100 Books of 2020

Last night, I completed my 2020 goal of reading 100 books this year. Some of them were great books; others weren’t so great. 100 books is far too many to review here, but here are the top 10 of those 100 (in no particular order)!

  1. The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist by Radley Balko and Tucker Carrington. This book was phenomenal and very timely. It was one of the more recent books I read, and I would recommend it to anyone who is wanting to learn more about corruption in the American justice system. The book covers the stories of Steven Hayne and Michael West, an incredibly corrupt physician and dentist, respectively, who are responsible for the lives of dozens of individuals being ruined. Some of their victims are still on death row.
  2. Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. I have been meaning to read this book for several months, but finally got around to it recently. This is another book that is incredibly educational on corruption in the American justice system, and how that corruption disproportionately affects marginalized people. The author runs a non-profit organization, the Equal Justice Initiative, which is a great place to donate if you are looking for a tangible way to make a difference.
  3. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware. From some of the other books that are on this top 10 list, it’s obvious I’ve been on a bit of a thriller kick recently. This was one of the first thrillers I read this year, and it was nothing short of amazing. The main character was very real and lovable, but not perfect.
  4. Untamed by Glennon Doyle. I very recently read this memoir after seeing it added to Reese Witherspoon’s book club (I have yet to read a RW book club pick without loving it!). Doyle’s life was incredibly relatable for me, and I loved reading how she has turned all of her struggles into good things.
  5. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides. I bought this book in 2019, but just got around to reading it a couple of weeks ago. This was super popular last year, and I’m so glad I read it. The writing was phenomenal and the characters were written very well.
  6. The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates. Before reading this book, I knew very little about the Gates’ charitable work, besides that they were huge philanthropists. Reading the book was so empowering, and it was the intersection of two of my favorite topics — feminism and medicine. This book is for everyone who wants to see a world with more equality.
  7. The Guest List by Lucy Foley. I won this book in a giveaway and got to read it before it was actually released, and it was so good. It was written from multiple characters’ perspectives, and I know some people don’t like that style, but I loved it.
  8. The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn. I am so excited to see the movie of this book when it comes out. I actually loved this one so much that I recommended it to both of my grandmas (the two people in my life who both enjoy and have time for reading right now). One of them also loved it; I’m still waiting to hear the verdict from the other one.
  9. Over the Top by Jonathan Van Ness. I listed to this memoir on audiobook, and it was read by the author. Jonathan’s joy is so contagious, and listening to him read his memoir was so touching.
  10. This is How it Always Is by Laurie Frankel. One thing I’ve noticed is that many books do not feature women in prominent positions unless that is the main topic of the book. In This is How it Always Is, the story is about a family where the mother is a physician and the father is a stay-at-home dad/author. The mother’s occupation is not the main topic of the book, though; it was just simply another descriptor in portraying her. It was so incredibly refreshing to read a book that showed a character that I, as a future female physician, can relate to so much. I hadn’t realized how much I needed that until I read the book.

Now that I have accomplished my 100 books goal, I definitely intend to keep reading a lot, but I’ll probably try to fill my days with some of the other goals I hope to complete this year. The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander arrived in the mail today, and I am eager to read it and other related books to educate myself on the history of racism and on ways to be anti-racist. I recently finished How to Argue with a Racist by Adam Rutherford, and while it didn’t quite make the top 10, it was a fantastic book that was short and would be a great starting point for any other white people who want to start educating themselves on this important topic.

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