There are so many good books out there, it’s hard to choose what to read. Read on for a list of 10 five-star books I’ve read so far in 2020.
So far this year I’ve read 46 books. My goal is 104, or two books a week, so I’m a few books behind schedule, but I hope to get back on track soon!
Since I’m reading so much this year (I’ve already read more than I did the whole year in 2017, 2018, or 2019), I decided to make a mid-year list of the best books I’ve read so far in 2020. Then I’ll do another one at the end of the year for the second half.
A 5 Star Books Reading Year
This has already been an incredibly good reading year for me because all 10 of these books got 5 stars–and I only give 5 stars to books that blew me away!
Books I LOVE get 4 stars.
Books I like get 3.
But those books that AMAZE me? Those are 5 star books. And all of these made the cut.
I separated the books into two categories, 5 nonfiction titles and 5 fiction titles (look how great that worked out!).
168 Hours by Laura Vanderkam
I first read 168 Hours in 2017, but Everyday Reading picked it as her January Book Club pick, so I decided to reread it and I’m so glad I did!
It’s a great kick-in-the-pants reminder that we have more control over our time and how we spend it than we think we do.
If you’re looking for tips and tricks to find more time in your days or weeks, this is a must-read! You can get a copy HERE.
The Joy of Missing Out: Live More by Doing Less by Tonya Dalton
In our world of go, go, go and do, do, do, this book was a breath of fresh air!
Instead of living by the fear of missing out, switch it around to the joy of missing out, and spend your time and energy doing what matters most in order to live your best life. The author helps you identify your priorities and figure out how to get them done so you can spend your life doing the things that truly matter.
There were so many great quotes in this book and I finished it feeling calm, purposeful, and ready to let go of what doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things and give MORE to the things that do. You can get a copy HERE.
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
This book BLEW ME AWAY. It’s written by the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit that challenges racial and economic injustice and provides legal aid for those who were wrongly convicted, unjustly sentenced, or are otherwise in need of their help.
The book follows the author’s experience with one particular case, interspersed with chapters diving into various aspects of the criminal justice system and his experiences with each.
Think To Kill a Mockingbird, but nonfiction, modern, and a deep dive into the injustices that have become common practice here in the United States.There’s so much I don’t know about our criminal justice system here in the US, and I’m grateful this book challenged what I thought I knew.
It’s eye opening, well-written, and a book I think everyone needs to read. Pick up a copy HERE.
Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo
This book was just wow! Even the phrase “Everything is figureoutable” is life-changing, but this whole book goes so much deeper.
Marie Forleo is an incredible person and business woman. Everything she does is inspiring and this was no exception. The book uses her traditional no-nonsense, but humorous approach to teach you how to problem solve like never before.
The principles taught in this book can be applied to anything and everything and will open your eyes to a whole new world of possibilities. Get a copy HERE.
Atomic Habits by James Clear
This book was my January pick for my book club (you can find details for that HERE) and I’m so glad I picked it!
I’d heard nothing but rave reviews for months and it didn’t disappoint! The author breaks habits down into a simple, manageable system that anyone can make a reality. Plus, he uses some of the best and most interesting analogies I’ve ever heard. It’s a very easy and entertaining read and you’ll walk away with plenty of tips and tricks to create the life of your dreams.
You can watch me share more of my thoughts HERE. Or grab a copy now HERE.
My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
This book might have been my favorite of the whole list! I wish I could read it again for the first time because it’s THE BEST. I’ve also heard the audiobook for this one is phenomenal!
The book tells the story of Lady Jane Grey and King Edward, but there’s a twist–the authors rewrite history the way they think things should have happened. The story is told from three alternating perspectives, all of whom are pretty unreliable narrators, which is definitely part of its charm. It’s entertaining, witty, brilliant, and probably one of the most talented pieces of literature I’ve ever read. Seriously, go get a copy NOW! You can get one HERE.
This was also my February book cub pick, so you can also find more of my thoughts on it HERE.
The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart
This middle grade book is the only one on the list that I listened to instead of read a physical copy. Normally I have a really hard time with audiobooks, so the fact that this one made this list means it was insanely good!
I was hooked from the very first moment and it carried me all the way to the end. I laughed. I cried. I felt with and for the characters.
I loved this book’s fun characters, unique premise, and beautiful writing. Plus, it had a whole lot of heart, which wins mega points in my book. You can check it out HERE.
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
I’ve read this book several times before (it’s my most read book of all time) and it never gets old!
But this year was extra special because it was my first time reading it to my kids. I’ve waited for this moment for a long time and it was everything I dreamed of. My kids loved it!
If you’re unfamiliar with the book, it takes place during World War II and follows the story of a young girl named Annemarie. Her family takes in her Jewish friend Ellen as their own to keep her safe from the Nazis until they can get her and her family to safety.
My favorite part about this book is its exploration on what it means to brave. I’m all about depictions of brave kids–especially girls! You can grab a copy HERE.
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
While this is a fictionalized story, this book addresses common occurrences that BIPOC, especially Black people, face regularly. It made me confront my own privilege, implicit bias, and prejudice I didn’t even know I had until I read it.
Ruth, a Black labor and delivery nurse, is reassigned to a new patient after her original patient–a white supremacist–asks for a new nurse. Shortly after, their baby goes into distress while Ruth is the only one present. If she administers to the baby, she’ll be disobeying orders–both those of her boss and those of the patient–and could lose her job, but if she doesn’t, the baby could die. Later, Ruth is charged with a serious crime.
This is one I’ll probably reread at some point because it was that good. You can read it HERE.
Frindle by Andrew Clements
This book is another childhood favorite of mine that I got to experience with my kids this time around. It was incredible!
Frindle explores the idea of where words come from and fosters creativity and independent thinking in kids. So, naturally, I’m a huge fan!
I hadn’t read this book since I was a kid and I was amazed at how well-written it really is. This one stands the test of time for sure! You can get it HERE.
If you want some activities and fun ideas to do with your kids after reading, you can check out this post HERE.
2020 5 Star Books
There you have it! The ten best books I’ve read so far in 2020! Check back in December/January for part two. After all, I still have (hopefully) 58 more books to read this year! Let’s see if I can get another 10 5 star books this year!
What’s been your favorite book so far this year? Have you read any 5 star books yet? Let me know in the comments section!
If you want more book recommendations, check out these posts: