Favorite Books of 2020

I’ve enjoyed most of the books I’ve read this year, but there are a few that touched my heart in one way or another.

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris by Paul Gallico is a charming novel about an elderly woman who works as a housecleaner for several households. One day she comes across a gorgeous dress by Dior and decides she needs to own one just like it. She isn’t rich and decides to do without a number of little luxuries, like tea, to save money for the dress. Finally, after meeting her financial goal, Mrs. Harris takes a trip (her first time on an airplane) to Paris to visit the House of Dior. It’s a heartwarming tale of going after what you want.

Persuasion by Jane Austen was a re-read, which proved to me how much I still love this novel. Anne Elliot is a nice woman who gets her happy ending with Captain Wentworth. This is the kind of book I like to read. Life is hard as it is, so it’s nice to lose myself in a fantasy world.

How to Be a Victorian by Ruth Goodman is her amazing experiment of living like a Victorian for an entire year. I enjoyed following the author along on her Victorian journey. I highly recommend it for those who are fascinated by the Victorian era.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens really touched my heart. I’ve put off reading Charles Dickens because I thought his stories would bore me. And maybe some of his books will bore me, but this story is something special. It tells you everything you need to know about Charles Dickens. He cared for social justice very much, which is evident in every aspect of this story. I think he did a lot for humanity by writing A Christmas Carol. For example, before this story was published, it wasn’t normal for employers to pay their employees to take time off (even for Christmas). We also get a number of our Christmas traditions from Charles Dickens. He did so much good by writing this story and I’m glad I finally read it.

Square Haunting by Francesca Wade details the lives of five women (H.D., Dorothy L. Sayers, Jane Ellen Harrison, Eileen Power and Virginia Woolf) who lived on the same London street between the two world wars. It’s a touching account of the struggles and sexism they endured to get ahead in their chosen professions. The author did an excellent job of tying all five women together.

What are your favorite books of 2020?

xoxo, Jane

What I’m Currently Reading

Hello, there! I hope you’re having a great day.

I have so many books on my To Be Read shelf that sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the unread pile of books, but I’m happy to report that I started three new books (because the days of being able to relax and concentrate on one book at a time are behind us).

I’m reading a library book, Girl in Dior by Annie Goetzinger. It’s a beautiful graphic novel about Dior’s first fashion show in 1947. It’s completely charming. Speaking of Dior, I also started reading Mrs Harris Goes to Paris by Paul Gallico. It’s such a dear story. The main character, Mrs. Harris, works as a cleaner for several rich families in London. She travels to Paris for the sole purpose of buying herself a Dior gown. I love that the protagonist is an older woman with limited means who will definitely have a happy ending (at least I hope so!). It was also nice to learn (not through this book) that Paul Gallico was a close friend of Princess Grace. She didn’t have a large circle of friends, but he was a trusted friend to her. I can picture Princess Grace reading this very book.

Last but not least, I’m also reading Model Undercover by Carina Axelsson. I’ve owned the ebook for a number of years and finally decided to give it a try. It’s a super cute story of a teenager, Axelle, who wants to be a detective, but her parents prefer that she have a more fashionable job, such as modeling. They send her to her aunt’s in Paris hoping she will just grow out of her detective phase. However, once in Paris, she learns that a model has gone missing so of course she begins to investigate. I’d describe this book as a fashionable YA of a young Sherlock Holmes in Paris. Completely adorable.

What’s on your nightstand these days?

xoxo, Jane

His and Hers: Favorite Books

Embed from Getty Images

I asked my husband what his favorite book is. He said his favorite book is by Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo. (Six years of marriage and I did not know this. Am I a terrible wife?) When I asked him why, this is is what he said:

Because it’s part fantasy and part adventure. It’s a perfect rags to riches story of someone who is deeply wronged. It’s a revenge story, but it’s the best revenge story ever written because the really bad people get their comeuppance.

I asked him what his least favorite part about The Count of Monte Cristo is.

My least favorite part of the book is that it’s so melodramatic.

IMG_1230
I love my cloth-bound copy. So pretty!

Now it’s my turn!

Absolutely no one asked me what my favorite book is, but I’m going to tell you anyway. It’s Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Why?

IMG_1229
This letter to Anne from Captain Wentworth is one of my favorite parts of the book.

Because this book has it all! It’s the beautiful love story of two very nice people who, years earlier, made mistakes because Anne, our heroine, was persuaded to part ways with the man she loved, Captain Wentworth. I also love this book because Anne is older than the traditional heroines of the era (I was an older heroine bride too). I really like reading about nice people getting all the good things they deserve. Plus Jane Austen is such a genius at mocking the ridiculous (Anne’s sisters and father). It’s just a really great story with an even better love story.

Which book is your favorite?

(This is the free Persuasion US Kindle book. If you haven’t read this book, then you are in for a treat.)

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra to use the links. xoxo, Jane