Top Ten Books 2020

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

This was the first book by Hemingway I read and it was the perfect introduction to his style and brilliant economy with the English language. It’s autobiographical and follows his time in Paris.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

I haven’t stopped thinking about this book since reading it. At times, it was too visceral and romanticised but I don’t think it’ll ever leave me.

Gone to Earth by Mary Webb

Recommended to me by the wonderful Candice Daquin on Feathered Sleep, this pastoral story with a female lead is as freeing as it is woefully tragic. Think Hardy’s Tess but better.

The Power by Naomi Alderman

This novel is gripping from beginning to end, the dystopian take on a matriarchy is superb. Another read which continues to cross my mind months after reading.

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

I wish I had read this years ago. It is now one of my all time favourite reads alongside Brideshead Revisited and Catcher in the Rye. Absolutely magical storytelling.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

The first instalment of Angelou’s autobiography, it is a wonderful and interesting read.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Another I wish I had reader sooner. I bought this copy in an Oxfam over 5 years ago and only read it this year. I sobbed like a baby.

The Wild Places by Robert Macfarlane

Recommended by the man who works at my local post office when he heard I enjoy writing about nature (he asked what I was shipping and it was a copy of my first collection, Between the Trees). A beautiful piece of creative non-fiction visiting the last wild places left in the United Kingdom.

Circe by Madeline Miller

Miles better than A Song for Achilles in my opinion, both Miller and Circe come into their own in this novel.

Owls of the Eastern Ice by Jonathan C. Slaght

Given an advance reading copy, this was a chunky piece of non-fiction I wasn’t sure about, but I soon became immersed in Slaght’s work in Russia, hoping to track and conserve a Great Owl native to the area. I’d happily read it again as it was both heartwarming and fascinating.

What was your favourite read in 2020?

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