My Favourite Books of 2020…So Far

I cannot believe it is already September and that there is less than four months until 2020 is over. It’s been a crazy year, that is for sure.

Today, I wanted to share my favourite books I’ve read during 2020…so far. Warning, this will probably be a short list because I’ve been in a HUGE reading slump since May. Nonetheless, I have read some good books so let’s talk about them!

Here are my favourite books of 2020…so far.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A Novel eBook: Reid, Taylor Jenkins:  Amazon.ca: Kindle Store

If you follow my blog, you know Reid’s other book, Daisy Jones and the Six, is one of my all-time favaourite books. However, I do love The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo too. This story follows the life of Evelyn Hugo, an actress from the 50s who has finally allowed a reporter to come in and write the story of her life. Something she has never shared before. It is such an addicting story and I am pretty sure I read it in like three or so days. A lot of people prefer this over Daisy Jones, but I just love movies or books following bands from the 60s and 70s which is why it’s my favourite. This book still gauged an easy 4.5/5 stars from me though.

Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare

Amazon.com: The Last Hours: Chain of Gold (9781406358094): Clare,  Cassandra: Books

Who saw this coming? Everyone, probably. Of course, Chain of Gold is on my favourites list because it was just amazing. Once I finish all the books I am halfway through (and have been for months), I am dying to give this book a re-read. Chain of Gold is the first book in another prequel to The Mortal Instruments and The Dark Artifices series, but a sequel to The Infernal Devices. It follows the children of The Infernal Devices characters and ugh, I love these new characters so much. I cannot wait for the next book! Honestly, this may be a favourite of all-time! 5/5 stars

The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

It has been a while since I’ve found a new fantasy series that I wanted to explore. I’ve been caught in the vicious cycle of re-reading books, but The Last Magician took me by surprise. On a whim, I picked it up for cheap at a bookstore in Hawaii but I ended up loving it! I had heard good things about it, but I had NO idea what to expect which is why I liked it so much I think. It follows Esta, a talented thief who is transported back into 1902 to steal an ancient book. There is an abundance of morally grey characters (which I love) and the story sucked me in once I hit page 100. I highly recommend everyone check it out if you haven’t already! 4.5/5 stars


Like I said, this is a short list because I have only read 20/50 books this year…and most of them have been re-reads (I’ve read Daisy Jones twice this year!). However, I am happy I’ve explored some amazing new books like the ones listed above!

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The Addiction of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Books

Hello!

Happy Friday. My head is buzzing with all the assignments and deadlines I have to meet, but I was inspired to write this specific blog post ever since I finished Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I also just finished The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, another one of Reid’s incredibly praised novels, and I’ve been putting the pieces together on why her books are so hyped and beloved.

Here is what I’ve realized:

The Concept: People Love Reading Books on Other People’s Lives

Call it humankind’s natural curiosity or noisiness, but you cannot deny the fact that people love to know what is going on in other people’s lives – even people they do not know. For example, celebrities. Rarely does the average person know a celebrity, yet we are obsessed with knowing where our favourite celebrity lives, what there cat’s name is, and who they are dating.

Enter, Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books. Specifically, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones and the Six.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – A Snapshot:

See the source image

Evelyn Hugo was the “it-girl” from the 50s-80s; an actress caught up in drama and scandals, and seven marriages to seven different men. Yet, the fine details of her life remain a mystery to the public.

Monique Grant is a low-level reporter working for her big break which comes unexpectedly when Evelyn Hugo asks Monique to be the one who reveals her life story, something no one has had the opportunity to do before. Confused but curious, Monique meets Evelyn and a story of friendship, love, and hardship is revealed. The truth of Evelyn’s life is also woven in and both Evelyn and Monique find themselves having to face it in different ways.

Analysis:

Evelyn Hugo is not a real person, yet this summary of the book makes me want to know about her life…even though the events that take place never actually happened. But people like her have existed. Like Marilyn Munroe, Judy Gardner, and many more who had crazy and tragic lives that the public still gobbles up to this day.

Reid did reveal that this book was based on Elizabeth Taylor and her life: one of many dramas and many husbands, as well as her interactions with a reporter too.

The key points with these books are not only is the reader getting a look at this “famous” person’s wild and mysterious life but that they are getting an inside scoop to that person’s relationships. The public loves to know who dated who and for how long and why they broke up. Including this into a book satisfies that knowledge craves most of us have if not all of us. Before I even got 10 pages into this book, I knew that Monique’s first question was going to be who was Evelyn Hugo’s greatest love?

Daisy Jones and the Six- A Snapshot:

See the source image

Written in an interview format, Daisy Jones and the Six follows the iconic band from the 70s with the same name. Decades after the band split up after their first show as this beloved group, the members have come together to recount their rise to success. Addicting and heart-wrenching, this book covers the edgy and dangerous life led during the 70s in Los Angeles and the relationships that formed between the bandmates. Daisy Jones and the Six is an excellent representation of the saying that “nothing is ever as it seems”.

Analysis:

Whenever I listen to a new artist or band, I always dive straight into their personal lives and histories. I can’t help it. Most artists and bands have an incredibly interesting past that led them to stardom and life while they lived through it. Daisy Jones and the Six is a fictional band, but Reid wrote them in such a way that I had to remind myself that they never actually existed. This could be because they had to have been based on bands from around the same time period because the events and drama that happens in Daisy Jones and the Six were not uncommon in bands then.

The anticipation to uncover the band’s secrets (and this is also evident in The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo) was something incredibly well done on Reid’s part. We got a bit of talking from one band member who started to relay a secret before quickly moving onto the next one and learning something about them. This was not in a way that made anything feel drawn out either. Yes, I was anxious to figure out something about one character, but I was just as anxious to discover something about another. Except, Eddie. I could not care for Eddie any less.

The fact that you had to read the entire book (which should be the case for most books too) to fully understand everything from everyone’s lives was fascinating. I loved finishing the book and being able to see how this person’s relationship affected everyone else and their life. For example, the effect of Daisy and Billy’s relationship with Camilla. Speaking of Camilla, another thing Reid does amazingly is to write characters that feel like real people. Camilla leaped off the page just as Daisy, Billy, Graham, etc, etc. Everyone was riddled with flaws and we saw those grow and shrink throughout the mesmerizing story.

That’s how I would describe these two books in all honesty, mesmerizing. I can never put them down when I start them.

That is my analysis of why Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books are so addicting; talking about the undeniable curiosity in humans that her stories feed into. I hope you found this post interesting, and if you have any comments to add then please do!

Also, don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂