Top Ten Tuesday – 10 favorite reads, mid-year recap

It’s TTT time and I haven’t participated in this blog tag in ages!!!!!  As usual, if you’re curious about this, Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl hosts these weekly challenges (so, see her blog for more info). Today’s prompt is actually about books that make me smile but I got super inspired by Keri’s post over on Are You My Book?. So, I decided to do the same and talk about my top ten books of the first half of 2020 (books I read up until June 30th). Honestly, narrowing it down to 10 wasn’t as difficult as I was expecting but ranking them was excruciating! So, without further ado, here is my top ten list (although I reserve the right to change the order any minute). I have linked the title to each book to its respective Goodreads synopsis.

10. The Bear

Whimsical, poetic, and full of metaphors! This is the kind of book you want to pick up to walk through despair and struggle but emerge hopeful and renewed. It’s a fable. It’s a tale. My Goodreads review here.

9. What the Wind Knows

Historical fiction and Ireland! Yes please! My Goodreads review here.

8. The Hate U Give

Taking on social injustice in a coming-of-age story is hard. Angie Thomas mastered it beautifully. My Goodreads review here.

7. The Phantom of the Opera

Classic horror that breaks the fourth wall, features quite a bit of eroticism, and gives you a wonderful ghost story! Pair that with witty writing and you have this gem of a novel. My Goodreads review here.

6. The Fledgling

Oh, Octavia Butler, … my heart beats for you. This is another genius novel that perfectly seams together classic horror themes with themes of otherness, discrimination, and racism. Goodreads review here.

5. The Two Lives of Lydia Bird

I didn’t think Josie Silver could top her debut novel, but, bam, here she is proving me wrong. I laughed. I cried. I fell hard for Lydia. My Goodreads review here.

4. Silence of the Lambs

I read this book a long time ago in German but couldn’t remember how I felt while reading it. The movie is my all-time favorite movie, so it was high-time for this re-read. Thomas Harris is a master at suspense, at making your skin crawl, at making you dive deep into the psyche of a killer. My Goodreads review here.

3. Where the Crawdads Sing

I’ve been resisting the hype around this book for way too long. How is this a debut novel?????? I honestly loved everything about it. The writing was just plain beautiful. I mean it was basically poetry in novel-form. My Goodreads review here.

2. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

I can’t even begin to talk about this book. It’s the most heartbreaking and simultaneously the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen. The themes are crass and painful, the language is pure poetry. How this book hasn’t won a million awards is beyond me?! My Goodreads review here.

1. While You Sleep

This was a re-read for me and I was nervous. While You Sleep was one of my favorite books, maybe THE favorite book, of 2019, and I had no clue if it would live up to my memories. Well, I am happy to report that I loved it even more the second time around. It has all the elements in a story that I love: atmosphere, Gothic horror, a haunted house, an unreliable narrator, folklore, personal struggle, chaos, dreams that border on erotic, and of course a remote island! I think I just talked myself into reading it again. My Goodreads review here.

Have you read any of these books? What are your favorite reads of 2020 so far? I am looking forward to your lists this week and am curious to see which books make you smile. Leave your links in the comments!

14 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday – 10 favorite reads, mid-year recap”

  1. Two Lives of Lydia Bird was so good, it made me smile and cry the entire time. I also didn’t think she could top One Day in December, but now I’m dying to read whatever else she writes next. Just followed your blog – seems like we have similar taste in books!

    My TTT

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, I have not. That was part of the motivation to read the book now. I had read On The Come Up and loved it. For some reason, I just kept pushing her first book off. Honestly, I’m glad I did though. The themes she covers in The Hate U Give are so incredibly relevant right now and I’ve spent so much more time educating myself with the current situation that I was able to appreciate and understand the book so much more.


  2. Again, so honored my post inspired ya!
    oooh, love seeing a Butler book on here! I’ve read a few of her books but I still definitely need to go back and read more, including Fledging!
    And What the Wind Knows, that’s on my TBR! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love some many of her books. I recommend Kindred all the time, and I finally bought the graphic novel adaptation of it. I am so looking forward to diving into that one. What The Wind Knows was my first Amy Harmon book, but I will definitely seek out her other work as well.


      1. I LOVED Kindred! Tho it’s technically been like 7 years since I read it…haven’t checked out the graphic novel adaption yet tho. Curious to hear what ya think of it!
        The only other Butler books I read are Parable of the Sower and Wild Seed.
        So far the only Harmon book I have read is The Bird and the Sword. It was pretty decent I think? I def have a running list of other Harmon books I want to pick up tho!

        Liked by 1 person

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