5 Most Fascinating Books I Read in 2020

Anita Durairaj

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Reading books is one pastime that has become very popular again in 2020. I should know because I spent most of 2020 indoors with my Kindle and iPad as did a lot of other people. 

This year has also been one of the few years where I have spent more on purchasing e-books than any other year. We all know the reason why.

Despite the pandemic, books are continuously being published and now with 2021 approaching, most readers are looking forward to the next set of most anticipated books to be released for the new year.

For now, I am taking a look back at some of the most fascinating and entertaining books I read in 2020. All of these books were also published for the first time in 2020.

I don’t claim that these books will change your life or that you will obtain some secret knowledge that you were never privy to in a previous life, but for pure entertainment value as well as some learning and a few life lessons, you can’t go wrong with these 5 books.

Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family by Omid Scobie

Biography

You would have to be living under a rock if you haven’t heard of the term, “megxit” to describe Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepping down from Royal Family duties and leaving the UK for the US.

“Megxit” happened early in 2020 but this biography by palace reporter Omid Scobie wasn’t released until August 2020.

It is supposed to be a realistic portrayal of what happened in the events leading up to the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and their subsequent breaking of ties with the Royal Family after about a year and a half.

You don’t have to be a royal fan to enjoy this book although I have always found their lives to be rather fascinating.

It is simply a peek behind the palace walls and a detailed look at the rarefied life of the royals. According to the author Omid Scobie, the book is based on evidence and eye-witness accounts from staff, royal aides, and anonymous sources close to the royal family.

The book is entertaining and sometimes it does read like a gossip magazine or a fictional piece but overall it gives you a different view of royalty from the news and tabloid media.

The Haunting of Winslow Manor (The Beckoning Dead series) by Ambrose Ibsen

Horror Fiction

If you are looking for an entertaining horror fiction series of books on the Kindle Unlimited platform, you can’t go wrong with books by newish author Ambrose Ibsen.

Ambrose Ibsen might not be Stephen King but I actually find him to be more entertaining. For me, reading his book is no different than watching a horror movie. His books are full of spooky chills, demons, ghosts, weird cults, and haunted houses to take you on on a non-stop thrilling ride. 

The Haunting of Winslow Manor which is the third book in the Beckoning Dead series was published on April 2020. While it might be better to read the first 2 books in the series which came out in 2019, you can still read The Haunting of Winslow Manor as a standalone book.

Had I Known: Collected Essays by Barbara Ehrenreich

Social Commentary

Barbara Ehrenreich became a household name when her book, Nickel and Dimed was first published way back in 2001. I became a fan after reading that book where she recounts her experiences as an undercover journalist experiencing the difficulties faced by low wage workers in the United States.

In Barbara Ehrenriech’s newest book, Had I Known: Collected Essays which was published in March 2020, she gathers articles and excerpts from her career spanning a few decades.

There are essays on poverty, social justice, race, equality and even religion and culture. The book contains the collection of some of the most controversial and provoking essays she has written on these topics. 

Even if you are not a fan of social and political discourses, you will still enjoy reading these essays and will find that many of the topics especially those about the working poor are still very relevant in today’s America.

What Would Frida Do? A Guide to Living Boldly by Adrianna Davis

Self Help

Frida Kahlo is the inspiration behind this self-help book. As an artist, Frida Kahlo was celebrated for her paintings and creativity. She was also a feminist icon who lived a fascinating life.

This book by Adrianna Davis was first published in October 2020 and reveals how much of a fan the author is of Frida Kahlo. The book is much about the life of Frida Kahlo as it is a compendium of life lessons for the reader.

Each chapter in the book is inspirational and incorporates a specific theme in Frida’s life. 

I also like the hardcopy of the book itself. This is one book where you should skip the e-version and just get the physical book. The book is an art piece with a colorful cover making it beautiful and collectible. 

World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments by Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Nature

This book which consists of 30 essays about the natural world is simply amazing and stellar because it has already won almost 20 book awards and nominations from the most famous literary organizations and publications. 

Each essay is brilliantly written by Aimee Nezhukumatathil as it mingles memories and experiences of her personal life with the science, philosophy and poetry of nature. Both plants and animals are described ranging from monarch butterflies, flamingoes, and peacocks to the corpse-flower and many more. 

The author herself is a poet and professor of English and Creative Writing. The book was first published in September 2020. 

Once you read the chapter about fireflies, you will not want to put it down because of the beauty of the prose and the descriptions of her life as it ties into that of the natural world. 

To conclude, there may be many more 2020 books that could be just as fascinating but these 5 are my personal recommendations. Enjoy reading!

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Trained with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, I write unique and interesting articles focused on science, history, and current events.

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