Living Life the Wong Way --In Pursuit of Happiness and Food!

Reading Roundup for 2020

I previously mentioned that one of my goals for 2020 was to read at least one book a month. Although it may not seem like an ambitious goal but that’s precisely why it works. Baby steps..

Heres a Recap of what I read in 2020:

January

Dear Girls by Ali Wong – I enjoyed Dear Girls by Ali Wong. I made the mistake (BIG MISTAKE) of gifting this to my 16-year-old for Christmas without previewing it! If you watch her comedy then you know she’s unfiltered. If you like her comedy, you’ll enjoy her book.

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover – Lily meets a handsome neurosurgeon named Ryle. They appear to be a beautiful happy couple, but her feelings for Atlas, her first love, are brought back to light when he reappears in her life and threatens her relationship with Ryle.

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen – Jessica agrees to be a test subject for a psychological study for the mysterious Dr. Shields. What Jessica doesn’t know is that she’ll be monitored and manipulated for this study. Jessica begins to question Dr. Shields’s motivations.

I didn’t enjoy this one. I much prefer their previous book, The Wife Between Us. I recommend that if you haven’t read it.

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell – Talk about messed up families! Libby Jones was abandoned as a baby in a crib upstairs, while there were 3 dead bodies downstairs. 25 years later, she inherits an abandoned mansion that would give her clues to where she came from and who her parents were.

The Shape of Night by Tess Gerritsen – Ava is renting an old house named Brodie’s Watch. While living there, she senses an apparition. She learns that the house has a dark past. All the women who have lived there previously have died.

February

The Stranger on the Beach by Michele Campbell – Caroline seems to have the perfect life until one night when she had a very public fight with her husband. Aidan, the stranger on the beach, notices Caroline and is besotted with her. They start a fling. Aidan is starting to get serious about Caroline, but Caroline seems to be hiding something.

Blood Sisters by Jane Corry – Three girls are walking to school. One dies. Fifteen years later, Kitty can’t speak and lives in an institution. Alison is an art teacher and accepts a teaching job at a prison. She starts receiving death threats and feels like someone is watching her.

I was intrigued at the beginning trying to understand Alison’s actions, but it was all too unbelievable for me. This didn’t work for me.

March

The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond – Newlyweds Alice and Jake enter into a Marriage Pact and become members of a crazy secret society that’s keeping watch on their every move to ensure the couple keeps their marriage intact.

I found this to be a too far fetched.

I Found You by Lisa Jewell – Alice finds a man sitting on the beach. He doesn’t remember who he is or how he got there. Alice offers to let him stay with her and help him regain his memory.

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher – Thursday’s husband, Seth, has two other wives, whom she knows nothing about. Seth divides his time between the wives but lately, Thursday is curious about the other 2 wives. She starts down a rabbit hole and learns something she may not want to know.

This wasn’t for me. The summary sounds interesting but I was disappointed with the story.

April

I was in the process of finishing up The Tattooist of Auschwitz

May

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris – Lale is forced into a concentration camp at Auschwitz. He becomes the tattooist that permanently marks prisoners’ arms with their identification. He meets and falls in love with Gita and vows to marry her one day. During his imprisonment, Lale learns to navigate the system to help those in need while surviving his own horrific circumstances.

While I did enjoy this book, it’s set in a very bleak environment, so you have to be in the mood to read this book, which is why it took me a while to finish.

The Obesity Code by Jason Fung – This is a great book that explains the health benefits of intermittent fasting (IF). I highly suggest this if you are thinking of doing IF.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides- Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist. He works with Alicia, who hasn’t spoken since the night of her husband’s shooting. I highly recommend this one.

June

Where the Crawdad Sing by Delia Owens – Kya was abandoned by her family since she was a young girl. She learns to survive living in the marsh on her own. She meets two young men that would change her life. Years later, Chase Andrews is found dead in the marsh and everyone suspects Kya. I highly recommend this book.

Life in the Fasting Lane – I suggest you skip this and read The Obesity Code instead.

July

The Stranger by Harlan Coben – A stranger approaches Adam and tells him that his wife has been hiding a secret. He confronts his wife. The wife promises to tell him soon but then disappears.

The premise of the book caught my attention in the beginning, then it dragged.

The Mister by E.L. James – The Mister falls for his sexy Polish housekeeper, who is running from some dangerous characters.

I didn’t enjoy this one. I really struggled to finish this.

You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen – Shay witnesses the suicide of Amanda on the train tracks one day. Shay is lonely and welcomes the chance to be part of Amanda’s circle of friends. Shay soon learns the truth behind the suicide.

This was only average for me.

August

Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan – Lucie Churchill falls for George Zao. She brushes aside her feelings for him because he doesn’t fit the image of the man she is supposed to be with.

I hate to say this, but out of all the books I’ve read this year, I’m most disappointed in this one. After enjoying his Crazy Rich Asian trilogy, I just expected more. I only finished this because I was repainting the master bedroom and I was listening to the audiobook. This was only mildly more interesting than watching paint dry. The characters were so boring. I would skip this.

The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo – Ji Lin moonlights as a dancehall girl to earn extra money. One day, she accidentally takes a vial from one of her customers. Meanwhile, others are looking for this mysterious vial. With the help of her brother, Shin, and a houseboy, Ren, they try to return the vial back to the original owner.

September, October

Big fat 0!

November

The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking – A short, fun read discussing some of the things you can adopt to live a more comfy and happy life.

December

None

Summary

Of all the books I’ve read, most of them were mildly entertaining and some were not so good (ie, Sex and Vanity; The Mister). I, without hesitation, would recommend the following:

The Silent Patient

The Obesity Code

Where the Crawdad Sing

Final Thoughts

I’m glad I kept myself accountable for my reading goal. I’m actually surprised that I read as much as I did. In total, I finished 21 books, but I didn’t keep up with at least 1 book a month. I started strong at the beginning of the year but finished poorly towards the end.

I love Libby. It’s so wonderful to have access to all these books. If you haven’t yet, definitely get a library card and access the e-books and audiobooks.

It really helped that I could get the books in audiobook format because I could listen to them on my phone while doing my daily walks or while doing chores around the house.

After I finish a book, I always write down the title and a brief synopsis of the story to jot my memory. Some of the books are very forgettable and I don’t want to re-check out the same forgettable books.

Overall, I’m happy with my results. 21 books in one year is pretty good. My reading goal in 2021 is again –at least one book per month.

What were some of your favorites?

Happy Reading!



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