Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Reads of 2020

While I haven't posted here on the blog since January, I have enjoyed some great reads this year, and I would love to share about them with you! This week's Top Ten Tuesday* topic is "Favorite Books of 2020," so I'm joining in now to share my picks. I would love to hear about your favorites of the year in the comments section!

*Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. The image above is from Jana's blog.

10 Favorite New-to-Me Reads

by Katherine Reay

This was a lovely, moving read! I really appreciated the emphasis on truth and forgiveness and living in the present. The way the narration alternates between characters is so creative, and the ending is very satisfying. I teared up a few times.

by Johanna Spyri

This is a very sweet classic! It was great to feature this one for a read-along earlier this year, between the lovely setting and the great characters and the faith elements. 

by A.G. Marshall

I snatched this up when it was available as a free Kindle ebook, and I'm so glad I did! I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed these little fairy-tale retellings. They're familiar but unique, clever and quite sweet. My favorite short stories in the volume might be "The Bruised Princess" and "The Curse of Gold," but it's hard to pick because the others were creative and entertaining too! There was either a sweet romance or the hint/possibility of one in each story, which I appreciated.

by Amanda Dykes

I loved the fictional Maine setting and the beautiful heart of this book, full of hope and light. The poetic wording and imagery and themes are lovely, as well as the way the story is puzzled together over the decades and generations. 

by Louisa May Alcott

While I wish there were more emphasis on grace in this overall lovely saga, perhaps more of a biblical balance in the portrayal of faith, I really loved the lessons for daughters, wives, and mothers in this classic. Lots of great lines and reminders, and an enjoyable story! 

by Anne Mateer

This book set during the Spanish flu pandemic totally and surprisingly captured me. The heroine is imperfect but still loving and relatable. I loved experiencing her viewpoint and seeing all the twists and turns of her story as she learned to release her dreams and plans to God. Such a great read, and I'm so glad I finally read it (as it's been on my shelf for a long time!).
by Hillary Manton Lodge

I really enjoyed this modern retelling of Sense and Sensibility! This author does a great job with food references; I loved all the talk of tea and baked goods. It's also a neat twist to have the "Marianne" character (Jane) be the main character, providing an interesting take on the plot. This story is sweet, creative, and full of great descriptions, and I appreciated how it pulled me in despite my familiarity with the general plot line.

by John Hendrix

This book provides a very compelling presentation of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's story and the historical context of Germany and World War II. The content and illustrations are understandably intense but make for a readable and immersive experience. There's a sequence at the end that is especially beautiful in how it's portrayed. A powerful book!

by Shannon Hale

Such an intense and intriguing fairy-tale retelling! I really like the diary format of this book and the ingenuity of the main character, Dashti. It's awesome how she holds on to hope and life through severe trials. Also, the romance in this story is just too sweet! 
by Arlem Hawks

Such a fun and clever little fairy-tale retelling! Who would think you could have such a cute Regency romance based on "The Gingerbread Man"? I love the way this story is told, including all the delicious gingerbread and bakery descriptions. A sweet wintertime read to savor!

Bonus: Favorite Children's Book

by Sophie Blackall

I fell in love with this children's book when reading it to my daughter. I borrowed it from the library a couple times, and I just recently ordered a copy to have in our home. It shares such a sweet portrayal of family and the time of lighthouse keepers...and the ending is full of nostalgia. 

Bonus: Favorite Audiobook 

by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

I've read this story before, but I loved hearing it performed as an audiobook with a group of narrators! They do such a great job, and the letters come to life through their accents and emotions. I was glad to revisit the story and characters in this way!