πŸ“š Top Ten Tuesday | My Favourite Books of 2020 β­β­β­

Hello my fellow bookworms. Today, I am taking part in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday! A weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, who each week assigns a new topic to inspires us to create a top ten list based on it. This week’s topic is:

Favourite Books of 2020

Now we are in the last few days of 2020, this is the perfect time for us to start reflecting back on a difficult year, where we have needed the wonderful escape of books more than ever. After much deliberation, here are my ten favourite, new-to-me books I have read over this year, in the order I read them:

1. No God But One: Allah or Jesus? by Nabeel QureshiΒ – Back in the schools’ February half-term break, I read this 2016 Christian non-fiction: a follow up book to Qureshi’s brilliant bestseller, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus. In this second book, Muslim to Christian convert, Qureshi analytically compares the origins, similarities, differences and authenticity of these two faiths. A slow read, but once I was about halfway through I was gripped. A fascinating book!

2. The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale – Next, in March, I escaped into this magical, 2018 historical-fiction by a new-to-me author. That follows teenage runaway Cathy as she finds refuge in the marvellous Papa Jack’s Emporium, where they make wondrous, life-like toys, which marvel children and adults alike. I bought this for my mum, who loved it so much she passed it back for me to try, and I loved it, too! A hauntingly, beautiful fairy tale for adults.

Β  Β  Β 

3. Lady Susan by Jane Austen – Later in March, I tucked myself in bed to luxuriate in this 1871 epistolary novella, from a collection of Jane Austen’s short/unfinished works I own. Through a series of letters, it is hilariously revealed what a piece of work the charming, beautiful Lady Susan Vernon really is! While very short, Austen still manages to pack in plenty of her trademark wit and ironic observations into this wickedly fun read.

4. The Problem of Pain by C. S. Lewis – Then at the beginning of April, I finished this classic, 1940 Christian non-fiction by the celebrated Christian author, C S Lewis. In which he lays out his ideas and arguments that pain is not sufficient reason to reject belief in a good and powerful God. A very apt read in the ongoing climate of change, suffering and worry we have suffered this year; and I took a lot of inspiration, hope and comfort from reading it.

Β  Β 

5. Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett – While later in April, I enjoyed reading, in the glorious sunshine out in the garden, this hilarious fourteenth Discworld novel, which was published in 1992. It is also the fourth adventure to feature the wickedly, fun witches: Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magrat; as they deal with elvish mischief in this fantastical parody of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This was just what I needed!

6. The Loving Spirit by Daphne du MaurierΒ – Next, over the sunny April Bank Holiday, I completely lost myself in this enchanting, Gothic modern-classic, which was du Maurier’s debut novel, published in 1931. It chronicles the lives, loves, losses and deaths of the Coombe family over four generations in a small, quiet community on the Cornish coast. A brilliant romantic adventure and family saga, with just a touch of the supernatural.

Β  Β 

7. The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor – After a bit of a dry spell in my reading over June and July, finally in August, I read this charming, 2017 dual-narrative fiction by a new-to-me author. That reimagines the events surrounding the famous β€˜Cottingley Fairies’ photographs, through a long-lost manuscript. A light, sweet and simple tale, that swept me along with the mystery, romance and magic of it all, which was just what I needed.

8. Katharina: Deliverance by Margaret SkeaΒ – Another 2017 release that swept me back in time, to a time of revolutionary, religious reform in 16th century German. This is the first book in a newer historical-fiction series from one of my favourite, modern Christian authors. A fascinating tale told through the eyes of runaway nun, Katharina von Bora, and while it has a nice sedate pace to it, I was gripped from page one!

Β  Β 

9. The Firebird by Susanna KearsleyΒ – Then in October, I threw myself into the brilliant 2013 dual-narrative fiction, The Firebird, by one of my all-time favourite authors. This one is about Nicola Marter, who uses her special β€˜gift’ to look back into the past and discover a tale of love, courage, redemption and the Jacobite rebellion. While I found myself reading slower than I would have like, this was a great, sweeping book, that helped me escape my confinement.

10. Crooked House by Agatha ChristieΒ – Finally, but certainly not least, in the last week of November, I read this 1949 detective fiction novella. This later, stand-alone, mystery and favourite of the β€˜queen of crime’ herself, investigates the poisoning of the wealthy patriarch, Aristide Leonides, which was full of twists, turns and possible suspects! So much so I found it hard to put it down, only doing so when sleep and work made me!

Honorary mentions must also go to my wonderful re-reads of Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy and Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier; the cookbooks,Β Quick Cooking by Mary Berry and The Hairy Bikers’ One Pot Wonders by Si King & Dave Myers; the historical-fictions, The Poison Bed by E. C. Fremantle, Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen by Alison Weir and The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner; and lastly the Christion non-fiction,Β The Bible Jesus Read by Philip Yancey.


Even after what has felt like a difficult, mediocre year of reading, itΒ was still difficult whittling down all my 3-star reads to just ten! For now that’s all folks. Please feel free to share a link in the comments below for your own TTT post for this week, so we can come check it out, and I hope to see you again soon for some more lists and bookish chat! πŸ‘‹πŸ“šπŸ˜ƒ

Now I’d love to hear from you: Have you read any of my choices? What have been your favourite books of 2020?

49 thoughts on “πŸ“š Top Ten Tuesday | My Favourite Books of 2020 β­β­β­

  1. So happy to see the Toymakers made you list – it’s such a lovely tale.
    And there are some great authors on here – DuMaurier just never fails for me and Agatha Christie too.
    Lynn πŸ˜€

    1. Well it is in part thanks to you that I bought The Toymakers for my mum and then subsequently read it for myself, so thank you, Lynn! And yes, du Maurier and Christie are regulars on my favourite lists, while I am good at regularly reading new-to-me books by du Maurier and I am woefully behind on Christie books. In 2021, must do better! 😁

  2. Looks like you read some fabulous books in 2020! I’ve loved all the Terry Pratchett books I’ve read so far, and I really need to read more in 2021. I sort of fell down on reading them in 2020, and there’s so many that I need to keep it up haha. Lords and Ladies is still on my TBR, so I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it!

    1. Thank you, Sammie – I was blessed with some fabulous books in 2020 to help me escape the mad year that is was. I can totally understand how through all that you fell down on reading more of Pratchett’s Discworld books and to be fair there are tonnes of them! I hope you will enjoy Lords and Ladies as much as I did when you have chance to read it. 😁

    1. Thank you, Julie Anna and a Happy New Year to you, too! πŸŽ† I highly recommend checking out more of du Maurier’s novels – My personal favourites are Rebecca, My Cousin Rachel and The House on the Strand, although all of the ones I’ve read have been great! 😁

    1. FF, while my quantity of my reading may have been down, thankfully my quality was certainly not! I was also so pleased to see that Lady Susan was one your highlights of the year, too! 😁

  3. I have not read any C.S. Lewis in a long time and I don’t think I’ve ever read The Problem of Pain. It does indeed seem like a good one for these troubled times, maybe I’ll get to it in 2021. Your list has many temptations on it, glad you had such a good reading year!

  4. Books have been a lifesaver this year for sure. I’ve never read CS Lewis (other than Narnia) but I’m very intrigued by his Christian works. The Cottingley fariies one has me interested, as well, and I need to read more Christie. Looks like you had a very nice reading year!

    1. Considering everything that has been going on, I have had a really nice reading year, Greg.😊 If your interested in C.S. Lewis’ Christian writings you can’t go wrong with starting with his best know Mere Christianity. You may also be interested in Lewis’ epistolary novella, The Screwtape Letters, about two demons! πŸ™‚

  5. Interesting list! I’ve only read one of your top ten and one honorable mention, but I see several others I want to read.

    I hope you read some really good books in the coming new year!

    1. Thank you and you’re welcome πŸ™‚ I hope you will be able to read the brilliant The Loving Spirit in 2021 and that you can get your hands on a copy of Lady Susan, too! 😁

  6. All your Christian non-fiction titles are appealing to me, I’m going through a phase of Christian and self-help books, no real prises for guessing why I suppose. I’m glad you have still found such a variety of books to enjoy despite some fairly tricky surcomstances.

    1. Thank you, Alyson and I completely understand your need for Christian and self-help books this year. I have been the same, which is why two Christian non-fictions made it onto my 2020 list. Here’s to a healthier, happier and easier 2021! πŸ™πŸ™‚

  7. That’s a great list, Jessica! I loved The Firebird and The Loving Spirit too and I already have The Cottingley Secret and Crooked House on my TBR. I’m glad you’ve still managed to enjoy your reading, despite it being such a difficult year.

    1. Thank you so much, Helen – It certainly has been a difficult year, so thank God for all the great books! I hope you will enjoy The Cottingley Secret and Crooked House as much as I did. 😊

  8. I haven’t read any of your list, I’m afraid, but I love the variety as I click through all the “Best of/Favourite” posts. πŸ™‚

    1. While I am sorry you haven’t read any of these great books, I am pleased you are enjoying all the variety you are finding on people’s lists and maybe adding to your wishlist? 😏

  9. Honoured Jessica to have made your top 10 – that made my day!! As for your list – two new books for my tbr – The Cottingley Secret and the Toymakers, and one that was already on my list – the Nabeel Qureshi sequel to Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus; and several authors that are all-time favourites for me – CS Lewis and Daphne du Maurier. Looking forward to hear about your 2021 reading. Margaret

    1. Thank you, Margaret and I am so pleased I could make your day! 😊 You and Katharina definitely deserve your spot on my top 10 this year. πŸ† I hope you will enjoy The Cottingley Secret, The Toymakers and No God But One as much as I did.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.