2020’s Top Reads
For 2020, I set myself a goal: 365 books (It’s not unheard of for me to read more than this in a year). I didn’t bother setting a “X# Reviews” goal, however, since I’ve been known to fail miserably at those goals whenever I’m focusing on my business. I guess this is the year I COULD have written 52 reviews, with Covid, and all. I just didn’t. 😀
As of December 25th, I did read 365 books. Of those, 300 got five out of five stars from me. So this post is a summary review of the MOST awesome books.
The Wizard’s Butler, by Nathan Lowell
If you’ve been following me for a bit, you’ll have figured out that I’m a huge Nathan Lowell fan. Multiple reasons why, but one of the big ones is that he’s just so thorough in his world-building! Whether it’s space opera or fantasy, Nathan builds the most vivid worlds. Even when he turns his hand to urban fantasy.
The Wizard’s Butler is NOT high adrenaline, action packed urban fantasy. Of course not; it’s Nathan Lowell. What it IS is a lot of fun. Pixies and Brownies and a man who claims to be a wizard, oh my! From the moment we meet Roger Mulligan, until the very last page, I thoroughly loved every second of this book. Enough that I personally asked Nathan, while I was having dinner with him before the lockdown began, to please, please, please write some more in this world. He told me he’s working on co-authoring a book with his daughter, though (Yay! Can’t wait!). Maybe when he’s done with that high fantasy project, he’ll return to this one. Hopefully. We’ll see. (Pretty please, dear friend?)
The Sherlock Holmes Book, by DK
A book I stumbled upon is The Sherlock Holmes Book. I’m not 100% sure how I found this one. I think it might have shown up in one of my audiobook newsletters. No matter how I found it, I highly recommend it.
This book is the definitive source on all things Sherlock Holmes. It’s part biography of Arthur Conan Doyle, part analysis of every Sherlock story, part listing of every spin-off and various media versions of Sherlock. It made me realize I’d missed a few of the short stories that weren’t in any of the collections I own. I’ll have to track them down now. And it also gave me a list of movies that I’d like to find and watch. I also have a great desire to re-watch all of BBC’s Sherlock now. 😀 I learned an awful lot from this book, even though I thought I was rather well-versed in all things Sherlock. I enjoyed it immensely, even if it’s a very, very long book. Since I listened to the audio, I can tell you that Dominic Thorburn’s voice is very pleasant to listen to for hours on end.
The Brass Queen by Elizabeth Chatsworth
I don’t post reviews of books I work on. So this isn’t a review. 😀 But, seriously, guys, go buy this book. James A. Owens did the artwork, so the print version would be well worth the extra cost. And Elizabeth herself narrated the audiobook, which I really enjoyed. Go. Buy now.
Oh, you want to know what it’s about? Steampunk. Invisible assassins. A charming arms dealer. A cowboy spy. Really, do you need to know more than that? Watch the really awesome book trailer here.
While I did read many, many books this year, I have to admit that the majority of my reading that wasn’t for work (which I don’t write reviews for) was focused primarily on two series. These two authors have libraries that are about a million miles long. I went back through (because, let’s face it; I’ve read most of these books many times before) their series this year.
Lexie Blake now has a printable book list (click the tab at the top) with what order to read every single one of her books in. Re-reading some of my favorites, and discovering some of her newer books or lesser known spinoff series was a lot of fun. And, most of it can be heard in the Audible subscription package. Though, I highly encourage you to actually BUY all audio books. (This is not a discussion of ACX’s current piratey practices.) Most of her books narrated by Ryan West or Sebastian York. (You all know I love them both so much.) The spin off series set in Louisiana has Jessica Almasy, who I’d never heard before. Jessica is truly talented.
And with the release of the two newest (long awaited) Dresden books, I also did a re-listen on all Jim Butcher books (who can resist James Marsters?). If you’ve not had the chance to catch up on that series yet, do so! If you want to try some urban fantasy because you’ve been wondering what that’s all about, definitely read this series. Did you know Harry Dresden’s been around for 20 years!?! Yeah. Now I feel old. Here’s a special interview with James and Jim for the double release this summer.
I only post reviews for books I am not connected with. If I beta read or edited the book, or work as a virtual assistant for the author, I do not post a review. However, authors occasionally send me books to review.
Owner, Adriel Wiggins Author Services and Consulting
Hello! I’m Adriel Wiggins, wife, mother of three, bibliophile, art geek, and all around student. I’ve been on a quest all of my life to learn as much as I possibly can about everything I possibly can. This has helped me tremendously in what eventually became my life’s purpose: to help other people become the best version of themselves. It is in that line that I became an assistant.
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