2020: Best Books I’ve Read So Far This Year

So, we are officially halfway through the year and I am halfway through my 30 book target for 2020. I have tried to branch outside of my comfort zone with my choice of books recently and really enjoyed the variety of material I’ve read. This post is a summary of a few of my favourite reads so far this year! If you would like to purchase any of these brilliant books click on the pictures or titles to take you straight to them! (Affiliate links are used in this post, more info here).

The Five by Hallie Rubenhold

Absolutely brilliant! I loved this book and would really urge you to read it. I have tried branching out into more non-fiction, and this is definitely the best one I have read so far this year. It tells the story we all now – Jack the Ripper – but from the point of view of the victims. These women have been branded as prostitutes and forgotten for years. However, they were mothers, sisters, wives, workers all with vivid and intriguing life stories. Both the media at the time and our ‘fascination’ with serial killers has meant we do not the truth of the 5 wonderful women who became his victims. This tells the story of each of their lives, with the respect and factual accuracy they deserve which makes it so moving but also a gripping look at poverty and life for a woman in London during that time in history. I found it really moving to read the list of belongings each woman was found with, both heart wrenching and heart warming to discover what these women thought was precious and carried with them. Brilliantly written and separates fact from fiction. So thoughtfully done and puts it in historical context for us readers. A well overdue book. A must read. 5 stars!

All the Rage by Cara Hunter

This the 4th book in the DI Adam Fawley investigative series. I have read all the previous ones and absolutely loved them, what I think is so special about this series of books is that the character development and storylines do not diminish as the series continues – Cara is brilliant at thinking of new and shocking crimes each time that leave us thinking we know until the last minute. This one in particular really threw me, I love a good twist! The story centres on a teenage girl found wandering Oxford after being kidnapped and put through a horrible ordeal…then another girl disappears and the police need to race against time to find her. I thought the development of DI Fawley’s character in particular was excellent and leaves me wanting to get onto the next one! Fast paced and a real tension builder, excellently written with balanced male and female characters. This book in particular gives a sensitive and profound look at a teenage trans woman navigating life. I would recommend reading the whole series as they are excellent – but can be read as a standalone also. 4.5 stars!

Wakenhyrst by Michelle Paver

This was an unexpected 5 stars for me. I just loved it! A beautifully written gothic tale set in a large manor house in the fens in the early 1900s. We meet Maud both in the past and present time recounting the story of how one day her father leaves the house, murders someone, then is found down the well surrounded by eels, apparently gone mad. Maud is the only witness, yet is she being truthful about what really happened? This book is just beautiful, the way Michelle incorporates nature and makes you feel like you are there is just incredible. The ominous sense of loneliness, madness and folklore is spine tingling. A superb tale and one that will stay with me for a while. Couldn’t put it down and haven’t stopped thinking about it since. Incredible. 5 stars!

Blood & Sugar by Laura Shepherd-Robinson

This book is just beautiful and harrowing and genius all in one. Set in 1781 at the height of the British slave trade it is a horrible, but necessary, insight into the slave trade at the time. With characters who included those who benefitted from slavery and those that were fighting against it. This is a brilliant historical murder mystery, very raw and vivid with excellent characters and weaving of plots. Told from the viewpoint of Captain Harry Corsham who’s friend Tad is missing, Tad has a secret that is so damning it could bring an end to the British slave trade. Some would kill to keep this a secret, so when an unidentified body is found in Deptford Docks, Captain Harry Corsham must delve into the dark corners of Deptford to find the truth. I don’t read a lot of historical fiction, but this will encourage me to read more of it! I can’t wait for the next one to come out in January 2021. I would recommend this for anyone who likes crime genre in general but would also say is a good starting point in terms of fiction books if you want an introduction to the horrors of the slave trade in Britain. Although the story is fiction the plot is based on fact and truths around the treatment of black people during that time. Laura will be a ‘go-to’ author from now on, love her style and plot. 5 stars!

The Whisper Man by Alex North

This is an excellently creepy and unsettling crime story. The sense of unease and that something is just around the corner that is created it brilliant! The story of a serial killer in prison, a missing boy never found, a detective still searching 20 years later…then one day Jake moves into a new house with his father and he starts hearing whispering at his window. A brilliant crime story but also a moving and honest portrayal of a father – son relationship which I think is not explored in fiction as much as it should be. This was very moving and had me on the edge of my seat at the end. A superbly written book, a mix of crime/ghost/creepy unease and the realities of being a parent dealing with grief. Superb new psychological thriller and will be reading his other books! 4 stars!

I hope this selection of a few of my fave reads so far this year has given you some inspiration and recommendations. If you want to see more of what I have been reading check out my Goodreads.

Let me know your thoughts on these books or any recommendations of your favourites you have in the comments!

Em xx

This post contains affiliate links, if you purchase through these links I receive a small commission. If you fancy having a look, click on the images or titles.


10 thoughts on “2020: Best Books I’ve Read So Far This Year

  1. I’ve been trying to read more non fiction too this last few months and there are some absolutely great ones and great recommendations out there at the moment. I really want to read The Five as I keep seeing good reviews of it all over the place. I am really fascinated by crime and historic cases so I know this will be really moving and also gripping stuff. Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a brilliant book and I haven’t seen a bad review for it, it affects everyone on some level. Great if you love historic cases 🙂 thanks for taking the time to read and comment xx


  2. I used to love Michelle Paver as a child – definitely one to explore again now. And the cover for the Alex North book is gorgeous. Thank you for the recommendations, I’ll definitely be adding these to my list to explore later.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A lovely selection of books. I am book obsessed at the moment, I just can’t stop buying so I have put myself on a ban but I am always on the look out.

    Thank you for sharing, enjoy your next book selections x

    Liked by 1 person

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