2020 Reading Challenge | The 13 Books I Read Last Year

After the success of my first ever Goodreads reading challenge last year, I'm going all out and doubling my target from 12 to 24 books in 2020! I realise this isn't something I've shared much about on Dinner Stories in the past, but I really enjoyed getting back into reading last year, and thought you guys might be interested in some of the books I enjoyed.

My target was fairly small - aiming for 1 book a month - but at one point I thought I wasn't going to make it. However, I soon realised it's okay to give up if you're half way through something and not enjoying it; move onto something else. I read the last two titles in the last two weeks of the year! It's much easier to get through a book when it hooks you in so much that you don't want to put it down.

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Romesh Ranganathan - Straight outta Crawley
My year always seems to start off with devouring newly released autobiographies. They make great Christmas gifts! Romesh's story was incredibly well written and had me laughing out loud the whole way through.

Billy Connelly - Made in Scotland
An interesting insight into life as the Big Yin. Who doesn't love Billy?

Ruby Tandoh - Eat Up
A nice mix of general foodie talk, looking at different aspects of food culture and our relationships with food, as well as the odd recipe dotted throughout. However I found it a bit of a slog to get through so didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would.

Emma Donoghue - Room
Top tip: don't read it on a plane like I did. Unless you don't mind being an emotional wreck in public! This story of Jack and his mum who are held captive in a single room is one of the best books I've ever read. You might have seen the movie?


I've fancied May's Lewis Trilogy for a while so when I spotted this at a local market in Spain I had to buy it. It's a stand alone thriller based in the Hebrides with a massive twist at the end!

Jason Webster - Guerra
When I picked this up for £1 at my local WHSmith I wasn't really sure what to expect. It turns out to be the story of one man's travels around Spain looking into the history of the Spanish civil war. It was actually pretty interesting and I learned a lot from it.






Jason Smart - Panama to Rio de Janeiro
About half way through the year I signed up for Kindle Unlimited and discovered a whole range of travel themed books available for free. As we're planning to trek to Machu Picchu, Jason Smart's travels through South America are an insightful and entertaining read, giving me a taste of what to expect from our first trip to the continent!

George Mahood - Travels with Rachel: In search of South America
Another free Kindle Unlimited book and one of my absolute favourites. George Mahood's travel tales had me crying with laughter at some points. I highly recommend this one!

John D Burns - Bothy Tales
If you enjoy escaping to the Scottish countryside, you'll appreciate this book. John describes his adventures into some of Scotland's wildest places and the people he meets along the way. I really want to spend a night in a bothy now...

George Mahood - Not tonight Josephine
One of George Mahood's original travel books tells the tale of how he and a friend made their way around America's lesser known places in a run down old car called Josephine. Another hilarious and well written book - easy to get through!


John D Burns - The Last Hillwalker
You can see towards the end of the year I decided to read more from author's I'd already enjoyed in the last few months. John's 40 years of hillwalking experience makes seriously entertaining reading.

Jason Smart - Hola Amigo: Around central America and beyond
Returning again to Jason's stories from his adventures around the world, Hola Amigo was a fascinating look at his experience in Central America. Each chapter talks about a different country, starting with it's reputation and Government safety information. I love how his actual experience contradicts the expectations of violence and danger!

Elton John - Me
You don't need to be a huge Elton John fan to appreciate this! Elton is open about his life, keeping very little secrets, and I enjoyed reading about his life experience as well as gaining an understanding of the music industry. It was fascinating to hear about his celebrity pals too - from the deaths of Princess Diana and Gianni Versace to awkward dinners with Michael Jackson. One of the best autobiographies I've ever read!

What are your favourite books? Can you recommend any travel writers to tuck into for my 2020 reading challenge?

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