• Isabelle Osborne

2020: a year in books

And just like that, 2020 comes to a close. This year, I have managed to read many more books than I ever intended or imagined I would: a total of 75!


I read plays, novels, non-fiction, memoirs, autobiographies and anthologies. I really tried to diversify my reading in 2020 especially in the wake of the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement earlier this year. I'm delighted to have found some amazing books that aren't widely spoken about, as well as ones by debut authors. I found myself reading more classics this year than I ever have, which was surprisingly enjoyable and not as taxing as I expected. I read Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice for the first time ever this year (after having them in my cupboard for a WHILE), picked up some new authors who I now love (Bernadine Evaristo and Jessie Burton being two), and dived into the non-fiction world (a world I definitely love and will be visiting more during 2021).


The first lockdown significantly helped me get through more books than normal, as I had much more time to get my reading in, as well as being an English student at university (whereby my whole degree centres around reading). As my academic commitments increase and life (hopefully) returns back to 'normal', I'm not confident I'll be able to recreate my 2020 reading achievements in 2021, but never say never!


Overall, my reading has been incredibly positive this year, and I've been lucky that the vast majority of things I have read I enjoyed. This isn't to say there weren't a few texts that I wasn't thrilled by (as you will see below), but there were definitely more positives than negatives.


Below is a list of every single text I read in 2020, alongside my star rating of each (I'm not a huge fan of star ratings, but I tried them out this year nonetheless for reference purposes)...

  1. The Mill on the Floss - George Eliot (3 stars)

  2. On the Front Line with the Women who Fight Back - Stacey Dooley (3 stars)

  3. The Communist Manifesto - Karl Marx and Frederick Engels (2 stars)

  4. We Should All Be Feminists - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (5 stars)

  5. Women and Power - Mary Beard (4 stars)

  6. Cilka’s Journey - Heather Morris (4 stars)

  7. Oedipus the King - Sophocles (2 stars)

  8. Fight Like a Girl - Clementine Ford (4 stars)

  9. Beloved - Toni Morrison (5 stars)

  10. How the Pill Changes Everything - Dr. Sarah Hill (4 stars)

  11. The Story of an African Farm - Olive Schreiner (1 star)

  12. Room - Emma Donogue (5 stars)

  13. Why We Get the Wrong Politicians - Isabel Hardman (5 stars)

  14. Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier (5 stars)

  15. The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz - Jeremy Dronfield (4 stars)

  16. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë (4 stars)

  17. A Woman in Berlin - Anonymous (4 stars)

  18. Cupcakes and Kalashnikovs - edited by Eleanor Mills (4 stars)

  19. Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë (2 stars)

  20. The Festival of Insignificance - Milan Kundera (1 star)

  21. The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (2 star)

  22. The Miniaturist - Jessie Burton (5 stars)

  23. The Choice - Edith Eger (5 stars)

  24. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (4 stars)

  25. Purple Hibiscus - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (3 stars)

  26. Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race - Reni Eddo-Lodge (4 stars)

  27. Jamaica Inn - Daphne du Maurier (3 stars)

  28. Villette - Charlotte Brontë (3 stars)

  29. The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt (5 stars)

  30. The Beekeeper or Aleppo - Christy Lefteri (3 stars)

  31. Dear Ijeawele, A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (5 stars)

  32. Ulysses - James Joyce (2 stars)

  33. Everything I Never Told You - Celeste Ng (3 stars)

  34. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens (3 stars)

  35. Around the World in 80 Trains - Monisha Rajesh (5 stars)

  36. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine - Gail Honeyman (4 stars)

  37. Style in Fiction - Geoffrey Leech and Mick Short (3 stars)

  38. The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed By Jack the Ripper - Hallie Rubenhold (3 stars)

  39. Cane - Jean Toomer (3.5 stars)

  40. Their Eyes Were Watching God - Zora Neale Hurston (3 stars)

  41. The Pearl That Broke Its Shell - Nadia Hashimi (5 stars)

  42. Middlemarch - George Eliot (2 stars)

  43. Girl, Woman, Other - Bernadine Evaristo (5 stars)

  44. The Sisters of Auschwitz - Roxanne van Iperan (3 stars)

  45. When My Name Was Keoko - Linda Sue Park (4 stars)

  46. Wide Sargasso Sea - Jean Rhys (2.5 stars)

  47. Airhead - Emily Maitlis (4 stars)

  48. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy (3 stars)

  49. Homegoing - Yaa Gyasi (3.5 stars)

  50. Glitch Feminism, A Manifesto - Legacy Russell (3 stars)

  51. The Souls of Black Folk - W.E.B Du Bois (2.5 stars)

  52. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson (2.5 stars)

  53. To The Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf (2 stars)

  54. White Tears - Hari Kunzru (4 stars)

  55. Good Morning, Midnight - Jean Rhys (3 stars)

  56. Lady Windermere's Fan - Oscar Wilde (3 stars)

  57. Salome - Oscar Wilde (1 star)

  58. A Woman of No Importance - Oscar Wilde (3 stars)

  59. An Ideal Husband - Oscar Wilde (3 stars)

  60. Margaret Thatcher: The Autobiography (3.5 stars)

  61. The Importance of Being Earnest (4 stars)

  62. 10 Minutes, 38 Seconds In This Strange World - Elif Shafak (4 stars)

  63. She Said - Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey (4 stars)

  64. In Order To Live - Yeonmi Park (4.5 stars)

  65. Step By Step - Simon Reeve (4 stars)

  66. The Long Song - Andrea Levy (3 stars)

  67. The Beach of Falesa - Robert Louis Stevenson (2 stars)

  68. On This Day In History - Dan Snow (3.5 stars)

  69. The Bottle Imp - Robert Louis Stevenson (2 stars)

  70. The Isle of Voices - Robert Louis Stevenson (1 star)

  71. The Man Who Was Thursday - GK Chesterton (3 stars)

  72. The Sign of the Four - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (3 stars)

  73. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad (2 stars)

  74. The Secret Agent - Joseph Conrad (3 stars)

  75. Becoming - Michelle Obama (5 stars)


Let's see where 2021 takes my inner bookworm!

Recent Posts

See All