Monday, December 14, 2020

Five Star Reads and Farewell 2020

Talking about books and reading is one of my favorite things to do. So, to end this year on a positive page (ha! get it?!), I'd like to share with you all my Five Star Reads for 2020: 


KIND OF COPING: AN ILLUSTRATED LOOK AT LIFE WITH ANXIETY by Maureen Marzi Wilson (graphic novel/comics) - Love her comics!


ON WRITING: A MEMOIR OF THE CRAFT by Stephen King (nonfiction/writing) - I've lost count of how many times I've read this and/or just picked it up for inspiration.


THE OTHER PEOPLE by C. J. Tudor (thriller/mystery) - My favorite of this author's books!


WHEN YOU SEE ME (Detective DD Warren #11) by Lisa Gardner (mystery/thriller) - This series just keeps getting better and better.


ALONE IN THE WILD (Rockton #5) by Kelley Armstrong (mystery/thriller) - My favorite series by Armstrong.


BIG LIES IN A SMALL TOWN by Diane Chamberlain (historical fiction) - This makes three Five Star Reads in a row for me by Chamberlain.


HAPPINESS FOR BEGINNERS by Katherine Center (fiction/romance) - So glad I stepped outside my usual genres and gave this a try!


THE CLOSER YOU GET by Mary Torjussen (thriller/mystery) - Whew!


THEY WENT LEFT by Monica Hesse (historical fiction, young adult) - Wow. Just wow.


DEVOLUTION: A FIRSTHAND ACCOUNT OF THE RAINIER SASQUATCH MASSACRE by Max Brooks (horror) - This was like reading one of those found-footage horror movies I so enjoy.


THE SHADOWS by Alex North (horror/thriller) - Another winner by the author of THE WHISPER MAN.


WE ARE ALL THE SAME IN THE DARK by Julia Heaberlin (mystery/thriller) - Get ready to be thoroughly absorbed in and by this slow burn story.


PLAYING NICE by J P Delaney (thriller/mystery) - Couldn't turn the pages fast enough!


DON'T LOOK FOR ME by Wendy Walker (thriller/mystery) - Hang on tight for this ride!


THE BRILLIANT LIFE OF EUDORA HONEYSETT by Annie Lyons (fiction/contemporary) - Loved it. Just loved it. 


FIGHTING WORDS by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (realistic fiction, middle grade) -This is an important read and should be available to all children. 


HIS & HERS by Alice Feeney (thriller/mystery) - Will keep you guessing!


THE DEVIL AND THE DARK WATER by Stuart Turton (mystery/historical fiction) - I keep describing this to people as Game of Thrones meets The Terror.


THE CANYON'S EDGE by Dusti Bowling (adventure/survival, middle grade) - Another well-worth-it step outside of my comfort zone for this (mostly) novel-in-verse. 


THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY by Matt Haig (fiction/fantasy/contemporary) - This won the Goodreads Choice in Fiction for 2020 and deservedly so. I plan on re-reading and marking many, many passages. 


(I didn't receive any kind of compensation for these reviews. I just enjoy sharing the book love!)



Dusti Bowling's THE CANYON'S EDGE, mentioned above, doesn't really have anything to do with 2020, but the following passage brought to mind this past year and the one to come: 


"I've survived this last year.

I've gone half as long as the creosote bush.

I can go another year.

But I want this year to be different.

I don't want to survive the next year

as I did the last year.

I want to live the next year.


I can come back."




Have you read any of these books? Plan to? Any fantastic reads you want to share? Have any reading goals for 2021? (I'm planning to keep my usual goal of 80 books for the next Goodreads Challenge. It's a stretch but definitely doable!) 


All of us here at The Shellshank Redemption 

wish all of you out there 

a new year 

full of happiness, 

health and hope!!! 


  1. I'd rather live the next year as well.
    Merry Christmas!

  2. I love The Midnight Library too. I was looking forward to it so much I bought the hardback, and I rarely do that - far too awkward to read in bed.

    My goal was 25 - I'm stuck on 24 with a series of books I've abandoned for being too hard to get into.

    Merry Christmas!

    1. I actually bought a second copy of THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY so I could mark it up, and I never do that.

      You're so close on your goal! You've still got a couple of weeks left.... :)

      All the best to you and your family this Christmas, Annalisa.

    2. I could choose something really, really short!

    3. Yes! Or a graphic novel. Or something fast-paced, like a mystery or a suspense.

  3. I'm glad you found so many 5-star books this year. The only one on your list that I've read is the one by King. (Reeeeally good, isn't it?) The number of books that I've read this year is waaaaay down from usual, but hopefully, I'll snap back next year. I'm currently reading "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor Frankl. It isn't what I'd call "light reading," but it's thought-provoking and rather brilliant. (So yeah... I'd say that rates 5 stars...)

    Happy New Year! Almost there... May it be a better year for all of us.

    1. I'm glad, too! I think I put down more "eh" to me books and did it a lot sooner, so I was able to move on to books I ended up loving. :)

      And Happy New Year to you, too, Susan. Wishing you all the best in 2021.