• Grace A. Johnson

Favorite Books of 2020

Updated: May 15



It’s taken me a while to get this post out, but here it is! My all-time favorite books from last year! It may be a little different than last time, because my reading wasn’t at all like it usually is. I read some books for review, read a few nonfiction and classics (which I, surprisingly, hardly ever do), bought a lot of books I still haven’t read yet, and read a TON on my Kindle! A couple books also got lost in between year transitions—one I read after I wrote my 2019 post, and then one I read in the very last days of December. I’ll be adding both into the 2020 mix, however.

The biggest reading experience I had in 2020 was discovering Julie Lessman. When COVID struck the libraries, I turned to free eBooks to read on my Kindle—and one of those just happened to be Julie Lessman’s A Glimmer of Hope. You can read all about my “discovery” here! I could easily add all of her books to my list today, but I’m going to stick with just my two favorites of hers. They happened to be tied for first place!

(Click on the book titles to view my review of the book!)

#1 A Hope Undaunted and A Passion Redeemed by Julie Lessman. I’ve finally found my niche! Not only is Julie a fabulous person and just an all-around great author, she also caters directly to me! Her stories are so full of life and love, drama and passion, and—most of all—God! Every time I pick up a book now, I know it could never compare to anything by Julie Lessman! I devour her books, and rightly so, because they are everything that I want in fiction! These two especially include some of the most passionate kisses, the most adorable heroes, and the greatest portrayal of true romance! I just melt every time I think about Mitch and Luke!

#2 On Wings of Devotion by Roseanna M. White. This one was *technically* read at the very, very, very beginning of 2020 (or else the very end of 2019; I’m not sure), but I knew even then that it was going to be one of the best reads of 2020! On Wings of Devotion is quite possibly the best book White has ever written (or at least with A Lady Unrivaled and A Soft Breath of Wind). Camden is definitely my favorite hero of hers, and I really enjoyed reading Ara, who was all things good and beautiful without being a cliched “perfect” heroine.

#3 The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Technically, I started reading this book sometime in October or December of 2019 and didn’t finish it until just a month ago. It’s not a book you can just fly through—it’s deep and thought-provoking, certainly one of the greatest theological works of all time. I’m so glad that my dad recommended The Cost of Discipleship to me, because it really edified my spirit and helped me put a lot of the Bible into perspective. I would say that everyone—Christians and non-Christians alike—need to read this book!

#4Shadow Road and Shadow Dance by A.E. Pennymaker. This was new for me, without a doubt. I never read indie and I haven’t read fantasy since Sara Ella’s Unblemished series last year and before that it’s been about three to five years. That being said, I very much enjoyed this debut author’s steam/seapunk novels—way more than I’d expected! I’m on pins and needles waiting for the third book!

#5 The Convenient Marriage by Georgette Heyer. I’ve been wanting to read Heyer for several months now, especially after all the amazing things I’ve heard about her. Even though I own a few of her mysteries (and Devil’s Cub; I want These Old Shades before I read that one, though), I’d never actually set down and read one of her books until I found The Convenient Marriage at a local antique store. I’d been banned from my computer (ha ha), so I got started on this 400-some page novel and was immediately sucked in! It’s definitely out of my comfort zone (I don’t read a lot of 20th or 19th century fiction, minus Eugenia Price), but I laughed out loud the whole time! (Didn’t expect that from a “staid” Georgian romance!)

#6 Hadassah: One Night with the King by Tommy Tenney. I’ve loved this movie for years, and they always say that the book is better than the movie. I agree, apart from Gone with the Wind, of course, because Tommy Tenney’s version of the Book of Esther was exquisite! I absolutely adored his depict of Hadassah and his lyrical prose!

I’m actually ending my list right here with some honorable mentions:

True to You by Becky Wade, Persuasion by Jane Austen, and The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie. With these books (a classic romance, a Christie mystery, and a contemporary romance), I stepped out of my comfort zone and was actually glad I did! I’m not quite an Austen girl yet, but I can say I’ve read my share of classics, so I’m very pleased with that! As for True to You, it was surprisingly good—and I haven’t liked Becky Wade in the past.

Of course, everything by Julie Lessman is fabulous, and I really enjoyed reading Roseanna M. White’s Dreams of Savannahat the very end of 2020!


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So, in addition, I’ve got a few goodies and announcements for y’all!

First, my cover of Prisoner at Heart has made it into Round 2 of AllAuthor’s Cover of the Month contest, so y’all keep on voting! Click here to vote!

Second, I have sixteen copies of Prisoner at Heart available for a FREE download! Download your copy here!

Third, some of my favorites authors are hosting a giveaway over the next few days, and YOU have a chance to enter! Just click here to enter to win Sarah Sundin’s When Twilight Breaks, Laura Frantz’s The Tidewater Bride, and Tara Johnson’s All Through the Night! These are some amazing authors, so don’t pass up this opportunity, okay?

Also, I want your feedback on a few things, so PLEASE leave a comment or drop me a line in the contact section on the homepage. What do y’all think of another Daughters of the Seven Seas short story? I have a lapse of time in between Prisoner at Heart and Bound and Determined that I want to fill, and then another gap between BAD and Book 4. Do any of y’all have any comments or suggestions? Would y’all like to see another short story (or two)? Is there anything that you’d like to see happen in the lives of Rina and her friends and family? Don’t hesitate to let me know, guys!

PLUS, would you all like to see character/story collages? I’m not the greatest designer, but I’m trying to get some fun aesthetics together, so y’all let me know if you’d like to see my sorry amateur attempts at designing! If y’all do, I’ll post a few in the coming days!

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Well, that’s all for now! Give me your feedback and votes, and don’t forget to keep reading! I’d love to hear what your favorite books were this past year!

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