Top 5 books read in 2020

Top5Books2020-Amber-RoseSmith 6

Seeing as its World Book Day on the 4th later this week, it seemed the perfect timing to finally post my top 5 books read in 2020!

I have made it a goal of mine to read more over the last few years and whilst I do truly love reading I find I go in ebbs and flows and will read lots of books all at once and then start one and don’t finish it for months. However, over the last year I managed to read 12 and wanted to share my top 5 favourites with you. 

Daisy & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

You may have already heard of this book; it’s been very popular and after reading it myself it is clear to see why. Jenkins totally transports you into the story and I’d of loved nothing more than to be a part of it. It had me wishing the band was real and wanting to listen to their music, imagining what it was like for bands like Fleetwood Mac touring in that time line. Some of the story can appear rose-tinted and glamorous but I also loved the rawness and honesty in it too. It reminded me of the film ‘Almost Famous’ which I love, so it’s safe to say I consumed this read pretty quickly, to only think I can’t wait to read this again. There was such a sense of nostalgia reading this book also, even though I wasn’t alive in the era it is set it made me wish I had of been. I definitely need to pick up more of Reid’s books as I’ve heard nothing but great things. 

The Insecure Girl’s Handbook by Olivia Purvis

I am beyond proud to call the author Olivia a friend of mine and to be able to hold an actual book someone you know has created, crafted and put so much work into is a little piece of magic all on its own. I have subsequently brought copies for girlfriends as every woman should have a copy of this book for themselves. To come back to on days and time of need. Filled with eloquent experiences from some truly amazing ladies and reading what they have overcome or how they have dealt with different situations was really inspiring. I love that you could read the book from any section/chapter and find helpful advice or reassurance. Olivia’s summaries of each section round up the subjects covered beautifully and I thoroughly enjoyed all of the interview questions from the woman included. I so happy a book like this now exists as it would have been very helpful to have when I was a teenager to learn more about insecurity, dealing with it and moving forward from it. 

Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

This had been on my to read list for some time and rightly so I got around to reading it during the summer of last year when the Black Lives Matter protests happened. Not only was this a timely read but it became my stepping stone and foundation for becoming an anti-racist ally. I am continuing to do this work and educating myself. But I found this book to be so knowledgeable, there were so many things about the UK that I didn’t know but should have known. I am glad that I am aware of them now. It was brutal and eye-opening to hear of Reni’s own experiences and I believe that everyone needs read this book. 

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

Set in 1940’s New York City tells the story of a Vivian Morris a courageous and bright young woman, soaking up all the big apple has to offer. A chronicle of love, life, loss, relationships and ultimately change and kindness. A quote from the book that puts it so eloquently and that I have remembered since is ‘Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle’ and whilst this couldn’t be more prominent in the book as you are faced with multiple characters problems, heartache and journeys the lead protagonist stands out throughout. She puts herself down a lot but is one hell of a woman! This quote couldn’t be truer in the world we are in today and one definitely worth remembering and acting on.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

This book had me in tears and it was so incredibly powerful. The details Morris goes into are both harrowing and life-affirming. The gentleman’s life Lale Sokolov the book is based on is truly remarkable, it is his devotion to freedom and his love for life that sees him survive and ultimately reminds the reader how lucky we truly are. Lale spent three years divulging his story to the author and I found her notes at the end to be truly insightful, what an experience for her it must have been truly incredible. To be reading this whilst we are still fortunate for the survivors of the holocaust to tell their stories I’m truly thankful. I was fortunate enough to meet a holocaust survivor whilst working at a photographic studio, you could still see the numbers tattooed on his forearm from Auschwitz and I was reminded of that remarkable man and the love he had for life and taking each new day as a blessing whilst reading this book. I am so thankful we have incredible authors like Morris to put these stories onto the page and subsequently in book form for millions to read a story everyone should know and hold with them. 

I hope you enjoyed this round up of my top reads in 2020. I already have an enormous pile of books to get through this year, and I’m hoping to make it past 12 books this year. I’m always adding to the list and love using goodreads to track my progress and add to my wishlist instead of scribbling in notes on my phone! 

I’d love to know if any of you are on there too in the comments and if not any book suggestions you have. 

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