Top Five Books I’ve Read This Year

2020 was my year of Urban Fantasy reads, with side quests to Fantasy and Science Fiction. I’ve read 84 books this year (, and will read more. This list is comprised of books that I’ve read over the course of 2020, not ones published this year.

Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler

This was a reread. I first encountered this book many years ago. It was written in 1993, but is very contemporary. I started this book back in February before we realized how truly awful the pandemic would be. I don’t think I would be in a place to read this book if I opened it a few months later. It is dark and borders on torture porn in some parts. The book is about a dystopia where corporations basically own you because they provide all the food, shelter, and protection from the violence erupting due to extreme poverty and other circumstances that seem ripped out of the headlines of today.
There is a thread of hope woven throughout that kept me reading. The main character, who is knowledgeable about many things like foraging and planting, and has created her own religion “change”, repeats throughout the story, “I will survive.”
I highly recommend this book because it gives a very real possibility of what this country can become if we keep going at the same trajectory.

Magical Midlife Dating by K.F. Breene

This is the second book in the Leveling Up series and part of the Paranormal Women’s Fiction genre, a growing subgenre of Urban Fantasy. I laughed so hard I cried reading this book. In this series, Jacinta is a middle aged woman, whose son is in college and ex-husband decided to go through a midlife crisis and split. She’s drawn to the magical house she visited as a child and becomes the caretaker of Ivy House, lifting the veil to the supernatural world and hilarity as well as high stakes ensue. This series, and all of the series by the Fab 13 (13 original authors of the PWF genre), have given me life through 2020. They’re a sweet reprieve from all the chaos.

Iron and Magic by Ilona Andrews

Leave to me to be introduced into the Kate Daniel series world by the antagonist’s redemption arc. It was hard for you to forgive Hugh? It was easy for me to reconcile the broken man that still comes off as an arrogant ass in this book with the complete douche canoe in the KD series. I ended up reading all ten of the Kate Daniels books, the unrelated but super cool Innkeeper books, and Burn for Me.

(Let it be known, I love Beauty and the Beast retellings, especially when the beauty is not a damsel in distress, but actually the monster. Give me your recommendations in the comments.)

Crescent City by Sarah J. Maas

I’m forty-five year old a Maas fan (feysand forever). This book had a battle scene that was so well-written, so wrought with emotion, that I cried. I don’t cry during battle scenes in fantasy. I rage or worry. This book was so damned good. The world excellently crafted. The characters, vibrant. Plus fae, werewolves, and angels living out in the open. Yes, please.

Damned Souls and a Sangria by Annette Marie

This is the eighth and final book in the Guild Codex: Spellbound series. Because of this series, I’ve read all of Annette Marie’s books except the Red Winter Trilogy (I know. I know. I’ve heard how good it is.). Tori is a mundane. She does not have an ounce of magic in her but she gets by her wits, cunning, and stubbornness, not to mention three mages that she might mention are hot like a thousand times in a thousand ways. I thought the series was also kinda cool because it takes place in Vancouver, Canada, not a US city. Annette Marie is a top tier indie author with traditionally published grade writing.

I’ve read so many good books, it was hard to pare down to five recommendations. If you’d like to see my full reading list, reviews, and star rankings go here:


Photo by Janko Ferlic on

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