In the Bookcase


My Top 10 Favorite Reads of 2020

So I just LOVE making a list of my top 10 favorite reads every year. These books were NOT all published this year -- they were published in any year of days gone by. But 2019 is when I personally got to read them.

And these 10 books in particular put an extra sparkle in my eye (and made my heart pitter-patter a little faster) as I read them...

In no particular order, my top 10 favorite picks...

The End of the Days by Edward Rhodes
These are the times in which we truly need biblical knowledge, as we prepare ourselves for the imminent Rapture. I personally learned SO MUCH about the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the rest of the end times.
{Read my full review here.}

Premeditated Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce
Everything about Myrtle's life is all proper and quite British. But her brain is simply teeming with adventure and crime-solving. While she does everything that a Lady-in-training is supposed to do, and does elegantly well for her dear father's sake, she also does plenty that a Lady shouldn't be caught dead doing. Like spying on the neighbors via telescope.
{Read my full review here.}

Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab
Loved this ghostly adventure. It felt daring to read. Cassidy Blake is one of my new favorite fictional characters. I'd follow her anywhere.
{Read my full review here.}

Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
Another incredible journey from Jules Verne, filled with adventure, excitement, and imagination! This is a FUN classic, one that I think most people would like. A wager is placed. Phileas Fogg will traverse the globe in 80 days.. So he says. With trusty Passepartout at his side, they will race for all they're worth.
{Read my full review here.}

Gingerbread Treasures by Rebekah Jones
From the very first page, this story made me smile. It starts exactly how every good Sherlock Holmes story starts. A missive is received, conveying odd circumstances that only our protagonist can solve. In this case, that's Oliver Breckenridge, who shares his country with The Great Detective himself. "It all started five years ago with the gingerbread men..."
{Read my full review here.}

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
A wonderful, delightful story! Such whimsy, such humor! For an old classic book, this one can still be loved by modern young readers. A timeless childhood favorite.
{Read my full review here.}

Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Marissa Meyer has such a wonderful scope to her imagination! I was swept away to the land of Hearts instantly, each time I picked up this book. The imagery is vibrant, the characters unforgettable.
{Read my full review here.}

Nowhere to be Found by Emily Thomas
The story starts with Anne, mother of two (widowed), inheriting her aunt's Victorian house. The only stipulation? She must transform the house into a library for the Blue Hill community. (What perfection!)
{Read my full review here.}

Follow the Dawn by Rachelle Rea Cobb
Many times while reading 'Follow the Dawn', I felt tears overwhelming my eyes, as I felt Anna's pains and her joys; when, in the little moments, she would find her safety and shelter, I felt it too, like I was "home". But what a wonderful storyteller that Rachelle Rea Cobb is, to make me discover and experience the entire gamut of emotions while reading her novel.
{Read my full review here.}

An Endless Christmas by Cynthia Ruchti
Katie's Christmas is being ruined by thoughts of inferiority, and yet, she's experiencing the happiest holiday season ever, because the Binder clan is over-the-top warm and loving -- no matter whether she answers "yes" or "no" to Micah's proposal. The whole family deeply cares for Katie, and they've barely just met her! Yet she's convinced it must be a trick... because how could it be real?
{Read my full review here.}

Previous years of top favorite books:

2019 // 2018 // 2017 // 2016 // 2015 // 2014 // 2013 // 2012 // 2011 // 2010

So, dear reader, what are your favorite books that you got to read in 2020?

If you've posted your 2020 favorites list, drop your link in the comments so we can all see it!


2021 Book Reading Challenges

Hang tight! Here's a list of reading challenges I'm signing up for in 2021...

Here at In the Bookcase, you'll find the Louisa May Alcott challenge during June:

Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge


I also host A Literary Christmas during November/December:

A Literary Christmas: Reading Challenge //

Please join me for these 2 annual events in 2021! We always have a ton of fun, setting our own goals, connecting with other readers, and getting really good book recommendations, and usually there's a prize in store you all. :)

I'm also signing up for the following challenges, which I'm excited about! This post will be updated with my booklists throughout the year.

COYER Winter: January & February

The Goal: Read nearly free ebooks (<$2) and audiobooks (<$5).

Note to self: Link up on review linky as I finish each book. 

Add entries to Rafflecopter.

Upcoming read-a-thon dates.

Giveaway: $5 Amazon gift card (end of season).

The Goal:

1. A 19th century classic: any book first published from 1800 to 1899.

     (ideas: Pride & Prejudice)

2. A 20th century classic: any book first published from 1900 to 1971. 

     (ideas: The Son of Tarzan)

3. A classic by a woman author.

     (finished: Hercules Poirot's Christmas)

4. A classic in translation, meaning any book first published in a language that is not your primary language. You may read it in translation or in its original language, if you prefer. 

     (ideas: From the Earth to the Moon)

5. A classic by BIPOC author; that is, a non-white author.

     (ideas: Their Eyes Were Watching God)

6. A classic by a new-to-you author, i.e., an author whose work you have never read.

     (finished: Dune)

7. New-to-you classic by a favorite author -- a new book by an author whose works you have already read. 

     (ideas: Malcolm)

8. A classic about an animal, or with an animal in the title. The animal can be real or metaphorical. (i.e., To Kill a Mockingbird).

     (ideas: Swallows & Amazons)

9. A children's classic. 

     (ideas: Through the Looking-Glass)

10. A humorous or satirical classic.

     (ideas: The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax)

11. A travel or adventure classic (fiction or non-fiction). It can be a travelogue or a classic in which the main character travels or has an adventure. 

     (ideas: The Lost World)

---12. A classic play. Plays will only count in this category.

Note to self: Books must be published no later than 1971. Finish 6, 9, or 12 categories.

Giveaway: $30 Amazon gift card (end of the year).

The Goal: Library Addict - 48 books

Note to self: Link up on review linky as I finish each book.

Giveaway: Quarterly.

The Goal: Read book titles that start with all the letters of the alphabet, one book for each letter. 

Books that start with A, An, or The:  Use the next word in the title.

As of February: No linking, just create your own list.

A: All Creatures Great and Small

B: The Blue Castle

C: The Clue in the Diary

D: The Deeds of the Deceitful



S: Stalking Jack the Ripper

T: Through the Looking Glass

Mini Challenges (via FB group posts):

JANUARY – A book you purchased in 2020 but didn’t read:  Stalking Jack the Ripper

FEBRUARY – A book with non-romantic love (siblings, parent-child, friendships):  Driving Team

MARCH – A book written by a person of a different race than you

APRIL – A book with an Autistic main character (April is Autism Awareness)

MAY – A book about a nurse (Nat. Nurses Week 2021 is May 6-12)

JUNE – A co-written book (2 authors)

JULY – A Christmas book (Christmas in July!)

AUGUST – A book by an Indie author (self-published or independent)

SEPTEMBER – A memoir/biography

OCTOBER – A book written by a new-to-you author

NOVEMBER – A book outside your normal genre

DECEMBER – A backlist title (published BEFORE Jan 1, 2021)

Giveaway: Win a book of your choice (end of the year). 

The Goal:

JANUARY: AB   (The Blue Castle, A Christmas Visitor, Alan Turing and the Power of CuriosityArtie Conan Doyle and the Gravediggers' Club, Beauty Among Ruins)

FEBRUARY: CD   (The Deeds of the Deceitful, Dune, COVID-128, The Cleaners, The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes, The Clue in the Diary, Driving Team)

MARCH: EF   (First Victory, Four, The Faith of a Collie, From the Earth to the Moon, Family Secrets)

APRIL: GH   (Grumpy Frumpy Croissant, Hunting for Hidden Gold, The Hedgehog of Oz, The House at the End of the Moor, Horsefeathers, How to Steal a Dragon's Sword, The Homecoming)

MAY: IJ   (The Ickabog, Innocent Heroes, Johanna and Henriette Kuyper, Into the Storm LB#11, If Only It Were Yesterday,  The Lost World)

JUNE: KL   (Kathleen's Unforgettable Winter, Long Lost, Lost on the Titanic, Lucky Horse, Loch Down Abbey)

JULY: MN   (Nancy's Mysterious Letter, Murder in a Scottish Garden, Malcolm, Million Dollar horse)

AUGUST: OP   (Pride and Prejudice, On the Run LB#10)

SEPTEMBER: QR   (River of Life)

OCTOBER: ST   (The Search LB#9, Shadows of the Past, Show Jumper, Sinister Summer)

NOVEMBER: UVW (Unlocking the Truth, Sole Survivor)


Note to self: Link up on review form as I finish each a book that corresponds to the right month.

Giveaway: Quarterly.

The Goal:
1.  A book published before 2000  (Hercule Poirot's Christmas)
2.  An essay or short story collection  (Cupid and Chow Chow)
3.  A book you’ve been looking forward to  (Stalking Jack the Ripper)
4.  A book you’ve been avoiding  (Malcolm)
5.  A book of magical realism  (Goosebumps or The Ocean at the End of the Lane)
6.  A book with alliteration in the title  (Pride and Prejudice)
7.  A book with food or drink on the cover  (The Deeds of the Deceitful)
8.  A cozy mystery  (Family Secrets)
9.  A book with a dog on the cover  (The Faith of a Collie)
10.  A memoir  (Treasure Hunter)
11.  A book by an author who has written more than 10 books  (The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax)
12.  A debut novel  (The Windsor Knot)

Note to self: When finished, send in final booklist.

Giveaway: Amazon gift card (end of the year).

The Backlist Reader Challenge 2020

The Goal: Read older books that have been piling up in my TBR pile/list [I'll try for 80+ books!].

Note to self: Books must be published in 2019 or before & already be in my TBR pile/list.
Link up on review linky as I finish each book.
Wrap-up linky will be available.

Giveaway: $15 Amazon gift card (end of the year), possibly others. Each book review submitted to the link-up will be entered into a drawing.

The Goal: Amateur Sleuth - 5-15 books

Note to self: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller/Crime genres, 100+ pages.
Monthly linky.

Giveaway:  2 prizes (half-way & end of the year).

Dec. 20, 2020 - Dec. 28, 2021

The Goal: Complete at least 15 (of 30) categories to enter for smaller prizes. 

Complete all 30 categories to enter for all prizes.

6 bonus categories can count at either level.

Note to self: No errors allowed. 

Adult or Young Adult only (over 90 pages), NO Juvenile books. 

Every book must be on Goodreads challenge shelf, in the correct order.

Submit finished spreadsheet between Sept. 4 - Dec. 28. Wait and put all books on the shelf when you are DONE, so it matches.

Rules & Entry Forms  --  Categories  --  Category Inquiries



1-Yes-No-Maybe in the title -

2-BOOKS! Cover or Title -

3-Hot Or Cold in the title -

4-Map! Cover Or Title -

5-Published this year -

6-Two Or More People On Cover - Silent Night

7-Black Or White! Cover or Title -

8-Who-What-When-Where in the title-

9-Recommendation From THIS page - :click: or this :hashtag:  Renegades (Jayce Nichole Cruz), The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue (Kaitlin Walker), Bridgerton (Sallie Apple) 1.31.21

10-A Standalone -

11-Family Member In Title -

12-Body Of Water Cover or Title -

13-Royalty- Cover Or Title - The Windsor Knot

14-Read In Summer (Jun-July-Aug)-

15-Fave Color -Cover or Title - The Blue Castle

16-Three Word Title -

17-Steamy Read -

18-Minimalistic Cover -

19-More than Five books - A Christmas Visitor

20-A book Published in 2020 -

21-By A Fave Author -

22-No People On The Cover -

23-Published in your Bday Month (any year) - Beauty Among Ruins

24-Read In Winter (Dec-Jan-Feb)- Stalking Jack the Ripper

25-Read In Fall (Sept-Oct-Nov)-

26-Holiday Book - Hercule Poirot's Christmas

27- Sporty -

28-Read In Spring (Mar-Apr-May)-

29-First-Last-Etc -

30-One Word Title -

BONUS - For each one of these you do you will get an extra entry into one prize drawing of your choice!

1- Signed Book -

2-Won In A Giveaway - Jingle All the Way

3-ARC - Pride and Premeditation

4- Over 450 Pgs -

5- Non Fiction  -

6-An Audiobook  -


Must complete all categories 1-30 to be eligible for ALL prize entries.
Must complete 15 total (your choice) to be eligible for SMALLER giveaways.

BONUS section: Complete any of these and you’ll get a bonus entry into a prize of your choice for each one completed. You CAN complete Bonus categories if you’re only doing the 15 for smaller prizes.

The Goal: Recruit level (1-5 books)

Note to self: Link up reviews on the bi-annual post. Every review you link up equals a giveaway entry. If you happen to get bingo, that counts as an extra entry, up to 5 extra entries if you fill the board.

March 15 - First Quarter Update
June 15 - Second Quarter/Mid-Year Update
September 15 - Third Quarter Update
December 15 - Fourth Quarter Update/Wrap Up

Giveaway: June - Mid-Challenge Giveaway. 
December - End of Challenge Giveaway.  ///

The Goal: 1-10 – Discussion Dabbler

Note to self: Discussions can be about whatever you want as long as it’s relevant to books or book blogging.

Giveaway: Monthly book prizes.

The Goal: Read a book for each of the 12 categories

Note to self: Email in final list when finished.

Jump to 26 minutes in on podcast for other instructions.

Giveaway: End of the year.