The 2020 Book Tag

Well, 2020 is over (thank God), but on Tuesday I was tagged by Hundreds and Thousands of Books, and I feel like the year isn’t so far gone that I can’t still participate. It’s been ages since I’ve done a tag. 🙂

Rules:

  • Link back to the original creator, Phoenix @Books With Wings
  • Thank the person who tagged you
  • Answer all the questions 
  • Tag at least 4 people

Using only books read in 2020. Okay, GO!


Part 1: Beginning of the Year

A book you were really excited for
I had been waiting a year and a half for Hilary Mantel’s conclusion to her beloved Thomas Cromwell trilogy, The Mirror and the Light. It’s one of the the only books I pre-ordered before June. Fortunately, it was *just* as amazing as I hoped it would be, and ended up being my favorite book of the year. I laughed, I cried, I was so absorbed.

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Top 10 of 2020

HOLY SMOKES! What a great year for books I’ve had! This is, hands’ down, the best reading year I have ever had. Ever. I know I say that every year, but there are eight, count ’em, EIGHT five-star books on this list. YOWZAH!

In all seriousness, I’m so excited to share this list with you all.

1. The Mirror & the Light

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Utterly brilliant historical fiction. Captivating and compelling.

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Mid-Year Freak Out Tag – 2020 Edition

Oh my gosh. June is over. Summer vacation is halfway over. I don’t know whether to shout for joy or cry. Shout for joy because PLEASE can we go back to school in August. Cry because summer is over and I’m still waiting on pretty much all the books from my summer reading list to come either to the book store or library. I’m worried I won’t have time to read them all. 😥

Also, the middle of the year always sneaks up on me. During summer vacation it’s really hard to keep track of the date, so I’m always shocked and, well, freaked out to find it’s July. lol

So far this year I’ve read 45 books, but since a HUGE chunk of those were either gifts or read for work, it hasn’t been the most exciting year for me book-wise. Not even all the books in my Top 10 have four stars, yikes! Still, I’m well on my way to my 75 book goal, and frankly may have to adjust it to 100. YAY ME!

Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2020

Okay, I’m going to share my two favorites, because they’re so different from each other. My top book is hands down The Mirror & the Light, which is easily the best historical fiction novel I’ve ever read. I love the Thomas Cromwell trilogy so much, and this book was literally perfect. I wouldn’t have changed ANYTHING about it (except maybe make it never end!). My second top book is a YA backlist title, A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi. It had been on my to-read list forEVER, and I finally picked it up on sale in February. GUYS. Why did I wait so long to read this book?!?! If you haven’t read it yet you’ve GOT TO.

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Discussion: Do Big Books Intimidate You?

Today’s discussion post is brought to you by bringing home Lonesome Dove from the library and THEN realizing it was written in 1986! YIKES! 600* pages of 20th century American writing? Good luck to me…

*Did I say 600? It’s closer to 900.

So I notice a lot on social media, especially Bookstagram, that a lot of people talk about how intimidated they are by long books. This is often cited as the reason for purchasing but not reading The Priory of the Orange Tree and Jane Eyre in particular. And I get it, those books are long. I know a lot of people set massive reading goals for themselves, and it can be hard to read 20 books a month if one of them is 800 pages long. Even if that isn’t you, long books can be scary. What if you don’t like it? What if it’s long AND slow? What if it takes you forever and you have to give it back to the library before you’re done? What if you lose interest halfway through?

Personally, it’s never been much of a deterrent for me. Maybe it’s because I read The Lord of the Rings in 7th grade and therefore became immune, lol. Also, people don’t have any problem reading a series that goes on for 6+ books, and that’s a lot more to read. I just see my long books as a whole trilogy wrapped up in one convenient package! Also, it doesn’t get worse the longer it goes on, so double plus!

But, on the other hand, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m terrified of the idea of Lonesome Dove. I usually love long classics, but I’m not a huge fan of 20th century literature. And I’ve never read a Western. So I’m not sure if I’m going to like it, and it’s a really long book to slug through if I don’t…

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Review: The Mirror & the Light

The Mirror & the Light by Hilary Mantel

Series: Thomas Cromwell Trilogy
Genre: Historical Fiction
Maturity Level: 5 (Content warnings: torture, burning)

View on Goodreads
Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆

England, May 1536. Anne Boleyn is dead, decapitated in the space of a heartbeat by a hired French executioner. As her remains are bundled into oblivion, Thomas Cromwell breakfasts with the victors. The blacksmith’s son from Putney emerges from the spring’s bloodbath to continue his climb to power and wealth, while his formidable master, Henry VIII, settles to short-lived happiness with his third queen before Jane dies giving birth to the male heir he most craves.

Cromwell is a man with only his wits to rely on; he has no great family to back him, no private army. Despite rebellion at home, traitors plotting abroad and the threat of invasion testing Henry’s regime to the breaking point, Cromwell’s robust imagination sees a new country in the mirror of the future. But can a nation, or a person, shed the past like a skin? Do the dead continually unbury themselves? What will you do, the Spanish ambassador asks Cromwell, when the king turns on you, as sooner or later he turns on everyone close to him?


The Thomas Cromwell trilogy is, hands down, the best historical fiction I have ever read. An explosive combination of terrific writing, unbelievably true court intrigue, and a mysterious yet prominent historical figure. Just wow.

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