Posted in Books

2020 Wrap-Up: 10 great novels I read this year

Periodically I like to share what I’ve been reading. At the start of the COVID pandemic, my wife was transitioning to a stay-at-home teacher, we had little where to go, and I fully figured I’d have loads more time to read. The truth ended up being that my reading was more or less the same as it had been previously. I slowly made my way through various books, some better than others.

One big change that I made this year was to organize all of my to-read books into a massive list separated by books that I own, books that I want (but do not own), audiobooks I have, and audiobooks I want. It’s a rather larger list than I would like to admit, and unless I retire at 50, I don’t think I’ll ever have time to get through them all.

In any case, here are the best novels I’ve read — audio and print — during the course of 2020:

  1. Hollowpox — Our family was really excited to dive into the third Morrigan Crow book and see how her adventures in the mythical city of Nevermoor continued. Seeing as the theme was a contagion, it felt weirdly relatable.
  2. Guards! Guards! — I’m only now starting to get into the Discworld books, and I found this one to be laugh-out-loud funny. And pretty clever.
  3. Magic for Liars — A really well-told mystery set in a sort of Hogwarts school. I should also mention Westside too, as a fantasy mystery. Both were great.
  4. Zero World — This one kind of blindsided me, being a scifi spy thriller on an alternate world. Really great world building with this one, and I’m up for a sequel.
  5. Emperor of Thorns — I finished up this re-read with the audio version of anti-hero Jorg and his fascinating journey through a post-apocalyptic earth. Really great narration on this one.
  6. The Merciful Crow — A solid fantasy debut about a clan of plague doctors who use their small talents to try to save a kingdom.
  7. Sabriel — I enjoyed the discovery of this older fantasy novel and its self-contained story of a girl with singular talents on a quest to rescue her father.
  8. Crowfall — Very nice to finish up this series, although it wasn’t nearly as impactful as the first two books.
  9. The Unusual Second Life of Thomas Weaver — There’s a sub-genre of time travel tales where a person goes back into their younger self, and this book kicked off a whole series regarding that. It was okay, with the first half being far better than the second.
  10. Spellbreaker — This was an interesting one. Kind of like magic set during the Pride and Prejudice era. Lead character can undo spells but not make new ones of her own, and she falls for a mage with problems of his own.

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