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.

The 10 Best Books I Read in 2019

The Mountain Master of Sha Tin by Ian Hamiton

The latest book in Ian Hamilton’s Ava Lee series has the titular protagonist facing off against the man who has tried to kill her. After a bit of a letdown with The Goddess of Yantai, The Mountain Master of Sha Tin has won me back to the series.

“First Fai and now May are telling me to be careful, Ava thought. Was it a coincidence, or was fate warning her?”

Read the review

The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai

Alisha Rai has quickly become one of the authours whose books I immediately jump on when they become available. The Right Swipe is Rhiannon’s (the badass sister of Gabriel from the Forbidden Hearts series) story, and it did not disappoint!

“I was thinking…ninety-nine percent of the time, immediate block for ghosting, right? This might be the .01 percent time when a ghost wasn’t being a total cowardly dog.”

Read the review

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

A lot of people have been fans of Jasmine Guillory, however The Wedding Party was the first book of hers that I really got into. I love Maddie and Theo’s back and forth banter and the romance that develops is very sweet as well. Also considering both are besties with Alexa (the protagonist of The Wedding Date), hilarity ensues as they try to hide what they’re doing from her.

“What the fuck was wrong with her? Was there some sort of force field around Theo’s apartment that led straight to his bed? Was there an invisible sign when you turned onto his street that said in big letters BAD DECISION CENTRAL? How had she ended up in his bed again?”

Read the review

Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle Lim

If you’re a foodie than this book is a must read! Natalie Tan’s Book Of Luck And Fortune has been has been compared to Chocolat. And TV rights have already been sold for this debut! Despite the various lists its been on Natalie Tan’s Book Of Luck And Fortune isn’t really a romance, but rather it’s a heartwarming story about family (both blood and chosen) and of a community coming together.

“Nothing made me happier than the act of cooking. My happiest memories were of spending time in the kitchen with Ma-ma as we prepared our meals. The best cooks doubled as magicians, uplifting moods and conjuring memories through the medium of food.”

Read the review | Read my Q & A with Roselle Lim

Frankly in Love by David Yoon

Fans of John Green’s books may enjoy David Yoon’s debut novel as his writing in Frankly in Love reminds me a lot of Green’s writing style. But more than that I love how Yoon portrays both the love and dysfunction that bond immigrant families together as well as just how tricky it can be growing up as a teenager with immigrant parents in America.

“You have a Chinese boy problem. I have this white girl problem. Our parents have these big, huge blind spots-racist blind spots-in their brains. What if we used those blind spots to our advantage?”

Read the review

Happy Go Money by Melissa leong

I love Melissa Leong’s financial segments on The Social and was really looking forward to her book. Combining happiness and psychological research with financial advice, this book’s an easy to digest read about personal finance.

“You work hard for your money. It should make you happy. You deserve that.”

Read the review

There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandya Menon

I loved When Dimple Met Rishi, and it wasn’t until There’s Something About Sweetie that I found a new favourite Sandhya Menon book. Once you get to know her, it’s easy to see why Ashish and pretty much everyone else falls in love with Sweetie!

“No. It’s not. When I walk down the road, people immediately make judgments about me based on my body size. That doesn’t happen to you guys, no matter how self-conscious you might be about your bodies. You’re still thin, and you get to exist in spaces without constantly being found wanting.”

Read the review

Song of the Crimson Flower by Julie C. Dao

Song of the Crimson Flower is my second Julie C. Dao book, the first being Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix. Of her three books, Song of the Crimson Flower is without a doubt my favourite! Love the gorgeous and lyrical setting and writing and the stubborn but feisty heroine.

“Tam never saw you the way I did. He never valued your kindness, your generosity. Your love and respect for your family. I see you. I see you, Lan.”

Read the review

A Dangerous Engagement by Ashley Weaver

I’ve been getting back into mysteries again and my go to has been cozies and historical mysteries. What I love about most mystery series is that you don’t have to start at the beginning of the series to enjoy the book. A Dangerous Engagement is your typical husband and wife as amateur sleuths duo set during the 1920s a time of gangsters and the Prohibition.

“Focus on the wedding details before you look for a mystery, Amory, I told myself. There would be plenty of time for that later.”

Read the review

Our Wayward fate by Gloria Chao

Maybe it’s because I’m not Chinese, but I’m not really familiar with the story of The Butterfly Lovers. Taking me by surprise, I related to Ali Chu’s story of being one of the few Asian people in my school and neighbourhood. And while it took some time for me to get really into the story, I did like the relationship between Ali and Chase and all the secrets it brought out not only about their families but about the Taiwanese-American community.

“Don’t you care that this is what everyone expects?” I blurted. “That this is fulfilling every stereotype? You said yourself you hated how they all asked if you knew me.”

Read the review




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

Top Ten Tuesdays | Top Ten Best Books of 2016

TTT Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesdays | Top Ten Best Books of 2016”

Top Ten Tuesdays | Top Ten Favorite 2016 Releases


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

Top Ten Favorite 2016 Releases So Far This Year (in no particular order)

1. The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem by Sarit Yishai-Levi; Translated Anthony Berris


Having read this book as an e-galley, I loved how it portrayal dysfunctional relationships between mother and daughters.

2. The Princeling of Nanjing (Ava Lee #8) by Ian Hamilton


Action packed and thrilling, this latest installment in the Ava Lee series is a great addition to the series.

3. Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1) by Cassandra Clare

lady midnight

Okay I’ll admit that I’ve never been a Cassandra Clare fan so I was surprised that I really enjoy Lady Midnight. I adored the Emma and Julian as well as Mark and Cristina. The prose was gorgeous and the dialogue was witty and hilarious at times. There were also alot of kick butt and swoony scenes. And while I’m terrified as to what will happen in the next book, I definitely will be picking up Lord of Shadows.

4. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson


I love YA Contemporary as a genre, yet until The Unexpected Everything Morgan Matson’s books have never been my cup of tea. Still, I’m glad I gave The Unexpected Everything  a chance as I LOVED how friendships were portrayed in this book as well as the father daughter relationship in the book, something that we don’t see too much of in YA.

5. Burn by Paula Weston


After like three years, we finally get the answers we’ve been seeking. Often series finales can be a let down, but Burn managed to provide a satisfying conclusion with enough loose ends for a spin off.

6. All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation by Rebecca Traister


I’ve been constantly searching for a book that perfectly captures the single person experience and this book did the job. (granted I didn’t actually read it, rather I listened to the audiobook of it) Anyways, I loved how we get to see so many different types of women with varied experiences, and how in the end we find out that someone of them are still single by choice and remain happily so.

7. Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles #4.5) by Marissa Meyer


Okay this one is a given considering my love for Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series. And yes I will confess that when I finally got a copy of this book (thank you, Christine) I immediately skipped to the epilogue and yes it was soooo worth it (although I do wish we could have seen more a certain couple) however Stars Above had so much more to offer in addition to the epilogue and the short stories that had been previously released as there are a couple of other new short stories. Thus if you’re a fan of the series and were dying for more of your favourite characters after Winter, then this book is a must buy for your personal library!

8. Pen & Palate: Mastering the Art of Adulthood, with Recipes by Lucy Madison and Tram Nguyen


A collection of some of the illustrations and blog post from the Pen & Palates blog, this book really spoke to me because I could relate to so much of the stories of both girls.

9. When We Collided by Emery Lord



I love Emery Lord books, and this one was no exception. Though slightly different from her previous two books, this one is just as poignant and beautiful.

10. Mother, Can You Not? by Kate Siegel


Another book that I audiobooked. This one’s perfect for those of us who are super tight with out moms to the point where others may think the relationships with have with our moms are slightly crazy and dysfunctional.

Top Ten Tuesdays | Top Ten Best Books I Read In 2015


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

Top Ten Best Books I Read In 2015 (in no particular order)

1. After the War is Over by Jennifer Robson (review)


I loved Somewhere in France , and I was beyond excited to get to review its sequel. Fortunately for me the sequel met and even exceeded my expectations!

2. China Rich Review by Kevin Kwan (review)


Not going to lie, this was my most anticipated ARC of 2015 and I squealed when I got it! I loved China Rich Girlfriend almost as much as I loved Crazy Rich Asians and I CANNOT wait for the third book and movie adaption to come!

3. The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny (review)


Louise Penny is back! And her latest novel offers new twists and thrills and perhaps signals a new story arc? Either way I cannot wait until her next book!

4. I Am Her Revenge by Meredith Moore (review)


I love a good revenge story, and this one’s probably the best YA revenge novel I’ve read so far.

5. Hungry Ghosts by Peggy Blair (review)


Hungry Ghosts  is probably my favorite book in the Inspector Ramirez series, and the next installment is definitely on my must read list for 21016!

6. The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord


I LOVED Open Road Summer, and the premise of Emery Lord’s sophomore novel seemed promising. And while Open Road Summer remains my favourite Emery Lord novel, The Start of Me and You definitely solidify Emery Lord as one of my favourite authours.

7. Winter by Marissa Meyer


Rarely does a series finale feel satisfying, however Winter exceeded my expectations and was overall an action packed and thrilling read that I could not put down. It was definitely worth the wait as it truly gave readers the conclusion that they desired to this much beloved series and I’m definitely going to be picking up the short story collection in 2016. (though mostly for the epilogue, lol)

8.  Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (review)


While I am the minority in saying that Grisha trilogy wasn’t my cup of tea, I’m happy to report that Six of Crows was a book that I adored. Though it started off slow, it eventually drew me into the world and its sequel The Crooked Kingdom is definitely up there on my ARC wishlist for 2016!

9. Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling (review)


Loved Mindy’s last book, and this one is just as entertaining. Its always cool to get a behind the scenes look at the world of Hollywood and TV.

10. The Year We Apart by Emily Martin* (out in 2016)


Okay so technically this one isn’t out until January 2016, but I couldn’t resist. I love the whole trope of best friends who get a relationship upgrade. However, this book is so much more. It accurately portrays how people deal with a tough situation at home which is nice because while its unfortunate its not uncommon for people to spiral downwards and act out of character as a result of stress when it appears that everything they do doesn’t seem to make things better. I highly recommend YA contemporary fans to check this book out when it comes out in the new year.

Top Ten Tuesdays | Christmas Wishlist


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

Top Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing This Year

1. New York 1, Tel Aviv 0 by Shelly Oria


The trailer and synopsis for this novel looks interesting, and having lived in Tel Aviv I am curious to see how it is portrayed in the title story in this collection of short stories.


2. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman


I love stories of people who are cranky and bitter on the outside but are really not bad people on the inside, and I would love to see how this story turns out.


3. Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny


My first Louise Penny book was A Trick of the Light, and from there on I just kept moving forward with her books. However I would love to go back and read her older books in the Inspector Gamache series, starting with the one right before A Trick of the Light.


4. The Humans by Matt Haig


This book has been on my to be read list since it first came out, though I’ve never gotten around to it. However if I had my own copy I would probably get to it sooner.


5. Gallows View by Peter Robinson


At a Louise Penny event, I met a woman who asked me who my favourite mystery writers were and when I told her, she recommended that I look into Peter Robinson, and what better way than to start with the first book in his well known Inspector Banks series.


6. After the War Is Over by Jennifer Robson


I LOVED Jennifer Robson’s Somewhere in France, and I would love this book as I really want to know what happens next as well as what happens to Charlotte who was a very interesting side character in .Somewhere in France. Technically this book doesn’t come out until early January and I think I was supposed to get an ARC of it. Still if somehow I got a copy, it would be awesome!


7. The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan


I read an ARC of this book and really enjoyed it. It would be even better if I got a finished copy of the book.


8.  All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews


This book has been on my wishlist since it came out as it is about a topic close to my heart. After seeing it be on a couple Canadian award lists, I want it even more.


9. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai, Christina Lamb


This story is such an inspiring one, and good education for girls and boys everywhere is a cause that I am very passionate about.


10. The Temporary Bride by Jennifer Klineco


I read an excerpt of this book in an issue of Chatelaine magazine, and it really intrigued me. Plus I always love books that involve travel, food and love.

Top Ten Tuesdays…Top Books I’ve Read This Year (so far)


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far This Year.

This year has gotten off to a pretty decent start so it was a bit tough picking out my top ten reads, but here they are (in no particular order). I think I also got a good variety in the end.

1. Listen To The Squawking Chicken by Elaine Lui (my review)


2. No Relation by Terry Fallis (my review)


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

open road

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


5. Paris Letters by Janice Macleod (my review)


6. Blood Always Tells by Hilary Davidson (my review)


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


8. The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson


9. The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld


10. How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying by Carol Leifer




Top Ten Tuesdays…Goals for 2014


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

Top Ten Goals/Resolutions For 2014

Like many people, I’m not very good at setting and working towards goals so most of the time I don’t bother setting them however I am trying to change that. So here are some of my resolutions for 2014, both bookish and non-bookish.

1. Put more effort into my job search

2. Figure out what I want to do.

3. Emphasize quality over quantity when it comes to writing my reviews.

4. Connect more with other book bloggers on social media and through more commenting

5. Get through all my books on my to be read shelf

6. Read at least one classic novel

7. Read at least 50 books, and actually keep track of my 50 book pledge progress consistently

8. Practice better sleep habits, no sleeping with my iPad beside me (okay maybe sleep with beside me it less)

9. Finally attempt to connect with the one publisher that I’ve been dying to work with

10. Make time to read more for pleasure aka read books that I don’t need to review after unless I really want to