2020 Favorites

December 25, 2020

2020 was a strange year. Luckily a ton of great books came out and I discovered some new favorites a long the way. Here’s my favorites from throughout the year, in no particular order.

2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clark

This is a classic that doesn’t need a review from the likes of me, but I didn’t expect to read it at all, and definitely didn’t expect to love it so much. I picked this on a whim as part of the new Audible Plus catalog and was not dissapointed. Highly recommend to anyone who hasn’t read this yet.

Blackwater by Michael McDowell

Blackwater was another surprise from Audible. I think I got this for free (or very cheap during a sale) and was constantly engrossed in the story. This story spans several generations of a family and the audio is over 30 hours long but even during the slower points I was hooked.

Crossroads by Laurel Hightower

Crossroads made the all-time favorites list. It’s hard to put into words just how this book made me feel, and if I had to choose a favorite read of the year, this is it. There’s something about “grief horror” and all the feels that come with it. This book will gut you. Review here.

The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson

The Saturday Night Ghost Club is a coming-of-age story that packs an unexpected emotional punch.

When Darkness Loves Us by Elizabeth Engstrom

This is a collection of two novellas that were also suprise hits of 2020. Each story is unique yet involves a great tragedy. This is part of the Paperbacks from Hell collection being reprinted by Valancourt Books. This one has been optioned for film so I hope that it happens!

And Her Smile Will Untether The Universe by Gwendolyn Kiste

This is one of the few collections where every story is a 5 star home run. Gwendolyn Kiste writes unlike any author I’ve ever read. Her prose is dream-like and magical - this is another one that made my all-time favorites list. I’ll read anything Gwendolyn releases (see: most-anticipated reads for 2021).

Spin by Robert Charles Wilson

This is an epic sci-fi story that explores what would happen if/when the stars go dark one night. Highly recommend this to any sci-fi fans. This is part of a trilogy so I hope to make it to the next books in the series but would argue this one works well as a standalone story.

We Need to do Something by Max Booth III

What would happen if you got stranded in the bathroom during a Tornado? That’s the plot. And I loved every second of this novella. Guess what? It’s being adapted into a movie!

Honorable Mentions

  1. True Crime by Samantha Kolesnik
  2. Swan Song by Robert R. McCammon
  3. The Invention of Ghosts by Gwendolyn Kiste
  4. The Beauty by Aliya Whitely

2021 Most-anticipated:

These aren’t necessarily books releasing in 2021, but books I’m looking forward to reading next.

  1. The Worm and His Kings by Hailey Piper
  2. Boneset and Feathers by Gwendolyn Kiste
  3. The Rotting Within by Matt Kurtz
  4. Tome by Ross Jeffery
  5. We Are Wolves by Gemma Amor (and others)
  6. The Loop by Jeremy Robert Johnson
© 2023 Lloyd Hanneman |