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Books of 2020

Updated: Dec 27, 2020

I am an avid reader and love nothing more than curling up on the couch with a glass of red wine, perhaps some cheese and crackers and losing myself in a good story. Inspired by the fabulous Holly from Blue51 Communications and her top 10 list every year, I started to keep a list of books I read this year. I was a little lost in March when the public library closed, but thanks to a beautiful local community we had a small local library where we could share our beloved books and I had many friends send me books to keep me going through lockdown.

I found it hard to compile a top ten when my reading list is a mix of so many different genres. I will literally pick up anything and read it, so, in order of reading them, I have included a short one-liner for you for all 43 books I have devoured this year as a guide.

Some have been read in lockdown and made me laugh or cry, some have been listened to whilst out walking or on a long drive. Some have been 'dipped in and out of' and some have been dog-eared and highlighted. All have given me something and for that I am grateful.


The Gift of Asking, Kemi Nekvapil

A great read and a great reminder to ask for what you want. Finished in one night and loved it. I learnt a lot from this one.

Eat, Drink, Run, Bryony Gordon

A good read for the runner in me – reminded me why I started running and had plenty of laugh out loud moments!

Relentless, Sam Mitchell

Great read for Hawks fans and an understanding of the club success – also in awe of Sam’s hard work.

My year of rest and relaxation, Ottessa Moshfegh

I found this hard to read – came back to it from time to time but not hooked.

The story of my life, Helen Keller

Not an easy read but quite an emotional one. Helen’s story is remarkable. Recommend this one if you want to be inspired.

The Natural Way of things, Charlotte Wood

Made me think of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’. This story is sad, scary, and also inspiring. A page turner.

In Pieces, Sally Field

I listened to this one when I tackled running 500kms for the month of May to raise money for MS. Narrated by Sally, this was tough at times and super inspiring. Her story is remarkable and I found I could easily push out 16kms a day with Sally in my ear.

Breath, James Nestor

An interesting take on something we take for granted – as a runner I found this interesting and found myself adopting James’ methods whilst running

Go-Getter, Emma McQueen

A fabulous book for women in business, women in the corporate world and anyone that wants to bust the 12 myths that hold women back. It’s dog-eared and highlighted and I have been back to it few times.

Stillness is the key, Ryan Holiday

Picked up at the airport when delayed in Feb and didn’t start it until in Lockdown #1 – LOVED it. Been back to it a few times and just love the reminder of the magic of being still. This sits beside the bed as a reminder.

The new strategic selling, Robert Miller

One I picked up to help me develop my own sales process in my new sales role. Really enjoyed picking this apart and really helped me in my role.

Bridge Burning, and other hobbies, Kitty Flanagan

This woman always has me snort laughing in public places so that I get THAT look. The best.

Standing Ground, Kay Danes

So sad to read this story about a man and wife imprisoned without charge in Laos. Made me very grateful to live in Oz and made me very concerned about how much this happens around the world. Well written and inspiring.

What I know for sure, Oprah Winfrey

I am not her biggest fan – but I loved this. Listened to this on my morning runs after doing the same loops every day in lockdown. Found her raw, honest and was brilliant

Tell Your Story, Holly Cardamone

Another one that has been dog-eared and highlighted and I have come back to many times. I read this over a weekend, and it has sat on my desk ever since. Writing a book this year means I have used this book like a bible!

Untamed, Glennon Doyle

Some parts of this went straight over my head and meant nothing. A few one-liners stopped me in my tracks and completely changed my mindset for the better. Highly recommend!

Be Brilliant, Janine Garner

A practical story on how we can get the best out of ourselves everyday. Highlighter at the ready!

Happy, Turia Pitt

Loved this easy read that reminded me of the little things that make us happy. A great one to leave on the coffee table and pick up when you’re having a bad day. Love Turia’s sense of humour that you can feel throughout the book.

The tattooist of Auschwitz, Heather Morris

There are no words to describe this story. Heart-wrenching, tear-jerking and beautiful are some of them. When you are having a rough day, this book just puts everything into perspective, and you are reminded of the incredibly wonderful and safe life that you are blessed to have.


Missing Persons, Nicci Gerrard

A son disappears and we join in the heartache for the search for him. A great mystery read and beautifully written

The missing pieces of Sophie McCarthy, B M Carroll

This was gripping – you really engage with the characters and you cannot put it down!

The lying Room, Nicci French

Another gripping tale with affairs, death and intrigue.

Missing You, Kylie Kaden

A disappearance, a love story and the struggles of a mother with a special needs child. This book makes you think. Loved it

White Horses, Rachael Treasure

Loved this story of a young girl raised by her Dad as a cattle drover. The Australian scenery in the book takes my breath away and transported me to memories of the WA coastline. I didn’t want this book to end.

Conviction, Denise Mina

A crime thriller with a difference! I struggled to get into this story as it flicked between a podcast narration and then the story. I was happy to get it finished.

Worst Case Scenario, Helen Fitzgerald

Dry humour and pretty dark but I enjoyed this. Had me laughing out loud at times with the dark humour but that’s probably the ex-cop coming out in me.

Between the Lies ,Michelle Adams

The main character wakes from a coma with no memory. Not the first time this has been the plot, but this book was great and I couldn’t stop reading. It pulled me into the quest to find out the truth and I loved the adventure of it.

Jillaroo, Rachael Treasure

Great Aussie tale! Another Aussie story that brings back memories of country life and made me pine for rural Australia whilst during lockdown.

The Traitors Girls, Christine Wells

A great historical fiction account with stories from WWII. I really enjoyed the characters in this story and the historical link. I was engrossed from the start. Another reminder that our lockdown was nothing in comparison to those that went through a world war.

The perfect fraud, Ellen Lacorte

A weave of different characters in this story made me keep coming back to share in their story. Whilst I would not usually pick up a book with psychics as characters, I really enjoyed this story.

The Wives, Tarryn Fisher

Not a story I would usually pick up – a man with multiple wives and they get curious about each other. I couldn’t wait to get it over and done with

VOX, Christina Dalcher

Wow! Just wow. Similar to ‘Handmaids Tale’ this story is gripping. Women are not allowed to speak more than 100 words per day and whilst my Hubby thought this was a fabulous idea in lockdown 😊 - I really started to think about how many words I speak per day and how stifling this was. This book had me gripped from the start, I could not put it down and I highly recommend it.

Everything you told me, Lucy Dawson

This started well – a mother wakes in a taxi with a suicide note over 250miles away. It goes downhill from there. I worked out the twist pretty quickly and found it rather boring in the end.

Red Leaves, Paullina Simons

Read this one whilst hiking alone in the bush post Lockdown #1. It was an easy read – not overly a good read.

The light after the war, Anita Abriel

A great read whilst in lockdown – The story of two Jewish girls post WWII and their story of survival. Learning to trust, learning to love and the simple pleasures of life. Such a great reminder that our lockdown in VIC was nothing compared to what some people have been through and I was often moved to tears.

Last Chance Saloon, Marian Keyes

A great nighttime read before bed – it’s light, fun with some sad parts and a great novel to remind us the importance of friends. I really enjoyed this read.

The girl in the moon, Terry Goodkind

Such a strange book – this is not for the faint hearted. There is rape / torture and the writer is very graphic. Sad but also very gripping and I found myself trying to find hours in the day to get back into it.

Just an ordinary family, Fiona Lowe

A good one to listen to whilst running – tragic suburban family with their drama. Not very inspiring but easy listening and entertaining

To Dream again, Irene Northan

A reminder of how lucky we have life in the current time. A story of struggle and hard work achieving results – loved it!

Invisible Girl, Lisa Jewell

A rather sad story about a girl who goes missing and the lives she has touched as you follow the journey of those looking for her. I wish I had read this as a teenager.

Heart of the Sky, Fiona McArthur

I am loving Fiona’s books lately – Very Aussie and makes me appreciate our beautiful country. This one is set on an outback station with an RFDS station and it makes me long for the open landscapes. A real eye-opener to the work that the RFDS are doing in remote areas – huge respect!

Charlotte, Helen Moffett

A lover of Jane Austen, I picked up this book based on the character, Charlotte in Pride & Prejudice. LOVED THIS! So great to see her character from another angle and the authors perception of her.

The Stranger’s Wife, Anna-Lou Weatherley

Two stories seem to run on their own paths, and I was eager to find out how the two stories would eventually combine. A good read that had me gripped – but I didn’t like the ending.

What Alice Forgot, Liane Moriarty

This one was downloaded for a long drive to Canberra and what a story! I thought it would be your typical case of amnesia story, but it was gripping, twisting and I just had to keep listening. I really enjoyed this one.

Have you read any on my list? What are your favourites this year?

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