Happy 2020 everyone! It’s a new year, which means new opportunities to read some amazing books! As in past years, I put together a list of five fiction and five nonfiction books I’d like to read in the coming year. I’m excited about all of these books, and I think it’s going to be a great year for books. Here are the books I’m planning on reading this year:

Fiction

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

This has been on my TBR for a while, and it’s been popping up everywhere lately (including Barack Obama’s list of favorite books for the year). So I feel like I need to read it. I also think I’m going to love it.

The Odyssey by Homer

As much as I absolutely love reading about mythology, or books with elements of mythology, I don’t think I’ve ever read The Odyssey in full (I have read parts for various classes in high school and college). I need to fix that this year.

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

I fell in love with Hemingway’s writing in grad school after reading one of his short stories. I think that was four years ago now, and I still have not read any more of his work. That’s something I need to do, and I’m going with the book I already own. I’m very excited to get to some new classics this year.

Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier

Another author I really want to read more of. I’ve read Rebecca twice, and loved it, so I kind of need to read more Daphne du Maurier. If I’m being honest, the one I’m most excited about is My Cousin Rachel, but I decided I want to get through the ones I already own first (yes, I own multiple unread du Maurier books). So I’m going with Frenchman’s Creek.

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

I have not yet read an Ann Patchett book, despite hearing so many amazing things. This one caught my eye, and when I found out that Tom Hanks reads the audiobook, I was completely sold.

Nonfiction

Leadership: In Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin

So I kind of already started this (is that cheating?) and I am loving it so much. It’s about how four different presidents – Lincoln, both Roosevelts, and Johnson – managed difficult times in our country – the Civil War, both World Wars and the Great Depression, and the Civil Rights movement. I do want to read more history this year, so this is a great start.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

This has been on my TBR for SO LONG. I put it on this list in the hopes of forcing myself to finally read it. I think I’m going to love it, so I have absolutely no idea why I haven’t read it yet.

Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep ad Dreams by Matthew Walker

Confession: if I didn’t have to sleep to avoid dying, I probably wouldn’t do it. Being diagnosed with MS, one of the hardest things was coming to terms with the fact that I need more sleep than I used to. I’m getting better about it, but I’d still like to understand more about why we sleep. Maybe it would help with those times I’m frustrated at having to go to sleep. Also, Bill Gates recommended it, and I tend to love everything he recommends, so I’m excited to read it.

Benjamin Frankin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson

It’s becoming a tradition that I read a Walter Isaacson biography every year. So far, I’ve read Leonardo da Vinci (which might be one of my favorite books ever) and Einstein: His Life and Universe. This year, I decided on Benjamin Franklin because I’m kind of on an American history kick right now. And I love Ben Franklin. I’m very excited to read this one.

Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance

This has been on my radar for a while now, but what really got me to add this to my reading list for this year is the fact that both Bill Gates and Barack Obama recommended it. Which is basically all it takes for me to read literally any book. But I do want to explore more memoirs by people I’m not already familiar with, and this is a great start.


That’s it for my 2020 reading list! These are all backlist books, because I’d really love to read more of those this year. My most anticipated 2020 releases will be up in a few days, so be sure to come back if you’d like to see those.

And if you’d like to see out more of what I plan to read this year, check out my Five Star Predictions (part 2)!

What’s on your reading list this year?

20 thoughts

  1. I really hope you love the Henrietta Lacks book. If you listen to it read by Cassandra Campbell, I think you’ll love it even more!!
    I totally get what you mean about sleep. I don’t care for going to sleep now that I’m older. I tend to feel awful first thing in the morning, and my sleep is almost always disrupted now. Maybe I should read that book too! 😌

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve heard wonderful things about the audiobook, so I’m definitely going with that one.
      Maybe bookworms are naturally bad sleepers. I feel like we fight it too often so we can read more. I’ve always hated sleep, and just this past year I’ve been trying to go to bed earlier (most of the time). Hopefully the book will help!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. For me, I have a lot of chronic pain that’s really bad in the morning so I dread going to sleep because I know I’m going to feel pain when I wake up. Also, since I can’t do too much until I start to feel a little better in the daytime, I want to prolong my nights because I’ve wasted so much time trying to get myself together during the day. 🤦🏽‍♀️ Confused yet? I think I just confused myself. 😟
        I do try to read at night but almost always fall asleep. I would like to be able to stay awake to read more though. Oh well…I hope we can both do better in the sleep department in 2020. 🙃

        Liked by 1 person

        1. No, I totally get you. I do have MS-related pain often, mostly in the evenings. Sometimes going to sleep actually helps, but I just get bummed that I have to go to bed early instead of doing things I enjoy.
          But we can get better at sleeping! Because apparently it’s really bad for you to not get enough sleep. Maybe this book will actually scare me into going to bed on time….

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I’m sorry you have MS (I saw that you said it in your post 😔), and that you suffer with pain too. I don’t have a diagnosis for my chronic pain, and it’s both body pains and gastrointestinal pain, so unfortunately I rarely feel well. I also suffer with crushing fatigue at times, so with all that I have going on I, too, want to stay up late to catch up on things I enjoy doing. I read a lot because it’s an excellent distraction from my pain and anxieties; and I just love a good book anyway.😃 I’ve loved to read since I was a 👧🏽.
            I know I’m doing myself a disservice by not getting the amount of sleep I need. So yes…let’s get better at sleeping. 😉

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Thank you, but it’s totally fine. My form of MS is pretty mild – mostly a little numbness and occasional pain (the side effects from the meds are worse than the disease itself). Honestly not enough that I let it interfere with my life that much. I’m so sorry you’re going through chronic pain with no known cause. That must be so frustrating. I agree reading is a great distraction from the pain and anxieties. I suffer fatigue sometimes, too (it’s the worst). Which is one of the reasons I need to get better at sleeping.

              Liked by 1 person

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