We are finally done with 2020. I did not read a hell lot of books. Out of 60 books I had planned on reading at the beginning of 2020, I only managed to finish 53. But this year wasn’t entirely a failure. I read some pretty amazing books overall.
Before I get into the new year and all it’s shenanigans. Here’s all the books that kept me going… all the 5 star reads from 2020.
I’m absolutely ecstatic how diverse my books have gotten.

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– Brandon Sanderson

Year Published : 2006.
Genre : Epic Fantasy

“They say they give their women more freedom, but there’s still the impression that the freedom was theirs to ‘give’ in the first place.”

Elantris – Brandon Sanderson

This book is based on two things that can be rather very controversial – Politics & Religion. Besides, it has everything I love about Brandon Sanderson’s writing – brilliant world building and amazing characters. It’s magical, has a strong female character, and is exceptionally thought provoking.

Full Review


Curfewed Night
– Basharat Peer

Year Published : 2012.
Genre :

“Srinagar is a medieval city dying in a modern war. It is empty streets, locked shops, angry soldiers and boys with stones. It is several thousand military bunkers, four golf courses, and three bookshops. It is wily politicians repeating their lies about war and peace to television cameras and small crowds gathered by the promise of an elusive job or a daily fee of a few hundred rupees. It is stopping at sidewalks and traffic lights when the convoys of rulers and their patrons in armoured cars, secured by machine guns, rumble on broken roads. It is staring back or looking away, resigned. Srinagar is never winning and never being defeated.”

Curfewed Night – Basharat Peer

This book too, deals with a very political and controversial topic in Indian Politics – Kashmir. A Memoir with a portrayal of the violence and atrocities that he has experienced as a Kashmiri Muslim. It was a difficult book to read but a much important one.

Full Review!


When Dimple Met Rishi
– Sandhya Menon

Year Published : 2017.
Genre :
YA Contemporary

“Hello, future wife,” he said, his voice bubbling with glee. “I can’t wait to get started on the rest of our lives!”

When Dimple Met rishi, Sandhya Menon

This was absolutely delightful. A YA contemporary that had Indian Main Characters, the arranged marriage trope, The generational gap , a strong female character and most of all the absolutely cute couple. This was the much needed feel good of the year.
I also watched the Book Adaptation and it’s not entirely bad. 😛 TOTALLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK!

Full Review!

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The Free Voice
– Ravish Kumar

Year Published : 2018.
Genre :
Politics | Non Fiction

“News channels have worked tirelessly to kill India’s democratic ideals, with the result that vast numbers of the Indian people follow channels that ask no questions of the government. These channels have trained their viewers to watch only a particular kind of TV where nothing is demanded of them, except a willing and complete suspension of belief. And absolute amorality. Elected representatives can garland killers, ministers can lie, news anchors can read out government press releases as news. It bothers no one enough.”

The Free Voice, , Ravish Kumar

This book emphasizes on the inalienable citizen’s right in a democratic country to question the government, the right to privacy, the right to choosing who you love despite what religion or caste you follow and most importantly it shows you the mirror to what India is turning into and the growing risk to our right to freedom of speech.
“Wherever a Mob Gathers Is Hitler’s Germany” was my favorite essay out of all. It warns us that we can’t be too careful when it comes to preventing a situation like this in India.

Full Review!

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Muslim Girls Rise
– Saira Mir

Year Published : 2019.
Genre :
Children| Non Fiction

People may tell you that you can’t do something because of the way you look, dress, or pray. Your name may sound different. Never forget that you are extraordinary. You are powerful, brave, and clever. Great things come from people like you.

Saira Mir

The fact that it caters to Juvenile Readers is an extremely important and positive approach to drive the spotlight to Muslim Community that paints them in good light.
If we can make a Muslim kid feel the world is a safer place for them and they won’t be called a terrorist just because of what religion they practice. We win right? Don’t we? Well, at least there is hope. Muslim Girl Rise introduces young readers to the diverse and important contributions Muslim women have made, and role models they may never have heard of before, but whose stories they will might be inspired from.

Full Review!

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Being Reshma.
– Reshma Qureshi

Year Published : 2018.
Genre :

“Finding the right shade of lipstick is harder than finding concentrated acid.” “Why is a litre of concentrated acid sold cheaper than a 9 ml eyeliner?” “It takes 2 minutes to put on blush but only 3 seconds to scar a face.”

Reshma Qureshi

Acid Attacks is a growing issue in India. But more than that, the lack of women safety to the extent acid can be bought so easily even today is what worries me. It is an expression of control and a mentality of forever scarring a women’s dignity that is fueled by revenge and jealousy.
the apathy of police men in the country towards victims of acid attacks and rapes, the lack of healthcare facilities in government hospitals, the never ending court trials for justice.

To cringe on the graphic descriptions is natural. To know this is someone’s life now is heartbreaking. 

Full Review!

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– Brandon Sanderson

Year Published : 2019.
Genre :

“That’s what war is,” Cobb told me. “A bunch of sorry, desperate fools on both sides, just trying to stay alive. That’s the part that those stories you love leave out, isn’t it? It’s always more convenient when you can fight a dragon. Something you don’t have to worry you’ll start caring about.”

Starsight, Brandon Sanderson

This book is mind blowing and so is this series. Highly recommend this one if you are into YA and want to explore the Sci-Fi Genre. I was sucked into this world from start to finish. I have always been curious to know what’s out there in space and the fear of the unknown is frightening . This book just fuels that imagination even more.
The one theme that stood out to me throughout is the Us vs Them theme in particular. Spensa’s interaction with other alien species and her judgement on them says a lot about how we judge people we think are different from us. While we all like people that are similar to us in someway, this book promotes individuality so well. 
Full Review!


Miracle Creek
– Angie Kim

Year Published : 2019.
Genre :
Mystery| Thriller

“But that was the way life worked. Every human being was the result of a million different factors mixing together — one of a million sperm arriving at the egg at exactly a certain time; even a millisecond off, and another entirely different person would result. Good things and bad–every friendship and romance formed, every accident, every illness–resulted from the conspiracy of hundreds of little things, in and of themselves inconsequential.”

Miracle Creek , Angie Kim

The book is engaging and educational and thought provoking and that is exactly how I like my books to be..
An engaging plotline narrated in multiple points of views along with accurate and  heart breaking portrayal of parenting for children that need special care. There are a lot of dysfunctional and problematic characters in this one. We have a married man cheating on his wife with an underage girl. We have a marriage falling apart because of infertility issues. We have secrets and trust issues. But overall, we also have the hidden sense of understanding that sometimes there is no extent to how far we would go for our loved ones.

Full Review!


To Be Taught If Fortunate
– Becky Chambers

Year Published : 2019.
Genre :
Sci – Fi

“It’s understandable why humans stopped living in space in the 2020s. How can you think of the stars when the seas are spilling over? How can you spare thought for alien ecosystems when your cities are too hot to inhabit? How can you trade fuel and metal and ideas when the lines on every map are in flux? How can anyone be expected to care about the questions of worlds above when the questions of the world you’re stuck on — the most vital criteria of home and health and safety — remain unanswered?”

To Be Taught If Fortunate, , Becky Chambers

These are the kind of Sci- Fi Books that keeps me up at night wondering what it’s like in space.. and it makes me want to gobble down every sci-fi I can get my hands on immediately…

Read this because I wanted to read from a queer author but OMG I am so surprised by this book. If you like The Martian or Interstellar, this book will amaze you equally.

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Invisible Women

– Caroline Criado Perez

Year Published : 2019.
Genre :
Nonfiction| Feminism

“The result of this deeply male-dominated culture is that the male experience, the male perspective, has come to be seen as universal, while the female experience–that of half the global population, after all–is seen as, well, niche.”

Invisible Women, Caroline Criado Perez

This book made me angry. It is eye opening and enlightening. It is very data driven and it truly makes you think twice about the world we live in


Policing Black Lives

– Robyn Maynard

Year Published : 2019.
Genre :
Non Fiction | Racism

“Not only is state violence rarely prosecuted as criminal, it is not commonly perceived as violence. Because the state is granted the moral and legal authority over those who fall under its jurisdiction, it is granted a monopoly over the use of violence in society, so the use of violence is generally seen as legitimate.”

Robyn Maynard

This has to be required reading. The book shows the racism and violence that followed and still does to an extent in Canada towards Black and Indigenous People. I knew nothing about Canadian history before I read this book, so this again has been quite enlightening and enraging at the same time.

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Once Upon An Eid

– S.K Ali & Aisha Saeed

Year Published : 2019.
Genre :

I personally feel the world needed this. Most of the “mainstream” books I have come across rarely have a Muslim character that isn’t connected somehow to terrorism or being a refugee/ racism and things similar to that. Those books are good and important too.
But this book had characters with hope and joy and family dynamics along with the celebration of Eid. It was educational and most importantly represented a different side of the community. Loved it!


– Tiffany D. Jackson

Year Published : 2020.
Genre :
YA | Thriller

“What a woman wears or doesn’t wear doesn’t give anyone the right to touch them. Well, you know he’s had a rough childhood. Abandoned by his mom, didn’t know his father, raised by his grandma who passed. We’ve all BEEN through a lot but that don’t give you no excuse to abuse girls.”

Grown, Tiffany D. JAckson

There is a lot going on in this book – a murder , abuse, and some valuable insights on society. This is a masterpiece! It’s been a while I have been so obsessed with a book. One thing I absolutely loved about this book is how well the author has articulated how quick society resorts to victim blaming and shaming rather than listening to what they have to say. 

Full Review!


The Test

– Sylvain Neuvel

Year Published : 2019.
Genre :

“People who talk a lot about the environment are always the ones living the farthest away from nature.”

The Test , Sylvain Neuvel

To be entirely honest, this book scared me. It almost feels like this is exactly what the world is leading towards , with or without the sci-fi element.
Although, the sci-fi element in the book is absolutely brilliant. I rarely pick up novellas, so I am glad I picked this one.

That’s all. I’m so glad I had the chance to pick these up. Each of them were educational, thought provoking and most of all well worth the time spent reading . 2020 wasn’t all that bad after all!

What were your favorite books of 2020?