Books of 2020

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Even though this was a year filled with lots of time at home, it was not a year where I felt able to throw myself into reading (not like me!). However, I did manage to read a few books over the course of the year and I thought I would share my insights with a mini-review.

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

I adore Brené Brown as her books are filled with open and honest insights about being human, and how we can improve our personal situation by leaning into the truth of who we are. We are flawed! And by learning to embrace our vulnerability, we grow stronger. Be inspired and dare to be who you really are and find out it makes for a happier life.

The Electricity of Every Living Thing by Katherine May

Katherine’s story of walking the South West Coast Path, sharing her experiences and insights along the way. She also is open about learning that she is autistic and her relief at finally understanding who she is. Sometimes we have to go on a journey to find ourselves.

The Bookshop on the Shore by Jenny Colgan

A perfect read for a book lover. Light and charming. It is a heartwarming adventure set in Scotland. Characters you will love and a book that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy, just what we needed in 2020!

The Salt Path by Raynor Winn

I cried and laughed reading this book. A story of triumph over the tragedy of ending up homeless and the crazy idea of walking, and living, the South West Coast Path. Raynor tells her true tale with dignity that beautifully captures imagery to inspire. From the depths of despair to a depth of learning. Everyone needs to read this book and realise that when life turns sour, there is always HOPE when you get off your sorry ass and go grab your hiking boots.

Wintering by Katherine May

The perfect book for 2020! Katherine May could not have envisioned that her book would capture the feeling of 2020 across the globe, but she did. Wintering is about stepping away from the world and learning to slow down and go with the flow. It is about rituals and the little things that make us feel good. If you haven’t read it, you should. We all have periods of Wintering in our lives… and many of us are doing that right now.

Your Mind is Your Home by Kamran Bedi

How many of us suffer with a mind that tortures us constantly? If you do, then read this book. Kamran is a Mental Health & Wellbeing Practitioner (to the stars) and he shares his insights into how our minds can trick us. He shares some easy to follow steps to transform our minds from torturer to best friend. I love the references to social media, which makes his approach fresh and up-to-date.

A Wedding at the Beach Hut by Veronica Henry

What wrong with a bit of romance set by the sea? Absolutely nothing. This was a lovely light read, perfect for a summer’s day sitting by the sea with the backdrop of a row of brightly coloured beach huts. Enjoyable. Fun. A real treat.

The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club by Katie May

An eclectic group of women are thrown together to form an open water swimming club. Might seems a little boring, but the relationships and the characters of the members are far from it. This books will have you laughing. You too will feel drawn in to their antics… and you never know, you too may want to jump in.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Would you chose to live a different life if you could? Well, that’s what happened to Nora when she ends up in the Midnight Library and gets the opportunity to try other ‘what could have been’ lives. Matt Haig is so clever – a great story to read, while being a thought provoking book about life. No wonder it is an international bestseller. Love it!

The Whitstable Pearl Mystery by Julie Wassmer

Get to know Pearl Nolan and the seaside town of Whitstable, as Pearl is embroiled in finding out why her friend was murdered. The first in the series by Julie Wassmer (former script writer on Eastenders). If you enjoy ‘cozy mysteries’ you will love these books. Even better the books are being adapted for TV (due for release 2021).

A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig

If you love Matt Haig’s imagination, then this children’s book does not disappoint. Parents, read this to your children and enjoy the magic. Matt Haig is the new Terry Pratchett of our times. Just announced, this book will be released as a movie in December 2021.

UPLIFT – Book 1 compiled by Janet Groom

Well, I couldn’t let this one go by… When the pandemic forced us into lockdown at the beginning of 2020, I reached out across the UK with the call for stories, art, poems and little bits of hope to share in a book. 30 incredible people took part and the UPLIFT Book was released in May. It is a colourful book infused with hope with the aim of raising spirits. It also raised money for three key organisations who supported, and continue to support, people at this time of COVID. I am truly honoured to bring this book into the world.

Stories are a bonds that unite us, bringing us together.

Words are whispers of hope in the storm, guiding us safely home.

Songs are the voices of angels, protecting us with their love.


— Janet Groom

All books are available to purchase on Amazon