Friday, 22 January 2021

Three Fiction Books I Loved in 2020

It's safe to say many of us have had a lot more time on our hands this year than ever before. With almost 11 months now of lock downs, restrictions and social distancing meaning many social occasions, holidays and all the things we do for fun being cancelled I think we've all been looking for activities to keep us occupied from home. I was super excited to see that for a lot of people the activity that kept them going through lock down was reading. 

One of my favourite quotes of all time is from Stephen King "Books are a uniquely portable magic." and I think that just sums up the power of books and reading. A good book can take you away to another world where things seem easier and more beautiful which is something I definitely needed in 2020. 

I've always been a keen reader and would average about 50-60 books a year before I became chronically ill. Unfortunately though, chronic pain and fatigue made my brain very foggy and reading became extremely hard in 2019. I found myself seeking solace in easier things like social media and youtube but I missed reading so much. In 2020 I decided I wanted to push myself to read more. Each night I take a bath to help with my chronic pain and I set myself the task of reading at least a chapter of a book each night. I wanted to try and read one book a month. 

At first it was really quite hard and I would feel very tired and foggy trying to read a chapter every night in the bath but after a few weeks things got better. Over the last year I've found myself being able to read more and more and it's been wonderful to have it back. Chronic illness took so much from me and my reading was one fo the most painful. I'm still not back to where I want to be but it's a real start and I smashed my target of 12 books in 2020 finishing my 20th book on Christmas day. 

For today's post I thought I would share a few fiction books I really enjoyed in 2020. 

The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart by Holly Ringland:
This book was one I had absentmindedly added to my Christmas list as I thought it had sounded quite interesting when I saw it in passing not realising what a powerful read this would be. The book is set in Australia and uses the language of flowers to describe the journey of Alice Hart's life. The story touches on themes of domestic abuse, female empowerment and the power of nature. The description of the diverse Antipodean landscapes that feature in the story will take you far away to Australia. It's the perfect escapism book that also challenges you especially as a woman.

The writing is absolutely stunning and as a writer it was incredibly inspiring. This book had a profound effect on me and I remembered why I loved writing again leading me to once again pick up my pen and just a few weeks later apply for an MA in Travel and Nature Writing. When I say books are powerful things, I really mean it. 

In Case You Missed It by Lindsey Kelk:
I read a lot for uni mostly creative non fiction travel and nature books which can be quite hard going. They take a lot of energy and concentration so in the evenings I like to enjoy a good romance or a bit of chic-lit. Lindsey Kelk has been one of my favourite authors for a long time and I always enjoy her books. Her latest book, In Case You Missed It, is the usual mix of humour, romance and a bit of drama. It had me laughing out loud in the bath and was the perfect escape from all the covid drama. I would thoroughly recommend any of her books if you're in need of a bit of time away. 

500 Miles From You by Jenny Colgan:
Another favourite author of mine, I have been reading Jenny Colgan's beautiful romances for years. They are wonderfully relatable and yet still full of escapism. She often sets them in beautiful locations such as Cornwall and the Highlands. This book is the third set in the same little fictional village up in the Highlands of Scotland. As a lover of all things Scottish and being unable to visit at all in 2020 it was a wonderful chance for me to escape up there even if only in my head. 

I am hoping to read even more fiction in 2021 as well as all the non-fiction I read for studying. There is just something so magical about entering a different world where you know the endings will be happy and although they feel relate-able, everything just seems a little bit better. 

I would love to hear any book recommendations for 2021 down in the comments! 

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