Note: This blogpost is a top post on Indiblogger.in and has appeared on their homepage.As I begin to write this, I realise 2020 will go down in history as the year that must be banished from memory.
Appearing with little to no warning whatsoever, the pandemic has wreaked unimaginable havoc these past 9 months. The mass exodus of our routines, relationships, mental health, financial stability, and overall peace of mind from our lives proved far too much to handle. And yet, surprisingly, despite the challenges and losses, we have managed to pull through. Yes, go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back. Celebrate every win – big or small.
When I look back at my year that has been, I find myself especially thankful for His blessings, and immensely grateful for the moments and experiences which have brought light and joy into our lives.
For the last few years, reading has been a huge driver for me and has propelled me onto bigger and better things. Having quit my job five years ago due to major health issues, I found myself at a place where I was completely clueless about the right way forward. At that time, reading gave me direction. It put me on the path to writing and, subsequently, re-ignited my creative streak. That creative streak has been a boon this past year when stress levels could have easily spiralled out of control.
I began the lockdown with my annual Series Binge-Read. For 2020, I chose the Tracy Crosswhite Series by Robert Dugoni and challenged myself to read eight books in seven days.
As the verdict shows, the challenge was a success, mostly because the books were amazing and I was reading non-stop. Also, what else was there to do?
Now, challenge accomplished, it was time to decide how to capture eight books in one bookstagram.
In continuation from 2018, when I started crafting in addition to writing book reviews and pairing the two together to style bookstagrams, 2020 helped me discover and learn new techniques. When the entire country was put under lockdown in March, I had, by a genius stroke of luck, found myself stocked up on all kinds of craft supplies.
In deliberately trying new things, I picked up embroidery after nearly two decades and experimented with different weights of paper. Some of the techniques I used this year included:
- Life-sized 3D paper models
- Miniature paper replica of a World Heritage Site
- Layered paper art
- Paper cutwork
- Embroidery on paper
- Button art
- Cardboard craft
- Food craft
- Cross stitch embroidery
- Ribbon embroidery on plastic canvas
Needless to say, creatively this has been an incredibly productive and satisfying year and I am already looking forward to experimenting with new ideas in 2021. As for the Tracy Crosswhite post, this is what I made to style it.
2020 has ended but the struggle is far from over. We must remind ourselves that just as we made it this far, we will see it through to the other side. No matter how hard some days have been, I know for a fact I will still choose to look back at 2020 fondly for all the positivity.
Every year, I post a list of books I have read for my annual reading challenge (part of the #BrunchBookChallenge). I skipped 2019 because things went a little awry, though I did manage to cross my target of 52 books.
This year, too, I started with a plan to read 52 books but Pandemic = New Rules + New Plans and I ended up reading over double that number.
Given below is a collage of all 110 books I read, followed by the list. Simply click on the title that intrigues you. It will take you to the post with my review. You will also find a note about the craft technique I have used, at the end of the post.
In a separate post, I have shared details of my second reading challenge which I discovered a month and a half ago. The PopSugar 2020 Reading Challenge. I was curious to see how many of my 110 books would fit into PopSugar’s 50 prompts. You will find this here.
Finally, I wrap up with my selection of favourite books and recommendations from those I read this year. This includes some titles that are due to be published in 2021 which you definitely don’t want to miss. Also included is an overview of my reading stats. Read all about it here.
For now, here are the 110 books I read in 2020. Remember: You can click on any title in the list below to read about it.
1. The Beast of Buckingham Palace – David Walliams
2. The World’s Worst Teachers – David Walliams
3. Parasite (2019 Film Script) – Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won
4. My Husband and other Animals – Janaki Lenin
5. The Deal of a Lifetime – Fredrik Backman
6. My Sister, the Serial Killer – Oyinkan Braithwaite
7. The Vegetarian – Han Kang
8. The Evening News – Arthur Hailey
9. The Wolf and the Watchman – Niklas Natt Och Dag
10. Overload – Arthur Hailey
11. Malice – Keigo Higashino
12. Newcomer – Keigo Higashino
13. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products – Nir Eyal with Ryan Hoover
14. Sharing Lipstick: A Women’s Web collection of short stories – Edited by Sandhya Renukamba and Madhur Dave
15. Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style – Benjamin Dreyer
16. Nobody’s Child – Kanchana Banerjee
17. The Russian – Ben Coes
18. The Donor – Clare Mackintosh
19. The Cartiers: The Untold Story of the Family Behind the Jewelry Empire – Francesca Cartier Brickell
20. House on Fire – Joseph Finder
21. Such a Fun Age – Kiley Reid
22. One Day in December – Josie Silver
23. Into The Fire – Gregg Hurwitz
24. One Minute Out – Mark Greaney
25. The Academy (Tracy Crosswhite 0.25) – Robert Dugoni
26. Third Watch (Tracy Crosswhite 0.5) – Robert Dugoni
27. My Sister’s Grave (Tracy Crosswhite 01) – Robert Dugoni
28. Her Final Breath (Tracy Crosswhite 02) – Robert Dugoni
29. In the Clearing (Tracy Crosswhite 03) – Robert Dugoni
30. Close to Home (Tracy Crosswhite 05) – Robert Dugoni
31. A Steep Price (Tracy Crosswhite 06) – Robert Dugoni
32. A Cold Trail (Tracy Crosswhite 07) – Robert Dugoni
33. Eight Perfect Murders – Peter Swanson
34. Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 – Cho Nam-Joo
35. The Paris Library – Janet Skeslien Charles
36. The Flatshare – Beth O’Leary
37. The Greatest Urdu Stories Ever Told – Selected and translated by Muhammad Umar Memon
38. The Tech Whisperer: On Digital Transformation and the Technologies that Enable It – Jaspreet Bindra
39. The Law of Lines – Hye-Young Pyun
40. That Will Never Work – Marc Randolph
41. The Unhoneymooners – Christina Lauren
42. Five Hundred Miles from You – Jenny Colgan
43. Last Tang Standing – Lauren Ho
44. If I Had Your Face – Frances Cha
45. The Gin O’Clock Club – Rosie Blake
46. Dear Emmie Blue – Lia Louis
47. Becoming Duchess Goldblatt – Anonymous
48. The Last Agent (Charles Jenkins 02) – Robert Dugoni
49. One By One – Ruth Ware
50. Beach Read – Emily Henry
51. The Stationery Shop – Marjan Kamali
52. The Tattooist of Auschwitz – Heather Morris
53. Cilka’s Journey – Heather Morris
54. Let Me Lie – Clare Mackintosh
55. Lallan Sweets – Srishti Chaudhary
56. Loud Black Girls: 20 Black Women Writers Ask: What’s Next? – Yomi Adegoke, Elizabeth Uviebinené
57. Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men – Caroline Criado Perez
58. The Switch – Beth O’Leary
59. Near Dark – Brad Thor
60. Talking to Strangers – Malcolm Gladwell
61. The Vow – Debbie Howells
62. The Guest List – Lucy Foley
63. Your Hidden Superpower – Adrienne Bankert
64. The Secretary – Zoe Lea
65. GST for the Layman – Apeksha Solanki
66. Before I Saw You – Emily Houghton
67. Friends and Strangers – J. Courtney Sullivan
68. The Princess and the Political Agent – Binodini
69. Girl in the Walls – A.J. Gnuse
70. My Best Friend’s Son’s Wedding – Zarreen Khan
71. The Last Charm – Ella Allbright
72. Slime – David Walliams
73. Dopehri – Pankaj Kapur
74. Pukka Indian – Jahnvi Lakĥóta Nandan
75. Destination Wedding – Diksha Basu
76. The Greatest Bengali Stories Ever Told – Selected and translated by Arunava Sinha
77. Walk the Wire – David Baldacci
78. Dismantle: How to Deconstruct Your Mind and Build a Personal Creativity Machine – Shlomo Maital
79. I Hope This Helps – Tommy Siegel
80. In Five Years – Rebecca Serle
81. Anxious People – Fredrik Backman
82. Blurred Lines – Hannah Begbie
83. Queeristan – Parmesh Shahani
84. The Anatomy of Choice – Harshali Singh
85. The Book of Two Ways – Jodi Picoult
86. Agent Running in the Field – John le Carré
87. Keeping Mum – James Gould-Bourn
88. Where the Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens
89. The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid
90. The End of the Day – Bill Clegg
91. The Liar’s Dictionary – Eley Williams
92. Women and Leadership: Real Lives, Real Lessons – Julia Gillard and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
93. Poonachi, or the Story of a Black Goat – Perumal Murugan
94. The Kitty Party Murder – Kiran Manral
95. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse – Charlie Mackesy
96. Tharoorosaurus – Shashi Tharoor
97. Seven Lies – Elizabeth Kay
98. The Dressmaker of Paris – Georgia Kaufmann
99. The Four Winds – Kristin Hannah
100. The Family Friend – C. C. MacDonald
101. The Bromance Book Club – Lyssa Kay Adams
102. Undercover Bromance – Lyssa Kay Adams
103. Crazy Stupid Bromance – Lyssa Kay Adams
104. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – J. K. Rowling
105. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – J. K. Rowling
106. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J. K. Rowling
107. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J. K. Rowling
108. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – J. K. Rowling
109. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – J. K. Rowling
110. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J. K. Rowling
I’d love to hear from you about the books you’ve read and loved this year. Drop your comments below so we can help add to each other’s towering TBRs.
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Here’s wishing you all a healthy and joyous New Year.
Have an exciting 2021!!!