• Isabelle Osborne

Top Reads of 2020

At the end of 2020, I posted a blog with all the texts I read throughout the year, with my star ratings. Today, I want to bring you a more detailed account of some of those texts, specifically my favourite reads of the year.

Firstly, we have the 'Best of the Best' reads of the year, listed in no particular order. Each of the books on this list I recommend 100%, I was captivated by each one for different reasons and I consider them to be incredible works. This list is followed by 'Best of the Rest' reads of the year, again listed in no particular order. These texts are great works in their own right, and definitely deserve a mention. With both sections of this blog, I have tried to be strict and only include the very best reads of 2020, so that each one that has made the lists really epitomise the very best of the 75 texts I read.

I have reviewed each of these texts in great details, and have linked the reviews if you're interested (click on the titles of the texts to find them!).

The Best of the Best

The Miniaturist - Jessie Burton

A stunning novel set in Amsterdam, which follows Petronella “Nella” Oortman, who has traveled to Amsterdam to join the household of her new husband, Johannes Brandt.

The Pearl That Broke Its Shell - Nadia Hashimi

A beautiful novel which interweaves the stories of two strong, courageous women in Afghanistan.

Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier

A captivating novel following an unnamed young woman who marries Maxim de Winter, a widowed haunted by the memory of his late wife.

Becoming - Michelle Obama

A remarkable, thought provoking autobiography tracing the life of one of the most amazing figures in American history; Michelle's book is one everyone should read.

The Best of the Rest

Why We Get The Wrong Politicians - Isabel Hardman

Hardman's incredibly in-depth book details the ins and out of Parliamentary life, the election process and the role of the MP, culminating to hypothesise why and how we elect the 'wrong politicians'.

Around the World in 80 Trains - Monisha Rajesh

In an entertaining and eye opening read, Rajesh takes us on a seven month journey across the world, capturing the unique quality of train travel and her experiences of different countries, cultures and people.

The Choice - Edith Eger

Detailing her experiences before, during and after her time in Auschwitz concentration camp, Edith Eger offers an inspiring account of how she dealt with the immense suffering she was forced to endure as a Jew during Nazi rule.

Girl, Woman, Other - Bernadine Evaristo

An unbelievable novel, interweaving the lives of an intersectional cast of women from across the world and detailing their different experiences, cultures, hopes and dreams.

When My Name Was Keoko - Linda Sue Park

A brilliant novel, set in Korea during World War II, when Japan conquered Korea and was trying to destroy Korean culture.

In Order To Live - Yeonmi Park

A beautifully written autobiography about a young Korean girl, who escapes her life in North Korea and faces terrible hardship on her journey to freedom.

Room - Emma Donoghue

This is a heart-wrenching story of a mother and her son who are held captive in a single room in the garden of a vicious predator.

'We Should All Be Feminists' - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

An interesting essay with some fascinating ideas about gender disputes, including marriage, single life, gender hostility and expectations of manliness, amongst other things.

'Dear Ijeawele: A Feminist Manifesto In Fifteen Suggestions' - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

A short but phenomenal exploration of how we can raise feminists, which traverses into a deeper exploration of other feminist issues, such as changing surnames upon marriage and the value of co-parenting.

Beloved - Toni Morrison

A re-read of probably 6 times (and each time I learn something new), Morrison's astounding novel.

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