A Year Like No Other

Around this time in December there’s quite a few ‘end of year’ book lists appearing on social media. Most are dedicated to those published in the last twelve months. However, my to-be-read-and/or-reviewed pile, which I reduced over the year and filled back up again, is filled with wonders from not just this year but from previous years too. In 2020 I managed to read 49 books from all age ranges and genres. Most of the children’s books I have read this year (picture books to young adult) are reviewed on My Book Corner but there are some that are still with me, even months after closing the last page. I dedicate this post to my favourite books I’ve read this year regardless of when they were penned and illustrated.

The Tide written by Clare Helen Welsh and illustrated by Ashling Lindsay is one of the most important picture books for younger readers I have ever read. It is the perfect book to start conversations with loved-ones about the emotional expectations and demands on a family caring for those with Dementia or Alzheimer’s illness. A worthy winner of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) Crystal Kite Award 2020.

We’ve all seen the images on the news of those risking EVERYTHING to make a better life for their families. Treacherous journeys across unforgiving seas just to find peace and a place to finally feel safe – Sami’s story, told by the amazing AM Dassu, is an emotional roller-coaster of a novel about making a fresh start in what began with unsurmountable circumstances. A genuine tale of overcoming everything against all odds. Tremendous.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche’s ‘Americanah‘ spans three continents over many years. Ifemelu and Obinze’s adolescent love stretches into adulthood. Reunited over a decade later as two very different people, this is a love story like no other. My book group Book of the Year for 2020. So good, I read it four times.

Everyone knows who Jack the Ripper was. What about his victims? Who were they? Hallie Rubenhold‘s profound narrative answered all my questions and more about the women he brutally murdered. A fascinating take on their lives that will have you reading into the wee small hours.

Throughout every year I put £1 in a jar for every book I read. At the end of the year I give the total to charity. In this case for 2020, £49 has been sent to my local Social Bite Village. Pay it forward if you can.