Reading to Escape the Worst Year Ever

Amanda Adams
4 min readJan 12, 2021

2020: The Year I Read to Escape the Hellscape

Image from Pixabay

This has been a year packed full of nasty surprises. My short list includes: global pandemic, rampant racism, widespread wildfires, and long-term isolation. Luckily, I used 2019 to get back into the habit of reading and was primed and ready to go with one of my more independent hobbies.

Initially I found it difficult to focus on reading for more than a few pages — sidetracked with thoughts of hand-washing techniques, risk levels, and incessant doom-scrolling. Over time, and as my general anxiety levels plateaued, I was able to pick my Kindle back up to find enjoyable escapes and a respite from my worries.

Books became a source of light-hearted escape, enthralling distraction, and gave me opportunities for self-reflection and increased understanding of other people, other experiences, and our inter-connectedness. These were a few of my favorites from throughout the year.

Binge Worthy Reads :

Wild Game: My Mother, He Lover, and Me by Adrienne Brodeur — Unfortunately, I read this book pre-pandemic (missed opportunity) but it was utterly captivating. The book tells the story of a daughter and the role she plays during her mother’s affair while growing up. It’s both juicy and reflective and oh so engrossing. I could not put it down!

What You Wish For by Katherine Center — This was another book that I couldn’t put down. I think I read it in one day and it was just such a lovely escape during the early days of the pandemic. It tells the story of a small town school librarian and a new principal, who just happens to be a former love interest who surprisingly shows up out of no where.

The Last of the Moon Girls by Barbara Davis — Part mystery, part love story, part finally-facing-family-demons. A thrilling escape of a read, this book tells the story of Lizzy Moon as she returns home to sell her family’s farm but has to face a lurid history chalk full of murder, magic, and lovely witchy vibes.

Lighthearted Reads:

Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory — This book was a delight from page one! Jasmine Guillory tells the story of a relatable but unique character that is not seen often enough. The meet cute between the main…



Amanda Adams

Eugene, Oregon — Book Lover, Writer, Philanthropist, and Social Justice Advocate.