Five Years + Best of 2020 (So Far)

It’s hard to believe that I started writing posts here on the blog way back in 2015. Imagine telling your 2015 self where you’d be five years down the road. I don’t think any of us would have predicted this strange pandemic season, and I know none of us would have predicted the murder hornets, either…

And while my posting frequency has dropped dramatically over the last few years, I still love having this online space to share what I’m reading. It’s my hope that something here has inspired you, encouraged you, or made you smile over the last five years.

One thing that certainly hasn’t changed since 2015 is my love of reading. Considering the dearth of book reviews on this site this year, I figured I’d share what I’ve been reading and enjoying most this year. You can find the full (in progress) list here.

Just a few of the books I’ve finished in 2020.

I always enjoy seeing what trends my reading life takes on over the course of a given year. I don’t typically plan out a lot of my reading in advance, I tend to just choose books based on how I’m feeling in the moment. This year, surprisingly, my reading has fallen into two big categories: Classics and Nonfiction. I’ve been able to tackle some classic books that have always been on my reading list, and I’ve also enjoyed some really good nonfiction options.

Classics

Some of the classics I’ve read over the course of 2020:

  • Little Women: I must have read this book 20 times as a girl, but it was lovely to reread it as an adult. Paired with Greta Gerwig’s (almost) perfect film version, it made for a good January option.
  • 1984: I’d never read this Orwell classic until this February, and it ended up being very timely. One tip if you’re struggling to read this dystopian narrative is to try an audio version. I really enjoyed this one from Audible.
  • Charles Dickens made a surprise appearance this year! I finished a biography of him in April, and I worked my way through Oliver Twist and David Copperfield. Of the two, I’d say read David Copperfield; it was funny and endearing. I’ve never been a huge Dickens fan, but I really enjoyed these two novels.
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston had some beautiful prose–it was one of those books that made me despair of ever writing anything good myself.
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison: I’m sort of ashamed that as an English major I hadn’t read this book, but I’m glad I read it when I did. It is incredibly difficult to stomach at times, but such a deep story.
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo: This one surprised me! It kept me turning the pages and is a good introduction to Hugo if you don’t want to jump into Les Miserables.

Nonfiction

  • Adorning the Dark by Andrew Peterson: By now, hopefully you know just how much I love all things Andrew Peterson, but this book kicked off my 2020 and it was definitely an inspiring book, especially if you have any artistic or creative inclinations yourself.
  • The Body by Bill Bryson: I love Bryson’s writing and this book was so informative and interesting. The human body is amazing!
  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson: This book carries such an important about the problems in our criminal justice system. I love the way Stevenson tells stories of his clients, and I was especially moved by his ending comments about how we move forward together from injustice. The movie version is very good as well!

Since I only read about 25 books last year, my goal was to make up the difference and aim for 75 in 2020, but that seems like a stretch at this point! So far I’ve read 25 over the course of the year, which puts me on track to finish at least 50 by the end of the year. We’ll see! Let me know if you’ve read any of the above books or if you know of any others I should add to my list this year. And thanks again for following along for the last five years. Here’s to many more!

Keep Reading,

Sarah

One comment

  1. Well I am a bookworm- lover of fantasy and classics.

    Classics:

    1. A Christmas Carol
    2. Oliver Twist
    3. Nicholas Nickleby
    4. David Copperfield
    5. Great Expectations
    6. Hunchback of Notre Dame
    7. Les Misérables- well, I read this Hugo book first and it helped knowing the musical
    8. Don Quixote
    9. Illiad
    10. Odyssey

    Fantasies- one of which is a book I am writing

    1. Lord of the Rings Series
    2. Spinning Silver
    3. Uprooted
    4. Percy Jackson Series
    5. Avalon Series
    6. Sisters Grimm Series
    7. Land of Stories Series
    8. Tale of the Cattail Forest (on its 5th draft)

    After I finish Anna Karenina, I will attempt at starting a new series: I own A Darker Shade of Magic, so that will be the next book I read.

    This year, I was thinking about who I was like in 2005-2012. Those are my middle school and high school years: I was at Fletcher. I was a lot more naive, innocent, and close-minded.

    Five years ago: 2015 was a pretty exciting year. When I transferred to Gardner Webb University from community college, Chicago and The Bristol Pilgrimage.

    Like

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