The Year of Reading

The Year of Reading

This year has been a wash in more ways than one. My fitness goals went out the window, this blog has lain dormant, Kurt and I don't leave our apartment except to grocery shop and hike, and any plans we had for travels and exploring went out the window (for good reason!).

It hasn't been exactly the year of growth I was hoping for. However, this year did teach me to be a little extra thankful for the people in my life. It also taught me patience and understanding. It taught me to be grateful for strangers and to think of others before thinking of myself.

This year also allotted me plenty of time to complete one of my 2020 New Years intentions. What i didn't accomplish in fitness, traveling, and new experiences, I made up for reading!

A simple intention I had for 2020 was to read more. I think I accomplished just that! In 2019, I probably read roughly 10 books. In 2020, I can proudly say that I have finished 54 books (+ 2 half read books that I abandoned after realizing I just didn't care for them).

This is a huge accomplishment for me, because as much as I've always loved reading I never made time for it in the past. This year it was a staple of my daily life to pull out a book and relax on the couch or read as I drifted off to sleep at night.

If you're looking for books to read in 2021, maybe there will be something on this list you'll want to try!

Top 10 favorite books (in no particular order because I'm very indecisive):

  1. A Promised Land by Barack Obama
  2. The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery
  3. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  4. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  5. In Five Years by Rebecca Serle
  6. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb
  7. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
  8. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
  9. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
  10. Educated by Tara Westover

Books that taught me something:

  1. White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
  2. Dying of Whiteness by Jonathan Metzl
  3. Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg

Books that didn't work for me, but might work for you:

There were only 2 books I read this year that I just couldn't finish. I firmly believe that any book I invest in, I need to finish... even if I don't love it. I reached a point with these two books, though, that I just couldn't keep pretending I was enjoying myself; if this year taught me anything it's that we shouldn't spend time doing something we don't genuinely love. Maybe you'll like these more than me.

  1. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (I might revisit this one at some point... maybe.)
  2. The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson (I usually LOVE history books and I LOVE Erik Larson's writing, but this just didn't do it for me. After giving up on it, I saw it was featured on President Obama's top books of 2020, and then I felt like a real loser for not liking it.)

Top 5 thrillers:

If you really know me, you know that thrillers are undoubtedly my favorite genre to read. I never get tired of the predictable set-ups and whodunit plot. I love books that keep me guessing, and I live for all the red herrings that thriller authors throw in. These were my favorites from this year:

  1. The Guest List by Lucy Foley
  2. The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
  3. Behind Closed Doors by B A Paris
  4. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
  5. Confessions on the 7:45 by Lisa Unger



I'm Harvest. I'm a fifth-year teacher, and I teach 1st grade. I also like to read. My goal with this blog is to give myself an outlet to reflect, share ideas, and grow creatively.

Redwood City, CA