The year 2020 was a tough one for everyone around the world, but surprisingly for me it was still a great year for reading and discovering new voices. In no particular order, I present to you my top 10 reads this year. This is a mix of new releases and backlists. I also chose to feature a quote for each one instead of the synopsis, so kindly follow the links for more information for each title.
“You are not fool’s gold, shining only under a particular light. Whomever you become, whatever you make yourself into, that is who you always were.”
“The prison is not outside, but inside each of us. Perhaps we simply don’t know how to live without it.”
“Both fictions and memories are recalled and retold. They’re both forms of stories. Stories are the way we learn. Stories are how we understand each other.”
“In the depths of her amnesia there exists the reassuring sensation of having existed a thousand times through the desires of others.”
“People can easily pass judgment on others when they’re protected by their own normality.”
“Sometimes your tongue is removed, sometimes you still it of your own accord. Sometimes you live, sometimes you die. Sometimes you have a name, sometimes you are named for what—not who—you are. The story always looks a little different, depending on who is telling it.”
“Sa haba ng buhay ng isang tao, isa lamang ang isinasabuhay niyang kuwento. At sa isang kuwentong ito, may isa lamang na pangyayaring pag-iikutan ng lahat. Isang pangyayaring patutunguhan ng kaniyang pagkasilang at pagmumulan ng kaniyang kamatayan.”
“Even if something seems pointless at the time, you mustn’t take it lightly. You’ll see how useful it is later on. Nothing you study will ever turn out to be useless. That’s the way the world is.”
“I’m fighting alone, every day. I fight with the hell that I survived. I fight with the fact of my own humanity. I fight with the idea that death is the only way of escaping this fact.”
“People are incapable of seeing themselves, and that is the root of all evil.”
There’s really no reason or logic to personal favorites so I can’t say exactly why these are the titles that are closest to my heart. One thing they all have in common though is that they all managed to surprise and even shock me with their skillful storytelling. These are stories that made me learn a lot of things about the world, but most importantly they made me feel.
I can’t possibly read more than a hundred books and mention just 10, so here’s some more that I loved this year.
The full list of my 2020 Year in Books can be found right here. Let’s be friends on Goodreads!
I saw this book tag from Instagram and I thought it’s a wonderful way to honor some of the authors that brought me joy during this challenging year. These are the authors I’ve read multiple books from this year:
JUNJI ITO. My auto-buy/auto-read author. I just love his stories and art. This year I read No Longer Human, Dissolving Classroom, Venus in the Blind Spot and Remina.
CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE. I want her to be my feminist BFF. This year I read Americanah and We Should All Be Feminists.
YOKO OGAWA. My literary mom. This year I read Memory Police and Revenge.
CARMEN MARIA MACHADO. She is a genius in both form and content. Her Body and Other Parties and In the Dream House are two of my absolute favorite finds this year.
LEILA SLIMANI. Adele and Lullaby are more than just your commercial paperback thrillers. Slimani is the real deal.
BRIT BENNETT. I loved The Mothers, and I am hypnotized now while reading The Vanishing Half. I wanted to finish it before the year ends, but I think it’s better to enjoy it without rushing.
ANNETTE MARIE. She rekindled my love for urban fantasy. I highly recommend her Demonized series for a fun but meaningful read.
RYU MURAKAMI. Sometimes horror and violence gives me ironic comfort. I like to push my limits in a controlled environment. I read Piercing and Audition this year and I loved them but this author is definitely not for everyone.
That’s it for me and a huge THANK YOU for being with me and my little blog this past year. I’m so grateful for all the fun conversations. Wishing everyone a better, healthier new year! See you on 2021!