2020 Reading Round Up: 22 Books

I did want to post this at the end of 2020 but ironically I was too busy reading to have time to finish editing and writing this… so here we go! This is the order in which I read the books too, it was a slow start but as soon as Lockdown 1.0 hit I got so invested in reading for the first time in probably near enough 10 years. I used to read so much as a kid but then as soon as school started getting in the way (probably around A Level time) I totally stopped reading entirely which makes me so sad.

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BUT now I’ve kickstarted this habit I’m determined to keep it going in 2021, one of the perks of this Lockdown 3.0 is that I have longer to continue reading more before life goes back to full speed. Got to find those silver linings!

My Goodreads target is set to 20 books in 2021, but I am secretly hoping to beat that. In 2020 I managed a grand total of 22! Speaking of, if anyone wants to be friends on Goodreads (or just wants to be nosy) click here.


I saw this a lot on Insta, and I did really enjoy it. 4/5

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ME BEFORE YOU – Jojo Moyes

I got this and Eleanor Oliphant on offer at the train station and basically read them both in one weekend. Thoroughly enjoyed this even though I had already seen the film (I’m normally a book first person). 4/5

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I enjoyed reading this at the time, however have since fell down a lot of deep dives about the author which has changed my opinion of her and some of her work, but that aside, it’s a nice and quick self help/female empowerment style book. 3/5

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WHY WE SLEEP – Matthew Walker

This is probably in my top 3 books I read in 2020, I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it so interesting. It took me a while to get through as it is so detailed, but it really made me think more about my own sleeping habits and definitely make it more of a priority. Highly recommend! 5/5

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This was the first book of the Milk and Sugar Book Club I joined in June I think it was, and it was a very quick read but not my favourite. It was quite a controversial one and definitely sparked discussion, but it wasn’t for me. 2/5

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ONE OF US IS LYING – Karen McManus

This series was part of the Zoella Book Club and they are more YA books so aimed at a younger audience however I thoroughly enjoyed them. I still enjoy YA books in general, I think they’re just nice easy reads! This series is murder mystery at high school vibes, and definitely had me hooked. 4/5

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ONE OF US IS NEXT – Karen McManus

I’m not going to lie to you I can’t really distinguish between these three books because I read them pretty much one after the other without stopping, so they’ve kind of all blurred into each other, but can confirm they were all equally as good. 4/5

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See above. 4/5

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IN COLD BLOOD – Truman Capote

Another murder mystery, except this one is based on a true story. The fact that it wasn’t fictional was the thing that kept me going, but I found this really difficult to read. It is a classic book and I know it’s quite a common one that people study, but I just couldn’t get into it and really had to force myself to sit down and read it. 2/5

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GIRL, WOMAN, OTHER – Bernardine Evaristo

This book has something like 11 different characters or something and each of them tells a section of the story and they all end up having a common link. I think it’s really cleverly written and I really enjoyed it. It was a bit much at times because there was so many different characters and stories within it, but overall I really enjoyed it. 3.5/5

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QUEENIE – Candice Carty-Williams

I loved this book, loved the story and the characters, and got through it really quickly. 5/5

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This book has a lot of information to take in, and did take me a little longer to read. It definitely opened my eyes and I really enjoyed it. It’s probably one that I’d go back to and read again to refresh my memory, but definitely made me realise how ignorant/oblivious I was before to racial issues and white privilege etc. It also inspired me to write this post. 5/5

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NORMAL PEOPLE – Sally Rooney

I actually still haven’t watched the series other than the first episode, but I read the book first and thoroughly enjoyed it. I really like Sally Rooney’s writing style and found it easy to read and I really liked the characters. 4/5

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NOT A DIET BOOK – James Smith

I know he’s caused a bit of controversy in the fitness industry – especially online, recently but this book is really informative and well laid out – you can’t fault the information in there and I think it’s a really good one to read for anyone new to fitness or wanting to learn more about fitness or nutrition. 4/5

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AFTER YOU – Jojo Moyes

I waited quite a long time to get hold of this book hence the gap between reading Me Before You, but again I really enjoyed this book, I really like her writing style and was super invested in the narrative. 4/5

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STILL ME – Jojo Moyes

This is the longest book in the trilogy, and so much happens. I loved this book – laughed and cried! The ending really got me too. Definitely my favourite out of the 3. 5/5

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LUNAR LIVING – Kirsty Gallagher

This is more of  a book you can come back to and refer to each month / moon cycle to find out what’s going on and what’s relevant to that time, but I did read the majority of it and found it so informative. There are journaling prompts for each phase of the moon which I have been using and hope to stick to! Definitely recommend it if you’re into journaling/meditation etc. 4/5

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This is less of a narrative story and more Dolly talking about her experiences falling in and out of love. It was another nice, easy read. 4/5

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Another murder mystery / high school vibe and very similar to Karen McManus, but this is definitely its own series and its own book, it takes a bit to get into if you’ve read McManus’ book but it takes its own turn and I can’t wait for the rest of the series! 4/5

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SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL – Giovanna Fletcher

This book was so lovely and heart-warming, the first of Giovanna’s books I’ve read, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Was the perfect book to read in December. 5/5

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Another one of my favourite books from this year for sure. I read this pretty much in one sitting – it is a bit of a slower start but once I got into it I was hooked. 5/5

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This was a charity shop find that I otherwise probably wouldn’t have bothered with otherwise, sorry Anton! I did end up enjoying it though, the story had its twists and turns that kept me invested in the characters, and I liked the fact it was written in third person so wasn’t focused on just one character throughout. 3/5

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So there we have it! To recap, these are my 5 star rated books of 2020:

Why We Sleep – Matthew Walker

Queenie – Candice Carty-Williams

Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge

Still Me – Jojo Moyes

Some Kind Of Wonderful – Giovanna Fletcher

The Flat Share – Beth O’Leary

If you’re more of an audiobook person, click here for a 30 day free trial for Audible! That includes one free audiobook (or two if you’re a Prime member).

Let me know if you’ve read any of these books and what you thought of them! Also let me know if you have any recommendations for me based on these!

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  1. I loved Normal People! Did you watch the series?
    So many of these are on my tbr so im glad to see you enjoyed them…and I agree, in Cold Blood is a definite 2/5?

    1. I watched the first episode and got bored haha!

  2. I set my 2021 Goodreads goal at 52 books! Haha we shall see if I get through a book a week. Definitely adding Queenie to my TBR. Thanks for the great post!

  3. I can’t wait to finally read The Flat Share! I loved One of Us Is Lying (need to grab the others!), Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People and Queenie. I’m hoping to read Girl, Woman, Other soon too. Great list! We have a similar taste in books! x

    1. The Flat Share is in my top 5, maybe even top 3 – I think you’ll love it too! Love that we have similar taste x

  4. This was such a great reading list! If you enjoyed Karen McManus check out her last book “The cousins” which is great! Eleanor and The oliphant was one of my favourites from a couple of years ago. Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race was such an informative read and a must! Thanks for sharing, I added some of them to my reading list for this year x

    1. I need to get my hands on The Cousins!

  5. Some great books here! I loved The Flatshare, Some Kind of Wonderful, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, After You, Still Me and Karen McNanus’s books too!

    Serena / http://www.ramblingsofanotherunigraduate.com/

    1. Love that – they’re some of my favourites for sure!

  6. I absolutely looooved the flat share!! It’s on my reading round up I’m releasing tomorrow in my top 10 for sure! Also I was glad to see you enjoyed the One of us is lying series because I’ve got that to read next and wasn’t sure how it would be! Great post and great books! Here’s to 2021! I follow you on Goodreads so excited to keep up with your reading!

    1. The Flat Share would easily make it to my top 5 I think! One of Us Is Lying etc is such an easy and fun read – there’s another one out I need to get my hands on! If you enjoy them I definitely recommend The Magpie Society too!

  7. Great reads, I need to check out some of these and I’m determined for 2021 to be the year I really get back into reading 🙂 I wasn’t a huge fan of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine- but it’s a very popular book!

    1. I think sometimes the popularity can overhype a book! You can totally get back into reading this year!

  8. Amazing!! I can’t believe how many great books you managed to read. I think I did about 20 last year but I am on my 8th this year so far already.

    A few of these I read last year and loved and quite a few of the others are on my TBR pile as well x

    1. 8 in January is amazing!! We must have similar taste in books then!

  9. I loved reading Eleanor Oliphant and Queenie, they’re such amazing reads. I didn’t quite enjoy Normal People, I found the book confusing as there were no speech marks when people were talking so I couldn’t tell who was speaking where and when! x

    Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk

    1. I get what you mean about Normal People, but I’d also just read Girl, Woman, Other which is a similar format so I think I adapted to it quite quickly!

  10. […] you saw my last post, you’ll know that I’ve been getting massively into reading again over the past year, a […]

  11. Great suggestions. What’s the controversy re james smith? I thought it was all pr. More noise means more views?

    1. I think his ‘tough love’ approach is sometimes taken a bit far and he’s made some questionable comments about women etc in the past, mainly on his instagram! May well be a tactic though as you say. Overall he is very knowledgeable though, just not everyone’s cup of tea!

  12. Hi Lauren, what a great round up post! You really did manage to read a lot of books this year, that’s so good! I’m a really big fan of JoJo Myers, love that you have included her book. Thanks for sharing! Alicia

    1. Thank you for reading! I need to get more Jojo on my reading list ☺️

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