2020 was my best year for reading – my recommendations

2020 was my best year for reading – my recommendations

I’m still gathering my thoughts on what 2020 meant to me. I really enjoy reading peoples’ end of year blog posts and have started mine a few times, from a few angles. I’ll have to see where those musings take me.

In the meantime, here’s my full 2020 reading list, separated into fiction, memoir and other non-fiction and listed in the order they were read. I’ve marked my mind/heart/life-changing titles in bold and italicised any others I would heartily recommend. If I’d read any I thought were absolutely rubbish, I wouldn’t have listed them here – but I got something from everything I read last year.

For stats lovers: I read 52 books in 2020, compared to 28 in 2019 and only a handful in 2018, 2017, 2016 and further back. I wasn’t aiming for quantity of books over quality of experience, but I did make a conscious effort to read more. Keeping a list of every book I finished in the back of my diary helped – it spurred me on to keep finding interesting things to read, and to dedicate time to reading them.

My top 3 books of 2020: this is really hard, but if I was pressed I would recommend “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngoze Adichie, “A Godawful Small Affair” by J.B. Morrison (aka Jim Bob) and “Amusing Ourselves To Death” by Neil Postman.

Which books made a difference in your heart, brain or both in 2020? Are you trying to read more, or are you convinced you could never finish a book? Let me know in the comments!


The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
The Testaments – Margaret Atwood
Wonder Boys – Michael Chabon

The Last – Hanna Jameson
The First Bad Man – Miranda July
My Sister, The Serial Killer – Oyinkan Braithwaite
Monkey Grip – Helen Garner
The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
Middle England – Jonathan Coe
Nine Perfect Strangers – Liane Moriarty
Life After Life – Kate Atkinson
Vox – Christina Dalcher
A Godawful Small Affair – J.B. Morrison
listen to Jim Bob on my podcast!
Conversations With Friends – Sally Rooney
Normal People – Sally Rooney

The Runaways – Fatima Bhutto
Q – Christina Dalcher
Harvey King Unboxes His Family – J.B. Morrison
Americanah – Chimamanda Ngoze Adichie
Weirdo – Cathi Unsworth
Unsheltered – Barbara Kingsolver
Never Mind – Edward St Aubyn
The Man In The High Castle – Philip K. Dick
The Summer Everything Happened – Jane Bradley (unpublished)


The Salt Path – Raynor Winn
My Thoughts Exactly – Lily Allen
Home – Julie Andrews
Home Work – Julie Andrews
My Name Is Why – Lemn Sissay
listen to Lemn on my podcast!
On The Road Not Taken – Paul Dodgson
Man’s Search For Meaning – Viktor E. Frankl
Carry On, Warrior – Glennon Doyle
Love Warrior – Glennon Doyle
Untamed – Glennon Doyle
Broken Greek – Pete Paphides
I Choose This – David Ford
No Time Like The Future – Michael J. Fox

Hunger – Roxane Gay
Me Talk Pretty One Day – David Sedaris

Other Non Fiction

Three Women – Lisa Taddeo
Urban Watercolour Sketching – Felix Scheinberger

This Is Marketing – Seth Godin
Platform – Michael Hyatt
Mindful Thoughts For Stargazers – Mark Westmoquette
Louder And Funnier – P.G. Wodehouse
The Curve – Nicholas Lovell
Social Media Is Bullshit – B.J. Mendelson

Syllabus – Linda Barry
Watcha Mean, What’s A Zine? – Mark Todd and Esther Pearl Watson
Amusing Ourselves To Death – Neil Postman
Essentialism – Greg McKeown

Hit Makers – Derek Thompson

THANK YOU for visiting my website! I’m Laura Kidd, a music producer, songwriter and podcaster based in Bristol, UK. It’s great to meet you.

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  1. Matt Ilett says:

    Hi there Laura. I guess I did pretty well in 2020, considering how it went, mixing fiction with non-fiction and also mixing paper and ebook, with usually 2 on the go together: ebooks were The First Time Lauren Pailing Died by Alyson Rudd, Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak, How not to be a boy by Robert Webb and Dark Eden by Chris Beckett.
    Paper books were The Girl With All The Gifts by M R Carey, Hello World (How to be human in the age of the machine) by Hannah Fry, How to be human by Ruby Wax, The dog who dared to dream by Sun Mi Hwang, Ghost Rider (travels on the healing road) by Neil Peart and Seven Brief lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli. I’ve still to finish Quantum, a guide for the perplexed by Jim Al-Khalili but I found it harder to read anything from about September, listening to a lot more music instead and concentrating on meditation and Tai Chi (and too much Netflix!).
    Top three would be Bridge of Clay, The girl with all the gifts and Seven brief lessons on physics (this last is a beautiful 79 pages in hardback).
    Since the new year I’ve started re-reading Lois on the Loose (One Woman, One Motorbike, 20,000 Miles across the Americas) by Lois Pryce which is cheering me up no end!
    So looking forward to the new Penfriend single! (and more Obey Robots?) Stay safe and well this year.

    • Laura Kidd says:

      That sounds like a lovely mix of stuff, Matt! Thanks for your enthusiasm for new music, I’m feeling the butterflies today…and funnily enough, am *just* about to record some new Obey Robots vocals. Heading in…

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