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Books I Read This Year 2020

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Books I Read This Year 2020

Reno blogger, Ashley Zeal from Two Peas in a Prada shares

My goal every single year is to read 100 books – I have never ever hit that goal. The closest I have ever come is 83. Last year was probably my worst showing of all time — I was, after all, getting married and growing a baby. My energy just wasn’t there and I couldn’t focus. So this year my ONLY “resolution” is to get back into it. I figure I have a lot of ample opportunity to catch up on my reading when I’m up late at night feeding the baby. And in order to keep track of how many I read – I am going to update this post every month with the books I read this year – and hopefully, by December, it will add up to 100! Check out the Best Books for a New You>>> HERE.

Books I Read This Year

Reno blogger, Ashley Zeal from Two Peas in a Prada shares

August

 

62. Boys Club

by Erica Katz

 

This book was SO good. I breezed right through it – it’s kind of like The Firm meets Me Too. Finished it in a few hours!

 

 

61. His & Hers

by Alice Feeney

 

 

This is one of the best thrillers I’ve read since Gone Girl. Highly recommend!

 

 

60. The Wife Who Knew Too Much 

by Michelle Campbell

 

 

A little unrealistic but highly entertaining. I also finished this one super fast. It’s definitely a page-turner and got me back into the reading groove this month!

 

 

59. Midnight Sun

by Stephanie Meyer

 

 

It hurts my heart to even write this, because Edward is my everything, but this book was just not as amazing as I wanted it to be. I think reading it during the stress of moving also made it a little less enjoyable – but I  just wasn’t feeling it. Team Edward forever, tho.

 

58. The Comeback

by Ella Berman

 

 

This was a #readwithjenna book club pick and I’m so glad I found it! I probably wouldn’t have found this one on my own but I really liked it. The beginning was a little slow but the whole first half made it worth it.

 

 

 

 

July

 

57. Something She’s Not Telling Us

by Darcey Bell

 

We both LOVED Darcey Bell’s last book, A Simple Favor, which turned into an amazing movie with Blake Lively so I was really excited to read this one.  There were so many twists and turns and I finished it super fast.

 

56. Beach Read 

by Emily Henry

 

This was a classic summer beach read. This is a great fast read to toss in your beach bag!

 

55. The Guest List

by Lisa Foley

 

 

Since I read so many books, I can normally predict the ending but this one really threw me off! It was SO good.

54. The Dilemma 

by B.A. Harris

 

This book was WILD. It has a super sad aspect to it- but it was amazing watching it all unfold. I couldn’t put it down!

 

53. Before We Were Strangers 

by Renee Carlino

 

 

This book was one of The Readheads Book Club pics and I was SO OBSESSED. I loved listening to the podcast episode after. Highly recommend!

 

52. The Golden Cage

by Camila Lackberg

 

 

This was a classic tale of revenge and I loved every single second.

51. Party of Two 

by Jasmine Guillory

 

I am trying to read more books by Black authors, and Guillory is one of my favorites!

 

50. The Girl from Widow Hills 

by Megan Miranda

 

 

I started a little book club with my All In coaches and we all read this together which made it so much more fun! If you love thrillers, this is a good one!

49. One to Watch 

by Kate Stayman London

 

Everyone told me to read this book- and I definitely have some thoughts. It’s about the first-ever plus-size woman being The Bachelorette, I’m not sure if it’s because I don’t usually watch the franchise, but I just couldn’t get into it. I really loved the character though and think fans of the ABC show would really love it. I do love how it called them out for never having a bigger girl on the show – it’s time.

 

48. A Woman Alone

by Nina Laurin

 

I really wanted to love this book, but it’s not my favorite. It gave me a Truman Show / Big Brother vibe, but it wasn’t my favorite of the month!

47. Two Truths and a Lie

by Meg Mitchell Moore

 

 

I can always tell how much I like a book by how quickly I read it. This one took me a few days, but I still liked it! There were a lot of characters, which was a little hard to keep up with – but I did also like having all of those perspectives as well. I’d give this a 6.5/10!

46. The Swap 

by Robyn Harding

 

I finished this book during ONE of Baby Joe’s naps – like it was soooo wild and good. Kind of disturbing but in a good way!

 

45. The Last Flight

by Julie Clark

 

I wanted to make the last book of July a good one – and this is one I have been “saving” on my shelf! It’s a very different kind of thriller but it was so good!

June

44. The Lies that Bind 

by Emily Giffin

 

I love love love, Emily Giffin, and this book did not disappoint.

 

43. 28 Summers

by Elin Hildebrand

 

Elin is my girl, I am her biggest fan. We read her books every single summer and winter, and this one was SO good!

42. Girls of Summer

by Nancy Thayer

 

 

Nancy Thayer is another summer staple for me! This book was the perfect beach read!

 

41. We’re Going to Need More Wine

by Gabrielle Union

 

 

Inspired to read more books by black voices, I really wanted to read this memoir. I got it on audible because I love her voice. I listened to all 8 hours within two days.

May

40. Summer Longing

by Jamie Brenner

 

I thought a book about an abandoned baby would be a little too sensitive for me to read right now, but it was totally fine and heartwarming!

 

39. Hello Summer

by Mary Kay Andrews

 

I read her books every single summer, and I always love them! A big-city journalist loses her job and has to return home to her small town where she grew up and ends up getting the lead on a major political scandal for her family’s run local paper! This is perfect to read by the pool. Not too serious, but just juicy enough!

 

38. Big Summer

by Jennifer Weiner

 

It pains me to say that I was not the biggest fan of her last book, but this one was so good! It’s about a plus-size influencer (probably why I liked it so much), but also has a thriller aspect to it, which is super different for her! I really enjoyed this!

 

37. Feels Like Falling

by Kristy Woodsen Harvey

 

This was such a cute book about friendship and turned out to be way different than what I thought it was going to be when I started it. I am a huge fan of her writing and this was a super fun and easy beach read!

 

36. The Wife Stalker 

by Liv Constantine

 

I’m not joking when I say that I did not put this book down. I read it from start to finish in one sitting. It is THAT good. The ending is wild – this is the best book I’ve read in a long time. I don’t want to give too much away but you have to read it!

35. One Perfect Summer

by Brenda Novak

 

I was super interested in this book because it takes place in Lake Tahoe! Three women find out they’re sisters thanks to 23 & Me – and they try to unravel how exactly that happened. Loved it!

 

34. On Ocean Boulevard

by Mary Alice Monroe

 

This book is part of a series but can be read as a standalone novel. I always read her books and this one was the perfect beach read!

 

 

April

33. Untamed

by Glennon Dolye

 

I finished this book in just three days – I love how short the chapters are. Each one reads like a short story and you can pick it back up anytime. She is such a talented writer, and can’t believe I haven’t read any of her other stuff.

 

32. The Herd

by Andrea Bartz

 

This book is basically an all-female Soho House type thriller. What more could you ask for in a book?

31. Cape May

by Chip Cheek

 

30. Babywise

by Gary Ezzo

 

This is the book I read in addition to taking the TCB class on sleep training – it was so helpful!

March

29. High Achiever

by Tiffany Jenkins

 

This was the first book I read this month and probably my favorite! It is a non-fiction memoir written by an addict. It was so well-written. Sad at times, but also funny and endearing. Some of the stories she shares are so crazy, it’s hard to believe that it’s fiction.

28. My Dark Vanessa

by Kate Elizabeth Russell

 

I cannot believe this was her first book – it was so amazing, I could hardly put it down. I normally dislike books that alternate from past to present, but Russell tells the story so seamlessly, I hardly noticed. The story itself was unsettling to read – a 15-year-old girl who has a relationship with her teacher. It was a dark read for sure, but a page-turner at the same time.

 

27. You Are Not Alone

by Greer Hendricks &  Sarah Pekkanen

 

Surprisingly, this was the only thriller I read last month, but it was so so good! These are the same authors who wrote one of my faves, The Wife Between Us, and this book didn’t disappoint. The book starts off with a woman witnessing a suicide at a subway station in New York City and follows her obsession with getting to the bottom of it. I highly recommend!

 

26. Buy Yourself the F*cking Lillies

by Tara Schuster

 

This book is normally not my vibe, but I heard her on Stassi’s podcast and thought she was pretty funny. I listened to this on Audible and found it uplifting and it helped pass the time during the quarantine. I related to her a lot – anxious, self-medicating and just trying to be successful. I found this self-help book to be different than most – it was not sanctimonious in the least, and I felt like she was one of my girlfriends talking to me.

February

25. The Last House Guest 

by Megan Miranda

 

This was the first book I actually read after Joe was born. It actually came out last summer, and I just got around to reading it. I read it while I was pumping – which gave me something to look forward to! I bought the hardcover version, so it was a little challenging to read while I was holding the baby, but we made it work! It was a thriller that wasn’t too scary, but it kept me entertained the whole time. I knew a huge twist was coming, but I enjoy the times when I can’t guess it – and this book was that way!

24. Open Book

by Jessica Simpson

 

If you were a Jessica Simpson fan, read this immediately. Even if you weren’t a fan, but you love pop culture, read this I was shook at how open she was throughout the book. I feel like so many celebrities take the easy way out when writing books like this, but she held nothing back. I listened to it on Audible, and she narrated, which made it extra special. Her voice definitely brought me back to my middle school BSB days and listening to her reminisce about her and Nick was fascinating. I love her even more after reading this.

23. Happiest Baby on the Block

by Harvey Karp

 

Written by the founder of the Snoo, his 5 S method is famous for soothing fussy babies. It was so fascinating to read that babies in other cultures don’t experience the colicky baby like we do in America. His research was so interesting and his methods seem to be working. This research was what inspired him to create the Snoo in the first place (which we are loving so far, and I will do a full review once we have used it for a full month).

22. Mr. Nobody

by Catherine Steadman

 

This book was recommended to me by my friend, Daisy. She is the only person who reads more than me – we always share so many book recs, and by now she knows my taste. And she was right- I finished this in a few hours and was actually surprised by the twist ending!

21. The Wives

Taryn Fisher

 

I read this book super fast, and there were definitely some twists I didn’t see coming. It’s one of those books where you definitely don’t know what’s going to happen next. When it was over – I almost thought I read the ending wrong – and that’s all I will say. This is a great beach read but may leave you saying, “WTF” after you’re finished.

 

20. The HouseKeeper

by Natalie Barelli

 

This is a great case of revenge. Claire is looking to get revenge on Hannah for something she did to her family years ago. She sees the perfect opportunity to apply for a live-in housekeeper job in order to get closer to her and bring her down. Again, this ending surprised me, I can normally always guess! Maybe baby is throwing me off my game.

 

19. The Lookalike

by Erica Spindler

 

I don’t know why but it took me forever to get into this book! Once I finally was almost a third of the way through, it started picking up. This book would usually be right up my alley – but there was something about the main character I just didn’t like, so it was hard for me to connect. The ending was pretty wild though. If you like thrillers, this one was okay!

 

18. Do You Mind if I Cancel?

by Gary Janetti

 

It took me a while to get into this book – but then I found myself laughing out loud. I listened to this one on Audible. It’s super light-hearted and fun!

 

17. Saint X

by Alexis Schaitkin

 

This book gave me Natalie Holloway vibes – not so much a thriller, but more of a murder mystery. A young girl goes missing on a family vacation to a tropical island. They find her body and then years later, her sister befriends one of the suspects determined to get to the truth. To say I didn’t see the ending coming is an understatement.

 

16. The Other Mrs.

by Mary Kubica

 

 

I haven’t been actually scared of a book in a long time. I normally am reading in the middle of the night when I’m pumping or feeding. I found a couple of times I would have to wait until the sun came up to finish chapters in this book. It’s not her very best work, but it was still pretty good.

January

15. Such a Fun Age

by Kiley Reid

 

This is Reese’s book club pick for the month. And the first fiction book I read this year. It was SO good I can’t even explain it. I finished it in two days – like could not put it down. It tackles race in a very interesting way. It’s eye-opening, but incredibly entertaining at the same time. It was sold out when I tried to buy it, so I had to get the Kindle version – read it however you can!

14. What to Expect the First Year

by Heidi Murkoff

 

You know I had to read this book! With just a month to go, I figured it was time I figured out what to expect. I found What to Expect When You’re Expecting super helpful, and the same for this book. If you’re anxious like me and having your first baby, definitely check it out. I love that you can refer back to it all the time. You don’t need to wait to have the baby to read this as it covers things like how many onesies to buy, what supplies you need for breastfeeding etc.

 

13. How to Stop Feeling Like Shit

by Andrea Owen

 

Emily LOVES audiobooks and I could never get into them – yet I paid for Audible every single month (found this out when trying to cancel my subscriptions) –  I went to cancel and I had a ton of credits – meaning I could still use all the times I paid and didn’t download a book. I love love love podcasts so couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t do audiobooks. I decided to download only non-fiction and it worked! I was loving listening to these books while I was walking, cleaning, cooking, in the bath – it’s just another way for me to fit in more books now – and I love it. This is written by a life coach and it forces you to face some hard truths about yourself. For example, she was saying when a friend comes to you for help, there are certain categories as to how you respond. Unfortunately, I identified most as the “one-upper” not something I’m proud of, but at least now I know and can work on it. She gives you 14 ways to stop feeling like shit and they’re all doable. Highly recommend!

12. Quit Like a Woman

by Holly Whitaker

 

This book is everywhere and I mean everywhere. It’s all over social media, magazines, and everyone is talking about it. I first heard about this sober curious lifestyle a year or so ago. It always surprises people when they learn that we don’t drink. Don’t get me wrong – I definitely do – just not often. I’m either a 0 or 100 type of girl – so I am either going balls to the wall or staying sober with a glass of wine here or there on certain occasions. Everyone always asks if I miss drinking when we talk about my pregnancy – the answer is no. There are a million other things I miss way more — like tuna tartare and unlimited coffee! I can’t tell you the last time we had a drink together – just us two – we would always just rather be working. But I was super curious about this book, and how my life would look after birth – and this book is so incredibly honest and eye-opening. When I look at all the people I strive to be like – Kim Kardashian, J Lo, Warren Buffet, Blake Lively – not one of them drinks and the list goes on and on. Highly suggest reading this if you are thinking of quitting the booze!

11. A Love-Hate Thing

by Whitney Grandison

 

It’s been a while since I’ve read a young adult novel – a genre that used to be my favorite. But this one sounded good so I decided to pick it up! It was an easy read and I finished it in two days!

 

10. Long Bright River

by Liz Moore

 

Set in Kensington Bech, this isn’t your normal cop mystery. This book not only tackles the relationship between two sisters and murder but also the opioid crisis. It’s super relevant to what is happening in today’s world and sadly could be a true story. I was sad when I had to go to sleep and wasn’t able to finish it all in the same day. SO GOOD.

 

9. Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything

by BJ Fogg Ph.D.

 

This was a great follow up piece to Atomic Habits. This book explores the behaviors behind habits. I found it so fascinating. My favorite takeaway from the book is The Maui Habit; for example, fill in the blanks for any habit you want to implement

After I…

I will…

So if your goal is to change your mindset yours would go, “After I wake up, I will say to myself ‘today is going to be a great day.'” Or if you want to make your bed every day, add it onto a habit you already do every morning. “After I brush my teeth, I will make my bad.” And just repeat this over and over again, until it becomes a habit.

8. Regretting You 

by Colleen Hoover

 

Colleen Hoover is one of my favorites – and this one is no different. Of course, I stayed up super late to finish, but I couldn’t put it down! I don’t want to say too much without giving things away – just read it!

7. Love Her or Lose Her

by Tessa Bailey

 

This was a silly book I read super fast, but it was cute! A struggling couple enters intense couples therapy in an attempt to save their marriage. This would definitely be a good airplane or beach read!

 

6. Super Attractor

by Gabrielle Bernstein

 

We are big into manifestation and this takes it to the next level. If you are a fan of The Secret or do manifesting yourself, then definitely check this out. I read her very first book and was obsessed and this one was good too – a little more spiritual, which was good.

 

5. The Better Liar

by Tannen Jones

 

THIS BOOK! It’s such a good thriller – it kind of gave me Gone Girl vibes – something I haven’t experienced in a while. I can’t believe this is James’ first book – it is incredible. It’s definitely a page-turner. Perfect for an upcoming spring break trip, or cozy weekend on the couch.

 

4. Followers

by Megan Angelo

 

I was surprised at how slow this book started for me. I was SO excited to read it and it just took me longer than usual. It’s very Handmaid’s Tale / Brave New World meets the Kardashians. I have never been a fan of books that go back and forth from past to present every other chapter- so that totally may be a part of it as well. But once I got to page 100 or so, it flew by! If you love dystopian novels or reality tv, you will be super into this!

 

3. Uncanny Valley: A Memoir

by Anna Wiener

 

If you work in tech or at a start-up you will find this fascinating. Or if you are just curious as to what life in Silicon Valley /Bay Area is like then definitely check this out. I think because I have been living in it for so long, I forget that other people just don’t know what it’s like. I am going to work on reading more memoirs this year because this one was fantastic!

2. Take Control of Your Life

by Mel Robbins

 

This is an Audible original – meaning you can only listen to it on Audible. So I am sorry to those of you who don’t have it! This book was perfect for me right before baby because it’s all about fear. If you knew how many times during my pregnancy I second-guessed myself, or convinced myself we weren’t ready… this book is great for tackling the fear that’s holding you back in life. It’s broken down into six separate coaching sessions which I found super helpful. They are all case studies of real people, which added a human element and made it super relatable!

 

1. Oligarchy: A Novel

by Scarlett Thomas

 

This book is all kinds of messed up, but it’s totally how in envision boarding schools to be. Although the themes of body image, eating disorders and fitting in are kind of dark, Thomas somehow makes this book funny at the same time. It’s a quick read at only 228 pages, but the theme was a little heavy so I couldn’t read it in one sitting. Very well written!

 

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