My Top 5 Favorite Books of 2020



Good reads in 2020

Meghan Carr, Contributing Writer

2020 gave many lots of time to cozy-in at home with a good book. Many Hingham High students sure did, and devoured many good reads! All the events going on this year brought to light diverse authors and books, educating readers on current events and movements. Here are my five favorite, relevant reads of 2020:

Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life by Gisele Bundchen: 

One of my all-time favorite books! In the media, Gisele is the image of beauty and has appeared on 1,200 magazine covers. But, beyond Gisele’s success in her supermodel, public career, she reveals who she is and the lessons that shaped her life. I loved learning that a celebrity who appears to have everything “easy” faced many difficult setbacks and cared about important worldly topics like the environment and mental health. Through Gisele’s various stories, experiences, and overall philosophy, she stresses the importance of maintaining a balanced mindset through meditation and yoga to sustain a healthy lifestyle. She also shares how self-care got her through the most challenging time of her life. Readers will benefit from Gisele’s lessons in a time of uncertainty and learn how to best care for their mental health.

You will love Lessons if: you like motivating books encouraging self-reflection and a positive mentality. 

Favorite Quote: “There is good in everything, it is just how you choose to look at it.”

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh:

Victoria Jones never received a proper upbringing in the foster-care system. As she grows, flowers and their meanings show her way of understanding the world, her troubled youth, and her methods of showing emotion. With the power of flowers, Victoria develops a powerful gift to help others around her. Even though the story is fiction, it is real and raw, yet with a touch of sweetness. 

You will enjoy The Language of Flowers if you like realistic fiction and a heartwarming story. 

Favorite Quote: “Anyone can grow into something beautiful.”


The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: 

The Fault in Our Stars uncovers sickness and love. It tells the story of two teenagers, Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters, diagnosed with cancer. Through each other, they learn what it means to love and be loved and live a meaningful life despite all odds. 

You will enjoy this book if: you love raw, romantic stories that shed tears. 

Favorite Quote: “You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world…but you do have some say in who hurts you.”

Freshman Liz Schembri also loved The Fault in our Stars because “The story was suspenseful and heartbreaking at the same time!” 

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah: 

Comedian Trevor Noah tells his memoir through humor, love, and optimism, despite a hidden childhood in South Africa’s tumultuous, dark time of apartheid. Trevor uses wit to overcome the trauma he faced throughout his life, finding himself and making space for himself in a world where he was not welcome. Trevor’s childhood stories will make readers laugh and cry while learning about the roots of race and inequality. 

You will love this story if you like learning about history, racial inequality, or comedic stories. 

Favorite Quote: “We tell people to follow their dreams, but you can only dream of what you can imagine, and, depending on where you come from, your imagination can be quite limited.” 

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi:

A story about loss, faith, and race, Transcendent Kingdom fully entranced me, and I couldn’t put it down! With childhood flashbacks, the story follows Gifty, the daughter of Ghanian immigrants, raised in Alabama and brought up in her mother’s incredibly spiritual church. Gifty grew up feeling secluded from her peers, not only by her skin color but by her profound intelligence. She endured hardship and loss throughout her childhood, including her brother’s addiction and her father’s absence, followed by her mother’s depression. However, she used her intellect to emerge resiliently. As Gifty later attends Harvard and studies reward-seeking behaviors at Stanford, she starts to understand her family’s tendencies and her own. Transcendent Kingdom illustrates self-discovery, addiction, and the struggles immigrant families face, educating readers on how our childhoods shape the rest of our lives. 

Favorite Quote: 

“But to be alive in the world, every day, as we are given more and more and more, as the nature of “what we can handle” changes and our methods for how we handle it change, too, that’s something of a miracle.”  

You will enjoy Transcendent Kingdom if you like serious reads that go deep into the main character’s inner thoughts and emotions. You might also appreciate it if you want to learn about immigrants’ challenges, black Americans, or mental disorders. 

Katie Carr also read Transcendent Kingdom and reflects, “This book really opened my eyes to the struggles black Americans face, and I think it’s important for everyone to be educated as well in order to make some real change.”

Some of my other memorable reads of 2020 are: Becoming by Michele Obama, Turtles All The Way Down by John Green, All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai, and Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.