Books of 2020: Part One

It’s 2020 and I’m getting a big start on my reading. Last year I waited too long to write about them. I’m hoping to write about my reads monthly. Chances are some months that will only be one or two books. Once again, my goal for the year is 40 novels.

I have read 7 out of my 40 books, and I’d say that’s a pretty good start to the year. I’ve done more reading than I have done writing. Hopefully I can do more of both in February.

The Sh!t No One Tells You About Toddlers by Dawn Dais

I learned early on that the parenting books I enjoy the most are the ones with humour. I especially enjoy the ones that make me laugh the entire way through. This one wasn’t meant to keep me laughing the whole time, but it was funny at times. I listened to it on my library app.

The author has two toddlers. She’s not an expert, but she has experience with her own toddlers. She actually had me from the start when she said the most important thing you need to survive parenting is mom friends. You need a support system. Her book includes many wonderful stories from her friends and from parenting experts.

She writes with humour, but she’s also able to write about her personal experience as a mom. She knows it’s hard, and she has no problem sharing her life. The world needs honest moms that know they don’t have it all together.

I recommend this book, but not if you are trying to find answers. The only answer is to continue surviving. (Those are my words, not the authors.)

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

I borrowed this one from the library. (It was an actual book.) I read a random post from a stranger on Facebook saying how much they loved it.

This book WILL make you uncomfortable. I think it’s supposed to. It may leave you confused. This book is not for everybody. I knew nothing about it going into it. Once I was finished, I took a look at the Goodread reviews. And WOW. It’s a loved book. It’s also a hated book. It also looks like anybody who said they like it were jumped on by those who hated it.

This book is about a neglected little girl. Her father is a drug dealer who seems to hate her, and her mother has an undefined mental illness that makes her not trust anything that goes into her children’s mouth or anybody talking to her daughter. Because of this, her daughter can’t eat in front of people and rarely speaks.

This book is about a man that comes into her life when she is a child and has nobody else. He was about 25, and she was 8 years old. He becomes her protector and her friend. He takes care of her, and she takes care of him. They love each other, and the love grows as she does.

There are so many things I want to say about this book, but I don’t want to put any more spoilers. This book was hard to put down, and it was also really hard to read. The author wrote a beautiful story about something that should not be beautiful. The title comes into play with that as well.

I want people to read this, but I don’t think it’s for everybody. I’m not one to read reviews before I’ve read a book, but if you’re worried about this, maybe take a look at the reviews. You’ll know pretty quickly if you want to read it.

The Quintland Sisters by Shelley Wood

I listened to this on my library app. It’s considered Historical Fiction. I finished listening to it this morning, and I need to write about it before I forget my many many thoughts. (This was part was written a couple weeks ago.)

First of all, I’m on a roll this New Year with reading books that are incredibly sad. Books where children should be treated better than they are. Unfortunately, I’m in the middle of two others so the trend isn’t done yet. I’ll be asking for advice on books with humour next.

Second, I read somewhere that the author sent this book to the remaining two quints. I don’t think she sent it for approval, but was proud to share it with them? If I were them, I would not have been happy about it.

They spent their lives being exploited by everybody. Especially by the people that were supposed to love them. They were taken away from their family by the Province of Ontario so they wouldn’t be used to make money, and then the province and doctors did the same thing. Then this women sends them a book she wrote. Partially about them, and partially about a fiction character, and it seems to me that once again, they’ve been exploited for money.

The book itself was easy to read, and the main character was a nice person that you were cheering for. In fact, she and the quints were the only people I was cheering for.


She’s a character that you want to have a happy ending. Instead, she was (needlessly?) raped by a character who is real. It’s hard for me to wrap that around my head. A fiction character was assaulted by somebody who was real in the quints’ life. I tried to google it after to see if he had been accused of these crimes. I haven’t found anything yet. Why she’d send this to the quints to read is beyond me.

The story did not truly have a happy ending, and it stopped being about the quints. There was a tiny but of resolution, and then BAM: more tragedy.

I don’t know. I can see why people liked it, but it’s definitely not a must read again. That’s how I know when I truly like a book. I’m glad it was a library audiobook.

If one of the remaining sisters were to write about their story, I’d read that.

The Throwaway Children by Diney Costeloe

Here’s another one that makes me sad for the poor kids who deserve better. This book was actually the final straw for me. After reading it, I wanted to read books that would make me laugh. The Throwaway Children did not make me laugh.

It broke my heart, and then it broke my heart again. And then again. Somehow, with all that heart breaking, the end made me smile. I was sitting there, listening to it, with my hand on my heart, tears in my eyes, and a smile on my face.

It was set after World War II. This book was about a woman in an abusive situation who chooses her partner over her two daughters. She gives them away to an orphanage. The girls end up in a place that has no interest in adopting them out. They end up being transferred to an orphanage in Australia from England. The story follows the older daughter, and her grandmother for the most part.

I can’t go into the details. To be honest, most stories that involve an orphanage have the same sort of theme. Abuse and horrors. This one was the same.

It was a good book, but there is no way I’d read it again. I’m usually good with sad books, but I think after all the rest of the books, I couldn’t handle this one. It was too much sadness.

Has Anyone Seen my Pants by Sarah Colonna

I chose this book because it came from the humour section on my library audiobook apps.

It was written by a comedian/actress that I am not familiar with. I guess she wrote for the show Chelsea Lately as well.

Her book was funny. She wrote about dating mishaps, and about being comfortable with being a single woman, but still going on dates. It was pretty funny at times, and kept me laughing.

It was something I needed to read after the sad books.

The Greatest Love Story Ever Told by Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman

I listened to the audiobook, and I imagine that it was the right way to do it. I think it had a lot of extras. This book sounds like a long podcast with the back and forth banter.

Basically, you will laugh, but also, you will want to be best friends with these two. They talk about their relationship, their past, and their present. They laugh, and they joke, and they’re honest about their lives.

There isn’t a lot I can say about it. If you enjoy these two actors, you will probably enjoy the book. If you don’t love books written by celebrities, maybe give it a pass.

The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Shumer

Before I say more about the book, I need to mention that I hope Amy Shumer writes a book now that she’s had a baby. It would make me laugh with it’s honesty.

This book is funny, and just when you think she’s gone too far with some of the humour, she gets serious. The serious stories were the ones I loved. Don’t get me wrong, for the most part, I laughed at the comedy, but she doesn’t hide from the serious moments in her past, and I think that’s pretty important in a book.

This is a book for women. I’m not saying men can’t read it. Maybe they will learn from it, but women will understand, and love and appreciate her for sharing.

That’s it for my January books. I need to mix the humour more with the serious reads, but I enjoyed this month’s books. If you’ve read any of these, or want to talk further, please let me know! I love talking about books I’ve read.

Happy Reading!

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

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