Hello, lovely people!
Today on Diary of Difference I will cover my top 10 of 2020. Let’s be honest, 2020 wasn’t what we expected, and I am so glad that it’s almost over. But if there is one thing I am grateful for, it’s the opportunity 2020 gave me to read more books – in fact the most I’ve ever read in one year – 125. These top 10 are from all the books I read in 2020. There will be another post coming soon about my Top 10 books published in 2020, so keep an eye for that in the next few days.
Without further delays, let’s get into my top 10 of 2020.
10. A Clock of Stars by Francesca Gibbons
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Why I Loved it: It was my favorite middle grade fantasy of the year, and the writing style reminded me when I was first reading the Chronicles of Narnia. I loved the adventure, and I loved the two sisters saving the kingdom. Beautifully written, with amazing lessons for people of all ages. Couldn’t recommend it enough!
Imogen loves adventures. But her little sister finds Marie always disturbs her and is such a burden. One day, Imogen sees a shadow moth in the garden and starts to follow it. Then her sister finds her, and closes the gate behind them.
Suddenly, they are trapped and it’s all Marie’s fault. But on the other side of the gate, there is a new world, different to theirs. A world where they meet Miro, a boy dressed in weird clothes, claiming he is the prince of this kingdom. A kingdom, where dangers lurk at night.
9. Postscript (PS, I Love You #2) by Cecelia Ahern
Genre: Fiction, Romance
Why I Loved it: I didn’t know that PS, I Love You had a sequel, until there was a readalong on bookstagram that I decided to join in on. I loved the first story, and reading the second book after so many years was truly a wonderful experience, especially because I could share this experience with the other readers on the readalong as well.
When Holly lost her husband Gerry, he left letters for her to read after his death, all of them signed with PS, I Love You. These letters helped her go through the process of grief, get back on her feet and start to love again.
Now, years later, a mysterious club wants to meet her. And if Holly can find the courage to discover more, she’ll learn what living fully truly means.
8. The Hidden Beach by Karen Swan
Genre: Romance, Fiction
Why I Loved it: This was my first book by Karen Swan, and I jumped in thinking it will be a cute romance story. But it became something much more than that. It taught me so much about Stockholm, it had mystery and thriller elements, and it was the perfect summer read. This is also the book that made me fall in love with Karen Swan’s writing, and read more books by her this year.
In the oldest part of Stockholm, Bell Everhurst is working as a nanny for an affluent family. Hanna and Max Von Greyerz are parents to 7 year-old Linus, and 5-year old twins Ellinor and Tilde, and Bell has been with the family for over two years.
One early Spring morning, as she’s rushing out to take the children to school, she answers the phone – and everything changes. A woman from a clinic she’s never heard of asks her to pass on the message that Hanna’s husband is awake.Bell is confused. She clearly just saw Max walking out of the house a few minutes earlier, but the woman mentioned Hanna by name…
When she gets hold of her employer, the truth is revealed: Hanna’s first husband fell into a coma seven years earlier, following a terrible accident. He has been in a Persistent Minimally Conscious State since and there was very little hope of further improvement. But now he’s awake. And life is going to change for them all.
7. Shiver by Allie Reynolds
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Why I Loved it: I chose to read it because it was a locked-room type of mystery set in a ski resort, featuring snowboarding professionals. And then, I fell in love with the characters, the plot and the plot twists, and it’s definitely my favorite winter read this year!
When Milla is invited to a reunion in the French Alps resort that saw the peak of her snowboarding career, she drops everything to go. While she would rather forget the events of that winter, the invitation comes from Curtis, the one person she can’t seem to let go.
The five friends haven’t seen each other for ten years, since the disappearance of the beautiful and enigmatic Saskia. But when an icebreaker game turns menacing, they realise they don’t know who has really gathered them there and how far they will go to find the truth.
In a deserted lodge high up a mountain, the secrets of the past are about to come to light.
6. The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm (World of Warcraft #8) by Christie Golden
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure
Why I Loved it: I used to play World of Warcraft a lot in the past, and I was familiar with the lore, but never really read the books. The Cataclysm was my favourite expansion, so I decided to try and read Thrall’s story. And the adventure, world building and the characters didn’t disappoint at all, and hooked me in so fast. I am looking forward to reading all the books in the series one day, once I buy them.
The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm by Christie Golden is the eighth book in the World of Warcraft series. The series covers the lore of the characters that are featured in the popular video game World of Warcraft.
The Shattering has a focus on the events that happen before the Cataclysm, and the events that actually lead to it, from various character’s perspectives, from both the Horde and the Alliance. We get to see the character’s perspectives, choices and how even small things have a big impact on what’s about to happen.
5. The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Why I Loved it: A wonderful thriller that gave me the chills. I also loved the “book within a book” concept, and it was so well executed. If you can only choose one thriller, let it be The Nothing Man. It is truly amazing!
I was the girl who survived the Nothing Man.
Now I am the woman who is going to catch him…
You’ve just read the opening pages of The Nothing Man, the true crime memoir Eve Black has written about her obsessive search for the man who killed her family nearly two decades ago.
The Nothing Man starts when Jim is at work, walking through the supermarket, and he notices that a girl has a book with the name “The Nothing Man” with her. His heart starts racing – because he knows what it means. The Nothing Man is a mysterious man that has assaulted and killed many people in the area, and even after twenty years, no one has found him yet. But Jim knows the truth – because he is the man who did all these crimes.
4. Daisy’s Vintage Cornish Camper Van by Ali McNamara
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Why I Loved it: If you know me, you’ll know I love travelling, Camper Vans and postcards. And this book has it all. When I saw the cover, I was so excited about how cute it is. And then I read it, and it was everything I ever wanted and more. Perfect summer read that I recommend to everyone!
When Ana inherits a camper van from her best friend, she needs to go to Cornwall to get it. A nice sea air and fish and chips are enver a bad choice.
But when she arrives, she realises that the camper van is in a much worse state than she imagined.
The fixing will take longer than she anticipated.
On top of this, Ana finds a series of unsent postcards dating back to the 1940s, hidden in the van. This is a sign and Ana wants to make sure the postcards are delivered.
And while the camper van is restored and Ana is helping other people be happy, she may eventually notice she is finding her way back to happiness again.
3. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Why I Loved it: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo has been on my TBR for the longest, and I somehow kept postponing it. But as soon as I started reading it, it hooked me in, and I couldn’t let it go. The characters are so well written, and the mystery and thriller elements are so good as well. A true classic, and I wish I read it way sooner!
Lisbeth Salander can dig the deepest secrets of her targets. She is often underestimated because of her looks, but loves nothing more than to prove people wrong.
Mikael Bloomkvist is a disgraced journalist and when tasked to investigate him, Lisbeth finds nothing but integrity.
When his investigation of a mystery that happened a long time ago comes to a dead end, he needs help. And who could do that better, than the same person who investigated him.
2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Genre: Fantasy, Magic, Romance
Why I Loved it: The world building and the storytelling were from another world. I fell in love with the magic, and I loved that circus so much! This book is probably my most annotated book I have ever read, and I feel special pride saying that, as I only annotate quotes that make me think, or make me admire something a lot.
Two people, brought up in different circumstances, have been getting ready for the challenge all their lives. They can’t avoid it, they are bonded to it. Their task is to be better than the other person, be a better magician, be a better illusionist. Their destiny is magical and dangerous, and the circus is their arena.
1. The Toll by Neal Shusterman (Arc of a Scythe #3)
Genre: Young Adult, Science-Fiction, Fantasy
Why I Loved it: I loved the first two books of the Arc of a Scythe series, and the Toll was the ultimate perfect ending to such a trilogy. A masterpiece, that invented such a world, and ended it so well. Neal Shusterman became one of my favorite authors with this series, and it’s truly no surprise The Toll made my number one spot in my top 10 of 2020.
In order to not spoil anything for anyone, I will put the Synopsis for the first book (Scythe) here:
In a perfect world, where immortality exists, the only way to die is to be gleaned by a scythe. Citra and Rowan are both living different normal lives, when they both have separate encounters with Scythe Faraday that will change their lives. They are both chosen to be his apprentice, a role neither of them wants to have.
They have no choice, but to learn the art of gleaning – a word that has replaced killing many centuries ago, as it sounds better. Citra and Rowan are on their way to find out about the world of scythes, and what it takes to be one, and take on the terrifying responsibility of choosing their victims.
In a perfect world though, corruption still exists, and Citra and Rowan will have to join forces to defeat it. But one day, they are told that one of them has to kill the other…
And there we have them – my top 10 books I read in 2020!
What are your top 10 books? Or your number 1 favorite for this year? I would love to hear it! If you made a blog post as well, please share it with me in the comments. <3
Until next year,