Susanne’s Goodreads Best-of-List for 2020

In this most difficult year, for me, there has been one constant. Books, which, leads to book reviews and of course, all of you whom I’ve met on Goodreads over the last few years. For your friendship, support, and general encouragement, I thank you.   

What I know is this: Having each other is immeasurable, for when we need a friend, we have each other and of course, we always have books.  

This year, I surpassed my reading goal by reading more books than ever before. (I would have read more but I have indulged in a little more TV than usual, lol, (who can blame me though right?!). That said, I am proud of where I ended up.

When it comes to my Best-of List, below are my favorites (in no particular order):


  • Anxious People by Fredrik Backman (Mr. Backman – your ability to understand Human Connection astounds. Your characters get under my skin like no other.)
  • American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins (Terrifying, heart-wrenching, stunning. An incredible story of survival).
  • The Bookwoman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson (Cussy Mary – Oh what an inspiration you are and oh how I miss you. This was my first best-of novel of 2020 and what a novel it was!)
  • Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney (Complicated and messy. In my book, that is known as sheer perfection (at least when it comes to books that is!) Well done Sally Rooney!).
  • In Five Years by Rebecca Serle (How surprising. Way to make me sob like a baby!)
  • The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab (Addie Larue, I assure you, I will remember you, always. Simply brilliant, devastating and perfect.)
  • Long Bright River by Liz Moore (Disturbing, dirty and dysfunctional. Probably the best literary fiction novel I have read in years.)
  • My Kind of People by Lisa Duffy (This is my kind of book. Brilliant characterizations and a story that envelops you and makes you feel safe.)
  • Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman (Dark, Ominous, Legendary, and Simply Ingenious. Don’t worry, I take heed Ms. Hoffman!)
  • Olive Again by Elizabeth Strout (Oh Olive, you do beat all! Somehow you ingrained yourself into my soul, and now well, you’ve won me over in pure Olive fashion!)
  • This is How it Always is by Laurie Frankel (To know this family is to love them. Poppy, your bravery inspires me!)

Grit Lit:

  • Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin (Absolutely devastating and oh so good.)
  • Hard Cash Valley by Brian Panovich (Hauntingly perfect. Brian Panovich, you slay me.)


  • A Promised Land by Barack Obama (Thank you for bringing me peace and reminding me what it feels like to be safe!).


  • The Happily Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez (If only real life was like this, I might be a believer.)
  • Crazy Stupid Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams (Noah, you rock!)

Mystery / Suspense:

  • The Silent Wife by Karin Slaughter (KS, How COULD you? All I have to say is, I’m still not over it and I’m not sure I ever will be.)
  • The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James (Spooky spooky!)

Science Fiction / Fantasy:

  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (Virtual Reality on Steroids narrated by the masterful Wil Wheaton – in case it’s not obvious, Wil: I’ll Stand By You.)

Women’s Fiction:

  • Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center (Women’s Fiction doesn’t get better than this: Jake and Helen are sheer perfection.)
  • Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren (My final favorite best of for 2020. The perfect book to steal your heart.)
  • November 9 by Colleen Hoover (COHO: Cue All the Feels!)

Honorable Mentions go to:

  • The Orphan X Series by Gregg Hurwitz (Heartstopping, thrilling and so darn good Mr. Hurwitz!  Evan Smoak: You are Oh So Crushworthy!)
  • Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout (Oh Olive, somehow I grew to love you.. (even though you reminded me of someone extremely difficult!) What an incredible feat Ms. Strout pulled off!)
  • The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout (Bob Burgess: there is something about your character that has stayed with me – perhaps because I understand you or perhaps because I’ve been you. Well done, Ms. Strout!)  
  • The Law of Innocence by Michael Connelly (Stellar writing, brilliant legal arguments, and the inclusion of my favorite Connelly characters (including one of my favorite literary characters of all time: Harry Bosch). What’s not to love?) 

Favorite New to Me Authors: 

  • Colleen Hoover
  • Gregg Hurwitz
  • Sally Rooney
  • Elizabeth Strout

Published on Goodreads

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