The 10 Best Books I Read in 2020

2020 was a weird year and not going to lie my reading was definitely affected. I got a good chunk of reading done when I was sick earlier this year, but then I went quite a while before I picked up anything new. So this shouldn’t come as a surprise, but most of the books on this list were ones I read in the first half of this year rather than the second year. Without further delay here are my favourite reads of 2020, and as always they are in no particular order.


The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner

At first this book was a bit slow for me. However, it won me over with its charm and strong, albeit imperfect female characters. In the end, I fell in love with the members of “The Jane Austen Society” and were rooting for them to find their own happiness. If you like warm historical novels set in cozy villages, and/or are a fan of Jane Austen’s books, then this one may be the satisfying read is for you!

The Good Shufu by Tracy Slater

This book has been on my TBR list since my early blogging days. I finally was gifted a copy of it last year and picked it up this year in anticipation of my Japan trip. Little did I know, that no travelling would be happening. Anyways, I love reading about the relationship between Tracy and the Japanese salaryman who becomes her husband. It was interesting to see how two individuals from different backgrounds come together to build a marriage. As someone who is interested in Japanese culture and still trying to learn the language, I especially enjoyed reading about how Tracy adapts to the culture and her new life in Japan. A heartwarming read about finding love and starting a family in an unexpected time and place.

Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop by Roselle Lim (Read the review)


I think I enjoyed Roselle Lim‘s Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop more than her debut. While Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune had more soul as it was a story about family both blood and found, Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop is definitely a lighter fare with its matchmaking and love plot. Of course food also has a role in the book however it’s to a much lesser degree than the mouthwatering descriptions of food and cooking that were found in Natalie Tan. That being said, Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop made me want to go out and buy some pastries, so make sure you have some on hand while reading this one!

All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny (Read the review)

I always look forward to having a new Louise Penny novel every year. All The Devils Are Here is without a doubt one of my favourites of her more recent Inspector Gamache novels. I love how the setting has changed in this book to Paris, France, as it allows readers to see Gamache and Beauvoir to go out of their usual comfort zones as they try to figure out the mystery and unveil another massive conspiracy.

The Marriage Game by Sara Desai (Read the review)

I wanted to pick this romance because it’s by a Canadian author and I thought it was interesting that both of the main leads work in HR like jobs. The side characters in this book are also awesome, from the hilarious aunties to Layla’s badass cousin, Daisy. I love how family was such a major part of Layla’s story. Also, if you’re a foodie, then you’ll probably enjoy reading about all the Indian foods as Layla’s family owns an Indian restaurant. The Marriage Game has a pretty fun concept with the bet that Layla and Sam have going on, and I look forward to the other books in this series. As Daisy’s book will come out in 2021 and it involves the fake engagement trope, I’ve already requested it on Netgalley so fingers crossed I get to read it soon!

The Diamond Queen of Singapore by Ian Hamilton (Read the review)

I will not lie it was a bit painful reading a book about someone who jet sets as much as Ava Lee during a pandemic when all travel is cancelled. Anyway, the latest instalment in the Ava Lee series has many of the elements that make this series one of my favourites. There’re tons of globe trotting, high stakes negotiations, and of course some awesome action scenes! Looking forward to seeing the direction that Ian Hamilton takes next with the Ava Lee series.

10 Things I Hate About Pinky by Sandhya Menon (Read the review)

I’ve been looking forward to Pinky and Samir’s we saw them constantly butt heads in There’s Something about Sweetie. In 10 Things I Hate About Pinky, we get to learn more about Pinky including her insecurities especially when it came to being compared to her cousin which is definitely something I could relate to. We also get to see more of Samir finally dealing with his issues which were hinted at in There’s Something about Sweetie. But most of all it was quite satisfying to see Pinky and Samir come together after being teased for so long.

The Library of Legends by Janie Chang (Read the review)


The Library of Legends is my first Janie Chang book, and what made me pick it up was the promise blend of mythology with real life. I love how Chang weaves elements of Chinese legends with the students’ journey. I was unaware of the brutal war between Japan and China, so it was interesting to learn more about the lesser talked about events that took place in the shadow of Pearl Harbour. There is also a love story that later comes to fruit in this book that is a sweet addition to a story that took place during a time with so much destruction that even the celestials were left broken.

Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen (Read the review)

This was the first book I actually started in 2020. I was fortunate enough to get an ARC of this title, and it definitely lived up to my expectations of it. There’s so much juicy drama and I love the cultural rediscovery and exchange aspect of this story as I never even heard of “Loveboats” before I learnt about Loveboat, Taipei. Ever’s story of exploration and coming into her own as both were relatable in its own way, and I was more than satisfied with her ending. I’m looking forward to the next book in this series and I may be in the minority with this, but I hope it features a certain pair of secondary characters from the first book.

If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha (Read the review)

Compared with other books I don’t think the book got as much as attention as it deserved, so I’m going to take this time to once again recommend this book. Frances Cha’s If I Had Your Face is an incredible debut that looks at issues that Korean women face today. From the pressure to get married, the lack of opportunities for young people without family connections to the impossible beauty standards that are exacerbated by the prevalence of plastic surgery I loved how it didn’t shy away from the problems in the lives of these young women. Forgot top ten, this one was definitely in my top three reads of 2020.

 

 

 

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above reviews consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

Frenzy Picks (Spring/Summer 2017 Edition)

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On Sunday I had the privilege of attending a Frenzy Presents event at the HareprCollins offices. Usually they only have an event in August to showcase their upcoming fall titles so I was really excited that they had one in the spring to showcase their their summer titles as summer usually means more contemporary fiction! Anyways without further delay, here are five titles from all those presented that I’m looking forward to:

Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me by Lily CollinufThe title with the earliest release date from my list (it’s out next week), this is a collection of essays written by the actress Lily Collins whose father is the singer Phil Collins. I’m curious to see what she has to say as she talks about issues like body image, self-confidence, family and dating. Out March 7th, 2017.

Almost Adulting: All You Need to Know to Get It Together (Sort Of) by Arden Rose

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I was a bit wary about this book, but Suman totally sold me on it! With chapter titles like “Do Tour Laundry or You’ll Die Alone”, it sounds like it will be a hilarious read for those of us who dread “adulting things”. Plus I’m kind of looking forward to her take on topics like fashion, travel and dating. Arden Rose also created a fun book trailer to promote her book, which you can check out here. Can’t wait until this book is in stores next month. Out March 28th, 2017.

Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy

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Ramona Blue is teenaged girl who 6 feet tall (quickly outgrowing her trailer home) with blue hair whose life was forever changed when Hurricane Katrina hit. Though she’s just a teenager, she finds herself juggling multiple jobs to help her family afloat.

While I wasn’t in love with Dumplin’ like so many of my fellow bloggers, I did enjoy Side Effects May Vary. Based on the synopsis I was intrigued to pick up Ramona Blue as it not only examines the complexities of sexual orientation but also addresses other issues like family, sisterhood, poverty and race. Fortunately, everyone who attended the Frenzy Presents event was gifted with an ARC which I almost immediately started to read and so far am enjoying. Out May 9th, 2017.

Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson
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A book that doesn’t fit into just one genre, this book follows three different girls from three different places and time periods. Interestingly enough, there is a heartbreaking connection between the three girls although I was also promised that it would be a hopeful book as well. This premise had me curious and I was lucky enough to get an ARC of it at the event. Out June 13th, 2017.

I See London, I See France by Sarah Mlynowski

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The latest book from Canadian authour, Sarah Mlynowski this book promises to be the perfect vacation read. As you guys may (or may not) know, I’m a huge fan of books that have travel in it and if I were to be honest this was probably my most anticipated title from the list presented. I See London, I See France best friends Sydney and Leela as they travel all over Europe together after Leela’s boyfriend cheats on her and she decides to take Sydney on their trip. Unfortunately, Leela’s ex-boyfriend also ends up going on the trip and along with his best friend, there’s bound to be a ton of drama. I got an ARC of this book as part of my gift bag so if you guys are interested in seeing my review of this one let me know. Out July 11, 2017.

So what spring/summer HarperCollins titles are you guys eagerly anticipating? Feel free to chime in below!

Words of Mystery’s 2014 YA Picks

I know I already did a general overall of 2014 list, but I thought I’d break it down even further and share some of my favourite YA novels that I read this year. And if you guys like this post and would like to see what my favourite general fiction titles are for the year, let me know in the comments below. So without further delay here are some of my picks for YA novels in 2014:

1. Cress by Marissa Meyer (my review)cress

2. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han (my review)

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3.  #16 Things I Thought Were True by Janet Gurtler (my review)

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4. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige (my review)

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5. Open Road Summer by Emery Lord (my review)

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6. My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins (my review)

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7.  The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes (my review)

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8.  Haze by Paula Weston haze

9. Sisters Fate by Jessica Spotswood
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10. Playing with Matches by Suri Rosen (my review)

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Sisterhood of the World Blog Tag

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I was tagged by Ri from Hiver et Café awhile ago to take part in this fun little questionnaire type post chain. I never get tagged to do things like like this so thanks, Ri! (sorry if its too late)

The Rules:
1. Thank the blogger that nominated you and link back to their website.
2. Post the award’s logo on your blog.
3. Answer the ten questions you have been asked.
4. Nominate ten other bloggers and ask them ten other questions.

Ri’s Questions For Me:
1. Who is your favourite book boyfriend?
I don’t really have one as all the male characters in books I like, I like them within a couple more than single. Haha

2. What is a book that you absolutely NEED right now?
China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan and Winter by Marissa Meyer

3. What’s a book that you’ve been recommending?
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan or the Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer.

4. Which Hogwarts house are you?
Ravenclaw!

5. How did you get into book blogging?
Through my bookish friends who are all mostly bloggers!

6. What is the first book you ever got signed? (Or have you not? That’s okay too!)
I think it was Astronaut Academy by Dave Roman?

7. How do you balance book blogging in your daily life?
I always have my email and twitter on, and I schedule all my posts ahead of time. I also use hoot suite for social media stuff. Basically LOTS of very advance planning and scheduling.

8. What are you currently reading?
I’ve had a few books on the go and keep switching but currently am reading Mr. Miracle by Debbie Macomber and most likely with stick with it as I like it a lot so far.

9. Which OTP sails your ship? (AKA. What’s your favourite bookish couple?)
Cinder and Kai from the Lunar Chronicles!!

10. Where do you like to read?
I love reading on trains during my commute, also buses too!

And here are my nominees for this award, I know I’m supposed to pick ten but I wasn’t sure of who else to tag. So if anyone who’s reading this wants to do this tag, then go ahead. Anyways here are the two bloggers that I nominate:

Shipa @ Sukasa Reads
Grace @ Texan in Tokyo

Here are my ten questions:

1. What are you currently reading?
2. What is one book that you didn’t get to this year but will definitely get to in 2015?
3. What’s your favourite thing about being a blogger?
4. What’s one thing that other bloggers may not know about you?
5. What country would you most like to visit and why?
6. What is one book that you think everyone should read? Besides your own.
7. Besides blogging what else do you like to do?
8. What TV shows are you addicted to right now?
9. What’s your dream job?
10. Do you have any daily rituals you do everyday to start off the day? If so what are they?

Words of Mystery’s Favourite Books of 2014

This year I was incredibly fortunate to be in touch with so many great people in publishing who gave me the opportunity to read so many amazing books. So I thought I’d share some of my favourite books (in no particular order) that I read this year. Keep in mind that I had an insanely hard time narrowing the list down to 10, as there were so many great books that I read in 2014. Anyways here’s to 2015, being an even better year of books!

1. Mãn by Kim Thùy (my review)

Mãn
Although I loved Ru slightly more than Mãn, this book still was such a beautiful book and as a foodie I loved the mentions and descriptions of food. I also loved how the chapters were both in Vietnamese and English. I was fortunate enough to meet Kim Thùy this year and was pleasantly surprised at how friendly and approachable she was.

 

2. Faceoff edited by David Baldacci (my review)
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Hands down this was my favourite Mystery Monday pick of 2014. I mean most of my favourite thriller/mystery writers and their characters in one book? It was just a perfect collaboration and short story collection.

3. My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins (my review)

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I loved the holiday season, and I love a good love story so this book definitely made my favourites list for 2014. The best part of this book, was how the stories just kept getting better and better.

4. Haze by Paula Weston ( authour guest post)

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As someone who is known for basically only reading contemporary young adult fiction and barely any other genre when it comes to YA, this book may seem like an odd choice. However I found this series so far extremely addicting, and the characters and their back stories so compelling. I CANNOT wait for the next book in the series to come out in Canada and if there’s a blog tour for that book I would LOVE to be part of it. (Hint, hint)

5.  The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson (my review)

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This book is awesome, I love the dark humour and the wacky characters. Overall it was a fun and unpredictable ride.

6. Open Road Summer by Emery Lord (my review)

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Another contemporary YA novel, this one is actually a debut novel from Emery Lord. I love the friendship in the book and the romance was nice as well. Cannot wait for Emery Lord’s next book!

7. Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson

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I kind of grew up on historical fiction (in addition to classics) so of course I had to put one on my list. I love this book not only for the love story but also because it’s the story of a woman breaking free from tradition and finding her own way in the world during a time where women of her position were only supposed to marry and start a family.

8. The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce (my review)

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After reading Harold Fry’s story, I just knew I would love Queenie’s story and I was right! Though heartbreaking it was also an uplifting story about life and love filled with hope.

9. Listen to the Squawking Chicken: A Daughter’s Blueprint for Life from the Mother Who Thinks She Knows Best by Elaine Lui (my review)

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This one was definitely relatable, and it made me feel that I was not alone in having a hilariously overbearing mom who I do love.

10. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

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My first Murakami novel, and it did not disappoint! I’m hoping to get around to reading Norwegian Wood by him some time next year.

So what are your favourite reads of 2014? Feel free to chime in below.