As I look forward to my 2020 book list I wanted to share the top five books I’m most excited to read in quarter one of 2020 (plus three books I’ve already read). I’m taking a quarterly approach because I often pick my next book based on what I feel like reading at the time. Perhaps it’s new biography, or maybe it’s a thriller that caught my attention.
I tried to mix up my list for Q1 of this year. A legendary author, a book about organizing, a thriller – I have it all covered!
WHAT I’VE READ SO FAR
The Wives, by Tarryn Fisher
I started this book on December 30, 2019, with the intention of reading it on my January 1 flight. It was to be the first book I finished in 2020, however, this book had other plans for me, and I finished it the very next day. An unexpected 25th book to finish off the year, but I had to include it because I absolutely loved it!
I read a lot of thrillers and I find it increasingly hard for one to really jump out and grab me from simply the description. This book had that potential wow factor – Thursday’s husband has two other wives that she’s never met and knows very little about – Monday and Tuesday. She agrees to this arrangement because she’s madly in love with him, however one day she discovers something in the pocket of her husbands pants that leads to an unraveling of a deep web of lies.
I was intrigued, downloaded a sample of the book, and played the ‘I’ll just read a few chapters to see if I like it’ game. Fast forward 36 hours and I was finishing the book. The ending completely threw me; it’s not traditional. If you need that neat, happy ending in a bow than this isn’t the book for you. But if you’re like me, and you’ve read so many thrillers that many become a bit cookie cutter for you, then you’ll appreciate this book.
Dear Wife, by Kimberly Belle
After taring through The Wives in a day and half I needed new books for my flight, so I went to search in the ‘Under $4.99’ bin in my ‘Books’ app on my iPad. I figured a few easy thrillers would help pass the plane and airport time, so after a few cross reference checks on Goodreads to make sure I wasn’t picking up a snoozefest, I decided on Dear Wife, and the next book you’ll see in my list, The Liar’s Wife.
Dear Wife is written through three different perspectives. Beth, the cover name for a wife who is on the run from her abusive husband; Jeffery, an unstable husband who came home from a work conference to find his wife missing; and Marcus, the detective assigned to Jeffery’s wife’s missing persons case. The catch? You don’t know if Beth is Jeffery’s missing wife, if she’s someone else entirely, and how all three of these people are connected.
It’s not easy to write from multiple perspectives, let alone to do it well, but Belle masterfully weaves the perspectives of these three individuals together in a clear and concise manner.
As a person who tends to guess what’s happening and who’s guilty before the ending of most TV shows and books, I truly didn’t figure out the whodunnit until the end, and that’s no small feat!
The Liar’s Wife, by Samantha Hayes
I was admittedly the least excited to read this book out of all my books I had downloaded, but when you’re on a plane and looking for a distraction, the options are limited. I dove in. And spoiler – I wasn’t disappointed! Did I love it as much as The Wives or Dear Wife? No. But I still liked it quite a bit. A solid 4-star book!
The Liar’s Wife follows protagonist Ella; a quiet, closed-off woman who (after a major life event that you of course don’t know the details of), leads a simple, lonely and routine-oriented life. As Ella cycles home one evening after work she is struck by a van and wakes up in the hospital from her medically induced coma to find her doting husband by her side. The problem? You guessed it – Ella isn’t married. And the man posing as her husband was thought to be dead, and he knows a b-i-g secret of Ella’s that forces her to play along.
The book weaves between Ella’s present-day situation and her past, slowing telling the story the event that led Ella where she is today. I was kept in engaged and once again I didn’t know who the bad guy was till the end.
- The New Girl, by Daniel Silva – I’ve spent years hearing nothing but great things about Daniel Silva’s books, and I decided it was time to dive in. The premise of ‘The New Girl’ intrigued me – the daughter of the Saudi prince goes missing from her private boarding school in Switzerland and into France. There’s international espionage, ripped-from-the-headlines stories, and though I’m only about 50 pages in, I’m enjoying it!
- Smarter Living: Work-Nest-Invest-Relate-Thrive – 2020 is my year to get my shit together. We’re talking pay off debt, get healthy, grow my blog and my business, hone my organization skills, etc. I’m going to really focus on my short-term goals in order to achieve my long-term ones, and per the usual, my mind is running a thousand miles an hour with ideas. So when I spotted this fun looking book in the ‘Under $4.99’ bin in my Books app I decided why not? You learn from others, and for only $2.99 if I don’t like this book than it’s no harm.
- Long Bright River, by Liz Moore – I am, admittedly, terrible about reading the latest books. That book that everyone is buzzing about? I’m super interested, but I’ll probably get to it next year. Such is the life of a person who works a full-time job, runs a blog and an Etsy store. But I saw this book from Liz Moore, which has been receiving rave reviews, only had a hold of 14 people, so with three copies floating around I threw my name on the list. So long as it comes in during Q1, I will officially be able to say that I read a new book as it came out!
- In Five Years, by Rebecca Serle – I received this book in a Goodreads giveaway and am excited to get to reading Dannie’s story of waking up five years in the future. Did her five-year plan come true? Probably not, which is why I’m expecting this book to humble me and teach me to both have goals but be present in my life (something that I’m personally working on for 2020).
- The Institute, by Stephen King – I have only read one Stephen King book in my life, so I’m excited to give this book a try. All 576 pages worth, which is why I’m also a little hesitant on if I’ll get through this book in Q1. But goals are good! After binging Castle Rock, loving the remake of the IT movies (and guys, I hate horror movies), I’m pumped to dive into this legendary author’s book.
Though five books doesn’t look like a lot for Q1, for me it’s a good number. With an almost 600-page book on tap, plus going into a heavy time at my 9-5, this was a number that I was comfortable with.
I expect this list to move and change a bit. I am going on an expedition to Antarctica in March and with 18-21-hour travel times each way, I will have LOTS of reading time. After Q1 I will recap – what I read, what I thought about each book, and what’s in store for Q2.
TELL ME: What’s on your reading list?