It is the last day of the year. Of this year specifically. "Well done," is all have to say if you're reading this. Well done, you.
It's been quiet for awhile now around these parts. For obvious reasons. But I've been reading continuously and ever so gratefully. I have felt such a profound sense of gratitude this year for all of the creators in this world who have been tirelessly and so lovingly creating art for all of us. We have needed it so much. I have needed it so much. And this year of all years, the creation of art has felt like such a fierce act of love. So thank you. And so here I leave my best books of the year. My list stands at fourteen titles. And that feels just right.
photo by @aamith
(in the order in which I read them)
A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer
If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane
Slippery Creatures by K.J. Charles
Christmas at the Island Hotel by Jenny Colgan
Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall
The Great Godden by Meg Rosoff
The Sugared Game by K.J. Charles
Fence: Striking Distance by Sarah Rees Brennan
Return of the Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
Just Like You by Nick Hornby
A Rogue of One's Own by Evie Dunmore
The Duke Who Didn't by Courtney Milan
The Unselected Journals of Emma M. Lion, Vol. 3 by Beth Brower
Missing Christmas by Kate Clayborn
A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik
FYI, that's 7 contemporaries, 5 historicals, and 3 fantasies. Of those, 5 are romances, 3 are retellings, 2 are mysteries, and 2 are novellas. All quite grand.
Best New Discovery of 2020
It happened in March. It was swift and irrevocable. Her writing is endlessly charming and frequently lighthearted (she is so, so witty), but there is also so much depth and weight to it. She writes of how we fight to shape ourselves. And her stories make me want to let fly my own punch of joy, heartbreak, rage, hilarity, and strength.
I'm not carrying it anymore. I spoke the words aloud, used my words, and broke the curse.
Biggest Character Crush of 2020
Eugenides the Thief
He returned. In full glory. And it was so supremely good. It was the highest of triumphs and I am so chuffed I was here for it. I was so extremely fond of how Megan Whalen Turner preserved the relationship between the four monarchs, these adults who laughed and fought together after having survived their youth. They had my heart. But when Eugenides unleashed the power of the god. Oh, my. He can steal anything. So, so. so.
Best Books I Read in 2020 that were Published in a Different Year
Don't You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane
Crash by Ruby McNally
Happy New Year!