrated with detailed example after inspiring example. A great book to read, and reread, as you seek inspiration.
This book is a quick read. It goes over copywriting basics and is a good beginner book.
You are a Badass
If you’d like to feel confident, boosted and ready to conquer the world; you’re gonna want to read this book. If possible, I’d recommend listening to the audio book because it is read by the author.
You are a Badass at Making Money
This is another book by the author of You are a Badass. This is a great kick in the pants to get over all of the bullshit mindset pitfalls that are holding you back from real wealth. Probably worth a reread each year.