Favourite Reads of 2020

2020 was an odd year for reading. I usually read on average a book or two a week. This year I went through phases were I didn’t read for ages then I read five books in a week. So I thought I’d share a few of my favourites from the past twelve months.

They are in no particular order. (Well, technically I’ve put them in alphabetical order)

  • A Match Made for Thanksgiving by Jackie Lau
  • Demons Do It Better by Louisa Masters
  • Finding Joy by Adriana Herrera
  • Knit One, Girl Two by Shira Glassman
  • Once Ghosted, Twice Shy by Alyssa Cole
  • Rafe by Rebekah Weatherspooon
  • The Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries series by Kerry Greenwood – No lie, I read the entire series about three times this year.
  • Thicker Than Water by Becca Seymour

What about you?

What were some of your favourite reads this year?

The Romance of History

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My guilty pleasures often include reading a lot of Regency Romances and watching period films such as Persuasion and The Golden Bowl, or TV mini-series like, Downton Abbey and The Tudors.  I love the glitz and glamour of it all.  I do also enjoy injecting my pleasures with small doses of reality every once in a while.

Historical romances whether in written form or film all tend to gild the lily on what life was really like in whatever time period they are representing.  It’s enjoyable, but gives us a rose-tinted view of what history was truly like.

My hubby and I recently watched a fascinating BBC mini-series from 2001 called The Manor House.  They took a family along with twelve other volunteers and moved them into an estate house for a three month experiment where they all had to live as Edwardians.  From clothing to food to everything, it all centered around them living life as it was in the early 1900s.

The family became nouveau riche, titled and waited on hand and foot.  The other twelve volunteers became their servants from butler down to scullery maid.  It was a true glimpse at what life in a Downton Abbey style home would be like.  And it was nothing like the TV show.

It was fascinating to watch modern minds struggle with life in the 1900s.  The upstairs folk, naturally, handled it better.  The downstairs servants struggled with the inequality of it all.  I found it really intriguing to watch.

Three months really gave them long enough to truly immerse themselves into the roles they were playing.

It’s definitely worth watching if you’re at all interested in period films/romances.

The Reading List – July

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My Kindle Unlimited reading list for July.  It’s a little more varied than some of my previous finds.

1. The Tidy Closet 

Doesn’t everyone need tips for keeping their closet organized?

2. Dark Quartet: The Story of the Brontes.

I loved Jane Eyre, and the Brontes; story has always fascinated me.

3. The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen

Jacques Pepin is one of my all time favourite chefs.  His story is fascinating.

4. Wind, Sand & Stars

I adore The Little Prince, but I’d never read any other books by the author so I thought I’d pick up this one.  I wasn’t disappointed.

5. 1,000 Years of Annoying the French

With a title like that, it was impossible not to want to read it.

6. As Always, Julia

Julia Child. What else do I need to say? I think I’d read every book about her aside from this one.

7. Shakespeare’s Sonnets

This one was for research.  If I were buying it, I  would’ve picked a different one.

8. A Man with a Pan

I read A LOT of cookbooks, chef’s memoirs, etc. I might be a tad bit obsessed with it.

9. A Love Poem Collection

Also for research.

The Reading List

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I didn’t read as much in May as I’d hoped to.  That’s the trouble with writing, sometimes I forget to take a break and read.  Here’s what I’m hoping to read in June from my Kindle Unlimited list:

1. The Paper Magician by Charlie Holmberg

2. How to Talk Dirty (It’s a writing reference, I promise.=) )

3. 3-Day Guide to Dublin (also for research).

4. Dublin by Locals (also for research).

5. Inheriting Romance

What do you hope to read this month?

The Reading List: April

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The books I’m reading from Kindle Unlimited this month:

1. The Rebel Earl

2. A Wilder Rose

3. Royal date

4. 65 House Cleaning Hacks

Useful, but nothing to write home about.

5. Cleaning and Organizing Hacks

See above lol.

6. Furniture and Draperies in the era of Jane Austen

It basically covers a lot of what would’ve been in Ackerman’s during the time.  Fascinating.

7. Letters from the Heart

8. Jane Austen and Food

Completely and totally fascinating if you’re as obsessed as I am with Jane Austen and the Regency era.

9. All Roads Lead to Austen

The Reading List

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This month, I’m reading:

1. Nothing Left Sacred – I’m always up for a good book on the Tudors

2. Anne’s Wardrobe – pretty light reading, but a fascinating look into Tudor times.

3. The Blood of the Fifth Knight – Haven’t read yet.

4. Katherine Howard: A New History – I don’t tend to read a lot about Henry’s fifth wife, so this was fascinating.

5. Helen of Sparta – Haven’t read yet.

6. The Marriage Mart – Have I mentioned I adore a good Regency Romance? I really do.

7.TBD

8. TBD

9. TBD

 


 

Last Month’s List:

1. The Creation of Anne Boleyn – Finished

2. Make Mine a Ranger – Finished

3. Cotswolds Memoir – Still Reading.

4. Edward III: The Perfect King – Finished

5. Frugal and Delicious – Finished

6. An Inconvenient Ward – Finished

7. Seal The Deal Finished

8. The Stolen Crown – DNF

9. A Love Most Dangerous – Finished

The Reading List

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This month, I’m reading:

1. The Creation of Anne Boleyn – Fascinating. Not my favourite Anne Boleyn book, but I enjoyed parts of it.  What I didn’t care for is how the book seemed to be an endless complaint about other Tudor historical authors.  It got to be a bit annoying and turned me off of the book.

2. Make Mine a Ranger – sexy military men? What can I say, my weakness.  Great book, might have to read the others in the series.

3. Cotswolds Memoir – I added this one because I’m going to be working on Judy & Carl at some point, and I think that’s where they’re going to go.

4. Edward III: The Perfect King – (To be read)

5.  Frugal and Delicious – Interesting, but…not sure how much of it I’d actually use.

6. An Inconvenient Ward – I’m a sucker for a good Regency romance.

7. Seal The Deal (To be read)

8. The Stolen Crown – I wanted to enjoy this, I really did. But the first person POV just…felt really awkward.

9. A Love Most Dangerous –  (To be read)


Last Month’s List:

1. Perseverance (Finished)

2. The Everything Zen Book (Still Reading – there was no way I was reading this in a month lol.)

3. Waking Up Catholic (Finished)

4. Sweating Sickness in a Nutshell (Finished)

5. To Marry an English Lord (Finished)

6. The Fiction Writer’s Book of Checklists (Finished)

7. The Yuletide Countess (Finished)

8. Kitchen Confidential (DNF)

9. Katherine (Finished)