I thought I would share with you today my 8 favorite books of 2020. According to Goodreads, I have read 62 books, which means 22 more books than expected! To be honest, I have read quite a lot more but Goodreads did not know these books ; that is what happens when you read obscure French books! Among these 70ish book, there are some I really loved reading, some that moved me to tears and, obviously, some I just did not like at all. Today, I have decided to share with you my 8 favorite books of the year, hoping it will inspire you for your 2021 reading list!
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1. The Mirror Visitor series by Christelle Dabos.
Okay, you may say that I cheated for the first book as it actually mean 4 books (at least in France, the fourth book has not been translated yet) but I just could not choose one among the four. If you are looking for a slightly fantastic YA series that feels light and appeasing, I highly recommend. We follow the adventures of Ophélie, a clumsy twenty-something forced into a marriage she does not feel thrilled about (at all) and her character development. It is one of the rare series I have read in which the characters evolves so much without denying their values, which I find absolutely beautiful!
You may also like: Book Review: A Winter’s Promise (The Mirror Visitor #1) – Christelle Dabos.
2. The Metamorphosis by Kafka.
It was the first time I read a story by Kafka and this just blew my mind. I read the book in French so I would not be able to tell you about the writing in itself but the story… Hmm the story… I love those books you can end without being sure you have understood anything. A must-read if you want to discover Kafka’s art, even if according to him, this story was not even good enough to get published.
3. Plein Soleil by Antoine Guilloppé.
As you may or may not know, I study children’s literature in university and I recently fell in love with Antoine Guilloppé’s books. I have attended one of his conference and since, I have been totally into his picture picture books. They are gorgeous and based on a paper work I find extremely beautiful. It is all about cutting paper in order to create another reading of the text and of the illustrations. A picture book I would highly recommend, no matter if you can understand the texte or not. This is a work of art.
4. Under the Volcano, Malcolm Lowry.
I could ramble for hours about this book but I will do my very best to be as short as possible. I read it during the last semester of my bachelor’s degree in English literature and it was mind blowing. The book is a mix between English (a vast majority of the text) and Spanish as it takes place in Mexico. You follow the last day of a man, each chapter corresponding to an hour. You learn for the very first chapter that he is going to die that day, and thus your read the whole book already knowing the end and wondering how that will happen. The story is told form several points of view, which is really interesting as you first job as a reader is to understand who is telling the story. It is one of these super complicated books you feel the urge to reread at the end as you realize you have probably missed some parts. Mind-blowing, really.
5. Yoga, Emmanuel Carrère.
Emmanuel Carrère is a famous French author. He has a very peculiar style as his books are neither really “fiction” nor “autobiographic”. They simply are. In this particular books, he talks about his own vision of Yoga, his practice and his story with it. He writes about meditation, about his fears and about terrorism. All of that seems weird, right? Well, it is, but that is also what I love (among so many other things) with Emmanuel Carrère: he writes the way he wants and tells the reader whatever he wants. He is an artist, a complicated man who uses his art to tell his world, not to do like everyone else.
6. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.
Another children’s book for you guys! This one is a classic most of you native English-speakes may have read already but as a Frenchie, I just never had read it before this year. I studied it for my thesis and decided to drop the story of this very hungry caterpillar here. If you want to feel like a beautiful butterfly as well, just read it again!
7. The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend.
Another children’s books but not a picture book this time: a middle-grade. If you are looking for something fantastic, yet somehow dark and frightening, I would highly suggest it. The young and cursed Morrigan is such a beautiful character and you will soon want to hug her and stand for her values with her. Once more, I highly recommend.
8. Love Lies and Liquor, M.C. Beaton.
Last but not least, I would like to talk about Love Lies and Liquor. This one was not a five star, but I think it deserves some room over here as it is the last book of 2020 and it somehow brought joy in this complicated time. The end of year was beautiful, but also overwhelming with blogmas, finals and everything going on. Thus, a chill mystery book was perfect for chill nights and I will highly recommend the Agatha Raisin seires to thos of you who are looking for some light mystery novels.