Summer Reading 2020: A Review

Reading in 2020 started out a little rocky, but picked up by summertime — and summer reading was saved! Okay, a little dramatic, but summer reading is a joy I look forward to every year.

In 2012, I launched a summer reading program for adults, encouraging them to read as much as they liked, and rewarding program participants who read the most with a free book. Well, local libraries caught up with adult readers, so my program is no longer needed — but I still encourage summer reading for everyone, especially adults.

In 2020, that may have been a little harder to achieve. Many readers confessed to having less time or initiative to read due to mental or emotional fatigue, fear, overworking, job searches, or other various reasons. 

Myself, I had a windfall in the shape of a new co-worker who saved my vegetarian bacon, so to speak, and my mind. I was able to relax and pick up books for pleasure and relaxation again, finally.

I read a wide variety of books, from cookbooks (yes, cookbooks!) to short novels, classics to modern thrillers, self-help to juvenile stories and YA novels. I considered Hygge-ing in the summer but decided to hold off until the days grew shorter. 

My Library receives credit for providing the breadth of topic in ths summer's reading selection. I stumbled into the Library Summer Reading Program a little late (mid-June) and scrambled to catch up. I was surprised by a few reading suggestions (The Bad Seed, Brokeback Mountain) but gave it the ol' college try — and was reminded that engaged, well-read librarians provide oodles of good suggestions for titles, authors, and genres.

I discovered a new author at my Little Free Library, Lisa Jewell, then was amazed to find another of her books already in my TBR pile.

A college pal of mine wrote a book, Value Based Goal Setting, which I highly recommend; click here to find out more about her book on Amazon.

Fall for the Book and I always are in sync, but this year four authors in my TBR pile were scheduled to participate in the annual festival in October — so finished the books before the scheduled author events (including There There).

Then She Was Gone by Lisa JewellMy online book club has been on fire with their suggestions, and they pushed some titles to the top of my TBR pile, including The Paris Wife, The Dutch House, Behold the Dreamers, and The Authenticity Project.

One disappointment this summer was a book I had been anxiously awaiting since first I heard of it: Erin Morganstern's second novel, The Starless Sea. I read it on three formats — Kindle, print, and audiobook — and still was unable to make sense of it. I also failed to enjoy Perfect Little Children and the crazy wine-drinking-nosy-or-is-she-crazy British female protagonist. (Full disclosure: I stopped reading halfway through, my only DNF of the year so far.)

So, without further ado, I present my 2020 summer reading list:

  1. Mary Poppins Opens the Door 📲👧

  2. That Monster on the Block 📲👧

  3. Ivy and Bean 📲👧

  4. Kaspar the Titanic Cat 📖👧🤓

  5. Slow Cooker Cookbook: Volume 3: Delicious Dessert Recipes 📲

  6. Mexican Gothic 📖

  7. The Paris Wife 🎧📲

  8. Eleanor & Park 📖

  9. Emergency Skin 📲

  10. Hygge: Introduction to the Danish Art of Cozy Living 📲

  11. Then She Was Gone 📖🏠

  12. Perfect Little Children 📲🤓

  13. The Body: A Guide for Occupants 🎧🤓📲

  14. Unsheltered 📖

  15. Values Based Goal Setting 📲

  16. How I Made a Friend 📲👧

  17. The Authenticity Project 📖

  18. Around the World in Seventy-Two Days 📲

  19. There There 🎧🤓

  20. A Stone Sat Still 📲👧

  21. Brokeback Mountain 🎧🤓

  22. One-Pan Wonders: Fuss-Free Meals for your Sheet Pan, Dutch Oven, Skillet, Roasting Pan, Casserole, and Slow-Cooker 📲

  23. This is the Rope 📲 🤓

  24. Neverworld Wake 📲🤓

  25. Siddhartha 🎧🤓

  26. Blossom &  Bones 📖🤓

  27. Kitten Lady’s Big Book of Little Kittens 📖🤓👧

  28. Black Klansman 🎧🤓

  29. Bonjour Tristesse 📖

  30. The Dutch House 📖

  31. The Bad Seed 📖🤓

  32. Rivals! Frenemies Who Changed the World 🎧

  33. The Starless Sea 🎧🤓📲

  34. Time’s Convert 📲

  35. My Real Children 📲

  36. Behold the Dreamers 🎧🤓

  37. The Nightingale 📲

Did you read any of these, and what did you think? Or did you read something else amazing this summer? Leave a comment below — or send me a message, and I'll share with our fellow readers.