Hello again, fellow bookworms!
I hope that you’ve all been doing well. It’s been a rocky start to the new year so far, and I, for one, am trusting that things will get better soon. To lighten the mood, however, I would like to talk about certain books that made the crazy year of 2020 all the more bearable, and maybe even enjoyable during some moments. Sometimes, there’s nothing like a good book to get you out of your own thoughts and make you see things differently.
So, read below to find out which books did that for me, and why.
The Courage to be Disliked
This is a book that I started and finished before the whole COVID-19 fiasco, and what made it so impactful was that it really set the tone for all the personal development work that I wanted to do and went through during the rest of the year. It made me think a lot about how much weight I put into previous experiences that have affected me, as well as how these feelings project themselves into my everyday life and my relationships.
This is a book that I think that everyone should read. It’s part psychology, part philosophy, and a unique and thought invoking read.
It provides fascinating insights and revelations, and just makes you think twice about what we already know about the human psyche and how we process life and all its different parts and responsibilities.
A much-needed relief from the stress of exams, and a great way to escape and enjoy an immersive and fantastic tale about the nature of villainy and a heroism, and now they’re not as opposite as you might think. The labels of villain and hero can be twisted and changed, and the meanings behind them are very much dependent on the way the governing body and culture defines them. There’s more to people than meets the eye – that is the main theme that occurs repeatedly throughout this novel. It is a stimulating, thoughtful, mysterious, complex, and heart-breaking story that I absolutely adored and brought me to tears. It also says a lot about relationships and their complexities, between friends and enemies. Nothing is really as it seems, and it just keeps you reading and needing more!
The Tea Dragon Society
A very heart-warming story that made me feel all warm and squishy. I loved everything about it, and I especially loved how inclusive it was. It is a uniquely beautiful tale about people and mystical creatures, that honours nature and expresses love in its many forms.
It’s an inclusive story, with POC main characters and LGBTQ+ relationships. The artwork is really well-done and the world-building is sublime. I know this book is meant for younger audiences, but I really loved it and I can’t wait to read the rest of this series.
I would highly recommend this graphic novel – it is a tale that is wonderful, for adults and children alike.
These Witches Don’t Burn
This book made me feel so many things. I wanted to write about this book separately, but it was such an impactful story for me (I was just beginning to accept being a bi woman) that I just really wanted to savour this for myself, and I am glad that I did.
It is a beautiful story of love, heartache, loss, revenge and redemption. I cried, I laughed, and I grew as a person. I loved being in this book’s world – I was hooked, and I cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel.
Take a Hint, Dani Brown
This book is the same as the one above. I felt so many things with this book, and I could never find the words to describe how much this story meant to me and impacted me, so I let myself feel it all, alone. I could relate a lot to both protagonists’ journeys and backgrounds, and their chemistry was phenomenal.
Furthermore, I laughed out loud, and I bawled like a baby at the end. It was wholesome in the best of ways and I just need everyone to read it, honestly. Talia Hibbert gives an honest and vulnerable take on romance with the perfect mix of intrigue and humour. She revitalized my love of romance books!
Ninth House was something else! You can read more about my thoughts on this book here. It was an incredibly dark and mysterious tale that took me for a crazy ride. It had everything I loved in a book, and it made me think long and hard about gender, revenge, and redemption.
The topics portrayed were heavy, but they gave realistic insight into the world of young women and men, and how we can connect to or dominate each other. It sparked my interest in social equality and the work I’m doing today in trying to achieve it!
Amari & The Night Brothers
This was a blog tour read that I really loved! A book that made me think of fantasy differently, as well revitalized my love for the genre. I need to read more middle-grade books! It was so creative and well-written and made me think more about my own reading habits in terms of inclusivity.
It reminded me that I need to work harder and do better in making sure that more voices are being heard, read, and written about! I highly recommend this book!
Another book that helped me come to terms with my sexuality. The main character is bisexual, and her journey in May Day is fantastic.
Full of twists and turns, you never know what is going to happen next! This was a great mystery that left me guessing. Besides the enjoyable story and great ensemble of characters, reading this book for a blog tour made me realize how much I enjoy being in this online community of book lovers
I’m very grateful for the blog tour opportunities I had last year, and I hope 2021 will be even better!
A Phoenix First Must Burn
This is a book that I have not finished yet, but I wanted to mention it, as the short stories I have finished were very impactful. They were beautiful, well-written stories, all by black women, and they reminded me why I love stories so much.
They were creative and out-of-the box – I was in awe of them! If I am going to write anything, I would love to write like these women.
They are the voices that need amplifying, they are the voices that need to be heard. And I want to savour them and learn as much as I can from them.
These Violent Delights
This is a book that I will be writing about in more depth, but this needed a mention after I realized that it helped me see this community and my friendships here in a much better light. This was a buddy-read, and it allowed me to open up to my buddy and think of reading differently, too.
Normally it’s something I enjoy doing by myself, but discussing with my buddy, Stephen from Stephen Writes, was such a fun experience! I loved it, and I will definitely be taking part in more buddy-reads in 2021.
Although this book was finished in 2021, it made me end 2020 feeling much better about my place in this community!
Thanks for reading! What books have impacted 2020 for YOU? Let me know in the comments!
Written by: Alexia DeBono
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