Top 10 Books I Can’t Wait to Read in 2020!

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Happy New Year! For my first post of 2020, I decided to put together a list of the 10 books I am most excited to read this year. January is brightening up just thinking of them! Wishing you all a year of happiness in both the real and fictional world…

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood Book Cover Image
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1) The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale is one of my all-time favourite books, and I am addicted to the T.V. series too! I was so excited when The Testaments was released and look forward to satisfying more of my morbid curiosity about Gilead.

To stop my expectations getting the better of me, I am going to try reading and enjoying it for what it is, rather than constantly comparing to The Handmaid’s Tale.

 

 

 

Girl Woman Other by Bernardine Evaristo Book Cover Image
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2) Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

I hadn’t heard of this book until it was joint winner of The Booker Prize this year. I added it to my Goodreads list, then completely forgot about it until my parents got it for me as a Christmas present!

Apparently, it is unique in being written from so many different perspectives – consider me intrigued…

 

 

 

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller Book Cover Image
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3) Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Circe by Madeline Miller was on my list of the top 10 books I read in 2019. I have always loved Ancient Greek mythology and became entranced by the author’s fresh perspective on these epic stories. After reading so many wonderful reviews of Song of Achilles, I need no further convincing!

 

 

 

 

The Confession by Jessie Burton Book Cover Image

4) The Confession by Jessie Burton

I was lucky enough to meet Jessie Burton at an author event hosted by my local bookshop this year. Now I have a very pretty signed edition of The Confession which looks irresistible on my bookshelf!

I have a soft spot for historical fiction and was amazed by her previous novel The Miniaturist. With this one focussing even more on women and female relationships, it seems to be ticking all the boxes…

 

Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel Book Cover Image
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5) Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

My book club did a Secret Santa and this was my gift! A band of travelling actors performing Shakespeare? Set in a post-apocalyptic world? Recommended by Jessie Burton (see above)? ‘Disturbing’, ‘unsettling’ and ‘haunting’? This mysterious book-gifter knows me so well.

 

 

 

 


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Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare Book Cover Image
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6) Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare

You can read my review of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Measure for Measure here. I found it one of the most resonant early modern plays I have ever watched. Imagine my delight when it appeared on the reading list for one of my modules next semester!

“The tempter or the tempted, who sins most?”

 

 

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston Book Cover Image
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7) Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

I was watching the BBC documentary ‘Novels That Shaped Our World’ and Their Eyes Were Watching God appeared on the episode showcasing some of the most important books by women writers. The story follows a black woman who has been married three times and is on trial for the killing of one of these husbands. It went straight onto my list!

 

 

 

 

English Renaissance Drama Edited by David Bevington Book Cover Image

8) English Renaissance Drama by Various Authors

As much as I love Shakespeare, I also feel there were many other incredible playwrights in the early modern period that are often overlooked. See my post on Questioning the Canon: Shakespeare versus Marlowe. So I can’t wait to study this anthology, which includes plays such as ‘Doctor Faustus’, ‘The Duchess of Malfi’, ‘The Revenger’s Tragedy’ and ‘Volpone’.

 

 

The Vagina Bible by Jennifer Gunter Book Cover Image
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9) The Vagina Bible by Jennifer Gunter

As in 2019, my aim is to read more non-fiction this year. Hopefully, my newfound discovery of the BorrowBox app, which lets me borrow audiobooks from my library, will help with his!

I was reading an article about the gender health gap and it got me looking into the subject more deeply. This empowering, myth-busting, stigma-shattering title seems like a great place to start!

 

 

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker Book Cover Image
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10) The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

I know I already have Song of Achilles on the list, but you can never have too many mythological retellings! I studied Regeneration by Pat Barker at A-Level and can still remember her direct, pulls-no-punches writing style.

Although this book takes on a very different subject – the Trojan War seen through the eyes of the women caught up in it – I think it’s going to be equally powerful.

 

 

 


Have you read any of these books? Which one should I put to the top of my list? Let me know what you think in the comments – I would love to hear from you!


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16 thoughts on “Top 10 Books I Can’t Wait to Read in 2020!

  1. This list is like perfection!!!! 😍😍😍 so many of these are on my TBR but OMG YOU MET JESSIE BURTON!!!!!!! I am so jealous. I ADORE her!!!!!!!! When I came to eventually listing my fav books of the year The Confession was joint number 1. I loved that book so much. Ahhhh I hope you love it as much as I did MP <3333333

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thank you so much Emer!!! ❤️ I was very lucky to meet Jessie Burton! She was super friendly and down to earth, and she spoke wonderfully about the themes of The Confession and it’s female perspective. Wow – it was one of your number one 2019 books, from the hundreds you must have read?!? Now I really really can’t wait to read it!!! Hope you have a fantastic reading year X x x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve only read The Song of Achilles out of these, and I 100% recommend, it’s SO good, I think I liked it even more than Circe (and I REALLY enjoyed Circe) – I’ve heard great things about The Testaments, and I have The Miniaturist by Burton sitting on my shelf waiting to be read (the blurb sounds creepily fantastic!).

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you (: I will do 😊 I hope you enjoy the sequel just as much – I know it can be both exciting and worrying when an addition to a favourite book comes out years later. It’ll be interesting to hear what you think of it.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I have read Their Eyes Were Watching God twice, each time for a class. I got so much more out of the book the second time that I read it. I’ll be interested to see what you think. Thoughts from my class on this and Mrs. Dalloway:
    was so in love with reading our last book for class, Mrs. Dalloway, that I have found it difficult to move on to TEWWG. I will just say that Mrs. D has rocketed to the top of my favorite novels list, along with Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto. In this class I read Mrs. Dalloway for the second time and I think that it is a book that needs more than one read. I loved being in the minds and thoughts of everyone in the novel, despite some of the stories, like that of Septimus, being tragic. I think that Virginia Woolf had an incredible capacity for nuance and exploring her character’s daily thoughts and lives.

    Their Eyes is a very different book. If Mrs. D is often internal in its focus, Their Eyes is about characters but also community. Janie is a young African American girl who has been raised by her grandmother, a woman who recalls slavery. Her wish is to keep Janie safe and to protect her, so Janie, a dreamer, is soon married. Over the course of the novel, her relationships with the men in her life are explored as is her lack of agency with her first two husbands. The community that her second husband Joe wills into being comes to vivid life.

    Much of the novel is in a dialect which adds to the sense of place, a small town in Florida, and takes a bit of adjustment for the reader at first. Zora Neal Hurston was deliberate in this choice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much for the comment Joyce, and for sharing your insight 😊 I find that for books like this having a bit of background knowledge helps me get more out of them. I’ll definitely let you know what I think of Their Eyes Were Watching God! X x x

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  4. What a great list! I’ve really liked the titles here that I’ve read so far, except for The Testaments which I can see why people love but just wasn’t for me. But Station Eleven is so good, and The Silence of the Girls, and Girl Woman Other! I’m also currently reading The Vagina Bible and it’s a bit like a textbook but also very empowering and I’m having a surprising amount of fun with it. And The Song of Achilles is on my TBR list for this year as well! So many great books. I hope you have a fantastic year of reading! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thank you for the kind words! 🥰 Sounds like we have similar taste in books! I’m looking forward to reading the titles you’ve recommended even more now! I’ve heard some mixed reviews about The Testaments – it sounds quite different to The Handmaids Tale (which I adored) but I’ll try to keep an open mind. Hope you also find some amazing books for 2020! Happy New Year to you X x x

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What an interesting list. I studied Renaissance drama in university and really enjoyed The Duchess of Malfi. It showcased the enormous strength of a woman trying to resist her brother’s authority at a time when men held all the power.

    Liked by 1 person

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