Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Favourite Reads of 2020 (so far!)

It's been a while since I did a list of my favourite reads but I've read some absolutely brilliant books this year (so far!) and I wanted to share them with you. For more favourites, check the links at the end of this post.

According to my Goodreads Challenge for 2020, I've read 61 books this year and there have been some absolute crackers. I've narrowed it down (with huge difficulty!) to a top ten. Is this a great year for publishing or have I got better at choosing books I know I'm going to love?

(The books are listed in the order I read them)

The Queen of Nothing (Folk of the Air #3) by Holly Black

When Jude's human mother left her high-ranking faerie husband for a human blacksmith, her husband tracked her down, murdered her, and took Jude and her  twin sister Taryn back to the faerie world. Since then, Taryn has spent her life keeping her head down and trying to fit in, whereas Jude has spent hers fighting back and trying to gain power. In this story, the last in the series, we find out if all Jude's sacrifices have been worth it.

Away with the Penguins by Hazel Prior

Veronica McCreedy is very wealthy, lives in a huge mansion in Scotland, is never seen without her ruby red lipstick and has a collection of very expensive handbags. She's also 85 years old.

Realising that she has no family or friends to leave her fortune to, she tracks down her long-lost grandson. The meeting is such a disaster, she decides to leave her money to the penguins. Or rather, the scientists who are studying them at a remote and poorly-funded research station in the Antarctica. And because Veronica is a sensible (stubborn, bloody-minded) kind of person, she pays the research centre a visit before agreeing to part with any cash. Much to the horror of the scientists. (via NetGalley)

The Boy from the Woods by Harlan Coben

Hester Crimstein is a seventy-year-old defence attorney who is also famous for her own television show
. Her grandson Matthew is worried about a girl who has gone missing at school - a girl that nobody likes and whom everyone picks on. Hester asks Wilde (a family friend who is also a private investigator) to look into the case for her. Wilde is a very interesting character: a man who was found living 'feral' in the woods as a child. Although incredibly smart, he's not been able to adjust to 'normal' life and still lives in a self-contained 'pod' in the forest. As he investigates the girl's disappearance, another teenager goes missing... (via NetGalley)

Family for Beginners by Sarah Morgan

Flora was raised by an aunt who never really wanted her. As a result, she has always longed for a traditional family of her own. When Flora falls in love with widowed Jack, who has two daughters, it seems as if all her dreams are about to come true. But Jack's eldest, the teenage Izzy, makes it clear their family is doing just fine without Flora - and she'd quite like to keep it that way! And the more Flora learns about Jack's late wife, the saintly Becca, she begins to realise it will be impossible to compete... (via NetGalley)

The House by the Sea by Louise Douglas

Edie blames her mother-in-law Anna for the accident that destroyed her family. So when Anna leaves her long-abandoned Italian villa to Edie and her ex-husband jointly on her death, Edie assumes Anna is playing one last trick. Edie arrives in Italy, hoping to sort out the sale of the house before leaving as quickly as possible, but discovers a house of tantalising secrets - and the love she once felt for her husband is not quite as dead as she believed.

The Glass House by Eve Chase

Rita takes on the job of nanny with the glamorous and wealthy Harrington family but very soon things go terribly wrong. Jeannie Harrington loses her baby and suffers a breakdown. Her husband sends her and the children to their remote country house to recover. Rita is given strict instructions to watch over Jeannie and report back to him. As Jeannie goes into a further decline, her daughter finds a baby in the woods and brings her home... (via NetGalley)

Beach Read by Emily Henry

Beach Read
 is the story of two authors suffering from writers' block. January writes romance but no longer believes in happy endings; Gus writes literary fiction but has found himself in a rut. They end up in neighbouring beach houses over the summer, each with a deadline fast approaching. A flippant joke that maybe they should write their books in each other's genres spirals into reality. January takes Gus to the places she uses as settings for her stories, including a country and western bar for a line-dancing adventure, and Gus takes January on one of his research trips - to the burnt-out campus of a cult... (via NetGalley)

The Island of Secrets by Rachel Rhys

It's 1957 and Iris Bailey is working in a typing pool in dreary old England but dreams of being an artist. To earn extra money she has been drawing the portraits of the rich and famous at Society parties. At one of these parties she meets Nell, the daughter of a famous Hollywood director, who hires Iris to draw the guests at her father's wedding in Havana. It is a fabulous opportunity but once Iris arrives she realises she is hopelessly out of her depth. Even with her lack of sophistication she can see the stark contrast between rich and poor. Cuba is on the brink of revolution... (via NetGalley)

Read the full review here.

The Hidden Beach by Karen Swan

Bel Everhurst is working in Sweden as a nanny for the glamorous Mogert family: Max and Hanna, and their children Linus, Ellinor and Tilde. Out of the blue, Bel receives a phone call meant for Hanna, explaining that her husband has woken up. Bel is confused (She's just seen Max on his bicycle!) but when she passes on the message, Hanna collapses in shock. Hanna's first husband (Linus's father) fell into a coma seven years ago after a terrible accident. Now he's awake - and he wants his family back. (via NetGalley)

Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell

Teenager Saffyre Maddox has been self-harming since a childhood trauma. Unable to confide in her therapist, Roan Fours, she becomes obsessed with him instead. She follows him around, learning where he lives and all about his life with his family, and he doesn't suspect a thing. She's become 'invisible'. Owen Pick lives in the house opposite Roan but feels as though no one ever really 'sees' him. He's drifting through life, feeling more out of step with the world every day, until he wakes up to find his face is splashed all over the newspapers and wishes he really 
was invisible. (via NetGalley)

Looking at this list, I seem to be reading more 'feel good' stories this year. How about you? Have you read any of these? Which were your favourites?

You can see more of the books I've enjoyed reading over on Instagram and Goodreads.

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