2020 Books

Here is my annual list of the books I read this year. My goal was 50 and I read 64 (plus one I decided to not finish, one re-read, and one I will finish in 2021).  Four and Five star ratings are highly recommended. Two reading goals this year were to read more female authors and to focus on books that fit my Reading Around the World goal.


5 stars     A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C.A. Fletcher

5 stars     Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger

3 stars     People Can’t Drive You Crazy if You Don’t Give Them the Keys by Mike Bechtle

4 stars     Sword of Kings by Bernard Cornwell

5 stars     The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in between by Hisham Matar

5 stars     Ali and Nino by Kurban Said


4 stars     An American Princess: The Many Lives of Allene Tew by Annejet van der Zijl

5 stars     The Broken Circle: A Memoir of Escaping Afghanistan by Enjeela Ahmadi-Miller

4 stars     Caffeine: How Caffeine Created the Modern World by Michael Pollen

5 stars     The Minuteman by Greg Donahue

5 stars     Malcolm and Me by Ishmael Reed

5 stars     The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

3 stars     Beyond the Shadow of Night by Ray Kingfisher

4 stars     I Was Anastasia: A Novel by Ariel Lawhon

5 stars     The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank


5 stars     Born a Crime: Stories of a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

5 stars     The Warsaw Protocol by Steve Berry

4 stars     Blood Territory: The Death of Jimmy O’Connell by Mark Whittaker

3 stars     Go: A Coming of Age Novel by Kazuki Kaneshiro

5 stars     American Radical: Inside the World of an Undercover Muslim FBI Agent by Tamer Elnoury

4 stars     The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Potzsch

3 stars     When We Believed in Mermaids by Barbara O’Neal

3 stars     Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations in Life with John F. Kennedy by Jacqueline Kennedy

4 stars     Jane Austen’s Emma (Audible Original) by Anna Lea

5 stars     Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield


3 stars     The Future of Feeling: Building Empathy in a Tech-Obsessed World by Kaitlin Ugolik Phillips

(Did Not Finish) Appalachian Reckoning; A Region Responds to Hillbilly Elegy by Anthony

5 stars     An Ordinary Man by Paul Rusesabagina

1 star      Goodbye Paris, Shalom Tel Aviv by Marco Koskas

4 stars     Welcome to Lagos by Chibundu Onuzo


5 stars     The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold

5 stars The Golden Orchard by Flora Ahn

4 stars     The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

5 stars     The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict

5 stars     The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

5 stars     A Column of Fire by Ken Follett

5 stars     Where the Lost Wander by Amy Harmon

4 stars     The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd

5 stars     White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Tobin DiAngelo

5 stars     All This I Will Give To You by Dolores Redondo


4 stars     The Giver of Stars by JoJo Moyes

5 stars     A Drop of Midnight: A Memoir by Jason Diakite

4 stars     Talking to Strangers by a Malcolm Gladwell

4 stars     The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

5 stars     The House of Long Ago by Steve Berry


5 stars     Trust Your Animal Instincts by Tabitha A. Scott

5 stars     In Her Footsteps by Lonely Planet

5 stars     How to Defeat a Demon King in Ten Easy Steps by Andrew Rowe

5 stars     Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson (re-read for 3rd time)


4 stars     How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

3 stars     The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

5 stars     The Dark Heart: A True Story of Greed, Murder, and an Unlikely Investigator by Joakim Palmkvist

3 stars     King of Sting: The Story of Australian Conman Peter Foster by Justin Armsden

4 stars     This Life or the Next: A Novel by Demian Vitanza

5 stars    The Passion According to Carmela by Marcos Aguinis

1 Star     Invitation to a Beheading by Vladimir Nabokov


5 stars     Thicker than Water by Tyler Shultz

5 stars     The Murmur of Bees by Sofia Segovia

5 stars     Plan for the Worst (A St Mary’s Chronicle) by Jodi Taylor


5 stars     The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See

3 stars     Phreaks (Audible Originals)

4 stars     The Tourist by Olen Steinhauer

4 stars     The Woman on the Orient Express by Lindsay Jayne Ashford


4 stars     Water Music by T.C. Boyle

(started)  A Promised Land by Barack Obama

4 stars     The Blue by Nancy Bilyeau

About alicrain

Wanderlust. Adventurer. Mom. Mentor. Change Agent. Crazy. Servant Leader. Citizen of the World These are all words that describe me - or have been used to describe me. There are many more but we won't get in to those. What is important to know is that at the age of 45, after having a successful career and raising a son, I decided I needed a new challenge and adventure in my life. So I joined the Peace Corps. Portions of this blog were written before this time and chronicle my life during graduate school (again, something I did in my 40s). During my service in Morocco (September 2016 - December 2018) I chronicled my daily life and all it entailed to live as an American female in another country. this is a place for me to capture random thoughts and share my life's journey
This entry was posted in Books, reading and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s