2021 · Reviews

5 Star Reads of 2020

2020 was definitely the year that I got into reading. As much as I enjoyed it in the past, it was something I didn’t do enough of and I wanted to change that. There are 6 different books which got a 5 star rating from me on Goodreads (you can follow me here) and I thought I would share them, give a little summary and share a mini review! I’m finally joining the world of book bloggers! I hope you enjoyed this blog post and if you want to see more book related blog posts, let me know! Without further ado, let’s get to it.

The 7 books I’ll be talking about are:

  • The Hunting Party – Lucy Foley
  • Unnatural Causes: The Life & Many Deaths of Britain’s Top Forensic Pathologist – Richard Shepherd
  • Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli
  • Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • Me & White Supremacy: How to Recognise your Privilege, Combat Racism & Change the World – Layla F.Saad
  • Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit – John E Douglas, Mark Olshaker

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

Set in a remote lodge in Scotland, The Hunting Party tells the story of a group of friends in their thirties at a get together for New Year’s Eve. A body is discovered and it soon becomes apparent that there’s a murderer among the friends.

I really enjoyed this book a lot. It was a really tense experience with some suspenseful moments that kept me gripped. I adore the way the book is written, with points of view from each different character. I also like the fact you’re unsure on who the victim is straightaway so there’s 2 mysteries in one here: who’s the victim and who’s the murderer? There were a few twists as well which I didn’t see coming and I thought Foley did a brilliant job establishing the characters and the friendship they have!

Unnatural Causes: The Life & Many Deaths of Britain’s Top Forensic Pathologist by Richard Shepherd

Unnatural Causes is all about the forensic pathologist, Dr Richard Shepherd. It goes into detail about his life, as well as his profession and the many cases he’s been involved in. Shepherd talks about facing serial killers, natural disasters, accidents, murders and more.

This was such a fascinating read from me. As someone who likes true crime, it was intriguing to get the perspective from someone else about various cases rather than someone who’s writing from an outside perspective or a detective. I also learned a lot during this book but it wasn’t boring. It was entertaining, compassionate and engrossing.

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli

Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda is about a 16 year old boy called Simon. Simon is hesitant about coming out. He meets an online figure known as blue and one day, these emails fall into the wrong hands. Everything is complicated and he doesn’t want that information out yet.

I cried reading this book. I absolutely loved the ending and how relatable the entire book was. It was funny, heart-warming and also had that element of awkwardness that the majority of us go through as we’re growing up. Of course, this book ended up on screens in the form of Love, Simon which I still haven’t seen yet. Oops.

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

Back in 2014, Eddo-Lodge wrote a blog post about her frustration with way race and racism was being discussed by those not affected by it in Britain. That blog post was entitled “Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race.” It went viral and Eddo-Lodge decided to did deep and expand to create the book.

This was a very informative book for me. I learned a lot reading this, with various subjects covered, such as perception of race in the UK, institutional racism, white privilege, class and more. I thought I knew things about British history but this book touches on many things I had no idea about. It’s written very well too and I would highly recommend it.

Me & White Supremacy: How to Recognise your Privilege, Combat Racism & Change the World by Layla F.Saad

Me and White Supremacy initially started as an Instagram Challenge. After lots of people took part, the book was made. It offers a guide to people on how to dismantle the privilege within themselves so that they can stop inflicting damage on people of colour, as well as help others do better too.

I didn’t know too much about this book going in but I was pleasantly surprised to see that there were journal prompts at the end of each chapter. The book is structured so that you read a chapter and then journal everyday for 28 days. I learned a lot reading this, not just about societal issues but me as a person and what I can do. It’s thoughtful and a brilliant read.

Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit by John E Douglas, Mark Olshaker

John Douglas is a former FBI Agent specialising in criminal profiling. Criminal profiling is all about understanding why someone killed and preventing more innocent lives being ended, as well as creating a profile for suspects in order to catch the perpetrator. Mindhunter shows how this task force turned into something elite and also the cases Douglas was involved in, as well as his interviews with serial killers to gain an understanding.

I knew of this book after watching Mindhunter on Netflix and I have to say, even though the show was incredible, I preferred the book. This was a book I read rather quickly and I couldn’t put down. It goes into so much detail and is absolutely fascinating.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post! It was something a little bit different for me but I loved writing it!

Love Beth

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8 thoughts on “5 Star Reads of 2020

  1. I think I will like the Hunting Party. I never read suspense books before. I’m more on suspense/detective movies but the experience may be different if it’s through the book I guess. Nice book list!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ugh, Simon Vs The Homosapiens Agenda is literally one of my favourite books of all time! I’m so glad to see you loved it too because I just love it so so much! I read it back at the beginning of 2018 and I still think about it all the time. I’m actually planning on rereading it very soon because I’m currently watching Love, Victor on Disney+ which is a spin-off series inspired by the movie/book which is equally as delightful!

    Liked by 1 person

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