The 10 Best Books Of Quarantine (aka 2020) | Alyssa J Cori: The 10 Best Books Of Quarantine (aka 2020)

December 16, 2020

The 10 Best Books Of Quarantine (aka 2020)

Ahhh, 2020. One of the happy things that this year brought was more time for reading than ever before, and my reading stats certainly showcase this! I read more than 15,000 pages (to give you context, the most pages I had read in a year up to this point was 12,000+ in 2019) and more than 40 books. 
Click to read now or pin to save for later! Check out the best books I read in 2020


Today I wanted to share my very top reads from this year to inspire you with titles you can add to your to-read-list in 2021. I'm sharing all of my five star books and my top five four star books. 

If you're looking for more reading inspiration, check out this post of a book gift guide and this post about how to read more each year. 

Five Star Books ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towels
This was the best book I read in 2020. I loved this novel! Adult/child relationships make me so happy and this was the centerpiece of the story for me. The main character, the Count, is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol hotel as communism rises in Russia. His life and the story unfolds within the confines of the hotel, but feels as wide and varied as any tale. From interacts with a famous actress, to statesmen, to the staff, Towles gives us a lifetime of experiences over decades with the Count. Highly recommend!

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
So in love with this book. Normally I don’t read fiction set during WWII, but have heard such good things about this novel and it did not disappoint! It follows two key characters: a blind girl from Paris and an engineering protégée in Germany. From the early rumblings of war, through to the end you follow these two as they survive and live their lives as best they can. Their paths ultimately cross because of their respective duties (don’t want to give too much away) and it’s a very satisfying read. With beautiful language and fast chapters it’s easy to get sucked in.

Music for Chameleons by Truman Capote
I'd forgotten how much I enjoy short stories! In this book you get a mix of short stories, followed by a longer story, followed by more short stories - win, win, win. From conversations with Marilyn Monroe, to unsolved murders, to unusual and ordinary people in unique situations, this book is a delight at each page. The writing is compelling and there's something delicious about just getting a small taste of each character.

Joan of Arc by Mark Twain
I love Mark Twain. I love how much Mark Twain loved Joan of Arc. Therefore, I love Mark Twain’s Joan of Arc. Joan’s story is told by her childhood friend, turned secretary, and it follows her from her young life, to her soldiering days, to her martyrdom. On every page you can feel how much Twain admires Joan and her story is beautifully told. While it’s not quite as humorous as his other works, I did laugh throughout and appreciated the fine use of language Twain is known for. He said he likes Joan of Arc best of all his books, and I’d have to agree.

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie
I re-read this book in 2020 after reading it for the first time in 2014, and it is still a 5 star standout! Dale Carnegie has a way of weaving together advice, stories, science, and faith in a compelling and inspiring way. Putting challenges into perspective and realizing the physical, emotional, and relationship benefits of setting aside worry have re-inspired me to take a look at my life and habits. Highly recommend this book.

Four Star Books ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
I tore through this book in two days - what a thrill! The story, character development, and writing style all made this an immersive read. It follows the life of a girl who grows up completely on her own in a marsh in North Carolina in the '50s and '60s. Her resilience and creativity help her to survive, but she is forever impacted by the way she was abandoned. She gets close to few people in her life, and is misunderstood by many. The story ultimately centers around a murder trial where she is the defendant. Highly recommend this novel!

The Little Friend by Donna Tartt
I love Donna Tartt and was completely taken with her other two works. The subject of The Little Friend was interesting and different than anything I've read before. Her prose is wonderful, her characters captivating, and her stories engaging. The Little Friend follows Harriet, a 12 and a half year old girl who sets out to avenge the death of her brother that occurred when she was just an infant. There is a wide cast of characters and plenty of action, making the long book go by fast.

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
So. Good. This book is in the format of interviews with members of a band and the important people surrounding their rise to fame. With sex, drugs, and alcohol you can’t get much more rock and roll than this! I loved the pacing of the book and the characters, and the '70s was a fun time period to read about (it’s great for fans of Fleetwood Mac...). Highly recommend!

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
The first 3/4 of this book were very good, and the last 1/4 was great! I read The Night Circus and had high expectations for this Morgenstern book. The concept of an underground world where books and stories are treasures appealed to me as a reading lover, and the scenes in Manhattan were up my alley. This was a mystical and ever twisting story in a story that I would highly recommend!

A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allenden
This is a phenomenal novel of a time period I don’t often read about. Spanning the Spanish Civil War, WWII, the fall of dictatorship in Chile, you get to experience so many life altering events. The story follows an unlikely family and their strength and courage throughout all of their experiences across the world. I was invested, interested, and learned much about events I was previously unfamiliar with.

What were the best books you read in 2020? 

-Alyssa J

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